Every year since my daughter was 3 (2005), I've helped the kids make ornaments to give to family. Some years I help more than others. I've tried kits from Michael's and JoAnn's but haven't really liked any of them - except for ones using beads. The first year it was simple. It took a few days but my daughter alternated red and white beads on pipe cleaners that were bent to make candy canes. We ended up giving all of them away. I think I'll do it again next year with Floyd and make sure we keep at least one.
Here are some of the ornaments the kids have made the past 10 years that go on our tree. The wreaths and peace sign were bead kits from Michael's, 4 years ago (I think). We gave lots of the wreaths away but we still have at least 6 on our tree. We did the hands in 2013, the first year we had 3 kids.
This year I had planned on using Floyd's handprint to make ornaments with a snowfamily on it. I used this tutorial so the ornaments would be white. I made the dough, since it has to be made on the stove, rolled it and cut out circles and put them in front of Floyd to press his hand into before I baked them. No go. He refused to touch it. We showed him what we wanted him to do with play-doh but he still refused. There were tears. So I had to change my plan. I got out some cookie cutters and my older son, Nova, and I cut out a bunch of shapes.
Here's our tray of ornaments baking in the oven. It takes a while. I did 45 minutes each side, at 175F, then set them out to finish drying. The smaller snowmen and owls were ready the next day but the bigger trees, star and train took another 2 days.
My plan had been to paint them but Floyd got out markers and asked to colour them. I gave him the train, which I planned on keeping, and figured if it didn't work it didn't really matter.
It worked. He did the train and a snowman.
The other two kids sat down with us and we all coloured.
Nova did a ninja and an owl. We'll be keeping the ninja but the owl will be a gift.
My daughter, Calliope, did the tree on the left, while Nova did the one on the right.
Hung up Floyd's on our tree but he wants this to go to a cousin.
I did a snowman, too.
Still had more to colour, so the boys did some after supper yesterday. Nova will be giving the snowman on the top left to his teacher.
And here is the other side. We still have 3 left to colour and then we have to decide who gets what ornament. And which ones we'll keep and treasure.
Even though my plan didn't go as expected, I'm really happy with how it ended up. Yes, the snowman family would have been cute and a great memento years from now, but I think all the kids had more fun colouring all the different shapes. This helped remind me that the key to crafting with kids is always be flexible.
Do you have a crafty holiday tradition that you do with your kids? Or ones you remember from your childhood? I can remember sitting around the dining room table when I was very little (5 or 6) with bowls of beads and making ornaments. When I got married I took several of them and hang them on our tree every year. I love that they have become part of our holidays.