Stereotypically we all think of mom sitting down to do crafts with the kids for the holidays but there are some pretty cool dads around that have a little craftiness in them as well!
All children love crafts and I am pretty sure all men still have a little boy in there somewhere and would love to get into the glue and glitter this holiday season.
Am I right guys? I am going to offer up a few suggestions for crafts that you can do with the kiddos to help mom decorate this year.
1. Handprint Wreaths: Trace your child’s hand on green construction paper and then have them cut it out to make a template. Use the template to trace another nine hands and cut those out. Using a glue stick you then glue them side by side fingers pointing out in a wreath shape. You can then decorate by cutting a bow out of red constructions paper (or real ribbon bows) or cutting out Christmas lights in different colors to add to your wreaths.
2. Craft Stick Fireplace: Start out by painting your craft sticks brown if you would like a traditional fireplace. Then glue them together using three sticks for each side and two for the mantle and one for the bottom of the fireplace. Use a green pipe cleaner for the garland across the mantle by gluing it on in a wavy pattern. Use brown pipe cleaners and cut them in pieces for the wood in the fireplace and cut some yellow and red flames out of construction paper to glue to the back of the base of your fireplace. You can cut out stockings and hang them from the mantle if you want to decorate some more or add lights to the garland on the mantle. Tie a piece of string or ribbon to the top and use it on your Christmas tree as an ornament!
3. Glitter Pine Cone Ornaments: This one is great if you have access to your own pine tree or there is one in the neighborhood and the neighbor does not mind. If you don’t you can always get pine cones at the craft store. What you will need to do is mix three parts glue with one part water so that it doesn’t gunk on too thick. Paint some glue onto your pine cones and then hold them over a paper plate or something to catch the extra glitter that doesn’t stick. Sprinkle on your glitter and let them dry and then tie a piece of ribbon at the top to hang on the tree.
4. Faux Ginger Bread Houses: I know how you guys like to build so here is one you will love. Using graham crackers and icing build a house! This will take a little skill on dad’s part but anyone that can make a house out of cards can make one of these. Get some ready made icing to “glue” your house together then let it dry. Then using the same icing glue proceed to decorate your houses with gumdrops, peppermint candy, licorice ropes, or whatever you can come up with. Gummy bears would be cute too!
5. Snowman Ornaments: Here is a great way to recycle old light bulbs. If you have the solid white round light bulbs you are all set but if you have the clear bulbs then you will want to paint them white first and let them dry. You will need some white pipe cleaners for this one and you can either paint on the eyes or you can purchase googley eyes while you are at the craft store and glue them on with a hot glue gun. Paint on an orange carrot nose and a few dots for the mouth. Put on the white pipe cleaner by using a couple dabs of hot glue and wrapping it around the top of the light bulb to cover up the metal and make it look like hair. Glue a couple of buttons down his tummy and have the kids go out and get a couple of sticks to glue to his sides for arms. Hang it on the tree with a ribbon for a really cute ornament!
6. Sugar Cone Christmas Trees: These are a lot of fun for the kids because everything is edible and anything that involves icing and candy couldn’t be anything but fun! You need the pointy sugar ice cream cones, icing, and any kind of candy for decorating your “tree”. Use food dye and color the icing green and smear it all over the upside down cone. You could use one of those craft sticks you have laying around or a plastic knife. Then decorate it with M&M’s, gumdrops, licorice lace, Sixlets, or whatever you think would make a cute decoration.
7. Craft Stick or Tree Stick Christmas Trees: You can either use your craft sticks to make a tree or sticks from the yard if you want a more rustic looking tree ornament. Use on long stick (or a tongue depressor) for the trunk and lay the other sticks across the trunk with a long one at the bottom and gradually shortening them as you go up. Before gluing them together you can paint the trunk brown and the limbs green. Then decorate your tree. You could use pipe cleaners and cut them in half and string a bead, twisting the pipe cleaner around the bead to keep it in place, and “hang” them from your tree with a little glue. Or use small pom-poms you get from the craft store and glue on to simulate lights. Buttons also make cute decorations or you could even just use glitter or spray snow.
If you want you could gather sticks from the yard to make a similar tree by lashing them together with florist wire or any light weight wire you have around the house. Or lash them together with twine or string if you want a real earthy look. These would make great ornaments for your tree!
8. Christmas Coupons: Have the kids make up a coupon book for mom with chores they will help her with or chores they will do without complaining! Have them decorate them with Christmas stickers or draw decorations on with crayon to present to mom for Christmas!
9. Brown Paper Bag or Construction Paper Christmas Stockings: Have the kids cut out two large stockings out of brown bags or construction paper. Then have them decorate them with Christmas trees, stars, ornaments, etc. You can use crayon, paint, or stickers, whatever they want. Then use a hole punch and punch holes all along the edges of your stockings excluding the top. Use any color yarn, but I think red or green would be nice myself, and sew the stocking down one side and up the other tying knots where you begin and end or nice tight bows will do. You could use cotton balls and make a fluffy cuff at the top or write the kids names in glue for them to cover with glitter as well. Make them big enough to hang up and hang some candy canes out of them for some really cute decorations.
10. Light-up Christmas Trees: Get some green construction paper and draw a nice size Christmas tree and cut it out. Use a hole punch and punch holes in your tree where you want the lights to be. You can buy multi-colored tissue paper at the dollar store which you will need. Have the kids cut out squares big enough to fit over the holes they punched in the tree and then use a glue stick to glue different colors of tissue on the back of each hole. After they have dried you can hang up in the window and watch the sun turn the lights on as it hits your trees!
I hope that you creative dads will enjoy some of these crafts with your kids this Christmas season. It is such a blessing to spend time with your kids. You are not only creating Christmas treasures but Christmas memories with dad as well. Have a great time and a very happy holiday!
[About the author: Ken Myers is the founder & contributor for http://www.longhornleads.com/. He frequently researches and writes about a variety of topics like education, Technology, Health and many more. Image: USAG-Humphreys]