- Arts and Design
An Activity-a-Day for Families in the Month of December
Something to Do Every Day in December
December can be the busiest time of year, and we often let it slide by without focusing on the important parts of life. I know that I am usually so busy planning and buying gifts that I forget to actually spend time with my family! Winter-time crafts are a great way to pass the time when you are cooped up inside as snow drifts outside. It's a great way to occupy kids, allowing them to not only feel important by helping out, but also exercise creativity and increase motor skills. We all need a way to get out all that energy when cold winter air forces us to stay indoors, and the television just isn't good enough! Spend an hour or less each day performing one of the following 31 crafts/recipes/activities and see how your relationship with your kids and your taste for winter improves!
- 16 Skinny Fall Soups | Family Kitchen
Sixteen light and healthy skinny fall soups.
Thirty-One Simple Crafts/Recipes/Activities
While there are still leaves on the ground, go on a family walk and pick up the seasonal nature brought to you by fall. When you are home, glue a variety of leaf sizes that you picked up with your kids to construction paper to create a turkey. Or, let your kids come up with great shapes and creatures on their own! This teaches the kids to see shapes in nature. Do this before it gets too cold!
Browse The Family Kitchen's 16 Skinny Fall Soup recipes and make one! Let your kids add the ingredients to the saucepan or crockpot. What a great way to usher in the wonderful winter season! Nothing beats healthy warm soup on a warm day.
Coat the exterior of clean Mason jars with Mod Podge and sprinkle with Epsom salt to make beautiful light-reflective candleholders! See craftsbyamanda.com for more details.
Try some good old fashioned water color! Challenge your kids to paint something that has to do with the current season. You can take it a step further and even use stamps and stencils. Or, do this leaf print project from the link to the right! Since it may be difficult to find a leaf of this size and quality at this time of year, try purchasing a phony one at any floral store.
Freeze Cool Whip using cookie cutters into fun Christmas shapes, likes hearts, bells, angels, and trees. Place cookie cutters on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and allow your children to scoop the Cool Whip into the shapes. Once frozen, use the frozen whipped cream to top hot cocoa on a brisk afternoon!
- icreate...with love
See this link for great furniture refinishing tips and other crafty fun things!
Make a coffee cozy for yourself, or make a few for gifts for other! Since sewing is involved, this might not be the best craft for kiddos, but it does make a quick and dirty ADORABLE gift :)
Hair accessories. These can be so simple to make- anything from gluing a barette from a craft store to the back of a fake flower, and they can be as complicated as intertwining fabric to create a modern flower and gluing that to a headband. Crochet, felt, use your imagination!
Use clean old jars with lids to create a homemade snow globe! Or, go another direction and use old jars to create homemade candleholders, as seen to the right.
Paint some furniture! It's the best time of year to brighten up the inside of your home. See the tutorial to the right for great tips on refinishing furniture in your home.
It's about time to wrap gifts. This year, try something different. Instead of using plain old store bought paper, try bother paper bought in bulk. You can have your kids draw on the exterior for fun! Other gift wrapping ideas include using colorful yarn, as seen in the thumbnail to the right, or printing off fancy printable tags from websites like burdart.blogspot.com
Make some oranaments with your kids. Materials such as felt, posickle sticks, and yarn come in very handy for a simple, heartfelt crafts such as this. When I was a kid, we made a simple nativity scene with popsickle sticks and three clothespins. The popsickle sticks made a barn with the Mary Joseph and baby Jesus, clothed in fabric with little smiles from permanent markers!
Embrace snowmen! There are hundreds of snowman crafts out there and I think they are so so cute. THey can be as simple and kid-friendly as skewering through three marshmallows for your a fun treat, or they can be as coomplicated as reclaiming an old 2x4 by painting it white and offering it a face, hat, and scarf!
Create a Twelve Days of Christmas countdown! Sing the song each day and mark off the last day. This could be done on a whiteboard, a chalkboard, or butcher paper.
String beads! Pick up the clasps for a neacklace at any craaft supply store. Kids might especially enjoy stringing uncooked macaroni beads while you do the big-girl stuff!
Repurpose old sweaters and tees into warm and cozy hats for the tots! See the tutorial to the right for greater detail.
It's not too late for some Christmas decour! The key here is to embrace the winter look so you can keep it up about a month past Christmas without ridicule! I love this winter wreath by Sew Home Grown at sewhomegrown.com. Everything they use to create it can be purchased at your local craft store!
Take a day to bake homemade Christmas cookies. Scour Pinterest for the best recipes for everything from sugar cookies to cranberry tarts. Package them and give them to friends for Christmas gifts, or enjoy them with your own family by the fire. Your hard work deserves a reward!
Let your kids draw pictures on the back of your Christmas cards. Not only is this a space filler, it will also bring a smile to all your recipients! Remember to send out your Christmas cards by December 20 to ensure delivery by Christmas!
Spread some Christmas cheer with some homemade banners. There are a few options for this, as can be seen to the right. First, you could use gift tags and handwrite Merry Christmas, one letter on each tag, as you strong them on yarn for your banner. Another option is to sew scrapbook paper in the shapes of triangles, or other shapes for that matter, with one letter written on each paper. Your phrase could definitely be something different that relates to the season as well: "Happy Holidays," "A King is Born" or "Let it Snow" ar all great alternatives!
It may be snowing at this point in the winter season. Choose a day that is snowy, bundle the kids up, and trek outdoors with your camera. You can get some great shots of the kiddos against the white backdrop and there are fun activities to film such as snow angels and igloos!
To beat the indoor-winter-blues, try some variations of hot chocolate. There are several varieties, such as peppermint mocha, salted caramel, or white chocolate. See the link below for a great winter cocoa recipe that the tots are sure to love! Some recipes call for alcohol, so as a disclaimer, be sure to leave that out when serving to your kids.
Winter can be such a dry, harsh time, so instructions for homemade lip balm can be found at the link to the right! Easy enough for the kids as well.
I saw this great family "Christmas Words" activity on Pinterest, found at the link to the right. What a great way to incorporate education into celebration! Your kids won't even mind learning! If you don't want to go to all the trouble to making the entire game, or your kids have outgrown that concept, you could play other games "Christmas-themed." Play Scrabble using only Christmas or holiday vocabulary.
If you're not too busy rushing around celebrating the season with friends and family, today would be a great day to sit down and make a gingerbread house. There are plenty of store-bought kits out there, but I have also seen some very creative and delicious gingerbread houses made from graham crackers and cream cheese frosting.
Do something unexpected for someone else today. Take cookies to your grumpy neighbor or visit and old folks home. We are generally so wrapped up in our idea of what Christmas should be that we tend to forget what other people may experience on this day. Also, doing this will set an excellent example of putting others first for your childrens' always watchful eyes.
- Christmas Lights | Find Christmas Light Displays Near You
Worldwide Christmas Light Display locator. Find Christmas lights | Christmas displays to view in your area or add your own display to our searchable database.
Spend today organizing your home. You most likely just put a bunch of stuff into it, so avoid clutter in the future by creating a place for everything now. Buy new plastic tubs for kids' toys, or sew your own bags for organizational use. Whatever you do, make sure you start the new year organized, even if it's a drag. I have seen some great ways to make organization cute, anything from lining the interior of your Sterilite containers with fabric or wrapping yarn or rope around old formula cans. Storage can be cute!
Sayings as decals are another way to update the inside of yor home for little cost. If you choose a year-round saying, you can applique it right to your wall, but if you choose a Christmas themed or winter seasoned saying, you might choose to rub it on to a piece of painted pallet board or even unfinished banwood to avoid moving it frequently. These days, decals are available anywhere from Hobby Lobby to independent boutiques for a small price and they are all very easy to apply.
Hurry up and go see the Christmas light before they are taken down! Driving around with some decaf coffee and family or friends, just looking at Christmas lights can make the most wonderful evening. Not sure where to start your search? The link to the right leads to a website designed to help you find the best Christmas light displays near you!
As your children (and your husband) may have gotten new toys and activities this Christmas, spend the day going through the old ones. Discuss the importance of both donating unused items to a good cause and staying clean and clutter-free as you enter the new year.
Looking in advance to next year's calendar, transfer all important dates such as birthdays or even dental cleanings. This will help you start 2013 with an organized outlook! I recommend creating a personalized calendar, like the ones by shutterfly.com. Look our for frequent coupons and promotions! I also saw this great idea on Pinterest to keep track of monthly birthdays.
As the year draws to a close, make a list of "New Year's Resolutions" with your kids. This can be a fun, interactive way to discuss and establish values while setting appropriate and tangible goals. Be sure to set some for yourself as well-- this lets kids know that you are not perfect, that you are human-- we all need a little improvement. Display them on scrapbook paper in a frame so everyone can be reminded of their progress!
It would be a great idea to take a photo of your activity each day to feel accomplished and help remember the greatm busy December of 2012!