Monthly Archives: November 2011

Simple Tree Ornaments

Are you the kind of person that puts up her Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving?

I’m not. I’m usually trying to recuperate from all of the standing-on-my-feet-fixing-the-Thanksgiving-meal instead of decorating for Christmas.

Well, regardless of whether or not you have your tree up, you can still have an activity with your grandchildren and make tree ornaments out of homemade play dough.  (If you need the recipe, you can find it here.)

To make your tree ornament, simply roll out your Christmas colored play dough and cut out shapes using Christmas shaped cookie cutters.  Use a straw to punch a hole at the top.  Decorate your ornaments by sprinkling glitter on them or pressing small beads or rhinestones or sequins in the dough before baking.

Bake the ornaments in the oven for an hour at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. When cool, thread a ribbon through the hole and voila! You have an ornament that your grandchild can hang on your tree or take home and hang on his tree.

Christmas Crayon Crafts for Grandchildren

Christmas Crayon Crafts for Grandchildren. (Say that really fast five times — quite a tongue twister, eh?)

So on Thanksgiving, I had the crayons out for a little art activity for the grandchildren.  It was highly complex.  Took lots of skill.  Patience, too.

Ahem.

Actually, it was just drawing around the grandkids hand and then turning the hand print into a turkey.  (That’s about as sophisticated that I get with art crafts with two-year old grandchildren.)

But that got me thinking.  Isn’t there some craft using crayons that could be made by grandchildren that could be given as a Christmas present. Indeedy there is.

But first, I must do a word-of-the-day with you.  Every heard of the word encaustic?  Nope?  Me neither.  And I’m a logophile, a word-lover extraordinaire.

Encaustic is an adjective that means painted with wax colors fixed with heat, or with any process in which colors are burned in.  Got that?  Good. Because the first idea that I found is a crayon encaustic art project.  Basically, the project consists of holding a crayon over a candle and letting the crayon drip onto a paper.  Grandchildren can do this and pop it in a frame to give to their mother or father or cousin or friend. It would be a fun project to do with grandchildren that are six years old or older.

You can make an elegant picture by melting gold or silver crayons.  Or make a Christmas-y one by melting red and green crayons. Of course your grandchild could make a lovely picture by using her favorite colored crayons. Or make a monochromatic picture with various shades of one color.  So, be sure to check out the encaustic art project.

You’ve probably made chunky crayons.  Well, here’s another idea of using up those old chunks of crayons and make them into new ones.  This site shows how to make layered crayons using baking molds and Popsicle molds. The sample is a red, white, and blue star crayon. Depending on the molds that you use, you can make some pretty neat layered crayons.  This would be a great craft activity for older elementary aged grandchildren that they could give away as Christmas gifts to friends or family members.

And this is my favorite idea that I found: making crayon initials. Basically, it’s making an ‘initial’ picture out of crayons.  The directions showed how to make the letter “M” and put it in a shadow box as a gift for a child’s school teacher. It’s one classy looking gift.  Your grandchild could make the first letter of the name of a friend or a sibling or a parent and give as a Christmas gift. It’s kinda hard to explain so you just have to check out the tutorial.

You have no idea how much I love that idea! Which got me thinking.  Maybe you could spell out the word ‘JOY’ or ‘SANTA’ or ‘Christmas’ if you had a big enough piece of cardstock. (Or maybe you could use poster board . . .) You could vary this idea and make a Christmas tree shape or candy cane or gingerbread man or house.  Let your grandchildren’s imagination go wild with this.  They could come up with something really creative!

Have you done fun crafts using chunks of crayons??

Last Minute Thanksgiving Ideas

Yikes!  Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  Are you ready?  Are your pies baked?  House cleaned?  Silver polished? Decorations out?

If you are looking for last minute Thanksgiving ideas, I have just the thing for you. 

(That almost sounds like something you’d say at Christmas time instead of Thanksgiving . . .)


Four ideas:

What are you still doing here?  Hurry, scurry!  Off you go.  Get ready to have a thankful day with family, friends, and loved ones.

Turkey Handprint Cookies

Remember when you were in school and you would trace your hand and then use that as the body to draw a turkey?

Well, that activity is the basis for my idea for today.  Make sugar cookie turkeys out of a hand print.

Check with your local craft store to see if they have a hand-shaped cookie cutter.  If they don’t, get an empty cereal box, trace around your grandchild’s hand, and use that as a pattern for cutting out a hand shaped cookie.

After your cookies are baked, frost them with a chocolate brown frosting. Then, make several different colors of frosting and frost each finger a different color to make colorful ‘feathers.’

Or, you can use small, colorful candies or candy corn on your fingers. You could use strips of colorful licorice (if you can find it in the grocery store.) You could use M&Ms.  You could use cake decorator sprinkles. Whatever.

Then, use a chocolate chip for the eye.

Then snarf those turkey cookies down.

Don’t worry about how much of a mess you make. Or how many calories you consume. Remember, have joy in the journey (of making the cookies). The memories that your grandchildren will have while making their sugar cookie turkeys will be far more important than having a clean kitchen or not eating too many calories.

Enjoy!