4 Natural DIY Holiday Decorations to Make with Your Kids
One of my favorite memories from childhood was making our own natural DIY holiday decorations as a family. I remember feeling a deep sense of pride, accomplishment and belonging looking at my handmade items hanging among the decor each December. That’s why I’ve decided to continue this wonderful tradition with my own kids. Plus, by using natural and recycled materials, making your own decor is a beautiful AND eco-friendly alternative to buying plastic decor! Here are four of my favorite natural DIY holiday decorations to make with toddlers and kids.
Glass Jar Lanterns
To make a lantern, start with a recycled glass jar. If your child is old enough, enlist their help in cutting up bits of recycled tissue paper. Next, mix together a 1:1 solution of water and glue. You or your child can paint the outside with glue, and then have fun sticking the tissue paper all over the jar. If you’d like, try gluing a leaf or dried flower to the jar as well. Once it’s dry, add a small candle, turn off the lights and marvel at your beautiful creation!
This is one of our favorite natural DIY holiday decorations, because there are so many possibilities! First, collect natural items from outside; pinecones, dried flowers, leaves, and pine sprigs work great. We also love to add fresh cranberries and dried orange slices. Depending on the age of your children, they will be able to help in different ways. Young toddlers will love collecting nature treasures and can enjoy the sensory experience of playing with the materials. As they get older, they can help tie pieces of twine around everything or use a darning needle to string orange slices and cranberries onto the garland. Add a few of these items or do them all! Either way, this natural garland will look beautiful in your home this holiday season, especially since it’s something you worked on together.
Star and Tree Ornaments
While there are a few simple ornaments that we love to make, this one is very easy! Simply gather some twigs, arrange them into the proper shapes, then connect the ends with a dot of hot glue. Next, let your kid wrap them in yarn. This can also be done with cardboard shapes, too!
Watercolor Snowflake Ornaments
First, have your child (babies and toddlers too!) watercolor paint a bunch of paper however they like. You can stick to only a few colors or use them all. Once dry, fold them up and have fun cutting them – another job for your kid if they are ready for scissors. Tie string to each ornament and they are ready to hang!
Besides building self-esteem, there are many benefits to crafting natural DIY holiday decorations with your little ones. It promotes creativity, perseverance, critical thinking skills and fine motor development. Handmade decorations also make a great personalized gift for friends, family and teachers. Just remember that with kids, there is a lot of value in enjoying the process over a perfectly finished project. Have fun and happy holidays!
Kyrsten Bloch, Tinkergarten Nature Program Leader, Photographer, and Mama of Two