The 12 Days of Christmas: Day 1, A New Craft for Your Kids

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crafts for kids

The Paranoid Dad and I have been brainstorming ideas for having a richer holiday experience with the kids without a huge emphasis on gifts and getting.  My son, in particular, needs to learn more about the joy of giving and the joy of this beautiful season.  We’ve come up with a list of twelve family activities to incorporate into the next three weeks or so.  Not surprisingly, some of these have a “preparedness” theme, but others are just for fun.  I’ll be posting one each day for the next twelve days.  Hope they inspire you and your family!

By the way, I know the traditional 12 Days of Christmas begins on December 25 and runs through Epiphany, January 6, but if I started sharing with you all my great holiday ideas on the 25th, that wouldn’t be very helpful now, would it?  🙂

Day 1, A new craft for your kids

Make the most of your kids’ Christmas vacation …or Winter Holiday or Solstice Observation Days or whatever term your local school district is using these days!  Your kids have about fourteen uninterrupted days at home, and no doubt you’ll start hearing complaints about boredom and how there’s nothing to do.  Start planning ahead right now to teach them at least one new craft skill that might also help them create gifts for family members or friends.  Don’t worry about being an expert yourself.  It’s even more fun when parents and kids learn something new together!

Since all of us have different learning styles, I suggest getting an instructional book and then using YouTube videos to supplement the learning process. With their hands actually holding the craft supplies and their eyes and ears engaged with instruction, your kids and grandkids will be able to master these crafts for kids much more quickly.

Here’s a fun variety of skills to consider, along with links to helpful, instructional books:

For supplies, check out eBay, garage sales, and Craigslist and watch for craft store coupons. Even better, find a family friend or relative who can teach a new skill to your kids. The beauty of a gift like this, whether given during the holidays, on a birthday, or one of those “just because” gifts, is that they all invite interaction. When my daughter and I are sitting on the couch knitting our different projects, we have time for relaxed and casual conversation. If you give this type of gift, set aside some time to help your kids or grandkids get started, maybe start a project of your own, and then enjoy the time together.Give your children a gift that could last a lifetime: a new hobby. Read more here... Click To Tweet

Honestly, in my 17 years of parenting, time together is irreplaceable and priceless. Too often, I get consumed in one of my many projects, leaving my kids to figure out something on their own. Ultimately, that undermines the home environment and atmosphere I desire. A shared hobby goes a very long way toward creating bonding time, and it’s so easy to do.

NOTE: One of my Skills of the Month is “Handicrafts”. Check out this section for many more related articles.

One possible benefit to many of these crafts for kids is that they can become an income source down the road. A very good friend of mine creates gorgeous wooden tankards with her husband and that provides income for them throughout the year. There’s always a market for beautiful and well-crafted items, whether they’re knitted scarves, a quilt, or a beautiful handmade birdhouse.

This month, before your young’uns even say the words, “I’m bored!”, be ready with craft supplies to keep them busy and productive!  If the craft has practical applications, such as knitting, so much the better.

crafts for kids

9 thoughts on “The 12 Days of Christmas: Day 1, A New Craft for Your Kids”

  1. FYI: The 12 days of Christmas are the days AFTER Christmas — not the days prior…
    It's called Christmastide. The 12th Day of Christmas is Jan 5 – the day before the Feast of Epiphany on January 6.

    Your series is worthwhile — I just wanted to help enlighten/correct you on when/what the 12 Days of Christmas are.

    1. I was going to post the same clarification, but you beat me to it! Glad you clarified it for those who don't realize.

    2. Yeah, I know about the 12 Days, but I like the idea of counting down to Christmas with some sort of new idea each day.

  2. That gives you more time! I mentioned this elsewhere, but Lowe's has a series of tools for kids that are supposed to be real tools, just in kids size. My dh and ds will be working on a Pine Wood Derby Car for Cub Scouts using these new tools this holiday season. We've also been baking, and we're going to try making Cinnamon Swirl bread from scratch. Making decorated pretzel rods is also fun, easy, and quick. (Melt chocolate, dip pretzels in, lay them on wax paper, decorate with sugar or other cookie decorations, refrigerate, eat.) We used cherry and butterscotch chips, too – from Target.

    Personally, I had to learn in high school to shop early to get gifts to relatives stationed in Europe on time (latest shipping date: Thanksgiving). As a parent, I'm mostly done by Halloween and I wrap during November. (Feel free to hate – I'm ok with it, I totally understand – this is training from childhood, simple as that. Well, and some fear of the malls during December.) That leaves us free to do Activities in December.

  3. Get your kids into Cosplaying, or Costume playing. I found a good forum where a lot of teens and twenty somethings show off their latest costume projects and sewing techniques! You should see some of the design work that these kids do here .

    1. Cosplaying is awesome. I always marveled at the costumes some people could make and wished I could go to a convention. (I'm a geek/dork/nerd w/e – I don't care). A few years ago we eastward and are now near Atlanta, we go to a convention there every year! I'm working on my first ever cosplay and even though its not finished it is a awesome feeling to look at your progress go 'I did that!'. Its a great boost to your self confidence, even more so when people ask for your picture and you discuss the different methods you used to build your costume. (It also teaches sewing and other skills!)

      But even if you just go as you conventions are amazing. Generally the people are really nice, you can strike up a conversation with just about anyone and find you have something in common, even make a few friends. At bigger multimedia conventions like Dragon*con (gone 3 years in a row now, next year 4) there is something for everyone and if there's nothing going on (that you want to see) you can play video or 'analouge' games, LARP, walk through the dealer's room or exhibition room, look at the art gallery, or just marvel at all the awesome costumes. Personally I hang out downstairs in the 'analouge' gaming room. Bascially there's a whole bunch of tables and chairs and a game 'library' check out a game or bring your own and pick a spot to start a game. People will join in and if you don't know how to play that particular game they'll teach you. They have everything: Tabletop games, board games and card games. Its really fun, we've even picked up a few games there that have become family favorites. The whole family loves Dominion and us kids like Munchkins (the card game version).

      I'm done ranting now. XD I hope all of that made sense.

  4. My daughter and I taught ourselves to knit over the Christmas holiday. We laughed until our sides hurt. This was a great way to spend time together and we now have a new skill. Plus, my mom is knitter and we've kept the phone busy talking about knitting how to's.

    My New Year's resolution will be to focus learning new skills with all the kids. If the collapse comes, we'll be ready.

    Love your site!

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