By Abigail Beal
Christmas is coming! We all know what that means....a busy time for families & lots of presents to wrap. If you are looking for a fun craft idea for your children - why not make Christmas gift wrap with them? They will have fun making it, and then can wrap their gifts for friends and family in it! Some of these craft ideas are suited for younger children, and others will appeal to older children.
It is best to use either white or brown craft paper, this can be found at just about any large craft store. When making gift wrap paper with kids, be sure to protect the surface they are working on with newpaper or even an old plastic tablecloth. Have the kids wear an old t-shirt over their clothes, or "art clothes" they always do projects in.
Each of these crafts can also be adapted to make holiday cards, another fun craft idea. You can buy blank cards at the craft store. During the holidays you can also find blank cards not only in white and ivory, but very often in red and green.
Potato Stamps - this is a great craft for younger or older children. You will need several (clean) potatoes of a good size, a sharp knife (parent should be using), a ballpoint pen, craft paint in different colors and brown or white craft paper. Younger children will need help deciding on a design, such as an ornament or a star to make patterns with on their paper. Cut the potato in half and then draw the outline with the ballpoint pen. Then (parent) cut out using the knife. Test stamper on your newsprint or a piece of paper, if you like the design then give it to the child to stamp all over the paper.
Older children will have fun making more complicated designs with potato stamps. If you make a star potato stamp and then a triangle potato stamp you can make Christmas trees with stars on the top of them. Or if you cut a long diamond shape and a small circle, by stamping the diamonds in a circle, you can make poinsettia flowers. Cutting a wider diamond and wider circles, stamping the diamonds in a circle, you can make a Christmas wreath design. Or make stamping letters, such as "H - O" to make Santa's famous "HO HO HO" as gift wrap! Again, most children should be helped with the knife because we all know just how slippery a potato can be!
Commercial Stamps - there are lots of these at holiday times, and they aren't too expensive. You can find stamps at the art store that can be dunked in paint. There are also stamps that come with their own holder full of ink. These can be a fun craft for younger or even older children. Remember to read labels, as some inks are toxic, and young children should not be using them, as they are still putting so many things in their mouths. (If a craft does not say "non-toxic, it probably is toxic, so be safe!)
Stickers - this is a great craft for young children. Pick out a package of Christmas stickers. Then help your child create a design on the paper with them. This is an easy craft for young children to do, and even older children can have fun with this.
Candy Cane Paint Wrap - this is an easy painting gift wrap for most children. Young children can do this with a little supervision. You will make red and white candy canes on gift wrap paper. Use a pencil to first make suggestion marks for where candy canes should go. Candy canes can be painted with one short red stripe and then a short white stripe, like this all the way to the top. Continue until paper is full of candy canes.
Repeat a Holiday Message - this is a great craft to do use crayons or markers. Fun for children who are just learning their letters and to write. Have your child think of a holiday message, such as: I Believe In Santa, Merry Christmas, Jesus Is The Reason For The Season, Peace, Love & Joy. Repeat the holiday greeting all over the paper using different color markers or crayons each time the child writes it.
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