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Whether it’s an ornament for the tree, a homemade Christmas gift, or a household decoration for any tradition your family celebrates, holiday crafts are the perfect activity to get your little ones in the holiday spirit while also helping them stay entertained, use their creativity and imagination, and build motor skills. To celebrate the season, we compiled a list of 17 DIY Christmas and holiday craft ideas for toddlers.
1. Pine Cone Owl Craft
Debbie from This Grandma is Fun created a Pine Cone Owl Craft to help keep kids entertained while you cook a holiday meal or hang stockings. All you need is a pine cone, googly eyes, and glue dots. Little ones can add any extra decorations to personalize their owl. Bonus activity: collect the pine cones on a nature walk with your wagon before crafting!
2. Reindeer Finger Puppet
This interactive Christmas craft for toddlers is a step up from paper bag puppets. Artsy Momma’s Rachel says this reindeer craft is great to combine with children’s books and provides loads of smiles and giggles! Toddlers will need a parent to help to cut brown cardstock into circle shapes before assembling their googly eyes, gems, and clothespins. When you’re done, make the reindeer dance and fly around while singing Christmas carols. Or, make a few puppets for imaginative playtime.
3. Hanukkah Suncatcher
Even on the coldest winter days, this craft will brighten up the room. This holiday craft uses three types of paper: contact paper, tissue paper, and colored paper. With a parent's help, cut a Hanukkah inspired shape out of colored paper – KiwiCo recommends a dreidel. Then, stick tissue paper to the contact paper “window.” When the craft is complete, help your little one hang their masterpiece in a window around your house to catch the sun!
4. Cinnamon Clove Ornament
These DIY ornaments are a great party favor, adorable gift, and can even be used as gift tags (they also make the house smell wonderful, according to Sheena from Iriemade). Using pantry items like applesauce, spices, and cookie cutters, little ones will love making this hands-on dough that will eventually create pretty Christmas ornaments.
5. Paper Bag Gingerbread House
This easy Christmas craft for kids only uses 3 things: a brown paper bag, colored construction paper, and glue. First, start by cutting colored paper into candy shapes. After prepping the materials, it's time for your little one to decorate their DIY gingerbread house with a roof, chimney, door, and windows. Feel free to add any extra materials, like cotton balls, buttons, or felt for a 3D effect. JDaniel4’s Mom Deirdre recommends making a bunch of gingerbread houses to build a small village. She also says these can double as a gift bag or door decoration.
6. Handprint Kinara
This handprint craft from Fun Family Crafts doubles as a decoration and a keepsake that captures your toddler's handprints forever. After painting their hands in gold, black, green, red, and yellow paint, toddlers should stamp their hands with overlapping index fingers onto paper to finish the craft.
7. Christmas Countdown
This free Christmas Countdown printable from Crafty Morning allows kids to glue one cotton ball on Santa’s beard every day starting December first. His beard should be covered by Christmas Eve and ready for the holiday. Or, using this craft as inspiration, help your little ones draw a Santa and decorate his beard with cotton balls or white pom poms. This fun Christmas activity is also a wonderful homemade Christmas gift from toddlers to grandparents or any loved one.
8. Holiday Wreath Card
JD from It’s Me, JD is here to help you and your kids create a homemade Christmas card using whatever materials you have around the house. You can opt for a more sophisticated card with décor like pine rope garland or an elegant bow, or you can let your little ones’ imaginations run wild with markers, finger paint, and glitter! Either way, this craft will serve as the perfect homemade Christmas gift from toddlers. You can even send your completed holiday card to a grandparent to make their holiday extra special!
9. Plastic Spoon Santa
Check out Hello, Wonderful for an adorable Santa craft made out of spoons. With a little glue, paint, and cotton, your plastic spoon Santa will come together in no time! You can also create reindeer or elves! No matter what you create, these cute crafts make for festive puppets or decorations.
10. Sock Snowman
Easy Peasy and Fun says this No-Sew Sock Snowman is the perfect craft for anyone experiencing a missing sock phenomenon; it’s is the perfect way to use an odd sock! The craft works well as a gift from toddlers or as a DIY doorstopper. Starting with a sock, rice, and rubber bands, little ones can add markers and pom poms to decorate their very own snowman.
11. Spin-Art Dreidel
Ester O created a Spin-Art Dreidel craft that is simple to make and fun for any age! Using old CDs, markers, and a glue gun, parents can help little ones assemble the “dreidel.” Don’t forget to have toddlers decorate the CD with stickers and rhinestones for extra fun! When the dreidel is complete, let kids twirl and spin their DIY creations. Little ones will love watching the marker in their dreidel move all around to create original artwork. If you have multiple little ones drawing at once, Ester recommends covering the table with butcher paper for more space to create.
12. Paper Plate Christmas Tree
This 3D paper plate Christmas tree craft from Creative Family Fun is simple and amps up the craft game. Using a paper plate, tape, and any decorations you have on hand, this tree is completely customizable. This one is all about the process of decorating rather than the finished product, so let the little ones pile on the pom-poms, buttons, and stickers!
13. DIY Red Nose Reindeer Ornament
Homemade ornaments make for great Christmas décor and special keepsakes. Ruby from Growing Up Blackxican says this kids craft can be expanded to make a family of reindeer (or all of Santa’s famous reindeer!) for a spirited Christmas tree theme. These can also be given as gifts from toddlers this holiday season. Using a round foam ornament, Mod Podge, glitter, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes, this craft will be ready to hang or gift in no time.
14. Felt Board Craft
Make a handmade Kinara felt set to help teach little ones how to assemble the Kinara and what objects go in it. Jennifer from Good Life Detroit says this is a great decoration and teaching aid for kids learning about the Kwanzaa holiday. Parents should help cut the felt while little ones assemble and glue. This activity can also be done with construction paper or paint depending on what you have on hand. Little ones will love this interactive craft that doubles as a learning activity.
15. Bubble Wrap Snowy Tree Craft
Stacey from Glued to my Crafts turned a bare tree into a winter wonderland with a bit of bubble wrap and paint. Little ones can start by drawing a tree or using the printable and then dip bubble wrap into the paint to use as a stamp. Toddlers can also add glitter or more details to their snowy trees after stamping (and popping all the bubble wrap, of course!).
16. Handprint Menorah
This Handprint Menorah craft from Alpha Mom helps little ones to get involved in celebrating Hanukkah. Toddlers can glue pom poms each night for the 8 days of Hanukkah. Start with the handprint and make sure the thumbs overlap so there are only 9 candles. Little ones can decorate the print with stickers, felt, or anything you have on hand. Each night, they should glue on a pom-pom or stamp their thumbs with yellow paint to represent a lit-up candle.
17. Festive Wagon Centerpiece
Fun fact: a Little Red Toy Wagon makes a perfect centerpiece! Fill it with pinecones or fake snow for a wintry effect. Or add ornaments or small wrapped gifts to give it a true holiday feel.
Finger puppets, sock snowmen, handprints, and more are sure to bring plenty of giggles and hours of imaginative play to your preschoolers' holiday season. These crafts can be gifted, put on display, or used for play. If you try any of these holiday crafts for toddlers, tag us on social media using #RadioFlyer so we can celebrate the holidays with you and your family!