Some crafts made during holiday time are more special than others. These crafts, we will call keepsakes. A keepsake is something that you treasure for years to come and it holds a special memory for the recipient. All kids can create keepsake crafts that will be used each year at Christmas.
I've seen ornaments in the store that say “Baby's First Christmas”. For a more personal touch on the first ever Christmas for your child, create clay handprints. Craft stores may carry baking clay that can be used at home. Be sure to follow the packaged instructions for use.
Place baby's tiny hands in the clay to make an imprint in the softened surface. Once the clay dries, paint the handprints. Label the keepsake with the child's name and the year. All of the kids can participate in this craft. This is also a great (and precious) way to see how they grow over the years. When the kids are old enough, let them paint their own keepsake Christmas handprints. The handprints can double as paperweights around the house or in the office or be hung each year for the holidays only.
Foam craft sheets are wonderful things. They come in cutout shapes and are easy to cut yourself. This year, let everyone create their own version of Santa, Rudolph or a snowman using foam. First, cut out the top piece of the foam where the head would go. Next, you'll need a head shot picture of each family member. Cut the photo to the size necessary to fit on the foam as a head. Glue the picture in place.
To turn them into ornaments, put a hook through the top and hang them on the tree. If you want to display it on the refrigerator, attach magnets to the back of the figure. They can also be used in a family picture wreath if you'd like. These are another ornament that can be used over and over each year. Watch the kids grow by creating new ones each year with a recent photo.
Some keepsake crafts don't have to be made at home. When kids are younger, they make holiday crafts in art class. I made a reindeer out of a paper plate when I was in the first grade that my mother still hangs on her tree. I have kept up the tradition with my own children. I want them to know that I treasure the gifts that they brought home to me. I have a special place on the tree for all the crafts that they have given me throughout their days in elementary school.
What kinds of crafts are special to you? Maybe your child has made the cutest snowman or the perfect paper star. Let others see how proud you are of it by putting it on display. The tree doesn't have to be the only place you show off their creations either. Press paper crafts between two panes of glass. Once you seal them, the crafts can be used as coasters at holiday gatherings.
Don't let your kids' treasures get thrown away at the end of the holidays. Preserve them to be used again and again. When they go out on their own, be sure to give them all their creations to decorate their own homes with or to give them ideas for helping their own children decorate for the holidays.
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