One of my favorite things to do during the Christmas season with my kids is craft homemade keepsakes. When my oldest kids were little we made the cutest little ornaments to put on our tree. We also gave them to the Grandparents. I can't remember where I originally saw this craft but I know it was originally meant to be feet-prints and hand-prints on paper. But because I wanted them to last as an ornament I chose to do them in felt. The size of these vary depending on your child's age.
Reindeer Print Ornament
You will need:
felt squares any color (I chose brown, red, and green)
decorative doo dads (ie glitter, sequins, etc)
Googlie eyes (not necessary you could use fabric paint)
small pom pom balls
ribbon (any color)
marker (ideally a sharpie)
What to do:
First you will trace the little ones foot onto the felt. It doesn't matter which one, you pick. You can also trace them on a piece of cardboard to give it a bit of stability,Then trace both hands. If you choose to do the cardboard method then use this as a stencil. But if you just use the felt trace directly onto the felt. After you trace cut out the prints.
Next it comes time for putting the Reindeer together. You will use the craft glue to the felt to the cardboard if you choose this option. Then put the antlers (hand-prints) onto the foot. Place them where you feel they look the best at the top of the foot-print then add the glue.
Finally you will decorate the Reindeer anyway you like. I put on the googlie eyes and pom pom for a nose. You can add a ribbon at its neck area. And then to complete your reindeer add the doo dads. I put some holiday sequins on the antler like it was an ornament. You could also add them to the bow. Add the glitter as you see fit too, you could make it outlined or sparkle in little places. Glue a ribbon hanger onto the back.
To complete the Reindeer you need to let it dry overnight!
Cinnamon Ornaments (non edible)
These are one of my favorite traditions to do with the kids. They are pretty inexpensive and smell great in the house for days! The smell linger on the tree too. These also make great gifts for a teacher or added onto a gift as a decoration with the tag and bow. They keep pretty nicely in a box lined with wax paper or tissue paper after the holiday season is over. They are a great teaching experience for kids young and old.
What you will need:
4 cups cinnamon (I get mine from the dollar tree)
3 cups applesauce
1/2 cup white school glue (Elmer's® works very well)
Makes about 12-20 ornaments depending on size of cutters
What you will do:
First stress to the kids that the dough isn't edible even though it looks like real cookie dough. So no eating the dough!
Preparing the Dough
First you will need to mix ground cinnamon with applesauce and white glue in a large mixing bowl. If you feel that the mixture feels too stiff, add a bit of water. Then you will knead the clump together and wrap it in some plastic wrap, allowing it to sit for about an hour.Working with the Dough
Take some dough and flatten it between two sheets of wax paper using your hands, or a rolling pin. You will want to make sure the dough isn't too thin, I found it best to flatten it to 1/2" or so thick. If you need you can use some cinnamon to make sure it doesn't stick. Then use your cookie cutters to create fun shapes in the dough. Be sure to punch a hole in the top of each shape with a pencil or, press a paperclip in the back of the ornament while still wet to act as a hanger.
Finally I found that it is best to dry the ornaments in an oven at 200 degrees. Just place them on a cookie sheet pan that has a sheet of parchment paper. The parchment is not necessary but helps in keeping any crumbs in check. You will let them slowly dry for about 2 hours. Flip them about half way through the drying time.
Once they are cooled off you can either keep them this way or decorate. I chose to use Tulip fabric paint that comes in tons of fun festive colors. And they end up looking like icing. If you chose to use the fabric paint.