As the fall pumpkin craze begins, the Christmas season is not far behind. Creating unique and unusual ornaments can be fun, and when you're making those ornaments with kids, it's a whole new experience. Whether this is your first Christmas with a little one in the house or you've got kids of all ages, there are Christmas ornament ideas that will let you focus your creative energy into something productive, festive, and memorable.
Baby's First Christmas
Many parents decide to buy a new ornament every year to mark their child's Christmas season and the specific interests of the year. There are some great unique Christmas ornaments available in many places, so this is a great choice. However, if you want to give it a more personal touch, there are many great ornaments that you can make.
For example, one great way to mark your baby's first Christmas is by making an ornament from his or her footprints, like a holly or mistletoe type of decoration. Buy some dark green felt and some holly berry ornaments. Mark your child's footprint on a piece of cardboard, then cut it out to create a template. Do this for each foot. Use the cardboard templates to create the felt cutouts of the feet. A hot glue gun is a great way to affix the felt to the cardboard.
Once secure, use a marker to label the back with the year and your baby's age. Stack the feet together at the heel, then slide them so that they are slightly offset, like a mistletoe ornament. There should be a "V" shape between the two pieces. Use a hot glue gun to attach the two together, then glue the holly berries in the center of the heels so they hang at the top of the ornament. Staple or hot glue a ribbon on the back of the ornament so you can hang it.
Toddler And Early Elementary
For kids who are toddler-aged or beyond, salt dough ornaments are a fun way to give them some hands-on activities in the spirit of the season. Mix two parts flour with one part salt. Then, warm up one part water and add some food coloring. Stir the water in to make a stiff dough. Turn the dough out on the counter, knead it to work it all together, then roll it out to about a quarter-inch thick. Repeat this with a variety of colors of food coloring to make doughs of all colors.
Use large seasonal cookie cutters so that the kids can easily handle them. Then, move each cut-out ornament to a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. You can scratch initials and dates on the back of the ornaments with a small pin if you want to be able to remember the date, or you can wait and paint it on after they are baked. Put a hole in one end of each ornament with a wooden skewer. The hole is necessary for the ribbon to hang them. Bake them at about 250 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour and a half, then turn them over and bake them for another hour and a half. After they cool, brush them with a craft sealant, sprinkle sparkly glitter on them, and then spray them with a clear coat. Thread a ribbon through each one and hang them.
With these options, you can get the kids involved and feeling the festive spirit of the season. If you want other unique ornament ideas, you can order unique Christmas ornaments in many places.