DIY Snowman Ornaments | Recycled Crafts for Kids

DIY Snowman Ornaments: Completed Bottlecaps

Don’t feel like you need to wait for snowfall to start working on homemade holiday decorations. Especially if you reside where snowfall is more an aesthetic than actual precipitation, these snowman ornaments will have home & hearth starting to look a lot like the holidays. Channel pre-Winter Break energy into finding reclaimed materials for these kid friendly craft projects. Objects from the recycling bin, garage, and basement plus some paint and ribbons are easily transformed into “jolly happy souls” that add magic to holiday decorating. 

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9 Creative Holiday Traditions from Around the World

It’s the most creative time of the year! All over the world, friends and family gather to make wonderful things for the holidays. Whether it’s painting ornaments to hang on the tree, twining wreaths to decorate the house, baking cookies for holiday swaps, beading necklaces for Kwanzaa, or dipping Hanukkah candles,  handcrafting treasures together is the best kind of celebration.

To celebrate the season, we explored the globe in search of delightful and creative hand-made traditions to share with you.   Here are a few of our favorites:

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5 Easy DIY Wrapping Paper Ideas

This year, our family was inspired to make our own wrapping paper for all our Christmas presents. It seemed silly to buy some when we already had yards and yards of kraft paper in our art supply closet just waiting to be turned into festive gift wrap. I love the natural handmade look, and my kids are so proud to give presents they wrapped themselves! Below, I put together a list of 5 awesome DIY wrapping paper ideas, many from the KiwiCo community. Enjoy!

Lego Wrapping Paper DIY - Header

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6 Awesome Techniques for Building Cool Snowmen

Photo Credit: Frankie Frankeny

All over the world, people have turned bad weather into great sculpture–from the igloos of Alaska to the Ice Palace in Finland and the mega-snowman in Bethel Maine. If you’ve got snow, chances are you got snowmen!  In fact, snow is a great medium; a brilliant, white, three- dimentional canvas with infinite sculpting possibitites. And it’s free! With just a few tools and some physical exertion, you can create a winter wonderland full of creatures, buildings, planets and more–from simple to spectacuiar.

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8 Ways to Encourage STEM Thinking into the Holidays

Celebrate the holidays with awesome holiday projects that encourage STEM thinking! Just because the kids are off from school doesn’t mean that learning has to stop.  Seasonal festivities provide ample opportunity for both curiosity and creativity. You can introduce your child to STEM topics by incorporating science, technology, engineering, and math into holiday activitites that are seriously fun!

Whether it’s the wonders of weather, the lifecyle of plants, or general problem-solving, all you need to do is encourage your kids to be observant and ask questions about the world around them.

Here are some fun and easy ways to encourage STEM thinking with your family during the holidays:

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Holiday Science Experiments and Activities

Holiday Science Experiments - Header

The holidays are the most magical time of year. That effervescent feeling of possibility isn’t just because of Santa coming down the chimney, the lighting of the menorah, and school vacation. Spending time together as a family creates lasting holiday memories. This year, incorporate holiday science experiments into your traditions with some awesome activities that both kids and adults will enjoy.

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7 Screen-Free Holiday Activities for Kids

Screen-free Family Activities for Kids: Ornaments

As much as we may try to unplug our kids (and ourselves), it can be difficult – especially during the holidays when the kids are home from school for TWO WHOLE WEEKS.  There are times in my own life when I look around the room and see everyone glued to a screen. But, In fact, the holidays are a great time to go offline! Holiday activities abound in museums, performance centers, and libraries; along with seasonal pop-ups, craft fairs, and special winter excursions.

Closer to home, cold winter days are a good excuse to cozy up inside with a book, bake, or craft something unique. For an outdoor adventure, take the family on an early morning hike and experience the wonders of nature. At KiwiCo we see the holiday season as an awesome opportunity to dig into learning-based offline projects.  Here are some of our favorite screen-free holiday activities for kids, inspired by our crates and our community.

Ready, Set, No-bake!

Cooking together is a tactile activity that yields delicious results. This yummy no-bake recipe for Reindeer-Tracks  (named after the magical rainbow tracks reindeer would leave behind) is especially good for young kids. Double the value of the activity and make an extra batch to give away as holiday gifts.

Screen-free Family Activities for Kids: No-bake treats

Create an Indoor Terrarium

Create a small magical terrarium for your holiday tabletop. All you need is a glass vessel, potting soil, decorative rocks and a few succulents to make a little indoor garden. Kids will have fun digging in the dirt while creating a cheery gift that will delight all year long. 

Screen-free Activities for Kids: Terrarium

Neighborhood Birdwatch

The chilliest months of the year provide an amazing opportunity to see birds more easily. Use a birding field guide and a notebook to find and write down all the names of birds that live in your area. Then take a walk in your neighborhood and check-off all  the birds you see. For another offline project, you can also make this simple pine cone bird feeder to hang on your trees outside and invite the birds to come to you.  Or, for some indoor birding fun, try making your own mechanical bird!

Screen-free Activities for Kids: Birdwatch

Have a Slime Party

It’s always a party when slime is involved ! Mix up some ooey-gooey fun! You can make different kinds of slippery, slimey science from glittery gold slime, color changing slimeneon green ooze; and more.  You can also find confetti slime, oozy, fizzy volcano slime and more in the Slime Party kit.

Screen-free Activities for Kids: DIY Christmas Slime

Make Colorful Pour Paintings

Pour Painting (aka paint pouring, puddle pouring or liquid painting) is a type of abstract art that uses acrylic paints. Just like the name suggests, you pour paint onto a canvas to create colorful swirling designs. Fun for all ages, pour paintings are fun to mix, layer and experiment with as you learn about color. You can explore this kind of painting in our Poured Painting kit.

Pour Paintings for kids

Host a Holiday Ornament Making Party

Every year our community gathers to create handmade ornaments out of recycled materials.   Put out brushes, paints, ornaments hangers and other basic art supplies and encourage everyone to bring small old toys and things to paint. Host a competition and see who comes up with the most creative ornament. (For young kids, get a headstart with our Swirly Ornament kit.)

DIY Ornament Ingredients

Create a Calendar for the New Year

Creating a handmade calendar is an opportunity to kids excited about the new year.  Grab a ruler, a pencil and 12 sheets of paper and draw a monthly grid on each page. Add  numbered days (you may need a reference for this). Use this as an opportunity to chat with your kids about  upcoming events (this builds excitement!) Post the calendar for everyone to see.  (You can use this printable as a starting point).