Christmas is coming! With the festive season almost upon us, the time is fast approaching when regular routines will give way to balmy afternoons spent with family and friends (unless you’re in Melbourne where the weather is rather questionable!
At Genius, we like to explore lots of different cultural celebrations and milestones from around the world, and Christmas is definitely a big one on our calendar! We appreciate that it can be an expensive time of the year, so we’ve put together some DIY activities that will keep your festive feelings high while keeping costs low.
Our Christmas keepsakes are guaranteed to bring the holiday season into your home, helping you to enjoy quality time with family while encouraging your children to be their creative little ‘elves.’
2 x A4 sheets of paper per stocking
Something to draw with
Materials to decorate your stocking (glitter, sequins, ribbons, etc…)
A Christmas classic, stockings are a great addition to any household looking to capture the festive spirit of the holidays. Not only do the wild colours and patterns brighten up any room, but these makeshift pouches can be used to store small goodies come Christmas morning! When strung up they can make festive bunting, or even an advent calendar with a favour or ‘kind deed’ to complete for every day of December leading up to the 25th.
TO MAKE: Press two sheets of paper together and outline the shape of a stocking with a pen or pencil. Once done, help your child to carefully cut along the lines so that you have two sides of a stocking. Line the edges with glue then press to seal, making sure not to get any on the top edge which will form a small pocket to put things into.
Now you have your stocking. Encourage your child to colour and decorate their creation in whatever way they wish – with paint, textas, glitter or stick on ornaments!
Pool noodle or cardboard
An assortment of flowers, greenery
From the purple bloom of the jacaranda to the bright red bottlebrush and yellow banksia, the Australian landscape is rich with plant-life that stands amongst the best for its beauty and diversity. What better way to celebrate the holiday season than to be surrounded by the colourful flora found in many backyards and neighbourhood footpaths. These lovely flowers look great when combined into a Christmas wreath that can be displayed just about anywhere for that perfect splash of summer.
To start, you will need to make a frame for your wreath. This can be done by getting hold of a pool noodle and cutting it in half. Using tape or glue, stick the ends together to make a hoop shape which will serve as the base of your wreath. Alternatively, you can cut the shape from a firm piece of cardboard.
Once the frame is complete, have your child glue their selection of wonderful Australian flora over the top until everything is covered in a lovely bed of flowers and leaves. To finish, hang in the desired spot and enjoy! You can also add in found objects like buttons or baubles for extra decoration.
A clear bauble/ornament— found at most arts and craft stores
Something to colour your bauble—acrylic paint works best
One of the most recognisable Christmas decorations around, the bauble is a simple yet traditional keepsake that will spice up your Christmas tree!
First, visit your local arts and craft store for some basic, low-cost materials, including plain baubles and an assortment of acrylic paints. Once you have everything, your child can now get started on their very own Christmas ornament. As working with paint and glitter can get messy, make sure to do this activity away from any valuables and cover the surface with an old sheet or newspaper clippings to catch any unwanted spills.
When it comes to decorating your Christmas bauble, the sky is the limit. Have your child paint with their favourite colours or combine them to make new ones. Leave to dry, then cover in glue and glitter for that extra sparkle. If your little is feeling especially creative, they can try drawing little shapes and patterns that will enhance their bauble even further. Alternatively, some clear baubles open up, allowing you to display a little photo or memory from the year!
The best thing about these little ornaments? You can reuse them! Simply store and forget until the next time Santa comes calling.
Icy pole sticks
No Christmas tree is complete without a shining star to brighten up the room. With only a handful of icy pole sticks, your tree will look like a beautifully festive!
This method is very simple and should only take a few minutes to complete. To get started, place a small amount of glue on the ends of each popsicle stick and place them in the shape of a 5 pointed star. Sprinkle with glitter to make these lovely stars stand out even more!
Your child can attach their shiny new star to the Christmas tree by twirling a piece of pipe cleaner around the top and hanging it in the desired spot. Encourage your child to experiment with different colours and patterns to really bring your tree to life.
3 x icy pole sticks
Stick on eyes
Brown sharpie or colouring pen
Reindeers are an essential part of Christmas – even in Australia! Like our stars they are super simple to make. With our easy-to-follow steps, your child can have a special friend of their own.
As it is awfully cold at the North Pole, the first thing their reindeer needs is a thick pelt of fur. Have your child colour their icy pole sticks in a fuzzy shade of brown to keep their reindeer warm during cold nights. Next, glue the ends together to make a triangle, turning it so that the flat edge is at the top and the point is at the bottom. Place eyes on both sides of the flat edge and big red button nose on the point, use pipe cleaners for antlers and say hello to your new reindeer friend.
DIY Tree Thongs
Something to colour in with – textas, paints, glitter
Add a touch of Australiana to your tree with these DIY thong ornaments! First start by cutting out thong shapes from the firm cardboard (basically a foot shape without toes). Old delivery boxes from online Christmas shopping are perfect for this kind of thing! Colour your thongs any way you like – with textas, glitter, names, photos. Leave to dry if need be. Next, use a skewer to gently pierce one end of the thong three times, in the shape of a triangle (supervise your child for this one or do it yourself). Thread two pipe cleaners from the hole at the end of the thong, with one of them reaching through one hole, and the other reaching through the other hole. These become the foot straps. Adorn the straps with gift ribbon if you wish for extra festive flair. Pierce another hole at the other end of the thong and thread a loop of pipe cleaner to hang the ornament from. Voila!
A Letter to Santa
1 x A4 paper
Colouring pens and pencils
Decorative materials (glitter, buttons, sequins, etc…)
It’s a tough job visiting all the children of the world on Christmas eve, but somehow Santa manages to do it. Have your child express their gratitude by preparing a letter to Santa that will no doubt keep his spirits high as he makes his journey around the globe. But because this is Christmas, no boring old letter will do! Encourage your child to communicate in whatever way best expresses their feelings. This may take the form of a personal note, a poem or even a drawing. Make sure to use lots of different colours and materials that will put a smile on Santa’s face.
This activity is not only an opportunity for your child to be as creative as they can be, but it teaches them to be thankful for the things they have, which is an important lesson for growing minds. It also makes a fantastic keepsake to treasure for years to come, after Santa’s done reading it of course!
With all these Christmas keepsake ideas, you’re sure to have a festive season full of family fun and precious time together. Let us know if you try any of these!