Nothing revs up a child's spirits like beribboned gifts placed beneath a Christmas tree. But the holidays offer opportunities for kids to learn about the pleasure of giving as well as receiving. And by crafting these four festive ornaments, a child makes a lasting contribution to a family tradition and has fun too.
This project will also challenge your child's fine-motor skills, says Amy Flynn, director of the Bank Street Family Center in New York City. She advises choosing projects appropriate for your child's age and emphasizing the process rather than the final product for younger ones. "Brushing glue on a foam ball and rolling it in glitter is easy enough for a 2-year-old," she says. "But school-age kids will want to experiment, so offer lots of materials to use in a variety of ways to promote creativity and problem-solving."
Flynn adds that the creative process can boost a child's self-esteem, especially when it's an experience she can look forward to each year: "When you create a tradition for the family, a child can say, 'See how I've grown,' when she compares how her ornaments look as she gets older. And kids feel good when they make something for others."