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Before going crazy with crafts, start simple. You have plenty to do around the holidays. So, why add to it with complicated art projects or overly complex recipes? Yeah, yeah, Pinterest is bursting with an over-abundance of seemingly awesome ideas. You scroll down your feed and think, “Well, I could do that.” Maybe. But, keep in mind, the middle of your New Year’s Eve celebration isn’t the time to find out that what looked oh-so-easy on Pinterest (and, don’t they all?) was actually super-complicated.
Okay, so if you want something beyond simple to keep the kids busy (and keep them totally happy too!) put out some paints. Is it mess-free? Nope. But, all you really need are four colors – the primaries (red, yellow and blue) and white. They can mix their own hues and then paint a holiday masterpiece. Add in some glitter (yes, this multiplies the mess exponentially) for a festive sparkle.
If your goal is to keep the mess to a minimum, one of my favorite kids’ art activities is finger painting with clay. The secret for this one is that there’s no actual finger paint involved. Instead, your kiddo can pull apart soft modeling clay into dime-sized pieces. She can then spread it out over a cardboard surface, finger paint style. It’s a fab fine motor activity and you can adapt it for any occasion. Have your child use the clay to make New Year’s fireworks or just make abstract art.
Let’s say you have tons of magazines hanging out in the basement, garage or attic. Maybe you don’t. But, given that Christmas and Hanukkah were just last week, you might have some extra gift wrap odds and ends stashed around. Cut those up and use as confetti. The kids can paint a piece of card stock paper with clear-drying school glue. Toss the confetti, and watch it stick. Yay!
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1! The ball’s dropping in NYC, and at home too. Make your own with some sparkling playdough. Follow this recipe to whip up some DIY dough. Add a drop of food coloring in or don’t (the glitter will create a cool color). Sprinkle tons and tons and tons of glitter in (hey, it has to sparkle like the Times Square ball, right?) and mush it around. Your child can make the midnight drop ball and then take it apart for more playdough fun.
As if playdough isn’t fun enough, try some New Year’s glitter slime! Follow these directions to mix up a batch of slime. Add in the sparkles and you’re ready for some festive science fun. The more glitter your kids use, the more solid the color will look.