Seeking Easy Holiday Craft for 3 Year Olds

Updated on December 09, 2009
L.M. asks from Columbus, OH
13 answers

Hi Moms! I'm having a couple of other moms and their pre-schoolers over to my house for an informal holiday gathering next weekend. There will be 4 kids ranging from 2 1/2 to 4. Does anyone have a good suggestion for an easy, not-too-messy craft they could do for fun to take home with them? Some kind of Christmas tree ornament, perhaps? Any ideas are much appreciated!!

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So What Happened?

Thank you to everyone who offered great holiday craft suggestions!! I hope some other Moms read them, too, and got some good ideas. I will definitely go to the Dollar Store for some cheap stickers and stuff, and I like the idea of cutting out green paper trees in advance for the kids to decorate. And, I totally forgot about glitter pinecones - so pretty and easy! I think I'll skip the baked ornaments for this year because we'll already be cutting out and baking cookies, so that covers that department for now, but I'm happy to know the recipes for future use. THANKS again everyone, and have a happy holiday season!

Featured Answers


answers from Cleveland on

Try my Christmas Theme webpage
The crafts are on pages 2 and 3. Most geared to Preschool age. Lots of ideas here.


2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Detroit on

My 3yr old daughter and I made ornaments out of cinnamon, applesauce, and glue. We used 1 cup applesauce, 1 cup cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon of white glue. Mix it all up, roll it out, and cut it with Christmas cookie cutters. Then poke a hole in each on for the ribbon. The hole will shrink when it dries, so don't make it too small. Then let them air dry. Takes a couple days to dry, but once dry you can paint them. If you don't want to wait for them to dry, then you can press glitter into them, or just dump the glitter in before you roll it out. They smell wonderful! Just make sure the kids know that they are not cookies, and not to eat them. My daughter took a small bite and quickly spit it out. Not too tasty, lol. This recipe made about 8 ornaments. Another idea is to make a paper reindeer with hand and footprints. Trace the foot for the deer's head, and use the hands for the antlers. Little glue and some googly eyes, and whalah! Very cute and years down the road you can look and see how small your kids hands and feet were at one point.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

Michael's and other craft stores sell buckets of foam stickers in a variety of shapes. There are many Christmas ones to choose from. They are just peel and stick stickers although some require glue. You can make a variety of ornaments (one bucket will contain every needed to make like 2 dozen of them) or table-top decorations (like a foam Santa house or foam gingerbread house).

My kids make a ton of these each year. They use the picture frame ornament ones and stick in a school picture. Even the 2 year old can do alot of it by herself. They make great inexpensive presents for teachers, grandparents, neighbors, friends, etc.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

Home made play dough is non toxic and they can make an ornament with cookie cutters
Nature's Playdough
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
beet, spinach, and carrot juice

Mix flour, salt and oil, and slowly add the water. Cook over medium heat, stirring until dough becomes stiff. Turn out onto wax paper and let cool. Knead the playdough with your hands until of proper consistency. Use as is, or divide into balls and add a few drops of the vegetable juices to make green, pink, and orange. You can also use food coloring
Good luck have fun This will keep in ziplock bags for a reall long time in the frig.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

something our Day Care did last year (although needing much parental help) was to get white tiles, markers, glue, glitter, stickers, etc. Personalize it for your kid with whatever you like. Get a spray that makes the items dry quickly, and you have a permanent reminder of that Christmas.

Something we did last year and plan to do again this year is to go to Walmart or any craft store, get $1 acrylic magnetic picture frames. Get some cute scrapbook paper, a few favorite pictures of your kids, sharpies to write on the picture frames (such as child's name and year). You have picture frames you can put on your refrigerator (unless it's stainless steal) all year.



answers from Dayton on

This one is cheap, easy, and virtually mess free. Cut out a doughnut shape from construction paper (any size you prefer) tear red and green tissue paper into pieces and wad up a few. When they get there take the backs of the doughnuts and show them how to make a christmas wreath by wadding up and sticking the red and green tissue paper onto the doughnut. Let them finish it off with a ribbon to hang it on their door.

You can do the same thing with a small Christmas tree shape with the tissue paper and large sequins for ornaments.

No glue, no paint, no scissors, the sequins are small enough to not be a choking hazard, so it's super safe.

Hope this helps.




answers from Cincinnati on

Here's a couple of things we did. Take sspoons white plastic ones and decorate them. Precut little hats. Cut snippets of yarn or skinny ribbon for bows. Wooble eyes or markers to make eyes and mouths. Pinecones sprinkled with glitter are fun. Put dots of glue on the ends of the cones and sprinkle with glitter. Marshmallows (bigger ones) take 3 and stack them use a little bit of frosting to glue them togther or tooth picks. Put raisen for eyes and snippets of licorise foe mouth. Old fashion paper chains with christmas stickers or snowflkes from folded paper. Those are cute because they are always different. Tace the foot and hands cut ut and glue to make a moose. Draw in or precut circles for eyes. Don't worry if they cut funny adds to the fun.



answers from Dayton on

I have a project I did with my 3 & 2 year old yesterday that may work. We decorated a Christmas Tree.

Materials needed are: White Card Stock Paper, Green Tissue Paper w/Sparkles, Glue Stick, & Self Adhesive Stickers.

(1) I traced a Christmas Tree design on the Card Stock Paper & then cut it out.
(2) I cut the green tissue paper into 1.5 inch squares and placed them in plasic gladware containers for each child. (3) Each child received a Christmas tree, a container of cut up green tissue paper & a glue stick.
(4) After the children glue the green paper to the tree, they can decorate it with self adhesive stickers.

The dollar store has a good variety. If you don't mind glue, they can decorate it with small pom poms or garland. All which can be found at the dollar store. They were both able to do the project with minimal assistance and very little mess.

Hope this helps.

A. Brown



answers from Indianapolis on

Get large craft sticks, 3 for each child, large wiggle eyes, a small red pom pon nose and some red 1/4" ribbon.

1. Glue the craft sticks at a "V" point and at an angle.
2. Then take the third stick and cross it horizontally about 1 1/2 inches below the top of the "V". This is the face of the reindeer.
3. Glue the pom on tip of the "V".
4. Glue the eyes at the intersections (or just inside) of the horizontal and angles sticks.
5. Cut a strip of ribbon long enough to tie on the horizontal stick so that you can hang it as an ornament.

This was one of the FAVORITE ornaments when I taught preschool. Simple, too.

Let me know if you have any ?s



answers from Fort Wayne on

If you are working with kids, I am not sure exactly what is considered messy. Pretty much everything requires quite a bit of clean up at that age... even Here are a few cheap projects.

Finger paint. Make your own finger paint that is fully washable from clothes, furniture and carpet.
On a full sheet of paper for each child, use washable markers to make large dots. Each colored dot should be rather dark and at least an inch wide across. Space each dot about 2 inches apart. Then put 1 to 2 tablespoons of Elmer's glue on the dots (fully washable, non-toxic). Let it sit for about 60 seconds to pick up the dye. Then use your finger to swirl the glue on each dot. The glue picks up the dye, and it makes cheap, non-toxic and easy-to-clean paint. The kids can use brushes or just their fingers, which is always more fun, to paint pictures and put together a Christmas collage.

You can give them different scraps of whatever you have around the house or go to the Dollar Store to pick up stuff with bright colors or could be used to create an "ode-to-Christmas" collage. You can use things such as colored construction paper (cut it up in weird shapes, hold punch, some with jagged edges, some in perfect shapes, etc)... cardboard, plastic wrap, cut of newspaper, disposable cups/bowls/plates, toothpicks, cotton balls, Q-Tips, papertowel or toilet paper rolls (cut one roll into narrow circles to make a couple go further), tissue paper, cheap or leftover X-mas cards or stationary, scraps of leftover X-Mas paper that doesn't really fit any package, magazine pictures, pictures from store ads-flyers from the mail. You could make mini stamps for the color glue out of potatoes or apples. Cut them in quarters to create a few simple designs in them; e.g. mini squares, triangles, jagged edges, circle, etc.

You could make two or three quick projects ahead of time to give the kids and parents some ideas. I find that parents like doing the projects just as much as the kids sometimes... ;-D

Perhaps buy a few pairs of kids' safety scissors. Everything is available very cheap at the Dollar Store (or quickly recycled from stuff in your home). You might only have $10-$15 in all the items, but it would be tons of fun and keep them busy.

I might suggest a plastic table cloth and some extra wet cloths for the kids to wipe their hands on. I have done this project a couple times. Because the glue and washable marker is water soluable, it comes off quite easily from clothes and little hands with a wet washcloth. Laundering clothes with washable marker comes out pretty easy, and the glue helps thin the dye in the markers.

You wouldn't have to use the finger-paint-glue. You could also use a glue stick. a handful of the mini tape dispensers that you pull on the tab and get about an inch or two of tape pre-cut... kind of like those mini post-it note tabs.



answers from Columbus on

Parents magazine had a listing of 20 or so orniments that kids could make. They also had some wonderful craft suggestions.



answers from Cincinnati on

I teach preschool . Yesterday , we had three green triangles cut out for the tree and the brown tree . We had spools we blotted with white paint for snow. You could probably use foamies, or whatever -just watch the small parts.



answers from Columbus on

i tried this veery construction paper chains they loved it take red and green paper cut into strips enough for the remainng days til christmas fold into circle glue together i did this with mine their are several websites that i got ideas from also you can take i call them pipe cleaner ot fuzzy stick red and white cut into equal lenghts twist together for "candy canes" for the tree hope it helps

J. b

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