If there’s ever a time to put aside the books and break out the project supplies with the kids, it’s Christmas! With all of the emphasis on baking, making crafts, decorating, learning the history of Christ’s birth, and establishing family traditions, Christmas for homeschoolers is like sitting down to a buffet of children’s enrichment. Even if you homeschool with academics throughout the month of December, be sure to save some time in the day for some special family projects that will bring the family together and make the season meaningful for your children!
- Make a family wreath. Decorate your door in style by creating a candy wreath -- the kids have fun making these.
- Give out “best lights” awards. Take looking at Christmas lights to the next level! Have children create award certificates for the best Christmas light displays in your neighborhood or area. Make your own, or click here for printable certificates. Make as many awards as you like! Drive around as a family and decide which homes are the winners. Put the award in the winning home’s paper box.
- Create a “give” list. Instead of focusing on what each person wants for him/herself this Christmas, have each family member make a list of things he wants to give to others. The things on the “give” list can be actual gifts to be purchased, and can also include gifts that don’t come from a store, such as “help with housework” for Mom, or “a warm hug so Jenny won’t be scared of the dark”. Also include at least one thing to give to someone else, such as a stuffed animal to a child at the homeless shelter, or a box of tissues and some lotion to an elderly person in a nursing home. Have each family member work on their “give” list throughout December, and then read out each person’s list on Christmas day (after gifts have been opened), along with an update on the results of their giving.
- Create an advent calendar. There’s no better way to create excitement for Christmas than to count down the days in a tangible way. Consider this cute “Cone-iferous” advent calendar, which uses paper cones in the shape of trees to count the days to December 25th. Each cone hides a special surprise! There’s no better way to create excitement for Christmas than to count down the days in a tangible way. Click here for 10 advent calendars you can create.
- Make a gingerbread house. This is tremendous fun for children of all ages! Not only can this get the family baking in the kitchen, but the end result can become part of the Christmas décor! For gingerbread house patterns (both pre-made patterns and make-your-own), instructions, and ideas, click here. To be inspired and get ideas, click here to see photos of amazing gingerbread houses.
- Spread some cheer to the neighbors. Bake some Christmas goodies and put them together in a basket or box. Good suggestions are fudge, sugar cookies, and this Christmas Blessing Snack Mix. Baskets can be sprayed with gold or silver paint to make them more festive, or consider this cute reindeer treat holder made from a terracotta pot. Include a card from the family and bring to neighbors (especially those who are elderly or have recently lost a loved one).
- Create some ornaments. Why buy ornaments when you can create a family tradition by making your own? In the years to come, these handmade ornaments will be much more precious than anything you could get at a store. Check out these fun ornament ideas:
- Marbelized ornaments – With clear glass balls, a little craft paint, and a bit of swirling, you can create surprisingly beautiful marbleized ornaments that are fit for the most stylish tree! Click here for details.
- Coffee filter angel ornament – Using coffee filters, pipe cleaners, and cotton balls, children can make these cute angel ornaments. Click here for details.
- Cinnamon bird ornament – These ornaments involve cooking and crafting! Perfect for older children, they not only look beautiful, but add a wonderful cinnamon scent to your Christmas tree. Click here for instructions, including bird templates.
- Real crystal snowflake – This project not only makes an ornament, but doubles as a science lesson as well! Using pipe cleaners and Borax Laundry Booster, children can make real crystals grow on their ornament! Click here for instructions.
- Bread dough ornaments – Put those cookie cutters to use for more than just cookies! These clay ornaments are made from bread dough. Add a little glitter and paint, and you’ll have decorations for the tree you can treasure for years to come. Click here for instructions.
- Clothespin poinsettia – This craft uses clothespins, paint, and some decorative beads for a festive addition to the Christmas tree. Click here for instructions.
- Tri Bead Wreath ornament – With some red, white, and green tri beads and a pipe cleaner, children can create a pretty wreath for the tree. The instructions for this simple craft can be found here.
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