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    5 Easy Holiday Craft Ideas for Kids

    On the road again?

    It seems like military families are always traveling near or far during the holidays. Your family might be packing up for a visit to a loved one’s house this holiday season and could use some entertainment for the kids, whether in the car or as a family activity when the bags have been unpacked.

    These easy crafts are fun to assemble with cousins and grandparents after arriving, but a few can be put together in the car after the screen devices run out of juice or the kids get carsick from looking down at movies or games for four hours straight. Plan ahead and sort items in storage bags or containers for easy access.

    1) Candy Cane Reindeer

    candy cane reindeer craftmeisterphotos from DPC

    An oldie but goodie, candy canes never run out of style. These are easy enough for little kids to master, but have a nostalgic look and feel that adults love to see on Christmas trees or bundled in a jar as treats for unexpected guests.

    The traditional combo of red and white candy canes with brown antlers can be updated with rainbow color candy sticks and multicolored pipe cleaners. If crafting in the car, substitute the glue gun for sticker backed eyes and nose.

    2) Hand-Painted Gift Wrap

    package wrapped with brown paper stamped with red letters and tied with twineasife from DPC

    Again, even kindergartners can pull off this personalized wrap. Starting with rolls of brown mail or craft paper, stamp with holiday shaped cookie cutters dipped in Tempera paint and create adorable collages.

    Family members will hate to disturb the wrap for the gift inside! Variations: everyday brown lunch bags with the same paint technique or stamped with festive ink work well stuffed with small gifts for teachers, bus drivers, and other important people in your family's life.

    3) Pipe Cleaner Ornaments

    girl making a craft with beads and pipe cleanersCJM Grafx/DPC

    These car ride friendly ornaments can be fancy, a la Martha Stewart, or simply sweet as seen at Homemade Gifts Made Easy. Either way, they inexpensively dress up holiday window decorations or hand delivered packages. They also teach small hands fine motor skills and keep older kids busy and quiet while twisting and bending new creations.

    4) Recycled Christmas Card Gift Tags

    holiday gift tag and red ribbon Konstiantyn/DPC

    Easy, cheap, and portable: by far, the best three adjectives for a road trip craft! All that is needed is a collection of old Christmas cards, plain or styled edged scissors, a small hole punch, ribbon, and twine.

    There is no need to stick with plain rectangle shapes or squares. Use those cookie cutters again and go round, reindeer, bell, or Santa shaped.  

    5) Pine Cone Garland

    pine cone decorated with glitter and ribbon Lorentiu lordache/DPC

    A strand of pine cones, natural in color or spray painted glittering golds and silvers, dresses up all mantels, doorways, and bannisters. Strung together with twine and or ribbon, their uses are endless. Plus, the trek through the woods or neighborhood to find the best pine cones gets the kids out of the house to burn up extra energy.

    Gather the kids and have a great time making one or two of these crafts to save as keepsakes for years to come. This is especially important for military kids because they move so much, and these crafts can provide memories of where holidays past have been spent. Besides, everyone knows the best ornaments are handmade by kids!

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    Dawn M. Smith


    Dawn M. Smith

    Dawn is a real estate and military life writer who has a serious HGTV habit. When she is not writing, her teen daughter, Army husband, and golden retriever keep her busy through chauffeur duties, travel planning, and long dog walks. Dawn is pleased to share her experiences with MilitaryByOwner readers who are hoping to simplify military family journeys of all kinds. Follow Dawn on Pinterest for more ideas and resources and visit her site at Dawn M. Smith Custom Content Creation.

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