With Christmas just around the corner and going out shopping not the most appealing item on your daily schedule, it is a good time to think about making gifts. Besides the fact that homemade gifts often save money, it is something you can do with your little ones. One of the things we find that children love is making tree ornaments. Salt dough ornaments are easy to make and can be cut with cookie cutters into shapes- or pressed with a child’s handprint. Little Christmas trees can be made from different size twigs and topped off with a star or bow. That old jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces? - let the little ones paint the pieces and make puzzle piece wreaths with their picture in the middle! What’s more special for a grandparent or teacher than seeing these special ornaments each year when they decorate their tree? Need a gift for the bird watcher on your list- bird seed ‘ornaments’ for outdoors. These are easy to make with cookie cutters or muffin tins and become a gift for our little feathered friends as well. If you are handy with a hole saw- a few birch logs can become votive candle holders. A walk in the woods to collect some fir, pine and cedar bows can lead to an afternoon of creativity- and with a little effort a basket or box of greenery, pine cones and holly berries with a candle becomes a centerpiece and makes a wonderful holiday addition. There are endless ideas you can do, on a budget, and with your young children.
One of the things we are passionate about here at Lisa’s Playhouse, is the environment. Our children spend a large part of their days outdoors, whether going on a walk to a neighbouring farm, a hike through the woods or simply playing and observing the changes each season brings. We want the children to be able to continue to enjoy the world around them so we try to be conscious of the materials we bring into our center. The arts and crafts the children make do not rely on plastic items from the Dollar store- which one day will likely end up in a landfill. We encourage our children to make things from nature, or from recycled materials. Whether it’s a winter wreath of painted pine cones ( or a bouquet of the same!) or maybe a soup can recycled into a tin punched lantern- teaching children to be conscious of our effect we have on the earth is one of our goals.
'Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love
to those who need it most'- Ruth Carter Stapleton
Gifts that are homemade are from the heart. Preserves, decorations from nature, Christmas ornaments, homemade cookies- all are things that children can help put together. The very process can become a family tradition- because special memories are made when we do things together. And to make this a more eco friendly event - why not ‘wrap’ the gifts by using reusable cloth bags, maybe a pretty scarf or piece of material- or reusing the gift bags that you saved from last year? Every little bit helps when we keep things out of our landfills. Our wish is for the children in our care to love this earth of ours- and to help preserve it for future generations. Making it part of your Christmas traditions is a bonus.
‘When we recall Christmas past we usually find that the simplest things - not the great occasions give off the greatest glow of happiness-