*This post contains affiliate links. Read more here.
Every year I look for easy crafts for kids around the holidays. A few years back, we started making a Thankful Tree in November like this one from Simply Vintagegirl . We go around the table at dinner, each saying one thing we’re thankful for and then we write each of our ideas on a small piece of paper to be hung on our “tree”.
But when Thanksgiving is over and it’s time to start decking the halls, I never want to throw away the little papers that are a chronicle of all the things we’re thankful for. They just seem too meaningful, capturing our kids’ minds right in that moment. You know, like when they say “I’m thankful for volcanoes” and other adorable things like that.
So I came up with this easy holiday garland craft to make the memories last a little longer while also working on fine motor coordination and bilateral skills! It’s a win, win!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
-Ribbon, yarn or string
-Small pieces of craft paper listing each of the things your family is thankful for (or use the “leaves” from your family’s Thankful Tree if you have one).
WHAT TO DO: Have your kiddos take all of the pieces of paper or the “leaves” off of your Thankful Tree and read them out loud together as a family. In most of the Thankful Tree designs I’ve seen, the pieces have a hole punched in them for hanging. If not, you’ll need to punch a hole in each one.
Then, have the kids start stringing the papers onto a long piece of twine, ribbon, or string (we used natural twine for ours but you can choose any kind that suits your home and your style). Once all of your papers have been added, lay the garland across the floor and try to space them all out evenly. Now you’re ready to string it around your Christmas tree!
HOW TO CHANGE IT UP:
-Little kids might have a hard time with regular hole punches because they require a lot of strength. I like to use a 3 hole punch or 2 hole punch with my preschoolers because they can just push down hard with both hands to make holes in the paper. Still a great strengthening activity, just a little more attainable for little ones.
-Make the garland even more festive by stringing colorful beads in between the pieces of paper.
-Instead of stringing them on, hang the pieces of paper on your garland using clothespins or other small clips.
-Rather than making a garland, you could string your pieces of paper onto smaller pieces of twine or yarn to make individual ornaments.
SKILL AREAS ADDRESSED: Bilateral coordination, fine motor skills, grasp, visual motor integration
What are your favorite handmade holiday decorations for kids? We’d love to see your ideas! Share them with us in the comments below or on our Facebook Page!