When the winter weather keeps you indoors, entertain the children by helping them make reindeer decorations. Be sure to match the level of project difficulty with the abilities of the children involved. Whether Rudolph-the-Red-Nosed Reindeer or one of Santa's 11 other sleigh-pullers, these projects can add a natural element and a touch of whimsy to your holidays.
For a fun holiday wreath, show your child how to stuff a ski cap, with cotton batting, tissue paper or any other lightweight material, and stretch 1 inch of the cap's edges over a cardboard ring -- cut to fit just larger than the inner opening of a pine wreath -- and glue it in place. Insert the stuffed cap inside the wreath for the reindeer's muzzle. Two lengths of floral wire across the back of the wreath hold the cap in place. Use two 1-inch white pom-poms for eyes and glue them in position over the muzzle. Add two small black felt dots for pupils. Then glue a red pom-pom on the cap's tip as a nose. Attach two stuffed black or brown gloves to the top of the wreath with floral wire as anthers. Attach two triangular 3-inch pieces of black felt to the right and left of the antlers for ears.
Give your child a 10-inch length from the wide end of a red tie, starting from the tip. Snip any inner threads so your child can slip his hand into the opening. Cut a 6-inch length from the narrow end of the tie, trimming the flat cut end to a point. Cut two 1-inch slits approximately 5 inches from the tip of the 10-inch tie length. Help your child slip the 6-inch narrow tie length into these two openings to form the ears. Slip an 8-inch length of gold sparkle pipe cleaner through the slits above the ears. Glue two white pom-poms for eyes and one red pom-pom for a nose. Finish the puppet with two small black felt circles to glue on the white pom-poms for the reindeer's pupils.
Reindeer Cake Pops
Give your child a spoon and let her mix crumbled cake crumbs -- from a still-warm baked cake -- with one can of icing. Roll 1-inch portions of this mixture, inserting a lollipop stick, and freeze the pops for one hour. Supervise the kids as they dip and cover each cake pop with melted chocolate, inserting the sticks' bottom end in a polysterene block to allow the chocolate coating to harden. Children can dip mini pretzels halves into melted chocolate and attach them to the pops for antlers. Attach a red or brown candy-coated peanut butter piece for a nose and miniature white confetti sprinkles -- dotted with a small chocolate dot -- to complete the reindeer.
Clothes Peg Reindeer
Show children how to line up two old-fashioned wooden clothespins -- one facing up and one facing down -- with the rounded tips overlapping, then help them glue the closepins together. Children can paint the clothespins gold or brown when the glue is set. Once the paint is dry, hand out two small black beads and glue to one side of the clothespins for eyes. Add two small dots for nostrils and tie raffia around the neck to hang this ornament. You can even paint or color the two tips of the bottom clothespin to resemble hoofs, if desired.
- "Christmas Crafts"; Fay Robinson; 2004
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