December 6th, 2011

Eco-Friendly Holiday Crafts to Make with Kids

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holiday arts and crafts project

Unseasonably warm weather in the northeast makes it hard to fathom that the holidays are fast approaching. Many of us look forward to the time off from school and time together as a family-that is until those dreaded words are spoken: “Mom, I’m bored. There’s nothing to do.”

It’s like nails on a chalk board and the scenario is the same time and time again. After the words are uttered I spend the next  few minutes suggesting all the incredible options available: “you could build something with one of the 12 marble sets in the basement, or how about working on one of our 300 puzzles?”-but of course none of the suggestions are worthy of their time.

My three boys (ages 8, 9 and 11) thankfully enjoy cooking and doing crafty projects,  so this vacation we will be well armed with plenty to do.

Here are two holiday crafts to keep us all sane and entertained:

Green craft projectOjo de Dios or God’s Eye

This craft comes from western Mexico and is symbolic of the power of seeing and understanding that which is unknown and unknowable.  I have been making this simple decoration since I was a kid. Once my kids get started we usually end up with many.

What you will need:

Instructions:

  1. Cut off a long piece of yarn.
  2. Cross the sticks at the center. Tie them together with the end of a piece of yarn, making an X, but don’t cut the yarn off .
  3. eco-friendly craft projectTake the yarn and wrap it over and around one stick, then over and around the next, over and around the next, and so on. Keep doing that until the color is used up.
  4. Tie a different color yarn onto the old one with a tight knot.
  5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 until you almost reach the end of the stick.
  6. Tie the end of the yarn in a knot around one of the sticks. Make a loop if you plan to hang the decoration.

Hang them on your tree or all over your home.

reusuable tote bagReusable Gift Bag Craft

We are always looking for alternatives to conventional wrapping paper. Reusable bags make fabulous gift bags that will hopefully be reused again and again. For this craft we take plain beige reusable bags and make them much more festive. It’s a great way to add a personal touch to a holiday gift.

What you will need:

  • Plain canvas reusable bags. I bought mine at a local craft store in a beige color.
  • Fabric markers

Instructions:

Now that my kids are a little older I have them Pokemon reusable gift bagsketch their design on a piece of white paper. Once they have done that they are ready to go.

Looking for more to do? Healthy Child Healthy World has some great eco-craft options to give as gifts.

Do you have any crafty holiday ideas to share?

[Photos used under Creative Commons by Rikkis Refuge, Carissa Rogers/Flickr]

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14 Responses to “Eco-Friendly Holiday Crafts to Make with Kids”

  1. Love the bag! It does say Pokemon rule, right? :)

  2. You got it Stephanie! We are all about Pokemon over here.

  3. LOVE the Pokemon bag!

  4. You know I am a big fan of eco kids crafts!! I love these ideas! Tristin and Tyler are so creative when they craft, but not sure they thought of these! Thanks!!

  5. We will have to try these. I know my girls would love decorating the bags. I would have to find some small ones though, because every bag they find, they fill with clothes or toys or paper.

  6. Nice! You can even make your Gods’ Eyes look wintery by using three thinner sticks , to emerge with a six-pointed snowflake. We have a few of those hanging from doorknobs.

  7. Hi Sarah-we’ve actually done that! Adds an entirely new dimension to this easy and fun craft. Wish I had a picture of one. Do you?

  8. Check with your local craft shop Marsha. Also, Oriental Trading sometimes carries them. Small is good-our big bags end up full of “stuff” too.

  9. Tristan & Tyler are two of the most crafty kids I know! I love all the ideas they have to share.

  10. We are ALL about Pokemon over here Micaela!

  11. Those are great craft ideas for kids. I make things for the holidays that are a little tricky for small hands to tackle: woven paper stars. Every year I find new designs and use up old wrapping paper to make new decorations for my home.

  12. What are woven paper stairs Andrea? I would love to hear about some of the decorations you make from old wrapping paper.

  13. Those two girls sure are crafty! Which makes you very crafty. Cool site.

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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, mom of three and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. I hope you'll join me as I continue on my journey to live a healthy life. Along the way I just might stop to make some noise about issues that affect the health and safety of our families. Come along with me as I fight for a safer world for all of us. Together we'll discover that simple, small changes in your life can lead to a non-toxic, healthier lifestyle and a greener planet.

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