christmas-craftsAmericans create 25 million more tons of trash each year between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day than they do during the rest of the year, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. To help reduce that amount while creating unforgettable holiday memories, make your green-and-red Christmas crafts truly green by recycling materials that might otherwise get thrown away.

What’s great about this idea: You can modify these crafts based on what materials you have in your home. Here are craft suggestions to get you started.

Christmas Placemats or Garlands

Do you have old Christmas cards or wrapping paper that you hate to throw away—stuff that is just taking up drawer or closet space? Children as young as 2 can make bright and colorful placemats with them, giving the cards a brand new life and purpose. Materials needed include:

  • Construction paper (can be already colored upon)
  • Scissors, glue and a pencil
  • Flat objects to glue, including old cards or wrapping paper, ribbons, sequins and confetti
  • 6 sandwich-size zip-lock baggies
  • Duct tape or 2-inch masking tape

Read the rest of the instructions here.

Maybe you’ll have some Christmas cards left over—or maybe you don’t have a need for more placemats. In either case, you can also make fun Christmas garlands out of old cards—and you only need scissors, a ruler, string and some sticky tape to make that happen.

The concept: Draw a triangle on the back of the picture side of the card (that could be the adult’s job) and then cut them out and place them in the order that makes sense, color-wise. Tape them to the string and hang up.

Here are numerous other ways that you can recycle old Christmas cards into preschooler-appropriate works of art.

Candy-Filled Christmas Trees

Discover how your children can create fun, Christmas-themed candy containers using empty toilet paper rolls.

Materials include:

  • Big triangle cut out of colorful cardstock (green, if you want to make the craft look like an actual tree)
  • Long piece of white yarn (could be another color)
  • Foam star sticker
  • Small paper roll
  • A third of a paper roll bent into the shape of a square
  • Glue
  • Candy

You can find the instructions here. If you don’t want to give candy as a gift, you can fill this tree with crayons or something else that’s appropriately sized and not too heavy.

Puzzle Piece Ornaments

No matter how hard you try, it’s easy to lose pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. But now you can use those stray pieces to make beautiful Christmas ornaments. All you need, besides the puzzle pieces:

  • Poster paint and brushes
  • Heavy-duty craft glue

To make them extra special, also gather:

  • Glitter
  • Pom-poms, ribbons, sequins, faux jewels or anything else you have around the house

Follow the instructions found here. Enjoy!

Looking for more ways to enrich your child’s learning and life? Horizon Education Center provides affordable quality care including educational and enrichment opportunities for children in the following Northeast Ohio locations.

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