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Try these easy holiday crafts for kids

I'm not a crafter. But I've ventured into the crafting world as my daughter and I make gifts for friends and family. Here's what we do. What are your favorite holiday crafts?

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Sarah Lindenfeld Hall

It took me six years to knit half a scarf. At that point, I decided I'd knitted a small blanket for my daughter's dolls and gave up. That was my first and last serious attempt at any kind of crafting.

I'm not a crafter.

But when my older daughter turned three, I started looking for easy craft ideas that we could both do without getting frustrated. And we ramp it up in my house starting around Thanksgiving as we make gifts for friends and family for Christmas. We've mostly been successful.

So with the weather getting colder and Christmas getting closer, I figured some of you might be looking for some craft ideas. So here's what we've done and are doing in our house. I'd love to hear some craft ideas from moms out there who actually are crafty!

  • A popsicle stick Christmas tree ornament. Take three popsicle sticks and form a triangle, gluing the sticks together. Have your child decorate them with glitter, sequins, markers, paint, whatever you have. Tie a bit of ribbon around the frame to use as a hanger. Cut out a photo to fit inside the popsicle stick frame and glue it to the sticks. I put a triangle-shaped piece of felt on the back of the picture for protection. You're done.
  • Homemade wrapping paper. Get some inkless packing paper, which you can find at office supply stores, and have your kids decorate it with crayons, markers or finger paints. My daughter loved to cover the paper in hand prints.
  • Homemade books. My daughter enjoys cooking with her dad. So last year, we put together a cookbook for the two of them. She picked out recipes from Family Fun, where I usually go for craft ideas. We printed them out and put them together in a folder. She decorated the cover.
  • Food mixes. Last year, we followed a recipe for soup mix in a jar  from High Five Magazine, a great magazine for preschoolers. The recipe called for lentils, split peas, rice and a variety of other ingredients. You pour in each ingredient into the jar one at a time to create a layered, sand art-like look. This time we're branching out and trying other recipes. We are choosing among several recipes that we found on Allrecipes.com. You can really get crafty and decorate the jar.

Please share your favorite crafts!

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