The last few years I’ve gone the cheap and cheerful route when it comes to Christmas cards – jumbo box with a few different but fairly standard Christmassy designs. Sound a right old scrooge don’t I?!
(I’m not, I promise, just with two babies in quick succession – 15 months apart and something I still don’t recommend – priorities have been a little different…)
Not this year! No, this year I’m going all out with some homemade ones, starting with this easy snowman Christmas card.
Going ‘all out’ is maybe a bit of an exaggeration! Since I only have the time and energy for super easy ones that I can make with my two toddlers. Got to kill two birds with one stone, right?!
Keep them busy with a fun activity (ideally with minimal clean up) and start getting through that loooooong Christmas to-do list.
I’m waiting for the day when I can pass some of these to-dos to my toddlers but think we’re many moons for that! But for now, I’m happy to multi-task along the way…
And at the grand age of just-turned-4 and nearly-3, my toddlers are now old enough to both participate (with help, of course) and enjoy a little bit of crafting and I enjoy it too.
(Pre-baby, crafting was one of my ‘things’ but, with two toddlers in tow, like a few other ‘things’, it’s kind of gone on the backburner.)
Don’t get me wrong, there are many a day when I wish we’d never started and don’t, in fact, finish, said craft. But there have been a few success stories, some of which I’ve shared here, such as these adorable salt dough Christmas ornaments. Such a winner.
This homemade snowman Christmas card was another fun and stress-free half hour last weekend.
So let’s get to it!
The skills your toddler will use when creating this easy snowman Christmas card
Like virtually every toddler craft, there’s a lot of fine motor activity at work; sticking and gluing all the different parts of the snowman onto the card.
It’s also chance for your toddler to be creative.
Select different materials/textures/colors for the different elements of the snowman and let them pick and choose.
Like most little girls, my daughter is into pink and she loves bright and sparkly. Hence the pink cardstock and pink hat and then the gold sparkly scarf.
To cut or not to cut?
For really little ones that have not yet started cutting, you can do all the prep work first. Then let them do the cutting and sticking etc.
But if your toddler has started cutting you may want to let them practice their scissor skills and cut the circles for the snowman’s head and body.
My two have very basic scissor skills and LOVE to cut. Absolutely anything. Like most toddlers, destruction is a lot more fun than creation – doesn’t bode well for a craft, but there we go. We carry on regardless.
(Note to self and for others: 5-seconds is all it takes for things to go drastically wrong when a cutting loving toddler is in full-on destruction mode. He was happily hacking away at scrap paper sitting at the kitchen counter while I was cooking when he took the scissors to his one and only lovey, Bunny.
A big gauge out of Bunny’s leg. Luckily a quick surgery at Granny’s sewing table mended poor Bunny’s leg. Thank goodness for Grannys!)
My daughter was keen to have a go but at the end of it all there were no circles to be seen, just more shredded paper to add to the never-ending pile…
I was kind of ready for that, so quickly drew and cut some more.
Practicing the pencil grip
Again, if you’re toddler is able to and interested there’s the opportunity to practice the pencil grip and draw the circles.
As I started drawing the circles, by drawing inside of each cookie-cutter, my daughter wanted to have a go. So I held the cookie-cutter while she drew.
She’s not even 3 yet and has still not mastered the pencil grip – you’ll see in the photo she’s using another grip, not sure that one has a name!
(Update: I came across this article on pencil grasp development and it turns out my daughter is using the digital-pronate grasp, as is typical of her age, in case you were also interested!)
But still, it was a good exercise in developing and strengthening those little hand muscles. It certainly takes a lot of control and coordination to draw when you’re holding the pen right at the end!
The key is to adapt the involvement of your toddler in this snowman card to their skill level and interest.
That makes for stress-free and mostly harmonious crafting toddlers. (In my non-expert but fairly experienced opinion!)
A few tips for making this snowman Christmas card (general tips for crafting with toddlers)
Like I said above, adapt it to the level of your toddler’s ability.
Also, try to give your toddler as much free reign as possible when it comes to sticking on all the bits and pieces.
Having a picture of a snowman really helps, of if you’re super organized, have a here’s-one-I’ve-made-earlier, for them to see. So they know where they’re meant to put things.
Still, they might want to go their own route. That’s fine, let them… Hopefully, it’ll still look vaguely like a snowman at the end of it all, and if not, oh well!
The how-to for this easy snowman Christmas card
1. Gather supplies
- colored cardstock – 1 A4 sheet for an A5-sized card
- white card or paper, preferably with a glitter or shimmer to it (I had some left over card we used for our wedding which was just perfect – unfortunately you can’t see the lovely shimmer it has in the photos)
- scraps of fabric and scrapbook paper – for the hat
- washi tape – for scarf
- buttons – for… buttons
- pompoms and/or pipe cleaner for nose
- glue dots
- 2 cookie-cutters of different sizes (big for snowman body, little for head) or something else round to draw circles with
2. Draw circles onto white paper/heavy
Have your toddler do this or help as they so desire. My daughter had a good crack at this – check the concentration on her face!
3. Cut circles
If your toddler gets involved and you end up with no circles (as above!) and you want your snowman to have a round body, re-draw and re-cut.
4. Get sticking!
We used a glue stick for the snowman’s body, head and the hat and glue dots for the buttons and nose. The Washi tape was sticky – I assume that’s standard but I’m no Washi tape expert.
Remember to show them and guide them where to stick, but try and let them do the actual sticking themselves. You might end up with some odd placed hats etc but that kind of adds to the charm I think.
5. Draw on eyes, mouth, and arms
By this time, both my toddlers had ran out of sitting still patience so if you think that the snowman’s eyes, mouth and arms look like they were drawn by an adult, that’s because they were.
Obviously, if your kid is able and willing, let them do this part.
Want to make an even easier Christmas card with your kids? Try this stupidly easy paint chip Christmas tree card (easy enough for little toddlers). It really can’t get easier than that!
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