Doing Christmas ornaments with your baby is not impossible. In fact there are many DIY baby Christmas ornaments that you can actively include you little one with. These are sitting baby activities for those that ideally have a beginning pincher grasp.
If you would walk into my home this holiday season, one of the first things you would notice is a Christmas tree sitting on top of a whiskey barrel. This is a very special tree to me. It’s artificial but don’t worry, there’s a real tree downstairs to appease all the ‘real tree’ purists.
Over my years as a nanny and a teacher I have made and received a ridiculous amount of ornaments. I realized one year that a teacher practically has to have an entire separate tree for all their students ornaments. And that is precisely what I did. The tree is decked out with all my ‘unbreakable’ ornaments from my students and nanny children.
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DIY Baby Christmas Ornaments Tradition
For the last 7 Christmas’ I have had a child in my life in which I do an ornament making tradition with every year. It’s a tradition that has become precious to my heart. We make an entire day of crafting an ornament of their choosing. The ornaments are made and dried in secret, so the child can give the beautiful ornament to their mother Christmas morning. The simplicity of the tradition is what makes it so entirely special. I always make one along with the child her and those have all ended up on my tree upstairs.
Modifying Activities to make it Developmentally Appropriate
This year I decided that I wanted to carry on this tradition with my own son. Logging onto Pinterst I typed in ‘baby Christmas ornaments.’ I was met with dozens of adorable projects that were perfectly crafted in that ‘oh so annoying’ perfected mommy way. I wanted an ornament I could do WITH my son. Not one that I did myself. I scrolled for what seemed like hours until I decided that what I wanted didn’t exist.
Maybe I live in a first time mommy fantasy world, but I truly think that our little ones are much more capable of doing things than we think. We simple need to modify the activities to meet where they are developmentally. Obviously I cannot give my 8 month old a paintbrush full of toxic paint and then scold him when he instantly puts it in his mouth. But I can modify a painting project into a sensory activity that grows his fine motor skills and allow him to paint.
How Do You Make Baby Christmas Ornaments?
Here are 4 of my favorite DIY baby Christmas ornaments that you can do WITH you baby. For all of them you will need ample plastic baggies as this is the best way I have found to create a sensory experience for babies that is safe and fun.
You can also download the printable DIY Baby Christmas Ornaments PDF version by signing up below. This can be helpful if you want to do all of them and have everything handy to shop for materials.
Hand Print Bulb Ornament:
This one probably seems a little obvious. And yes, dozens of these are all over Pinterest already. However, you can really have fun with this project if you let your little one get a little messy. I used some none toxic paint and painted his hand green. In front of him was various pages of foam squares.
The great thing about Crayola paint is that it doesn’t come off all in the first ‘slap’. He had a blast slapping the foam and watching his mangled handprint appear multiple times. As soon as he turned his grimy hand toward his face and slowly brought it in for a chew, I knew it was time to clean up! Your baby may not have a long attention span for painting, but the sensory activity is truly great for their curious and developing mind.
Choose the best one from all the ‘slaps’ and cut it out. Stuff it in your ornament and your done! If you’d like to create it into something extra special place your child’s ultrasound picture in the back of the ornament. It’s an instant keepsake!
Salt Dough Footprint
This is another one that honestly has hundreds of renditions already, but honestly, you’ve got to try it at least once. How do you turn it into a project your little baby can enjoy and benefit from? Easy!
Once you make the dough, stick it all in a plastic baggy. Add the food coloring and let your little one be the mixer. They will delight in the soft texture as they mush it around. Make sure to be watching! They will probably chew on it a little too if they are in that teething phase.
Salt Dough Christmas Trees
I think this one might have been my littles favorite. I made another batch of salt dough and placed it in a heavy duty plastic bag. I placed 10 drops of red and green food coloring on opposite sides of the bag and zipped it up tight! He loved being my mixer once again and watching all the colors meld and come together.
This time I gave him kitchen utensils to play with as well. He alternated between slapping the bag with the kitchen utensils and chewing on them. He was flapping his arms in pure delight as he played.
Once I saw the dough had a good marbleized effect I set the dough on the kitchen counter and made small portions flat with my hand. I helped my son take the cookie cutter and stamp out the tree. He was fascinated watching the dough be cut and placed on the trays for baking. It was a lovely experience for the both of us! You can make all sorts of marbleized cut outs!
Popsicle Stick Christmas Tree:
If you’ve made it this far, you’ve probably figured out I like plastic baggy sensory activities. With proper monitoring, your baby can enjoy all sort of crafty activities without eating the paint or getting messy! This one does take a bit of mommy assemble, but your baby still does the painting part.
The Printable Version
I love seeing these ornaments on the tree during the ‘relaxing’ moments of the season. My morning times are often spent with my favorite Christmas devotional curling up and looking at the beautiful lights while reminiscing about all the fun DIY ornaments we have done. Your times with this baby age goes fast, enjoy it while you can!
Let me see some of your own sensory baby crafts! I’d love to get some ideas for future activities to do with my little one! Head over to instagram, where I love to hang out, and show me your creations, I would love to see them!