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THE JOURNAL | 15.12.2020

4 Earth-friendly craft activities for kids in the holidays

With the holidays around the corner, dads tend to be on the firing end when mums have reached their tolerance levels with the children. Here are 4 super simple earth-friendly holiday crafts that will win you the parent of the year award

With the holidays around the corner, dads tend to be on the firing end when mums have reached their tolerance levels with the children. 

The end of the year is exhausting for everyone, adults want to rest and recuperate but the younger members of the family seem to have boundless energy (do they sap it directly from the adults?!). The best compromise that minimises screen time, gives parents a chance to have some quiet time and fully engages the kids’ attention are holiday crafting activities. 

Here are 4 super simple earth-friendly holiday crafts that will win you the parent of the year award; 

  1. Twig ornaments

Idea credit:Simple as that blog

What you will need: 

  • Thin branches or twigs
  • Garden shears
  • Glue gun and glue sticks
  • Twine
  • Sharpie
  • Buttons
  • Sprigs of faux pine/berries

How to do it:

Cut your twigs into 5 equal lengths using garden shears. Attach two twigs together at the tips to form a “V” shape by applying hot glue to their tips and connecting them.

Add a third twig by placing it diagonally over the first two, creating an “A” shape. You can see the shape of the star beginning to form. 

Continue to add twigs and build you star shape. The twine is for decoration but it also reinforces the points where two twigs are joined. Wrap the twine neatly around and hot glue it in place. Lastly, use twice to make a loop that will serve as a hanger for the star. Voila! 

  1. Plastic bottle planters

Idea credit:Make and Takes

What you will need

  • Empty soda bottles
  • Paint
  • Googly eyes
  • A nail or a knife (for adults only)
  • Soil/potting soil
  • Bone meal or river sand
  • A small plant
  • Pebbles 

How to do it

This craft activity for kids is ideal for younger children. It’s as simple as it looks: Cut the bottoms off of the empty soda bottles by cutting them (this part is the preparation that adults should do before the activity begins). Ensure there are drainage holes at the bottom of the bottles - use the nail or the knife to make small holes. 

Next, have the children paint the bottles - we recommend get creative here and breaking free from just painting - go nuts with the decorating and let the children explore their creativity. Stick buttons, beads, diamantes, gemstones, or glitter onto the bottles. 

Once the decorations are dried and properly stuck, add pebbles to the bottom of the bottle. If you plant a cactus, as pictured, you will need to mix your potting soil with bone meal or river sand to enable better drainage. Add this next. 

Now, you can plant your succulent or cactus. Keep it alive by giving it a thorough drenching under the tap once a month and allowing all of the water to drain away (these are desert plants, they like heavy watering only once in a while). Allow the soil to dry out before you water again. 

  1. Recycled crayon blocks

Idea credit:Make and Takes

What you will need

  • 20-30 old crayons
  • metal muffin tin, any size
  • cooking spray

How to do it

Here at Naeco, a zero-waste world is high on our priority list. We love this craft activity for kids because it eliminates waste completely. Have the children gather their old cratons and remove and paper wrappings. 

Add a decent amount of cook and spray to your muffin pan and group the colours together in a way that you will find appealing. The crayons should be around a centimetre or two in length. Next, bake the crayons at 135 degrees C (275 degrees F) for around 8 minutes. 

Remove the muffin pan and use a toothpick to swirl the wax around and create patterns. Allow to cool or refrigerate if you want to speed up the process. Remove and enjoy and block crayons. 

  1. Dipped pinecones

Idea credit:Goodnet.org

What you will need

  • Pinecones
  • Different colour paints 
  • Twine or yarn
  • Hot glue

How to do it

This craft activity for kids is great fun for littles as they explore the sensation of the pinecones and watch as the colours adhere to the tips. Enjoy the activity outdoors and allow little ones to get creative. Have your paint in different open containers - bowls work well. 

Demonstrate to the young ones how to dip the pinecone into the paint and place it down to dry. For extra fun, sprinkle glitter over the wet paint. 

Once all the pinecones are dry, hot glue loops of twine to unpainted end and they’re ready to hang! 

Show us your crafts

Did you try a few of these craft activities for kids? Whether you’re an uncle visiting for the holidays, a dad, or an adult sibling, we would love to see what you’ve made. Connect with us on social media and show us what you’ve created (if it was a hilarious disaster - we would love to share a laugh with you).