Oh, the joy of Christmas crafting while eager toddlers and preschoolers look on. You feel paranoid about the glue gun and the small, shiny objects that may get swallowed. Don't give up Christmas crafting or put it off until the middle of the night when the darlings may, or may not, be asleep. Set aside a block of time just for the kids in your house to make Christmas color collages. The crafts are little-kid friendly -- no hot glue or tiny choking hazards involved -- and the results are pretty enough for a featured spot in this year's decor.
Christmas Bow Collage
When the discount stores haul out those giant boxes full of bags of shiny, Christmas colored bows, let each of your children choose a bag to use in a Christmas color collage. Pick up some sturdy cardboard wreath shapes while you are there, or just wait until you get home and demolish a couple of the sides of a cardboard box with your utility knife until wreath shapes emerge. Circles work just fine, too. Help your kids pull the backing from the bows and let the kids decide where to position them on the collages. Encourage older preschoolers to create Christmas color patterns with the bows.
Christmas Tree Collage
Make a Christmas tree-shaped color collage with your toddler and preschool-age Christmas craft enthusiasts. There is a little prep time involved in this collage craft for you, Mom. It's simple stuff that you can do while casually watching that TV show that you accidentally put on and then forgot to turn off. With scissors, cut six-inch or taller triangle trees from green construction paper. Cut brown construction paper rectangle trunks. Cut as many squares, circles, diamonds and stars from red, yellow and white construction paper as you think your tot will need to decorate her tree. Then cut more until you can no longer hold the scissors. Give each child a triangle, a trunk and a handful of Christmas color shapes. Help them construct the trees. Turn them loose with the glue sticks and Christmas color shapes to collage the afternoon away.
Understandably, you may have reservations about encouraging your toddler or preschooler to tear paper into little bits. Just make sure that you are clear that tearing is not for books or family pictures. A torn-paper Christmas color collage helps those little fingers by providing a substantial small motor-skill workout. Give your children soft, easy to tear sheets of red and green construction paper. Let them tear the paper, then lay the torn pieces in piles sorted by color. Help the kids squirt liquid glue onto a sturdy piece of any color card stock. Children place the torn paper, piece by piece, onto the card stock. Keep squirting that glue (or use glue sticks) onto the collages until the children are satisfied with their work.
Silver and Gold Collage
For Moms who value wow-factor in toddler and preschool art, (Okay, that would be all Moms.), help your children make a silver and gold collage. Silver and gold shimmer and shine in harmony when combined by little children into a Christmas color collage. The finished creations reflect the holiday lighting or flickering fireplace glow in any room. Give the kids silver and gold bits of fabric, curling ribbons and dollar-store metallic plastic Christmas items. Help your creative little elves attach these items to star-shaped cardboard shapes with craft glue. Of course, don't give them anything that will be a choking hazard.
Andra Land has been a freelance writer since 2010. Her work draws from experience in early childhood education, curriculum development and home and family management. Before beginning a career teaching children, Land studied communications at the University of Indianapolis.