Learn About Others This Holiday

The holiday season is the perfect time to bring out the arts and crafts supplies and start to get creative with the kids. With the frigid temperatures preventing you and the rest of the family from playing outside during the winter months, you can fend off boredom by try out a few crafts projects each day with the kids. And instead of buying presents off the shelves for friends and family members, you can craft a few with your children to offer gifts made with love.

Trying these holiday arts and crafts is also a great time to teach your kids about other religions and how to respect and include those with different beliefs than their own. Plus! Learning about others is fun.

Are you interested in trying a few Holiday arts and crafts projects with the little ones? If so, consider these great activities and have a merry end to the year!

Make a Homemade Dreidel Decoration

The dreidel is a four sided top with Hebrew letters on each side. According to Chabad.org, each letter spells an acronym for ‘Nes gadol hayah sham’ or ‘A great miracle happened here’. This references the Hanukkah miracle. Chabad.org goes on to say that in the time before the Maccabean revolt, earning the Torah was illegal and punishable by death. Children would hide in caves to study and when patrols

approached they would pretend to play a game with their tops to avoid detection. Playing dreidel on Hanukkah is to remember those brave children.

You can use a light colored modeling clay to make your dreidel or fold it out of paper. Print outs for paper dreidels are easy to find online. We really liked the one from http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/make-a-dreidel, it also explains how to play. If you want to make a paper dreidel, make sure to color it in before you fold it together and glue it. To make a modeling clay dreidel, shape the dreidel, carve in the letters, and use a short pencil as the spinner and bake the dreidel when you are done. After baking it, let your children paint it and play!

You can also make a beautiful dreidel snow globe with your kids by making a clay dreidel or buying a wood or plastic dreidel. Glue a small piece of cork to the inside of the lid of a clean and dry jar lid. When that is dry, glue the dreidel at a pretty angle to the cork. Fill a clean jar with water, glitter, and 1-2 tablespoons of glycerin. You can find glycerin at a drug store.

Make sure to use non-water soluble glue, like hot glue or super glue. After you seal the lid, decorate the jar with stickers and ribbon.

Make a pair of Moon Sighting Binoculars

Ramadan is not often celebrated in December, but it is a high holiday for Islamic people. Because of this, it is always a good time to make these adorable binoculars and learn about Islam.

The moon is very important for Muslims because the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar. This means that Ramadan starts when the new moon is seen. According to http://www.ogilvynoor.com/index.php/ramadan-and-insights-into-the-meaning-of-crescent-moons-for-muslims, Muslims look to the night skies with anticipation near the beginning of Ramadan to learn when the holiday will start. During the month of Ramadan, most Muslims fast during the day, starting at dawn and finishing at dusk. The moon at this time symbolizes when eating and night prayers can begin.

To make these binoculars with your children, collect two empty rolls of paper towel or toilet paper. Glue or tape the two tubes together. Punch a hole on the outsides of one end. Run string or ribbon through to let the binoculars hang around the neck or on a door. Then let the kids decorate them with red and black markers.

Create Your Own Christmas Ornament

Christmas is celebrated around the world by Christians and non-Christians. A common symbol of Christmas is an ornament for a Christmas tree. Ornaments can be made in thousands of ways, using paint, candy, and many arts and crafts supplies. One of our favorite ornaments uses applesauce and cinnamon to make a dough.

Mix 1 C of applesauce with 1 ½ C cinnamon. Mix the apple sauce and 1 cup of the cinnamon thoroughly, using a mixer or hands. Make sure there are no wet spots. Next, mix in the rest of the cinnamon until you get a dough-like texture.

To roll out, spread some cinnamon on the counter to keep from sticking. Roll your dough out until it’s about ¼ inch thick. Then use Christmas themed cookie cutters to cut out stars, wreaths, hearts, snowmen, and more. Poke a small hole in the top of each one with a pencil or skewer. Bake at 200 F until dough is dry on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Let it set overnight to fully dry. Make sure ornaments are rock hard, if not, bake longer.

Make Beautiful Arts & Crafts This Holiday Season

Learn more about other religions and have tons of fun making arts and crafts for this holiday season.