Christmas Activity: DIY Wrapping Paper

Looking for a different way to make your Christmas gifts even more special? Try this DIY Wrapping Paper. I promise your family and friends will love getting their gifts wrapped in paper that’s made with love. And… your kids will be really proud of themselves when they show it off to them too.

Making our own wrapping paper is a big Christmas Bucket List item for us. We did it her first Christmas and now it’s become a fun tradition. I know my parents always look forward to seeing her wrapping paper. This year, she made it for her friends at preschool. I’m sure we’ll be doing this Christmas Activity more than once this year.

Maybe this can become a fun tradition for your family too! Here’s what you’ll need to make your own wrapping paper:

  • Brown craft paper
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Cookie cutters

This activity is super simple in the best way. You get to let your child be as creative as they want to be. PLUS, they get to be messy too! I think all kids like that aspect of that.

To set up, all I did was lay out brown kraft paper, pour paint on a separate paper plate, and laid out her tools (paint brushes, cookie cutters, bingo daubers). She did everything else all by herself. I would also suggest laying trash bags down if you want to keep your surface clean.

I played Christmas music and had Mila explain to me what she was drawing. The one section was a whole scene with people. It’s fun to hear their thought process.

After they’re done creating, just let your wrapping paper dry.

Then, just wrap your presents like normal. I tried to get Mila to paint more in the middle so you could see the design. We also love to add yarn and ribbon to make presents even more special.

Mila was super proud of her wrapping paper. It’s so unique. We’ve done it every year and each year it looks so different. It’s a great way to capture her growth. It also feels like a present within a present when you give to others. I love gifting her artwork and this is a fun way to do that while being useful too!

Even though we normally do this for Christmas, I’d love to do it for different birthdays or holidays.


Let me know in the comments…

Have you ever made your own wrapping paper? OR what recycled products do you use for wrapping paper?

Preschool Activity: Nativity Popsicle Stick Craft

The Nativity is a story a lot of people know and learn about around Christmas time. If you’d like your toddler or preschool to know this story, doing this Nativity Popsicle Stick Craft is a way to help them remember it and make it fun too.

As you might know if you’ve been following along with our story is that Mila is in preschool. Her preschool talks a lot about Bible stories.

I don’t necessarily talk about one religion at home. We talk about how people believe in all kinds of different things and none of it is wrong. My personal beliefs stem from different religions and readings, I’ve written about them in previous posts.

No matter what I believe, I want Mila to be able to make her own decisions. Right now, she’s asked a lot of questions about Jesus and Bible stories. So, we’re reading and doing activities with what she’s curious about.

Mila loves baby Jesus. Every time she sees a Nativity set up she says, ‘awww. Look at the baby.’ Then she names everyone.

It definitely made me want to do this activity with her even more. After a trip to the store, we got everything to create our interpretation of her favorite scene.

Here’s what you’ll need to create this book and craft pairing.

To start this activity off, we read the book with each other. She let me know she knew all the characters and that Jesus was born in a manger.

After reading, it was time to start making the scene.

We first wanted to make the manger. All we used was popsicle sticks and glue. We ended up using big popsicle and it took five across for the base. We used a smaller popsicle stick to connect it together.

Then for the floor of the manger, we used one big popsicle stick across it on the bottom. For the roof, we just crisscrossed them on the top.

Next we made Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus.

Again, we used popsicle sticks. For Mary and Joseph we decided to use big ones and for Jesus we used a small one. To get the correct length, we just cut them with scissors.

To make them look like they had clothes, hair, and accessories, we used yarn. You could use any color, I think ours turned out really cute.

Then, glue them down on the manger.

After that, make a star out of pipe cleaner and attach with glue.

You could stop here, but we decided to make this an ornament. To do this, we just glued on another piece of yarn so we could hang it.

Mila was SO proud of her hard work on this piece. She loved seeing this family together and talking about what she learned at preschool. I am so happy she can always let me know what she’s learning about.

This craft is so much fun for kids of all ages. I hope if you make it, you have as much fun as we did!


What’s your favorite Christmas book or story to read? Let me know in the comments.

Also, if you make this craft/ornament, tag me on Instagram or Facebook (@greyskies.rainbowhighs).

Christmas Activity: Tissue Paper Lantern

We love fun traditions in our house. Any time I can be transformed back into childhood, I’m all for it. Especially when I get to pass it on to Mila. One of my favorites crafts in elementary school were Tissue Paper Lanterns, so we made a Christmas themed one.

There are a ton of different skills in this DIY for Mila and now we have another tradition we can do every year.

Another part of this DIY that I love is it’s an upcycle project! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Mason Jar or Recycled Glass Jar
  • Tissue Paper
  • Modge Podge or DIY Modge Podge (Glue and Water)
  • Paint or Foam Brush

To start off, I had Mila cut pieces of tissue paper into squares or smaller pieces. We’re always trying to work on scissor skills and she really enjoys it too. With a little help from me, we had more than enough pieces of tissue paper.

Then, we took our DIY modge podge to put it all together. To make DIY modge podge, just use regular, white glue and add water into it. It should mix into a modge podge consistency. You can see a picture of it down below too. It’s just a more watered down glue consistency that’s easy to spread with a paintbrush.

Mila and I worked in sections. We’d put paint on, then put a layer of tissue paper over top. After it was glued down, we put another thin layer of DIY modge podge on top.

After you fill in all the sections, just let it fully dry. It doesn’t take too long at all.

Once it’s dried, you can put a small candle in it and the light shines through beautifully. I absolutely loved how it turned out and it was easy to do with Mila. Hopefully we can keep making them every year with different patterned tissue paper. Just make sure to add the year on the lantern somewhere.

I ended up putting it as a centerpiece on our dining room table. It looks so cute and I love showcasing all her DIYs and crafts.


Do you ever make a craft over snd over again? If so, what do you make?

Preschool Craft: Christmas Process Art

Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle!

Christmas crafts don’t always have to be ‘perfect’ to be adorable. Toddlers and preschoolers love to learn by using the things around them, especially through art. This Christmas Process Art Mila created was a great reminder of that!

There’s a huge pressure to have the most perfect crafts online. It seems kids have to follow instructions step-by-step to create the best craft. When you give them the power to create on their own, they can create something even more spectacular.

I’m not going to say Mila and I haven’t been doing specific crafts together, but she needed this free project to showcase her creativity.

All we used to create this beautiful piece of art was from other Christmas items we had at home:

  • Canvas
  • Red and Green Washable Paint
  • Gold Acrylic Paint
  • Craft Pinecones
  • Bells
  • Fake Pine

To set up this activity, all I did was pour the paint and tell Mila to use these objects to paint.

She did ask for a paint brush and I did let her use it to push the bells around. Then she used it to paint after trying all the objects. She really went to work when she could use the brush at the end!

As much as it was a process art activity, I did not want to put a limit to her creativity. I think she had fun feeling the different textures and she loved shaking the bells too. It puzzles her why the items don’t paint as well as the brush… but that’s what it’s all about!

When she was finished, we talked about what her artwork symbolized and what we wanted to title it. She said it was just about Christmas and it didn’t need a name. So, it’s left untitled, but I did have her sign it and I dated it. I told her it reminded me of a Christmas tree, just REALLY close up. It honestly just makes me smile, like all of her artwork does.


We love making art as Christmas gifts… and will probably do it again this year! Let me know in the comments… What’s the best Christmas or holiday present you’ve received? Handmade or store bought?

Christmas Activity: Letter to Santa

It’s officially time to start getting festive. Our Christmas tree is up and indoor decorations are done. With all these bucket list items getting crossed off, we had to do another… write a letter to Santa.

I mean.. there’s less than a month until Christmas, we HAD to make sure he knew what Mila wanted this year.

The letter to Santa is very important in the eyes of kids who believe in him. When Mila realized that Santa was going to see her letter, she had that look Ralphie did in A Christmas Story.

It was all very official business.

After brainstorming her thoughts for the letter out loud, she decided it was time to write. Since Mila only knows how to spell her name at the moment, I got to help her out a little in the writing and spelling part of this.

Her letter to Santa states:

“Dear Santa,

How do you do? Thank you for giving me Christmas presents. I would like a big doctor thing.

Thanks, Mila”

She’s a lady that knows what she want! Hopefully she’ll actually become a doctor one day since that’s the only thing she wants at the moment. Besides becoming a mommy like me… her words.

Marking an item off her bucket list.

Anyways, I wanted to share this big moment because there’s a lot of learning going on in this simple letter.

Not only did she practice her writing skills and can prove she can remember and write her name, she drafted and wrote a letter! That’s pretty big for a three year old. Just because she didn’t physically write it, doesn’t mean there wasn’t any thought or work put into it.

It also showed her emotional intelligence with the thank you’s and asking Santa how he was doing.

These are all social skills that are all important to learn… simply by just writing a fun letter to Santa! Learning really is everywhere you look.

Fingers crossed Santa gets her letter in time. She used special stamps to help it travel quickly.

I’ll keep you all updated on if he does.


You can find the ‘Letter to Santa’ template at The Letter Vee. Some of the other stamps come from Three Little Crumbsnatchers, she also has the cutest Christmas activities you can print out for free. I’ll be posting them this December, so keep your eyes peeled.


Does your child or did they write letters to Santa? I’m thinking of recording Mila too. I think it would be cute to look back on. Let me know in the comments if you think that’s a fun idea or not.

DIY Ornament: Salt Dough Santa

Okay, okay. I know it seems like we’ve been making a lot of ornaments around here, but they’re fun!

These salt dough ornaments are easy to do and make great, last minute DIY gifts.

Here’s what you’ll need for these:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • Water (no set amount. I’ll explain!)
  • Paint
  • Glue *optional
  • Glitter *optional
  • Yarn/Ribbon
  • Knife

Admittedly, I have not had the best track record with salt dough. I think I’ve added too much water in the past. This time, they turned out great though.

First, preheat your oven to 250°.

Then, if your child likes to help mix ingredients, they’ll think this is really cool. Add the flour, salt, and a little bit of water together. Then start mixing with a spoon or your hand.

Here’s where the water ingredient is tricky. I just kept adding a little bit at a time until it got to a play-doh consistency.

Next, Mila and I rolled the salt dough out into circles. To get the Santa shape, I told her to keep her four fingers together and she kept her thumb held a little out.

For this part, just press their hands in there. It will imprint nicely. I trimmed around her hand to get more of the shape. All I used was a knife!

I ended up getting four hand Santa’s, a ‘snow globe’ with two of her hands, and two little circular ornaments so Mila could paint however she wants. Then I stuck them in the oven.

They’ll need to bake in the oven for two hours. Then take them out and let them completely cool before you start painting.

If you’re child is older, they’ll be able to paint the Santa’s on. Mila likes to paint crazy right now, so I did this for her. I used red, white, and tan paint.

After the paint was dried, I put glue and glitter down where I wanted it. Then, I used yarn to complete it. You could use ribbon too!

Honestly, I think they turned out so cute. They were simple to do and Mila just loves them.

Happy creating and making with your child.


Is your favorite ornament handmade, passed down, or store bought? Let me know in the comments.