Education for Kids, Adult Education, Featured

5 Hands-On Activities to Do with The Family During the Holiday Season

Activities to do with family this holiday season...

The start of the Holiday Season is upon us, and we personally love to dive into all things cozy. Such as watching movies, eating lots of delicious food and handcrafting pieces…sometimes all at once. It’s a great time of year where you are usually with loved ones and are looking for stimulating things to pass the time inside. Plus with the Holidays around the corner, you can make some pretty stellar gifts! Here’s what we love to do with our family.

1. Glass etching

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Sounds difficult right? Wrong, actually! You can make some super unique knick-knacks for around your home or gift your creations to a friend or family member! It’s actually quite simple to transfer a decal image onto a glass surface, bonding it with Armour Etch or another etching medium. Extra bonus if you own an infamous Cricut machine where you can easily design your original works that you will transfer on, however it’s not necessary. You can find stenciled decals at your local craft store that will be the perfect fit for this activity. We plan on making a trip to our local vintage store to grab the coolest glass items we can find to decorate! The best part is that your little ones can help you with these projects, but you’ll want to pay attention to the safety precautions when using Armour Etch. This tutorial has great instructions on the steps to take when glass etching.

2. Candy Making

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Candy making in November is an annual tradition for us and can be as simple or laborious as you decide! An assortment of candy makes a great holiday goodie bag for friends and coworkers. We usually opt for making chocolate covered pretzels, our ‘home-made heath bars’ that consists of a tray lined with saltines topped with melted chocolate, caramel and nuts, and hand rolled truffles (sometimes boozy with Kaluha for the grown ups)! On the occasions we’ve felt more ambitious, we have taken it up a notch and made hard candy, which requires a bit more effort and supplies. You’ll want to follow a recipe that indicates the proper steps and temperatures that will yield the appropriate gelatinous texture that you pour into a mold that you can pick up from your local craft store. Enjoy baking (and eating) your candy!

3.Card Making

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Making cards has a romance to it, where we’ve created an intricate canvas that we can inscribe with personalized messaging. We will always adore the art of letter writing as much as we enjoy crafting cards. We love how precise or whimsical we can get when making these smaller works of art ranging from square or rectangular basic cards, to stand up/easel cards. And that’s only talking about the shape of our bases! Once we know our base, we love to get funky with it and add some dimension by adding or subtracting layers to play with our canvas. You’ll need some basic materials such as cardstock in the colors you desire, double-sided tape, glue, a scoreboard for your fold, scissors and an X-acto knife. Your little helpers will love this activity as much as we do, and will be able to present such thoughtful pieces and messages to their loved ones. Don’t know what to do with some of your old cards that you’ve created? We love framing ours to transfer them into wall art in our homes. Check out this tutorial that gets extremely thorough with ideas and techniques!

4.Baking

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What is the holiday season without baking? Not much to write home about, that’s what. We truly don’t understand when folks say they don’t like sweets. (Insert any confused-face memes here). We love making some of the tried and true goodies like shortbread, biscotti and scones, to fudge, chocolate chip cookies to gingerbread cookies. Infuse any of these recipes with unique flavors such as mint, cinnamon, and when appropriate maybe some cardamom! We love this mouthwatering list of desserts that include everything from simple to extensively gorgeous dishes.

5. Creating a Board Game

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This last one may be a bit more intensive than our other handmade items on this list, however this is a project that has family heirloom potential, depending on your material. If anyone in the household is savvy with woodworking techniques, this is a great weekend project that you get to PLAY on once finished. However, no need to fret, you can also create a game out of other substantial materials such as tagboard or cardboard. Either way you slice it (literally and metaphorically), this project will be sure to stimulate the whole family, as it requires precision, measurements and artistic details. You also have the fun task of deciding the theme of your game. Will it be historical? Comical? Sci-fi? Financial? Include insane rules that only exist in your family’s universes? That’s completely up to you, which is the fun part! Once you have the idea down, we recommend mapping out the final vision on a large sheet of paper, then get cracking. Choose from one of the mediums listed above as your base, then experiment with polymer clay (we like sculpey) for your game board pieces and characters! We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

We like to remember that making something from scratch doesn’t have to be a daunting foe. It is a method to stimulate our minds, our children’s minds while having fun, expressing creativity and simultaneously learning through perfecting our craftsmanship. Have your little ones become problem-solvers just like you through these bonding activities this holiday season! We can’t wait to see what your families create.

Dive into Experiential Learning at  The Handwork Studio Summer Camp 

The Handwork Studio, a fun, summer enrichment camp where kids learn by making. Since 2001, we've been the leading educators in teaching kids hands-on skills that you won't find in your school curriculum. Whether your child is interested in building, sewing, coding or design, we provide engaging activities for kids to embrace their imagination and think like innovators. Click below to find a summer camp location near you.

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Education for Kids, Adult Education, Featured

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