Paint Fireworks Craft for New Year’s Eve

Staying up for fireworks can be hard for kids—and adults. Instead, kids can enjoy this paint fireworks craft in all their favorite colors before bedtime.

Besides paint, use a couple of toilet paper rolls. Because the rolls are harder to cut than thin paper, adult hands need to do the scissor part. Cut many narrow strips about a third to half way up a toilet paper roll. Carefully spread them out like a fan or flower. Pour a small amount of paint into a fairly large plastic paint or lid. We used several tin pie plates. The colors will get mixed up but separate dishes keeps them from getting too muddy.


Kids can dip the toilet paper roll into the paint, and then stamp it on a sheet of paper. They can dip back into the same color or try a different one. The strips make thin lines that look like starburst fireworks. If you are feeling brave, add even more sparkle with glitter. If the glitter doesn’t stick to the paint, wait until it’s dry and kids can spread on some glue then sprinkle on the bling. For glitter projects, it’s a good idea to have the vacuum handy and ready to go. Dish brushes, pipe cleaners, and even forks can also be used to make lines like fireworks. Toilet paper rolls are so easy and don’t need to get washed.


Little Sister finished off a paint fireworks craft and then just wanted to paint. For this, she used a brush, another piece of paper and the same dishes of paint. Once done, the dishes had to get washed. With a sinkful of warm water, she created magic potions using the brush and leftover paint. The water did turn quite brown eventually, but she was able to explore mixing different combinations first. It was a sort of magic to watch the colors change.

What will your family do for New Year’s Eve fun?

Christmas Eve Traditions for Kids

What are the Christmas Eve traditions for kids at your house? Do they like to leave cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer? Since it’s almost Christmas Eve, it might be an idea to check if these food items are ready to go.

Kids can be involved in getting things ready. A fun craft idea is to let kids decorate a paper plate with their own special designs. Here’s part of a post from the first time we did this:

Santa-cookie-plateThis week I saw a wonderful idea from Stephanie Haass at Two-daloo for a cookie plate for Santa. Both Big Sister and Little Sister drew on a paper plate, contributing as they were able. Big Sister carefully drew a picture of Santa so he would know it was his plate. Little Sister colored lines back and forth over the whole space.

Just recently, I saw another super idea for Christmas Eve, Santa binoculars. To make the binoculars, look thru the recycling for 2 toilet paper rolls.

1. The first step is to make them red like Santa’s suit. You can do this in a number of ways with markers, paints, or gluing on red wrapping paper, felt, or fabric. We used paint dabbers. To keep the tubes from getting flat, we slipped a plastic bag on the turkey baster, and slid the tube over. That worked surprisingly well.
2. Once done and dry, at the bottom, glue on some white furry fabric, really fuzzy pipe cleaners, or cotton balls stretched long. We used some quilt batting because there’s always some left-overs from sewing baby quilts.
3. Just above the white ‘fur’ trim, wrap a belt around each tube. This could be black fabric, paper, or felt. The easiest to use is black electrical tape.
4. To make a buckle on the belt, you can some tinfoil.
5. Glue or staple the two tubes together and maybe attach some yarn, a shoelace, or string.

(See the video below for Santa binoculars.)

 Now for the fun part. Before going to bed on Christmas Eve kids can scan the sky and see if they see a tiny red light for the sleigh. If they see it, they better scurry to bed. Might these Santa plates and Santa binoculars be new Christmas Eve traditions for kids at your house?

Handmade Christmas Decorations for Kids

Part of the magic of Christmas is making and giving things made by hand. Here are a couple of handmade Christmas decorations kids can do. The materials are inexpensive but the result is priceless.

handmade Christmas decorationRound up some old or unused Christmas cards. Using a jar lid, help your child trace around the lid to make 4 circles. Sometimes, if the cards are stiff, kids need scissor work from big hands. Once cut out, fold the circles in half with the picture part inside. Put glue on half of the backs of 2 circles and glue the halfbacks together. It will sort of look like a letter T. Do the same with the other 2 circles, then glue the T’s together.

Now it’s a round circle shape made of circles. Using a hole punch make a hole near the top. Kids can thread a piece of yarn or ribbon thru the hole. Tie a knot at the top of the loop and it’s ready to hang on a tree. Once dry, this can be folded flat, tucked inside an envelope and popped in the mail for a gift to someone far away.

handmade Christmas decorationAnother idea is a square instead of a circle. Craft or popsicle sticks make the 4 sides. Kids can put glue near the ends of 2 sticks and then line them up with enough space for a hand between them. Put the other two sticks on top so it makes a frame or square shape.

Kids can decorate the frame with feathers, stickers, old puzzle pieces, sequins, buttons, or color with markers and paints. Find a photo of your child and slide it underneath. How does it look? The photo will need to be taped to the frame, or, if you have lots of sticks, kids can glue 2 sticks on the back to hold the photo in place. As before, attach some ribbon or yarn to make a loop at the top. This makes a delightful little gift.

handmade Christmas gift ideaA photo can also be glued onto a plastic container lid.  With some small objects glued around the edge, and a loop for hanging, it’s another handmade Christmas decoration or ornament.

The recycling often has items that are just right for all sorts of crafts and projects. Kids–and adults–enjoy creating. There’s a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment that gives a boost to self-confidence. Handmade Christmas decorations or gifts become keepsakes that are treasured year after year.  Are there any of these at your house? 

October Alphabet: F is for Fine Motor Halloween Fun

The muscles in the hands and wrists are still developing at this age. Here is a great craft for some fine motor Halloween fun to strengthen small muscles. First of all, thank you to Lalymom for this mummy yarn wrap . Her tag line is “home with two, creativity will brew.” With two kidlets, it’s … Continue reading October Alphabet: F is for Fine Motor Halloween Fun

Mother’s Day Handmade Placemat Gift Craft for Kids

Mother’s Day Special Placemat: Easy Craft for Kids For young children, parents seem to be part of the territory. Kids are very ego-centric and concerned with their own needs and wants but learning to say thank you and do things for others is an important part of a relationship. Mother’s Day is an opportunity to … Continue reading Mother’s Day Handmade Placemat Gift Craft for Kids

Colorful, Easy Wreath Kids Can Make for Easter

Last fall, Big Sister made a special wreath for Thanksgiving; just by changing the shape and colors, we made another one for Easter. This simple, easy craft not only looks wonderful and is fun, plus it helps with some early kindergarten readiness skills. Using a stiff piece of paper from a cereal box, I traced … Continue reading Colorful, Easy Wreath Kids Can Make for Easter

Even Mending Helps with Kindergarten Readiness

Looking for a button turned into some fun and learning for all kinds of thinking, another way that ordinary tasks can help support early development and kindergarten readiness. While I looked thru the buttons for one that matched, Big Sister found 3 big buttons that were the same color as “dirty snow’. She lined them … Continue reading Even Mending Helps with Kindergarten Readiness

Abracadabra: Change Paper into Snowflakes

Did you ever fold and cut paper into snowflakes? Making paper snowflakes does seem magical and the activity has lots of kindergarten readiness learning and fun. Paper has been around for more than 2,000 years; I wonder how soon people began cutting holes in paper to make snowflakes. And how many generations have been doing … Continue reading Abracadabra: Change Paper into Snowflakes

Play is Serious Business: Here’s Another Example!

I’m sure having fun with this series of posts on adult jobs that grew from children’s play. Play contains all kinds of learning, as well as fun, that has influence far beyond kindergarten readiness all the way to adulthood. Besides The Human Computer, Shakuntala Devi, who played with numbers, and Raymond Loewy, the industrial designer, … Continue reading Play is Serious Business: Here’s Another Example!