Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Host A Kid-Made Ornament Party

One of my favorite things about this time of year is all of the traditions we celebrate as a family. Some of the traditions my husband and I had as children and now share with the boys. Other traditions we've made as a young family together and they are something we can all look forward to.

But as we honor our old traditions, it's always fun to try something new too. And often that is what leads to a discovering something that will become a new tradition. This past weekend we hosted our first "Kid-Made Ornament Party" and it was so much fun - it might just become a new annual tradition.

On a chilly Sunday we invited a handful of young friends (ages 3 to 8) over along with their parents and we encouraged the kids to get crafty and creative with a table full of ornament making materials. For this post we were lucky enough to work with The Oriental Trading Company who sent most of the supplies for review.  However, the opinions and ideas in the post are all our own. We're excited to share some of the things the kids came up with when given a range of awesome project materials! 

Although I've used The Oriental Trading Company before for classroom incentives and party supplies, I really didn't realize how much amazing craft materials they had. For this party I primarily focused on their Christmas Craft materials, although I had a lot of fun looking through all their Christmas selections first.

As I was looking for materials, I looked for some basic ornament pieces that the kids could choose to decorate in multiple ways. I went with white stockings, wooden ornaments, and clear, round ornaments. In addition to the ornaments, I selected a wide range of decorations: silver tape, holiday buttons, snowflake sequins, miniature pompoms, and bells. I also added in some special craft glue as well as glue dots. 

The day of the party I set all the materials up in small containers on the kitchen table. I added a few other materials we already had on hand and some more basics like paint, glue, and permanent markers. 

I expected with that several kiddos attending, things might get messy, so we used a plastic table cloth to cover the table. I bought small, paper trays (usually used for a light meal) and put one at each spot. This way kids could create in a slightly more contained space. 

We also planned a few, simple kid snacks to last them over the course of the morning into lunch. I kept everything based on things I knew even the littlest of kids would still want to eat but that adults wouldn't mind munching on too. 

When the kiddos all got there I showed them all the material options and gave them a few reminders about how to use some of the materials. Then they jumped right into creating!

One of the best things for me over the whole event was watching how the kids all gravitated towards different materials and designs. 

It was also great to see how kids could take some of the same materials, and put their own unique twist on the ornament. I loved seeing them come up with some really creative ideas that were all their own! Like this ornament ball created by a 7 year old - he added things inside and outside. 

Younger kiddos tended to move more towards the markers and paint, no matter the ornament.  
Ornament made by a 3 year old by painting the inside and then adding cotton balls and a few glitter snowflakes. 

Both the paints and the markers worked on the plastic ornaments and the wooden ornaments. We decided not to paint the stockings. (Although with a little piece of cardboard inside they could be both drawn on or glued onto.)

While the kids created the grown-ups enjoyed snacks, coffee, and conversation. The kids would work on a project or two, grab something to eat, and usually come back to create some more. (Or head off to play for a bit for a while.) Add in some mellow, instrumental holiday music and it was a pretty calm, chill event. 

At the end of the party I grabbed a few quick pictures of some of the creative ideas the kids had come up with. As I had hoped, the three types of ornaments I chose allowed the kids to be flexible in what they created and were great for a variety of materials. 

As everyone left, they either took their finished ornaments home in a paper favor bag (also from the Oriental Trading Company) or on one of the paper trays they had used while working. 

As I said above, we're pretty certain this event will become an annual tradition. The ease of getting so many of the materials in once place like The Oriental Trading Company makes a party like this even more manageable. 

Looking for a deal at Oriental Trading Company? Visit their coupon page for the latest sales! 

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