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Child-led Christmas Crafting (Learning Laboratory)

Unstructured Christmas crafting

So far this year, I’ve made a few favorite Christmas crafts with the kids, but I haven’t introduced any new ideas. They, however, have been hard at work – decorating, cutting, and taping. I love it! Most of what they make doesn’t look anything like a “standard” Christmas craft – one day last week, for example, they taped tiny pieces of white crepe paper all over the house. Some of it is quite messy – especially those teeny tiny pieces of paper that Johnny spends HOURS cutting. Others – like the red Christmas shoe Johnny is making above – are quite impressive.

Unstructured Christmas crafting

Watching them plan and work together to create their envisioned product, however, is priceless! And they’re learning a lot –a bout how to listen to everyone’s ideas, working together, and making a plan reality.

I have wonderful memories of my mom helping us make Christmas projects, and we’ll be doing more of those this year and in the future. But I hope my children’s memories of the projects they make all on their own are as rich in their minds as they are in mine – alongside memories of child-led crafting from my own childhood!

Have your children been decorating your house for the holidays? What is your favorite “child-led crafting” story?

MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

9 thoughts on “Child-led Christmas Crafting (Learning Laboratory)”

  1. That is so great! I’m hoping to do some crafting this week now that the kids are out of school. I’m looking forward to it!

  2. I love this story – your children are creative children living in a creative family that is mess tolerant. It also helps that they are so close in age. I am jealous :)

  3. That Christmas shoe is amazing! Are the girls working on the same project in that second picture? I love how free play and exploration brings so many opportunities for children to learn to negotiate, practice self-control, and persuade. All very important life skills!

    1. Free play is hugely important! I think the girls are working on a similar, but not identical project =)

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