Even though the holidays are different this year due to pandemics and the current world landscape, this does not mean that you can’t enjoy the holiday season with your family. We are sharing and providing fun-filled crafts you can make with your little ones . We are here to provide your kids with an opportunity to understand what celebrating holidays in each home worldwide is like.
Australia (View PDF)
December is the first month of Summer in Australia, which means Christmas is HOT! In December, Australia experiences some of its hottest temperatures ranging from the mid-20s Degrees Celsius (70 Fahrenheit) to above 30 Degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit). The climate means people spend their Christmas mornings down at the beach in some places, and in other areas, families stay inside with their air-conditioning on.
Using kinetic sand or moon sand, make a snowman!
Store-bought kinetic sand or moon sand works perfectly. You can also make homemade sand using flour and baby oil. Use 1/4 cup baby oil for every 2 cups of flour. To fill our plastic container, we did 8 cups of flour and 1 cup of baby oil. You want to mix it well to break up any balls of baby oil that form. Store it in an airtight container when not in use. It looks like snow!
Sweden (View PDF)
Christmas in Sweden begins on December 13 with Saint Lucia Day, a day to honor Lucia, the patron saint of light said to be a bearer of light during the long Swedish winters. According to
tradition, the eldest daughter portrays “the Queen of Light (St. Lucia)” by dressing up in a white robe or long white dress and a crown of leaves and candles. Singing “Santa Lucia,” she serves coffee and treats to each family member. The younger children often help her out.
Woven Christmas Craft
- Red and green paper
- Heavy cardstock to make the template or a heart-shaped cookie cutter.
- Glue stick
- White paint
- Kitchen sponge cut into a strip with a small square shape at one end.
- Make a half-heart template out of thin cardboard. (If you have a heart-shaped cookie cutter you can skip this step and simply trace your hearts using the cutter.)
- Fold the red or green paper in half.
- Line up the template with the folded side of the paper. Trace and cut out.
- Make as many hearts as you want.
- Using white paint, stamp squares on the hearts. Kids can decide if they want to mimic the look of a woven heart or just stamp freestyle. I have my kids decide what they want to do ahead of time.
- Cut several strips of paper. These will be the handles.
- If you want to turn them into baskets, glue two hearts together, applying glue only along thebottom-side edges. Glue on the handle.
- Hang on a tree.
Russia (View PDF)
Thirteen days after Western Christmas, on January 7th, the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates its Christmas, following the old Julian calendar. It is nine days of both solemn ritual and joyous celebration. After the 1917 Revolution, Christmas was banned throughout Russia, along with other religious festivals. Christmas is one of the most joyous traditions for the celebration of Eve comes from the Russian tradition.
On Christmas Eve, it is traditional for all family members to gather to share a special meal. The various foods and customs surrounding this meal differed in Holy Russia from village to village and from family to family, but certain aspects remained the same.
An old Russian tradition, whose roots are in the Orthodox faith, is the Christmas Eve fast and meal. The fast typically lasts until after the evening worship service or until the first star appears. The dinner that follows is very much a celebration, although meat is not permitted. Kutya (kutia), a type of porridge, is the primary dish. It is very symbolic with its ingredients being various grains for hope and honey and poppy.
The seed for happiness and peace.
Stacking Russian Dolls
- Paper cups
- Flesh-colored paper
- Scrapbook or patterned paper
Cut circles from the flesh-colored paper for faces and decorate with the pens.
Cut shawls, bodies, and tummy panels from the scrapbook paper. Have a look at our photos for inspiration. Glue these onto the cups to make a doll on each cup.
Philippines (View PDF)
One of the most iconic Philippines decorations is the parol; a star lanterns initially used to light the way to early morning mass in the 9 days leading up to Christmas. Children all over the Philippines start as early as in September making these lanterns! (For those that speak Spanish, notice the similarity to the word Farol, or lantern! This dates back to the Spanish colonization of the Philippines).
Woven Christmas Ornament
- 5 bendy straws
- tissue paper, cut in strips
To make this DIY ornament, start with the star itself. Simply pinch one long end of a bendy straw and connect it to the short end of the next straw. You’ll continue doing this with all the straws – making a star shape as you go – until you finally connect the last one back to the first. It was easier when I used tape as necessary to help bend the straw. To make the tassels, take a couple of tissue paper strips and tie them very carefully to the star’s bottom points. Make a loop with ribbon through the top point of the star and hang it on your Christmas tree! These would also look lovely hanging in a window.
Alternatively, you can use pipe cleaners and twist them to form a star.
Brazil (View PDF)
Many Brazilian Christmas traditions come from Portugal as Portugal ruled Brazil for many years. Nativity Scenes, known as Presépio are very popular. They are set-up in churches and homes all through December.Sometimes children leave a sock near a window.
In Brazil, families light up the Christmas season with numerous candles. Candles are said to “light” the way for Papai Noel (Father Noel).
- Empty toilet roll
- Colored paper
- Scrapbook or patterned paper
- Colored jewels (optional)
Decorate the toilet roll with different pieces of paper, crayons, glitter, or pens. Cut out a “flame” and attach to the inside of the toilet roll using glue.
Nigeria (View PDF)
People in Nigeria love decorating their homes with woven or unwoven palm. They also use Christmas trees and Christmas lights for decoration purposes. The festivities are incredible, and unlike in western countries, they take place right on the street. It is time to indulge in good food and music, dressed in their best clothes. Perhaps, there is no other festival besides Christmas, which is celebrated with such bonhomie in Nigeria. People do everything in a bit to make it more joyous for themselves, their families, and even strangers visiting their country.
Palm Tree Leaves
- Green and red construction paper
- Pipe cleaners
Fold the green piece of construction paper in half. Draw a half oval onto the paper with the fold side down. Hold the fold side and cut along the drawing. Still holding the fold side, cut the opposite edge of the paper every 1/4 inch to make a fringe. Unfold the paper. Glue the pipe cleaner in the fold to make the stem. Paste the leaves onto the red construction paper. Use the marker to “Eku Odun Ebi “Jesu!”;—the words for Merry Christmas in Yoruba, Nigeria’s language.
Germany (View PDF)
The German Christmas season officially starts with the first Sunday of Advent (the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas). An Advent wreath (Adventskranz) is adorned with four candles, one of which is lit on each of the four Sundays preceding Christmas. Many years ago, families would mark the 24 days of December preceding Christmas with a chalk line on the wall. Now people use an Advent calendar (Adventskalender) to count the days. Advent calendars are often made of cardboard with 24 flaps or windows, one of which is opened each day leading up to Christmas. Behind each window is a Christmas scene or motif, and sometimes even a chocolate candy or small toy.
St. Nicholas Day is celebrated on December 6 in Germany as well as in other European countries. On the eve of December 6, children place their newly cleaned shoes in front of the door in hopes that St. Nicholas will fill them with nuts, sweets, chocolates, and fruits. Of course, that all depends on whether the children have been good or bad.
Paper Gingerbread Home
Stuff a paper bag with tissues, newspapers. Leave enough room at the top to fold over to become the roof. On a separate paper, draw doors, windows, chimneys, etc. Cut out and glue onto the paper bag. Add small candies to the roof.
China (View PDF)
Christmas is not widely recognized in China since only a small population are Christians. However, many families do celebrate by setting up Christmas trees, making paper flowers or paper lanterns. Families may still exchange presents and have family gatherings.
Use a 5×7 card stock in bright colors. Fold a paper in half landscape. First, cut a 1″ strip from the short side of the paper and reserve it for later. Fold the rest of the paper in half lengthwise and cut 1″ strips along the folded edge, making sure to stop about 1″ away from the opposite edge.
France (View PDF)
“Merry Christmas” in French is “Joyeux Noël”, Father Christmas is le Père Noël. If you are going to send him a letter then it should begin:- Cher Père Noël, …. In the North East of France, Christmas celebrations begin on the 6 December – also known as Saint Nicholas Day. The celebrations take place because, once upon a time there were three children who got lost in the countryside. A wicked butcher kidnapped them. Luckily, Saint Nicolas rescued the children and returned them to their parents. This is why Saint Nicholas is known as the protector of children. Another name for him is Santa Claus!
On the night of 5 December children place their shoes at the entrance to their house. They also leave a carrot and a sugar lump for Saint Nicholas’ donkey. During the night, the saint arrives bringing treats for the children to find in their shoes in the morning.
Children’s Hands Wreath
Start with green colored paper. Trace children’s hands on green papers. Cut them out and place in a circle. Tape or hot glue gun to form a wreath. Place a French saying on top such as “Joyeux Noël”.
Mexico (View PDF)
Christmas in Mexico is celebrated from December 12 to January 6. The Mexican celebration of Christmas is called las posadas and begins on December 16. For the first eight evenings of the las posadas, two costumed children carry statues of Mary and Joseph as they lead a procession of family members, neighbors, and friends from house to house. They sing a song asking for shelter for weary travelers. The children go into the house and say their prayers of thanks. Then, they have a party with food, games, and fireworks.
The poinsettia, also known as the Christmas star and Christmas flower, has become a symbol of Christmas. This winter flowers’ association with Christmas comes from a Mexican legend. The story goes that a small child, wanting to bring a gift to the Christ Child on The Mexican people view the poinsettia as a symbol of the Holy Star of Bethlehem-the star that led the Three Wise Men to Jesus in Bethlehem. The tiny bright yellow flowers in the center are encompassed with bright red leaves that resemble stars.
- Red yellow and green construction paper
- Hole punch
- Pipe cleaner
Instructions: This craft is made just like a paper pinwheel. Use red construction paper to make it. Once the pinwheel is done, press it down so it’s flat. Add a yellow circle in the center and green leaves. Punch a hole near the top and thread a pipe cleaner through. Make it into a loop so you can hang the ornament from the tree.
Caribbean (View PDF)
From pre-dawn swims to all-night street parties, this is how Christmas is done in the Caribbean Like much of the world, the Caribbean celebrates the Christmas holiday season with music, lights, food and gift giving. But islanders have also created a number of their own traditions, adding even more cheer to the end of the year. Here are five celebrations that are unique to the Caribbean.
If you wake up on Christmas morning in Grand Cayman Island and see front yards covered in a blanket of white, you aren’t imagining things. Lacking snow, islanders created the tradition of the Sand Yard. Starting in late October, buckets of white beach sand are carried to homes, and deposited in piles in the front yard. On December 24th, piles are raked into even blankets of white, and are not to be stepped on until Christmas morning. The tradition has faded in urban areas, but may still be seen in traditional neighborhoods.
Star of Shells
Find shells of different sizes and shapes to hot glue gun together to form a star! You can use this as a paper weight or add some wire to make into an ornament. Enjoy!
Scotland (View PDF)
The Scottish Presbyterian Church discouraged Christmas holiday festivities, including formal Mass, and people suffered penalties if caught celebrating until the late 1950s. Once the ban on Christmas was lifted, the Scottish adapted many of the Christmas traditions used in England and the U.S.
Today, the Scots celebrate with festive Christmas trees and presents for all. The traditional meal usually begins with cock-a-leekie soup. Roasted turkey has become the traditional main course, but glazed ham and leg of lamb, among others, are also common. Side dishes may include black pudding, Yule bread, and soda bread. Christmas pudding and shortbread are often served for dessert.
Enjoy coloring a picture of a Scottish child in traditional Scottish attire!