Posts Tagged ‘Kids Crafts’

December 12th, 2012

Handmade Candy Cane Ornaments

Candy Cane Ornaments - CraftOperation Santa is all about the joy and the spirit of Christmas as you all know. So, today I have a guest post from Tracy at Having Fun Saving who has some fun hand-made ornaments on her tree this year. Be sure to stop by and visit her great blog.

This craft looks like an easy craft for the kids to do on their own, or to get the whole family involved. As you can see from the picture – there are a few ways to make them. Each one requires pipe cleaners, you can grab these at any dollar store.

  • For the one that is green and red, you just twist them around each other to make your candy cane pattern.
  • The ones with beads – well, you guessed it – just string beads onto the pipe cleaner and shape as you would like
  • The smaller one is a Popsicle stick covered in glitter with a small pipe cleaner curved on top to make the top of the candy cane.

While you are at home decorating – I am hoping that you will watching Christmas movies too. Why not have a Hallmark movie night with Love’s Christmas Journey and Santa this Friday night? And don’t forget to check out the Twitter Party on December 14th.

Tweet Chat

Simply tweet @OperationSanta using the hashtags #ChristmasContest and #HallmarkMovieNight on December 14th between the hours of 4PM and 7PM PST. In addition to the Twitter chat, visit us right here on Operation Santa for your chance to win an iPad, iPad mini, Kindle Fire or other great prizes! Click here to register!

If you like to rent a movie, there are a few Redbox codes you can get when you text one of the keywords below to 727272. They will text you back with your code. All of these keywords are valid through 12-31-12.


Click here to learn how you can make a child’s Christmas wish come true.

Donate to Operation Letters To Santa - Help us answer more "Dear Santa" letters from needy children this Christmas

Don’t forget to visit Santa’s Blog! Click here.

June 18th, 2012

Fun Summer Craft Ideas For Toddlers and Preschoolers

Here are several very fun and easy crafts to keep your toddler or preschooler engaged during the summer. They will love to gift these to mom and grandma!

Courtesy of:

Sand Box Painting

You don’t need a real sandbox for this sand-painting craft and it will give your kids hours of fun this summer.

You will need

  • Sandbox or large plastic tubs or dishpans filled halfway with sand (fill one pan for each child to avoid squabbles).
  • Spray bottles filled with water (You can pick these up for a $1 at any Dollar store
  • Food coloring
  • Small plastic sand shovels (Also available at your local Dollar store).


  1. Add 20 or more drops of food coloring to spray bottles to make colored water. Seat children in front of their sand-filled tub, or together in the sand box, and give them several bottles of colored water. As they spray, the sand will change color, creating a beautiful painting. If the kids want to ‘paint’ a new picture, direct them to mix under the top layer with their shovels.
  2. Safety note: Most commercially sold play sand is actually powder from quarried quartz – a substance declared by OSHA to cause lung disease. You can purchase safe sand from companies like

Coffee filter butterfly craft from Operation SantaButterflies

When your kids tire of chasing butterflies in the backyard, they can make some of their own to display inside.

What you need:

  • Round coffee filters
  • Spray bottle
  • Watercolor paints and brushes
  • Black pipe cleaners


  1. Spray water on to the coffee filters until they are wet enough to lay flat. Give your children the brushes and watercolors and let them paint ‘til their hearts’ content. The colors will run and blur, creating a beautiful pastel effect.
  2. Dry the filters/butterflies in a shady spot. Once completely dry, gather up the filter in the middle and use your pipe cleaner to create a body. Spread the wings and fly!

Kool-Aid Painting

Did you know that using Kool-Aid for summer crafts is 100 percent safe for kids?

What you need

  • Several packets of sugar-free Kool-Aid
  • White construction paper
  • Scotch tape
  • Ice cubes


  1. Tape a large sheet of construction paper to the table or floor.
  2. Sprinkle the paper with Kool-Aid and hand each child a cube of ice. Instruct them to move the ice over the Kool-Aid powder, turning it to liquid. Keep “painting” until the ice is fully melted to make a sweet-smelling, watercolor masterpiece.
  3. Let dry and take home to mom or send to Grandma!

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June 5th, 2012

4th of July Sidewalk Chalk Stars

Courtesy of

Patriotic 4th of July Sidewalk Chalk CraftThe fourth of July is always a nice time to be outdoors with friends and family. This is a simple summer project with many possibilities for kids of all ages. We made our chalk with a star-shaped candy mold, but you could make chalk in any shape or color. I think that these would make nice little party favors. My six-year-old pointed out that it might be easier to buy sidewalk chalk at the store — but with a large container of Plaster of Paris for $5, a mold for $1.99 and paint we had on hand, I think this is a pretty economical project. You could start a chalk factory!


  • Plaster of Paris or hobby and crafts safe substitute (available at art supply or craft stores)*
  • Tempera or acrylic paint
  • Plastic or silicone mold
  • Containers for mixing
  • Mixing utensil (disposable fork or chopstick)
  • Water

* I would advise parents to mix the ingredients for this project when the kids aren’t around. Please be sure to read and follow the safety precautions for this or any product recommended here.


  1. Mix two parts plaster mix to one part liquid. Since I used regular paint (rather than a powdered mixture), I mixed two heaping tablespoons of plaster mix with one level tablespoon of paint then added a dash of water as needed.
  2. Stir until all the lumps are gone and your mixture is the consistency of toothpaste.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the molds and wipe the edges clean. Tap the mold and poke out any air bubbles that you can see from the bottom.
  4. Allow the mixture to dry for several hours, possibly 24-48 hours if using larger molds. Be sure to clean your containers at an outside faucet as you don’t want chalk in your pipes!
  5. Turn your mold over and gently tap it to release the chalk. Scrape off any messy edges.
  6. Go draw on the sidewalk!


March 13th, 2012

Bunny Carrot Tree – Easter Crafts

Bunny Carrot Tree - Easter CraftThis cute little carrot tree will show the Easter Bunny where you live!

You will need

  • A small potted tree that has not budded out yet
  • OR a small bare branch – about 10 – 12 inches high
  • Small clay flowerpot or heavy bowl
  • Decorative stones or glass beads. You can also use Spanish Moss or something similar to “mulch” the tree
  • Orange bumpy pipe cleaners (12 inch)
  • Green embroidery floss
  • Dental floss

Bunny Carrot Tree - Easter Craft


  1. To make carrots, first first cut several 12-inch orange bumpy pipe cleaners into quarters to create four 3-inch pieces, each with a wider part at its center (see photo).
  2. Form each piece into a carrot by folding over about ½ inch at one end and tying on several 4-inch lengths of green embroidery floss at the bend. Trim the floss, if necessary.
  3. Slip a loop of floss or string under the folded end for a hanger, then fold up the bottom tip of the pipe cleaner as well.
  4. Next, use balled-up newspaper to support a bare branch (ours was about 10 inches tall) set upright in a small flowerpot. Add a layer of decorative stones or glass beads, then hang the pipe cleaner carrots on the branch


February 9th, 2012

Crayon Resist Valentine Card – Kids Crafts

Crayon Resist Valentine Card - Kids Crafts from Operation Letter To SantaSimple Valentine’s Projects Your Kids Will Love


  • White Crayon (or pastel)
  • Water-Based Marker
  • Watercolor Paint
  • Paintbrush and water cup
  • Watercolor Paper (or thick construction paper)
  • Newspaper


Start by folding your watercolor paper in half to make it into a card shape. Crease the fold and then open the paper back up and lay it down.

Next, take a white crayon and draw images onto the paper. The images can range from hearts and words to abstract swirls. Flip the paper and draw with white crayon on the back as well. If the white is too difficult to see, you can use a pastel crayon instead. Once all of the drawings are done, lay the paper on top of a stack of newspapers, to keep your workspace clean while you are watercolor painting.

Next comes the fun part.

Using your watercolor paint, brush streaks of color across the entire page. If children are too young to use watercolor paint, you can also use water-based. You will see that the parts covered in white crayon will stay white. Kids are amazed by how magical this process seems and it instantly turns the Valentine into a vibrant, one-of-a-kind card.

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