Paper Candy Canes

Paper Candy Canes!  Hang them on your tree, string them into a garland, use them as gift-toppers or display them in a jar.  They’re one of the easiest Christmas crafts ever, and kids of all ages love making them!

The process of making these candy canes is really fun, but be warned: it’s totally addictive.

Once I get started, I have a hard time stopping, so I always end up with lots of them.  That’s ok because I can always find a way to use them. They’re cute to hang on the tree, and they make handy gift-toppers. Last year, we put one at each place-setting on our Christmas dinner table.  Everyone loves a candy cane, right?

Easy Paper Candy Canes - Happy Hooligans

To make paper candy canes, you’ll need:

  • White paper
  • scissors
  • tape
  • markers

supplies for making paper candycanesjpg

Rolling up your candy cane:

Square up your piece of paper.  Any white paper will do.  I just use printer paper.

Now, grab a few markers, and make a few lines down one side and across the bottom of your paper.

As you can see, I’m not picky about my lines being perfectly straight.

how to make a paper candy cane

Once you’ve drawn 3 or 4 lines, turn your paper over.

Starting at the blank corner, roll the paper diagonally to the opposite corner.

This is when the magic happens!

When you get to the end, secure with a small piece of tape.

*Kids might find it easier to roll the paper up around a pencil.  Just let the pencil drop out after taping the end of the candy cane.

Oooooh!  Look at all these gorgeous “candy sticks”!  Don’t they look yummy?

making paper candy cane ornaments

Curving your candy cane:

To curve your paper candy cane, simply wrap one end around something like a chunky marker or even your finger.

making paper candy canes

Finish by trimming each end of the candy cane and…

Ta-daaa……

jar of paper candy cane ornaments

Aren’t they just beautiful?

Quick, easy, inexpensive AND gorgeous! Gotta love it!

easy paper candy canes with paper and markers

Looking for more fun and easy holiday ideas?

You can find all of our easy Christmas crafts, activities and recipes right here on my Happy Hooligans Christmas Pinboard!

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Sheet Music Christmas Tree Ornaments

Here’s another sweet and easy Christmas craft for your kids to make! These sheet music Christmas tree ornaments would make great gift-toppers for any music-lovers on your Christmas list, or your kids can just make a whole bunch to hang on your Christmas tree at home.

We’ve used sheet music to make ornaments before, and I love how charming they look. Mind you, I played the piano for years in my youth, so I have an affinity for sheet music.  It seems to have a festive feel about it at this time of year too, so I like to use it when we’re crafting in December.

Sheet Music Christmas Tree Ornaments - Happy Hooligans

To make our sheet music Christmas tree ornaments, you’ll need:

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  • sheet music
  • craft sticks
  • glue
  • decorative ribbon
  • thread/cord (for hanging)

Begin by cutting your sheet music into strips.  Older kids will be able to kind of eye-ball this step, but for younger kids you might want to mark lines on the back of the sheet music for them to follow with their scissors.

For each tree, cut several strips.  For now, don’t worry about the length of your strips.  You’ll play around with that in a minute. Depending on how wide or narrow you make your strips, you may need more or fewer than I did.

To get an idea for how your tree will look, lay your strips across a craft stick, leaving a bit of space in between each one.

When you get your tree looking the way you want it, trim the length of the strips.

Start by cutting the strip that will be at the bottom of your Christmas tree.  Then the strip above that one will be slightly shorter.  Continue cutting shorter and shorter strips until you get to the top of your tree.

Tree ornament with sheet music and craft sticks

Glue them all in place, and make a small bow with a piece of ribbon.  Glue that to the top of your ornament.

Finish by gluing a loop of string or cording to the back of the craft stick.

Sheet Music Christmas Tree Decorations

And there you have it – adorable sheet music Christmas tree ornaments!

Gosh, could Christmas crafting with the kids get any easier than this?

Looking for easy, inexpensive Christmas crafts for kids?

You’ll find dozens right here on my Happy Hooligans Christmas Craft pinboard. 

 

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How to Wrap a Small Gift in a Pull-Tab Can

How to wrap a small gift in a pull-tab can:  A creative way to disguise hard-to-wrap items like cash, gift cards, concert tickets and other small gift items.

You know how it is: you have an awesome gift to give someone – maybe tickets to see a live concert or theatre production, a gift card to their favourite store, or perhaps a nice, crisp hundred dollar bill!  You’re super-excited about your gift, but you don’t want to just stick it a boring, old envelope. You want your wrap-job to be special, and you don’t want the person to be able to guess what’s inside.

Well, I’m going to show you how you can do it.  This is such a cool gift-wrapping idea!  You just need a pull-tab can from your pantry cupboard!

How to wrap a small gift in a pull-tab can - Happy Hooligans

This is really a fun and creative way to give and receive gift.  I wrap a few small presents this way every Christmas and my kids think opening the gift is just as exciting as finding out what’s inside.

Preparing the can for wrapping only takes a few minutes, and it’s really easy to do. Let me show you how!

To wrap a small gift in a pull-tab can, you’ll need:

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  • Pull-pull tab can
  • can opener
  • hot water/dish soap
  • hot glue gun
  • wrapping paper, ribbons, bow
  • tissue paper
  • your gift

Start by removing your label from the can.  I suppose you could leave it on, but I always remove it because I like the look of that shiny clean can when presenting my gift.

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*A handy tip for removing stubborn labels is to blast it with the heat of your hair-dryer.  The glue softens quickly, and your label will peel right off.

Wwith a can-opener, open the BOTTOM of the can.  Do NOT open the top. You must leave the top of the can completely intact so your recipient has to “pop” the lid to reveal what’s inside.  Leave the bottom of the can attached by a half inch or so.

Empty the contents and store for later use.

Wash and dry the can, and for the love of all things holy, take care to not cut yourself on the sharp edge.

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Now, pop your gift  into the can, and stuff it with tissue or whatever fluffy filler you have on hand.  I’ve used tissue paper here.

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With a glue gun, re-attach the bottom of the can.  Hold it all in place for a minute while the glue dries.  The seal that you’ve created won’t look perfect, but that’s not going to matter.

See?  Mine’s kind of messy.  No worries.

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Now flip your can over, and ta-daaaa…  You have what looks like a completely new, un-opened tin can!  Cool or what?

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Now you just have to glam it up with wrapping paper, ribbons and bows!

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Doesn’t that look pretty?  Ooooo!  They’ll never guess what’s inside!

Here’s a shot taken the first time I used this method of gift-wrappnig.  This is my dad and my boys opening tickets to a Jr. A hockey game one year at Christmas.

Isn’t that a fun and creative way to give a gift?  Now go grab a can or two, and get wrapping!

Want to see a few more handy tricks I have up my sleeve? Check out:

Simple trick to save wallet space and time at the checkout

30 Time-saving Household Tricks and Tips

 

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Paper Bead Candy Cane Ornaments

I loved making paper beads when I was a kid!  We’d get a bunch of mom’s old magazines, cut the pages into strips, and roll them into beads to for making bracelets and necklaces.

Well, we’ve used that same, simple process today to make some paper bead candy cane ornaments!  You can involve kids of all ages in this Christmas craft!  The big kids can roll the beads, and the toddlers and preschoolers can thread them on to the pipe cleaners!

Paper Bead Candy Cane Ornaments - Happy Hooligans

Let me show you how it’s done.

To make your paper bead candy cane ornaments, you’ll need:

  • pages torn out of magazines (we went with pages that contained a lot of red and green)
  • scissors
  • glue
  • pencil
  • pipe cleaner
  • thread for hanging your candy cane ornament

Supplies for making paper beads

How to make paper beads:

Begin by cutting the pages of your magazine into length-wise strips.  Your strips should be about an inch wide at one end, and taper into a point at the other end.

To make your beads, place the wide end under a pencil, and roll it a couple of times to get it started.

Then drizzle a bit of glue along the length of the strip.  You won’t need much because it will spread as you roll the strip up.

Now, roll your pencil along the strip until you reach the pointy end.

rolling a paper bead with a pencil

When you get to the end, make sure the glue holds the point in place.  You can spread a little glue around the outside of the bead to make sure it’s going to stick.

Slide the bead off your pencil, and repeat the process.

Make as many beads as you you’ll need to fill the length of a pipe cleaner, and let them dry for a few minutes.

Now, thread the beads on to your pipe cleaner, and bend the ends of the pipe cleaner to hold everything in place.

making paper bead ornaments

Now shape your pipe cleaner into a candy cane!

If you’d like, you can try making different shapes.  This paper bead Christmas tree is kind of cute:

paper bead Christmas tree ornament

Tie a piece of string to the top of your ornaments and hang them on your Christmas tree.

Awww.  So pretty!

Paper Bead Candy Cane ornament

Looking for more easy, inexpensive Christmas crafts for kids?

You’ll find our entire collection right here on my Happy Hooligans Christmas pinboard!

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Pipe Cleaner Napkin Rings – an Easy, Last Minute Holiday Craft for Kids

If you’re looking for a last-minute Christmas craft for your kids, pipe cleaner napkin rings are quick and easy to make, and they look great too! What a fun way for toddlers and preschoolers to help decorate the holiday dinner table!

Bonus: Threading with pipe cleaners and beads is a terrific way for little ones to develop hand and finger muscles and co-ordination.  Be sure to check out more of our fine-motor Christmas craft ideas before you leave us today!

Easy bead and pipe cleaner napkin rings.  A perfect last minute Christmas craft, and a fun way for toddlers and preschoolers to help decorate your holiday table - Happy hooligans

To make our pipe cleaner napkin rings, you’ll need:

pipe cleaners and beads to make napkin rings

* TIP: I poured our beads on to a shallow platter, and spread them out so the hooligans could see the entire collection easily.  When we’re beading as a group, I find this to be better than working out of the container. Plus with a lot of little hands in the picture, we’re less likely to tip or spill the beads this way.  A baking pan or casserole dish would work well too.

preschooler threading beads on to pipe cleaners

We’re not just beading you know…

I love the way the kids concentrate and chat quietly when they’re all working away at a simple project like this. The hooligans sort the beads by colour and shape, they spend ages searching for just the next “perfect’ bead to add to their pipe cleaner, and they help each out when someone needs a hand finding a particular colour or shape.  They trade, they compare, they collaborate and they  ooooh and aaaah over their finds.

Forming your napkin rings:

The actual process of making the napkin rings couldn’t be any easier.

2 paper napkins in beaded pipe cleaner napkin rings

When your kids are happy with how many beads are on their pipe cleaners, simply loop the pipe cleaner a couple of time, and twist the ends together.

Voila!  Pipe cleaner napkin rings!  How’s that for a easy AND pretty!

Slip a paper or cloth napkin in, and you’re all set!

2 homemade holiday napkin rings made by toddlers

Your kids will be so proud to see their handiwork decorating the table at your family’s holiday meal.

Looking for more easy and inexpensive Christmas Crafts for kids?

You can find my entire collection right here on my Happy Hooligans Christmas Craft Pinboard!

 

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I Spy Ornament – An Activity and an Ornament All in One

We love making homemade ornaments for the Christmas tree, and this I Spy Ornament is especially fun.  Not only is it a decoration that your child will be proud to have made, it serves as a fun, little game for your kids to play as well!

This ornament is great to make for your own Christmas tree, and it makes a cute gift for a toddler or preschooler too!  Pop over to CBC Parents to see how we make them!

Homemade I Spy Christmas Ornament

 

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26 More Easy Christmas Ornaments for Toddlers and Preschoolers

26 MORE easy Christmas ornaments that are quick to set up and simple to do!  All of the homemade ornaments in this collection are perfect for last minute Christmas crafting sessions, and if your kids like to give hand-made goodies to friends and relatives, these make terrific, little gift and gift-toppers.

As you probably know, we hooligans LOVE crafting at Christmas, and we generally shoot for one craft or ornament per day during the month of December. Take into account that I’ve been running my daycare for 17 years, and well… that’s a LOT of holiday crafting!  Did you see my recent round-up of 15 easy and totally gorgeous ornaments for toddlers and preschoolers?

26 More Easy Christmas Ornaments - Happy Hooligans

Today, I’ve rounded up 26 of my very favourite super-easy Christmas crafts.

Define “super-easy”, you say?

  • The supply lists are basic – you likely already have everything you need on hand, and if you don’t, they can be found in most dollar stores. .
  • These crafts are easy to make  simple enough for toddlers and preschoolers to make with very little assistance.

Ready to see them?  I hope our collection inspires you to get crafty with your own kids and students this holiday season.

 

26 MORE EASY CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS:

 

3 simple Christmas crafts for toddlers and preschoolers

Ninja fans will love to hang these simple craft stick ninjas on the tree!

Our craft stick Santa, Reindeer and Elf would look cute peeking out of a Christmas stocking.

Toddlers love the process of scrunching and crunching up tissue paper to make these candy cane wreath ornaments.

 

3 super-easy christmas ornaments for toddlers to make

Turn some of your summer holiday sea-shells into winter holiday sea-shells by making our adorable shell bird ornaments.

Pair up a plastic container and colourful tissue paper to make these mosaic “stained glass” ornaments. .

An easy Christmas ornament doesn’t get any sweeter than this toddler-made craft-stick star. 

 

3 simple Christmas ornaments for toddlers and preschoolers to make

These simple pipe cleaner icicles are so easy to make, but great for developing fine motor skills in little hands and fingers.

We used one of our favourite art process – Sharpies on Tinfoil, to make these colourful jar lid ornaments.

Our button tree ornaments are so whimsical and colourful!

 

2 easy crafts for young kids

You can make the whole rainbow with these colourful glass (or plastic) ornaments.

See how we transformed a bunch of scratched CDs and DVDs into shimmering, glimmering ornaments for the tree.

 

3 more easy Christmas ornaments for toddlers and preschoolers

Preserve the hand size of your little one with this simple felt mitten.  The kids will love tracing their hands to make this one.

More craft sticks!  Paint ‘em,  and splatter ‘em into a batch of colourful snowflake ornaments.

One of the easiest ornaments ever, but these initial ornaments are so pretty.  Kids just love seeing their initial on the tree too!

 

3 simple homemade Christmas ornaments for kids

Little hands will love all the wrapping and winding that comes with “decorating” these paper cone tree ornaments.

These craft stick snow people are a hoot!  Make a whole bunch to outfit your tree with!

More crumpling and crushing!  It’s a favourite technique among the toddlers!  Aren’t these tissue paper wreaths cute?

 

3 easy Christmas ornaments for toddlers to make

Kids can paint AND practice their wrapping and winding skills with this little wool-wrapped tree ornament.

This simple button wreath is so sweet.  I’ve never met a child who doesn’t love to sort through our button collection.

The process we used for colouring our coffee filter trees was a ton of fun, and a great lesson in absorption and colour mixing.

 

3 Easy Christmas crafts for toddlers

One of my all-time favourites - our plastic icicle ornaments.  You won’t believe how we made them!  Don’t they look real?

These simple snowflake ornaments are SO soft and fluffy making this a great sensory activity/Christmas craft combo.

Take the kids for a walk to collect sticks, and make these simple twig tree ornaments with your finds.

3 easy preschool Christmas crafts

I love these tissue paper candy cane ornaments.  Don’t think you have to stick to red and white.  White with pink, green or blue would look wonderful too!

Here’s another great way to upcycle your old cds and dvds.  Make these adorable cd snowman ornaments!  So cute and SO easy!

And lastly, dig out your button collection, and have your child make a vintage button wreath ornament with some of your old favourites.  Charming, isn’t it?

And there you have it 26 more easy Christmas ornaments to keep your little ones busy and happy between now and Christmas!

Want to see all of our easy and affordable crafts and activities?

You’ll find them right here on my Happy Hooligans pinboard!

Get 3-5 Playful Preschool e-Book!

25+preschool activities by 25 bloggers, 10 printables, 50 links to activities not featured in the book all for $8.99!

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Crystallized Icicle Ornaments – Making Ice Crystals with Borax and Pipe Cleaners

Have you ever made “ice crystals” with Borax and Pipecleaners?  It’s one of those classic science activities for kids, but believe it or not, until last week, we hadn’t done it before.  We decided to give it a try, and we made these Crystallized Icicle Ornaments, and I have to tell you, it I was really impressed!

2-Ingredient Icicle Ornaments - Happy Hooligans

You can make your own crystallized ornaments with just a couple of common house hold supplies.  The experiment is easy to set up, and you’ll end up with some gorgeous, new ornaments for the kids to hang on the Christmas tree this year.

I loved this experiment for so many reasons:

  • it’s very easy
  • kids of all ages will enjoy it
  • the results happen quickly
  • it’s inexpensive
  • supplies are kept to a bare minimum
  • the results are fascinating!

Let me show you how it’s done!

To make your crystallized icicle ornaments, you’ll need:

supplies for borax and pipe cleaner ornaments

Making your ornaments:

Begin by twirling your pipe cleaners around a pencil to form a spiral-shaped icicle.  Tie a piece of string or thin cord to the top of the ice icicle.  Make sure this piece of string is long enough that you can turn it into a hanging loop for your ornament when you’re finished.

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In a pot or a large spouted container, dissolve 9 tbsp of Borax in 3 cups of very hot water. We boiled our water in the kettle first so it would be hot enough to dissolve the Borax.  Stir your solution very well until the Borax has completely dissolved.  This can take a few minutes. When your solution is crystal clear, you’re good to go.

Next, pour your Borax and water solution into your glass jars.

Now you need to suspend your pipe cleaners freely in the solution.  You can do this one of two ways.

  • tie your ornaments to a spoon or craft stick and lay that across the top of your jar
  • tape the string to the side of the jar, ensuring the pipe cleaners aren’t touching each other or the sides of the jar (that’s what we did)

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Now, you just have to wait for a bit. Set your jar in a safe place where the solution can cool.   We left ours on the kitchen counter out of direct sunlight.

We went off and played for a while, and within a couple of hours, our crystals were starting to form.  They looked amazing!  Just like teeny-tiny ice cubes clinging to the metallic fibres of the pipe cleaners!

To max out the crystallization process, we left our pipe cleaners resting in the jar overnight. In the morning, they looked like this:

crystallized pipe cleaner ornaments

Aren’t they cool?

I know some people do this experiment with white pipe cleaners and they add a bit of food colour to the borax/water, but I’ve heard that when you do it that way, the colour can fade.  I love the idea of using these coloured metallic pipe cleaners because that won’t happen.  Your icicles will always be whatever colour the pipe cleaners are.

Aren’t they beautiful when the crystals shimmer in the sunlight?

ice crystal pipe cleaner ornaments

Don’t be fooled!  Although they look delicate and fragile, these ornaments are tough!  After lots of little ones handling, and being dropped on the floor several times, our icicles are still perfectly intact!

They look so pretty hanging on our Christmas tree!

crystallized icicle ornaments

Looking for more easy, inexpensive Christmas crafts for your kids?

Check out our entire collection on my Happy Hooligans Christmas Craft pinboard!

 

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Wax Resist Christmas Cards for Kids to Make

If you’re like me, you’ve got your kids doing all kinds of arts and crafts for Christmas right about now.  Aside from all the ornaments we make here, the hooligans also like to make Christmas cards for their parents.  One of our favourite techniques for making cards is a process called Wax Resist.

Wax Resist Christmas Cards - Happy Hooligans

What is Wax Resist?

Wax Resist is a simple process also known as “crayon resist” or “paint resist”.  How it works is: you draw a picture with a waxy or oil based product – in our case a white crayon, and when you brush a layer of water-based paint (watercolours or tempera paints) over your drawing, the paint “resists” the wax, leaving that part of the picture uncoloured.

Crayon Resist Christmas Cards

It’s really a fun painting technique. The kids think it’s quite magical.

You could actually do these cards in a number of ways.

  •  You could draw the picture/greeting yourself, and have the kids do painting to reveal the surprise.
  • Your kids make the cards from start to finish, doing the crayon and the painting steps.
  • The person giving the card can do the crayon step, and the person receiving the card can do the paint reveal.

supplies for Wax Resist Painting
I love using this art technique in my daycare because the supply list is short and simple, and kids of all ages can do this project.

Let’s get started!

To make your wax resist Christmas cards, you’ll need:

And now, for the fun!

Fold a piece of card stock in half to make your card.

With the white crayon, have your child draw a picture or pen a greeting across the front of the card.  Make sure your child presses hard enough with the crayon to leave a solid waxy coating on the paper.

Now, dip a paint brush into your watercolour paints, and brush it across the drawing or message.

candy cane christmas card for kids to make

You can use all one colour, or you can work in blocks of different colours, painting just a bit at a time with each colour like I did here.

Painting with watercolours over white crayon wax

Isn’t it cool?  The kids just love the big reveal.

And we ended up with a super, little collection of cards to give to parents and friends.

Homemade cards kids can make

Wax resist would be a super process to use if you make your own gift cards too!

homemade Christmas card with paint resist technique

 

Happy Holidays!

Looking for more fun and easy Christmas Crafts for kids?

Check out our entire collection on my Happy Hooligans Christmas Craft Pinboard!

 

Get 3-5 Playful Preschool e-Book!

25+preschool activities by 25 bloggers, 10 printables, 50 links to activities not featured in the book all for $8.99!

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Ninja Craft Stick Ornaments For The Christmas Tree

We’re on a roll here with the Christmas crafts now that December is underway!  Check out all the awesome ornaments the kids have been making!

Our latest creation is an adorable ninja craft stick ornament that’s super-quick and easy to make.  The inspiration for these ninjas came from a two other crafts we’ve made recently.  These cool Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ornaments got me thinking about the whole ninja trend, and the process that we used to make the faces for these adorable Craft Stick Santas made the lightbulb go on for me.

Craft Stick Ninja Ornaments

To make our ninja craft stick ornaments you’ll need:

supplies for craft stick ninjas

Making your little ninja ornaments is really easy:

First you’re going to tape off the face area on your craft stick.  Just place a piece of tape across the stick.  Put it up fairly close to the top or your ninja will look like he’s wearing a black top-hat.  How do I know this?  Let’s just say there might be a few top-hat- wearing ninjas hanging toward the backside Christmas tree as we speak. ;)

IMG_5974 Once you have your tape in place, your kids can paint the entire length of the stick black.

Your paint will dry fairly quickly, but you can always give it a shot with the hair dryer if you want to speed things up.  That’s a favourite little crafting secret of mine.  Why wait around when you don’t have to, right?

When your paint is dry, peel off the tape to reveal your ninja’s face. Now glue on a couple of googly eyes. And glue a loop of cording to the back of your craft stick.

Ta-daaa!

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Now at this point, I’d planned to be done, but I felt like they were missing something.  Aha!  A belt!

Craft Stick Ornaments for kids to make

Back to the craft table we went, and I cut three strips of cloth from a scrap of flannel. We tied those in place, and our ninja craft stick ornaments were complete!

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Aren’t they cute?  And easy enough that you could make a whole bunch to hang on your tree or attach to prezzies as gift-toppers.

Looking for more easy and inexpensive Christmas crafts for kids?

You’ll find tons of ideas right here on my Happy Hooligans Christmas Crafts Pinboard!  Check it out!

Get 3-5 Playful Preschool e-Book!

25+preschool activities by 25 bloggers, 10 printables, 50 links to activities not featured in the book all for $8.99!

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