If you are looking for the perfect Christmas ornaments for kids to make, then you are in the right place! Crafting ornaments with kids is a holiday tradition, but when you use these inspiring ornament ideas, kids will also develop skills in a big way. Incorporate these ornament activities into your therapy.
‘Tis the season for ornament creation! That’s right, the Christmas tree is either up or on its way and with that comes the family decorating event. Who doesn’t like adorning their family tree with your children’s wonderful ornament creations! Occupational therapy practitioners absolutely LOVE a good Christmas ornament that is chocked-full of therapeutic benefits!
Ornament Ideas that Build Fine Motor Skills
An ornament creation that addresses important skills like finger and hand strength, manipulation, finger isolation, force control, bilateral coordination, planning and sequencing, grasp, body awareness, tactile tolerance, and well, social engagement is the right therapeutic activity for the season.
In this post, these fun and creative ornament activities will engage any child and help therapists to address important skills while also utilizing simple materials that can be found either at home, lying around the therapy room, or in the classroom.
If you simply cannot find the materials, most can be found in nature, at a dollar or craft store, in a recycle bin, or simply by asking a friend or neighbor! Most activities just need a few materials or supplies and will make great memories for years and years to come.
Below is a list of varied ornament creations, which utilize a variety of crafting materials. You’ll find ornament creations ranging from easy to more difficult making some easily completable by younger kids to those that involve more skill and more time for older kids. So read on and get festive this holiday season!
These are some of the best Christmas ornaments for kids to make because they build fine motor skills in a big way!
Using beads promotes a precision grasp, in-hand manipulation, separation of the sides of the hand, a tripod grasp, and arch development. Use these bead ornament ideas as a new favorite thing on the Christmas tree!
- Easy Bead Christmas Tree Ornament | The OT Toolbox
- Beaded Snowflake Craft | Early Learning Ideas
- Beaded Star Ornament | Nuestro Mundo Creativo
Cardboard is a material that develops hand strength when tearing, ripping, folding, and cutting. Use cardboard to make ornaments that will look stunning on a holiday tree.
- Fingerprint Christmas Tree Ornament | The OT Toolbox
- Cardboard Reindeer Ornament | Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls
- Cardboard Tube Reindeer Ornament | The OT Toolbox
- Ribbon Tree Ornaments | Typically Simple
- Mini Gift Christmas Ornament | Hands On As We Grow
Craft Stick Ornaments
Craft sticks are a crafting material that can be found at the dollar store and builds motor skills in a big way: bilateral coordination, eye-hand coordination, and more. Stick them together to make a snowflake ornament or a triangle shaped reindeer face. Add a bit of hot glue to make those craft stick ornaments last for years and years!
- Abstract Homemade Christmas Ornaments for Kids | Buggy and Buddy
- Popsicle Stick Christmas Trees | One Little Project at a Time
- Popsicle Stick Snowflakes | The Best Ideas for Kids
Kids can make ornament crafts using paper and create a great gift that will delight grandparents or parents, and use simple materials. Plus, manipulating paper offers opportunities to tear, rip, fold, glue, and paint. All of these build sensory motor skills and hand strength in kids.
- Cupcake Liner Christmas Ornaments | Hip 2 Save
- Paper Bag Christmas Stocking Ornament | Edventures with Kids
- Paper Straw Christmas Ornament | The Soccer Mom Blog
- Paper Straw Wreath Ornament | Projects with Kids
- Handprint Keepsake Ornament | Beauty Through Imperfection
- Simply Suncatcher Ornaments | Twitchetts
Pine Cone Ornaments
Pine cone ornaments are an easy ornament for kids to make. Paint them to make a tree or a snowman, or add craft pom pom or sequin as decorations, and this DIY ornament will bring a smile for years.
- Pine Cone Christmas Tree | The OT Toolbox
- Pine Cone Christmas Ornament | One Little Project at a Time
- Pine Cone Ornaments | Kindly Unspoken
Pipe Cleaner Ornaments
Pipe cleaners are a fun Christmas ornament for kids to make because they encourage use of bilateral coordination, motor planning, and precision in the hands. Bend them into Christmas trees, Santa, or a bell shape for an easy DIY ornament. Add buttons, beads, or bling for a sparkly fine motor activity that will look great on the tree.
- Easy Pipe Cleaner Ornaments | One Little Project at a Time
- Simple Pipe Cleaner Ornament | The OT Toolbox
- Pipe Cleaner Christmas Wreath Ornament | Schooltime Snippets
- Candy Cane Pipe Cleaner Ornaments | Pre-K Pages
- Candy Cane Patterns | Playdough to Plato
Craft Pom-Pom Ornaments
Craft pom poms are found at the dollar store, making these ideas frugal and fun Christmas ornaments for kids to make. Add a bit of embroidery floss to create a pom pom banner or a dangling loop of pom poms!
Ribbon Ornament Ideas
Kids can make Christmas ornament crafts with ribbon to work on fine motor precision, coordination, and in-hand manipulation skills. Managing and placing a ribbon with glue or sequins adds so many fine motor experiences.
- Christmas Tree Ribbon Ornament | Schooltime Snippets
- Lacing Ornaments | Cutesy Crafts
- Scrap Ribbon Ornaments | Fireflies & Mudpies
Salt Dough Ornaments
Mixing, stirring, kneading, and rolling salt dough is a great way to build hand strength while crafting during the holidays. Try these fun, sensory holiday crafts:
- Handprint Salt Dough Ornament | The OT Toolbox
- Almond Salt Dough Ornament | The OT Toolbox
- Gingerbread Salt Dough Ornaments | The OT Toolbox
- Heart Salt Dough Ornament | The OT Toolbox
Washi Tape Ornaments
There is fine motor power in using tape! By peeling and sticking pieces of tape, children develop hand strength, separation of the sides of the hand, bilateral coordination, wrist stabilization, and much more.
- Washi Tape Christmas Tree | The Gift of Curiosity
- Washi Tape Christmas Ornaments | Fun Learning for Kids
Yarn, Thread, and Twine Ornaments
Cutting and managing yarn, twine, and thread materials builds precision, dexterity, in-hand manipulation, eye-hand coordination, bilateral coordination, and many more fine motor skills. Try these string ornaments with kids:
- Yarn Wrapped Christmas Ornaments | Design Improvised
- Yarn Wrapped Christmas Wreath Ornaments | What Can We Do with Paper and Glue
- Yarn Wrapped Bear Ornament | The OT Toolbox
Miscellaneous Material Ornaments
Using materials such as acrylic paint, wood slices, clay, or even puzzle pieces make lovely Christmas crafts that develop big fine motor skills. These are great ornament crafts for school parties, classroom fun, the therapy caseload (when attention spans are running low this time of year!) or even with preschoolers!
- Kid-Made I Spy Christmas Ornament | Teach Beside Me
- Dry Spaghetti Wreath Ornament | The OT Toolbox
- Puzzle Piece Christmas Ornaments | Crafty Morning
- Clay Pot Ornaments | Projects with Kids
- Plastic Lids Garland | The OT Toolbox
Christmas Activities Using Ornaments
Also, would you like some bonus activities that include the use of ornaments? I’ve included a fun list of activities that children can perform at home, during therapy, and even in the classroom. They work on a variety of skills that children either need to build or develop while engaging them with some festive motivational fun! Take a look:
- Christmas Ornament Memory and Sorting Game | The OT Toolbox
- Tubes and Christmas Baubles | Happy Toddler Playtime
- Ornament Scooping | Toddler Approved
- Christmas Tree Balance Activity | The Inspired Treehouse
- Candy Cane Counting with Beads | Fun Learning for Kids
- Christmas Coding STEM Challenge | Little Bins for Little Hands
- Christmas Ornament Balance Game | Happy Toddler Playtime
- Decorate the Christmas Tree Activity with ABC Ornaments | Hands On As We Grow
- Ornament Toss | Learn As You Play
- Hanging Ornaments | D.I.Y. Unlimited Fun
Regina Parsons-Allen is a school-based certified occupational therapy assistant. She has a pediatrics practice area of emphasis from the NBCOT. She graduated from the OTA program at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute in Hudson, North Carolina with an A.A.S degree in occupational therapy assistant. She has been practicing occupational therapy in the same school district for 20 years. She loves her children, husband, OT, working with children and teaching Sunday school. She is passionate about engaging, empowering, and enabling children to reach their maximum potential in ALL of their occupations as well assuring them that God loves them!