Combining a craft project with a community service project is the best of both worlds for teaching kids. It helps open their eyes to how other people live, it teaches empathy, and it brings a family closer to work on a project together.
Last Christmas we chose to decorate a couple doors at a nursing home. I've always dreamed of volunteering with my kids at a nursing home, and we finally did it!
Before we ventured off to spread some holiday cheer at the nursing home, we looked at a zillion ideas for DIY Christmas door decorations.
We needed decorations that were:
Our supply list:
Construction paper (about 25 sheets-primary colors)
Copy paper (about 10 sheets)
Rolls of solid color wrapping paper
Tissue paper (but cotton balls would have been better)
We all traced our hands as a pattern for the Christmas tree, and then the youngest child cut most of them out because she likes to use scissors. Using some left over construction paper, we managed to create enough hands to form the shape of a tree.
My son taught us how to make paper snowflakes. Except I think we did them wrong because many of them were square. The snowflake leftovers made a pile of something that looked like a million "hanging chads", but at least it swept up very easily.
The kids adhered the wrapping paper as a backdrop onto the doors and then we actually constructed the tree and snowman on the spot.
The doors took about an hour to actually assemble on-site, and we did spend several hours one weekend afternoon tracing and cutting.
We played Christmas music while we decorated, and not only did the kids get to have fun constructing something, they got to contribute to brightening the season for some sweet residents at the nursing home!