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Christmas is all about bringing families together to join in the festivities. If you’re wondering how to meaningfully involve the youngest in your family, no worries! With the help of Pop Goes the Art, we have put down DIY activities your child will love, with something for children of every age from one to eight!
Looking for meaningful but fun DIYs for your child this Christmas? It can be surprisingly difficult to decide exactly what to buy. There’s so much to consider when buying a gift for a young child – you want something that is affordable, or reusable at the very least, ideally mess-free, age-appropriate, but also unique.
As founder of children’s lifestyle label Pop Goes the Art, Nidhi Karnavat Chopra observes “Children like familiarity but parents want uniqueness. Here is where our design sensibility comes into play and we walk a tightrope keeping that balance between our target audience (kids) and the customer (adults).”
She also urges not to disregard one important factor while selecting gifts for children – gender neutrality. She says, “Growing up as a girl in a traditional Indian family, I have experienced my share of gender biases, which made me want to bring about a small change. If my products can make even one parent pause, and rethink their own bias, I feel it's worth it.”
Not only are gender-neutral products geared towards bringing your child up with a more empowered view of the world and themselves, they also lend themselves to being repurposed as hand-me-downs. Nidhi adds, “I am very intentional with my designs to ensure that they are perceived as gender-neutral. In an ideal world, design and colours shouldn't have assigned genders. However, in the real world, dinosaurs and space scream boys and unicorns and mermaids scream girls. We try to steer clear of these elements and choose the ones that society perceives as gender-neutral. Think farms, forests, animals and oceans.”
So let’s get into this exciting list of decor & DIY items for your child for Christmas. If not anything else, you could pick up handy ideas to plan some activity of your own at home.
“Children get easily frustrated if the activity they are doing is too challenging for them,” shares Nidhi. As an adult, playing with stickers may appear so easy you may not even consider it as a standalone activity. And yet, for a one-year-old, this requires a considerable degree of coordination and spatial awareness, while giving them a chance to engage in play and creative expression. The stickers are also easy to remove, leaving no unsightly residue behind.
Suitable for ages 1+
Skills: Hand-eye coordination, motor skills, spatial awareness
If you’re taking a family trip this winter, the Travelling Tree is perfect to carry along as a toy for your child, as well as a makeshift Christmas tree for the family! Easy to roll and hang up anywhere, it can entertain your child time and time again, while they take down and pin up the plush ornaments to the tree.
Suitable for ages 2+
Skills: Hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness, self-expression
Sometimes it can be difficult to involve very young children in home decor activities, but this one is super toddler-friendly! “Kids thoroughly enjoy repetition and familiar things so we ideate our themes around topics, such as colouring, already known to children,” explains Nidhi. Hand your child these plush stockings and ornaments adorned with Christmas-themed illustrations, along with the special markers they come with. Once they’re done, encourage your child to hang them up on the tree or around the house, as they like!
Suitable for ages 2 or 3 onwards
Skills: Creativity, self-expression, motor skills, hand-eye coordination
Immensely satisfying once you’re done, this jazzy 3D gingerbread house model will challenge a young child just enough to teach them important problem-solving skills, without frustrating them. Nidhi elaborates, “Kids’ patience is limited and they love the feeling of completing a task. Keeping this in mind, we ensure all activities can be completed within an ideal time range for the target age group.”
The instructions are easy to follow, involving glueing stickers onto the cardboard pieces and interlocking them by sliding the pieces together. Your child will need your help with reading and understanding the instructions. Best part: it can be easily disassembled and repurposed for next year!
Suitable for ages 4+
Skills: Motor skills, dexterity, problem solving, concentration, focus
Does your child love creating characters and indulging in pretend play? Well then, this Santa & Friends DIY activity box will not only enhance motor skills but then lend to hours of fun Christmas-themed imaginative play. The box comes with everything your child needs to create a Santa greeting card, a finger puppet, an elf avatar, and a reindeer ornament. Read out the instructions to your child and encourage them to interpret them on their own.
Suitable for ages 5+
Skills: Problem solving, comprehension, motor skills
Instead of buying a stuffed toy, this is a chance for your child to make one on their own (with some help from you!). Building this Snowman will require some peeling, pouring, stuffing, tying, and twisting, all of which will test and enhance your child’s dexterity and focus. When done, they will definitely want to proudly display it on your family mantelpiece.
Suitable for ages 6+
Skills: Motor skills, dexterity, independence, concentration, focus
Seemingly basic but actually a very involved and rewarding activity, the high-quality gift wrapping papers – in Tinsel Trees and Festive Fun designs – will do well even while handled by a young child. Best begin by teaching your child a few basic gift wrapping styles, and then try something a little different and challenging for fun! There’s no right or wrong way here!
Suitable for ages 8+
Skills: Motor skills, dexterity, concentration, focus, spatial awareness
It can be a challenge to know what to do with your child when you may be busy setting the house up for upcoming festivities. With these activities, you will be able to channel their energy and keep them gainfully employed for a while.