On the day after Thanksgiving, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, Boston Children’s Museum celebrates UN-Shopping Day. Families are invited to avoid the mall madness and come to the Museum to make their own fun, enjoyable do-it-yourself art projects; to make music with instruments created out of recycled materials; and spend time savoring each other’s company.
Try your own UN-Shopping Day. Here are a few do-it-yourself seasonal projects that are rewarding to make, give and receive.
Make your own Cards and Gift Wrap.
Young children can make patterns with rubber stamps or sponges dipped in paint on paper bags. Older children can practice writing and add words to their cards.
Make Your Own Gift Boxes
Find some colorful paper and attach it to the outside of existing boxes to add a personal touch to your gift boxes this year.
Make Your Own Plastic Bag Jewelry and Ornaments
Reuse everyday items like plastic bags that are usually thrown out, and make something new. Collect bags of different colors and cut them into strips about 2 inches wide and 20 inches long. Tie three strips together and braid them into a strong, colorful strand that can become a bracelet, key chain or hair tie. Braiding helps develops fine motor skills and an understanding of patterns. Older children, teens and adults can try more complex knots or twist strands together to create larger pieces. Plastic bag jewelry is fun for all ages, as even toddlers can stick colorful pieces of plastic bags onto contact paper. Trim the edges. Punch a hole. Tie a string and you have a hanging ornament as nice as any you can buy.
Make Paper Stars
Cut star shapes out of brightly-colored paper, fold them in half and glue the backs together until you have a three dimensional star. Attach ribbon and you have a beautiful ornament.
Gifts are wonderful and appreciated no matter where they are from. But a gift that is made, and especially one that is made from re-used materials, can be extra special. Happy holidays to all!