Holidays on Bedrest

5 Holiday Crafts Mamas on Bedrest Can Do With Their Children

December 10th, 2010

I just came from the “holiday extravaganza” at my son’s pre-school, a holiday craft party. We strung popcorn and cranberries, pierced oranges with cloves, made ornaments out of modeling clay and paper and decorated gingerbread houses made out of graham crackers. It was a fun way to spend the morning with my son and to get into the holiday spirit at the same time.

This got me thinking about Mamas on Bedrest. You may be sidelined from school and community activities, but there is no reason that you can’t enjoy the same type of holiday fun with your child (or children). One of the most common complaints that I hear from Mamas on Bedrest is that they feel like they are losing time with their older children and that they feel disconnected from their older children. This is a great way to reconnect and to share some really special time with your kiddos. Some mamas have also said that lying in bed (especially on their left sides) they can’t do lots of crafts. No worries, let the kiddos do most of the work! If they are like my son, they want to do it all anyway! Besides, it’s the time that you are sharing with your child that really matters-not how great the craft turns out. When you have finished, use the crafts you made to decorate your home (especially your room) for the holidays!!

The crafts that I did with my son were really easy (we did them with children ages 3-6 years old) and we did them all in about 2 hours (a class of about 21 children and many parents!). The items used were common household items, many that you may already have handy. If not, a quick trip to a craft store or Walmart/Target by your husband, neighbor or friend will provide you everything you need.

Fragrant Fruit

Get some oranges (I recommend small oranges like clemtines) and some whole cloves. Depending on the age of your children, they’ll be able to push the cloves right into the oranges. If they are younger, you can use push pins to pierce the oranges and then insert the cloves. Place these fragrant fruits all over your home for a spicy, fruitty scent.

Holiday Decorations

Reindeer – You’ll need brown, white and red construction paper, markers and glue (I recommend a glue stick, far less messy!). Trace your child’s foot and both hands on the brown construction paper and cut them out. Glue the hands to the top of the foot (the toe area) Now you have the outline of the reindeer, the foot as the face and the hands as the antlers. Cut out round white circles for eyes and a red circle for the nose. Then let your child draw any other features on “Rudolph” he/she likes. Make just one or as many as you like and display them all around the house.

Ornaments

We used Crayola white modeling clay for this as it is non-toxic and it dries pretty quickly. Also, you can draw right on it without waiting for it to dry. You may also want to use either cookie cutters or playdoh shape cutters if you have them. Using a tray or board across your lap, mold the clay into shapes and color them however you like. Be sure to poke holes in the top so that string or onament holders can be applied once the clay dries.

(Idea: get a small christmas tree or plant for your room and use these ornaments to decorate it!)

Garlands

Have someone pop or buy popcorn for you. We used fresh cranberries but you can also use blueberries, raisins, dried cranberries or other dried fruits for your garland. Using heavy gauge thread or thin string and a needle, string the popcorn and fruit. Hang from your little tree/plant, from the large family Christmas tree or use to decorate your home.

Graham Cracker Gingerbread Houses

These were the class favorites! Using regular graham crackers and canned frosting, we parents constructed houses (The graham crackers were the walls and the frosting was the “mortar”) Then the children covered the houses with frosting and then applied all kinds of candy to the houses. Yeah, this can get pretty messy, but it is TONS of fun! And later, you can eat it. If you don’t like the idea of candy, you can use raisins, nuts, coconut and dried fruits to decorate your house.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the notion that “I can’t do what I normally do so I can’t participate in the holidays this season.” (BTW, the same types of crafts can apply to making Hannukah decorations or Kwanzaa decorations.) Mamas on Bedrest, you can be an active, vital part of the holidays this year and make some amazing memories at the same time. One mom today was putting her son’s name and age on all his little projects because she wants to remember when he made them when she looks at them years from now. So can you. Try these crafts with your kids and let this be one of your most special and most memorable holidays ever. Happy Holidays!

Share your holiday craft with kids ideas in the comments section below!