Cold weather is here, and that means the holidays are right around the corner. To help you inject a bit of extra cheer this year, we’ve compiled a list of crafts and activities designed for family fun. Here are a few fresh ideas to help you get creative with your youngsters this season…

Sand art brownie mix jars

Holiday crafts: Brownie Mix Jar

Sand art brownie mix jar 

These tasty and festive brownie mix jars make great gifts. Layer the dry ingredients for your favorite brownie recipe — including a flour and salt mixture, brown sugar, white sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate chips and nuts such as walnuts or pecans — in a glass jar, alternating dark and light ingredients to create a colored sand effect. Then, you can decorate the jar and lid with buttons, pom-poms, holiday ribbons or even googly eyes to make it look like a snowman. The lucky recipient of your gift need only add eggs, oil and vanilla extract to the dry mix to get baking.

Pom-pom ornaments

This twist on a classic holiday activity is sure to be a fun one. Fill a clear plastic ornament with craft pom-poms in the color of your choice. On the outside, you and your little one can paint the outline of a snowman, penguin, Santa Claus, reindeer or any other holiday character you desire, leaving some clear space for the pom-poms to show through. For some added festive flair, try using glitter pom-poms or including some tinsel on the inside of the ornament. Then all that’s left to do is hang your creation on the tree.

Fingerprint holiday frame

Holiday Crafts: Holiday Frame

Fingerprint holiday frame 

Create a new space to preserve your favorite holiday memories with this simple activity. This craft requires a picture frame with a white matte border, colored ink pads, and a fine-tip permanent marker. Have your kids create “light bulbs” by coating their fingers or thumbs on the colored ink pads and pressing them onto the border of the picture frame. Then, use the permanent marker to transform the fingerprints into a string of holiday lights, drawing thin lines to connect them and adding stems to the bulbs. Place a photo of your choice in the frame and voila — a perfect keepsake or gift sure to “light up” your holiday season.

Glow-in-the-dark snow globe

Holiday Crafts: Glow-In-The-Dark Snow Globe

Glow-in-the-dark snow globe 

For a fun family craft with a side of science, try out this DIY snow globe that glows under a blacklight. For this activity, you’ll need an empty glass jar, some sheets of foam, a permanent marker, some waterproof glue, some flat tonic water with quinine, and a blacklight. First, draw and cut out the centerpiece of your snow globe from the foam sheets, whether it be a snowflake, gift, snowman or elf. Then attach the foam design to the lid of the jar using your waterproof glue. Next, you’ll add the tonic water and glitter and screw the lid on the jar so that your centerpiece is standing upright with the lid facing down. Turn on the blacklight and watch your globe glow.

Festive holiday slime

If your kids go crazy for sticky, gooey homemade slime, this holiday version surely won’t disappoint. You’ll need silver and/or gold glitter, silver and gold glue, clear glue, liquid starch and water. Combine your silver or gold glue with the clear glue, measuring about a half cup including both. Then add a half-cup of water and as much of the glitter as you desire. Add in a half cup of your liquid starch and stir the mixture until it become slimy. Repeat with the other color and let the fun begin. To make your gooey creation even more festive, consider adding silver and gold jingle bells to the slime mixture.

It’s easy to get into the holiday crafting spirit… all it takes is some imagination!