Is there anything better than watching someone you love open a gift that has been specially crafted with thoughtful care, designed just for them? I’m not sure there is.
A beautiful kid made Christmas gift, like these watercolor ornaments will bring the most sincere smile to that special someone’s face. While a child, a preschooler in particular, may not put such sentiments into what is otherwise process art, any loved one that receives it will surely treasure this special preschool ornament craft.
Aren’t these ornaments beautiful?
They are watercolor ornaments and they couldn’t be easier to make! While this project does need adult supervision, it’s easy enough for preschoolers, but fun enough that even older children can do it. And, best of all, it can be done on the cheap.
On the serious cheap.
As in, it cost me $0.50 per ornament. At that cost your child can make a gift ornament for all her relatives as well as her friends. DIY Christmas ornaments that are so beautiful at such a low cost are almost impossible to find!
And let me be completely honest, the process is kinda addicting.
You’ll want to buy some extra ornaments, because one won’t be enough. Your child will want to do several, and I’ll bet you won’t be able to resist either! (I made five!)
You can make some to gift and some to use for your own special Christmas tree ornaments. They just may become a cherished part of your annual Christmas decorations and a regular part of your annual Christmas preschool themes!
FAQ About What to Teach Preschoolers at Christmas
Christmas is a special time of year for us to recognize the wonderful people in our lives and share gifts from the heart. Create opportunities for young children to share with each other, write notes to show appreciation, or make handmade treats or easy Christmas crafts. Invite children to make handmade Christmas cards for the people they love, or create these colorful Christmas ornaments for DIY Christmas gifts.
Christmas activities for all subject areas are a great place to start. For building math and counting skills, use these Christmas tree counting cards or estimate with jingle bells. Infusing literacy during the holidays is easy with 20 of the best Christmas literacy activities. Grab some super exciting AND simple Christmas STEM activities too!
Make festive Christmas wreaths, create sensory paintings with pine boughs, or fill your sensory table with some hands-on holiday-themed sensory play. If you are looking for lots of Christmas craft ideas, try a sock snowman or pine cone ornament!
How to Make Watercolor Ornaments
Have your seen that awesome Youtube video about how to make watercolor coffee mugs? It’s not real watercolor, but a faux technique that is crazy easy! We will be following this same easy technique, but with clear ball ornaments, instead of the coffee mugs demoed in the video.
Materials needed for your homemade ornaments:
- clear bulb ornaments (use plastic ones, as glass ornaments and preschoolers don’t typically go together well!)
- nail polish (any colors but of course I recommend festive colors and sparkle)
- a container that is large enough to dip the entire ornament into (NOT one you use for food or beverage!)
- paper towel
- a place you can hang them to dry (with newspaper underneath to catch any drippings)
Easy “How To” Video Instructions:
I’ve seen a few videos, but I followed the tutorial from this quick and simple video because I loved its clear, easy instructions!
Watch it, and you’ll see what I mean…
Click here for the easy Instructional Video!
Easy enough for preschoolers, fun enough for older kids (and adults), right?
I purchased some clear bulb ornaments from the Dollar Store, two in a pack. The nail polish I already had on hand, however next year I will buy some holiday red and green polish, and maybe some sparkly gold, just for this activity.
You could even let your kids use some of their own nail polish or let them pick out a favorite color at the store to make it even more personal to them!
Tips for Success in Making Watercolor Ornaments
Do just as the video states to make these diy ornaments a success!
Let my “trial and error” guide you….
- Use warm water, not cold. The warm water helps disperse the nail polish in an even layer on top of the water. If cold water is used, the polish may sink to the bottom of the container.
- Use clean water with each ornament. The left over nail polish will leave a film on the top of the water, making it difficult for the new polish to adhere. Instead of dumping out the water, if it is still warm, you can simply use a toothpick to pick up the film and the water will be clean enough to dip another ornament after you’ve added new polish.
- Dip, and don’t turn. The first few I tried, I thought it would be best to twist the ornament as I dipped in the water, thinking I needed to turn the ornament to “paint” its round form. I was wrong. Do just as the video states.
- Dip straight down, then pull it out and hang it up to dry. I hung the ornaments off the light in the dining room while they dried. Wherever you hang them to dry, be sure to place some newspaper underneath just in case there is some paint thick and heavy enough to drip. (No dripping for me, though).
- Don’t use too much polish. In the video, you saw that very little polish was used. That is because if you use too much, it will clump on the ornament and then drip when you hang it to dry.
- Use a container deep enough to submerge the ornament, and make sure it is one you can throw away. After all, you are putting nail polish in this container, so you’re not going to be storing cookies in it again.
- You may have to help your preschooler submerge the ornament into the water. If you give a little pressure and help them push straight down, the polish will create a perfect ring around the top of the bulb, and it will look perfect in every way.
And, I repeat….Do just as the video states…and these will be festive, fun, and with minimal mess or wasted materials!
Don’t Forget about Christmas Printables
Kid-made Christmas gifts are the best! Parents and grandparents both love opening up a gift made for them by their special preschooler.
But Christmastime in preschool isn’t all about Christmas process art. It’s also about more formal learning activities. Here are some Christmas preschool centers your preschoolers are sure to love!
The Perfect Kid-Made Christmas Gift Grandma Will Love
Remember I asked if there was anything better than watching someone open a gift that was made specially for them, with thought and care? Well, there is one thing…
Watching someone open a gift your kid made with special care just for them. The smile on Grandma’s face, (or brother’s or auntie’s or the next door neighbor’s) will warm your heart, but the smile your child gives in response is priceless. These watercolor preschool Christmas ornaments will do just that, which makes them the perfect kid-made Christmas gift.
And since this Christmas craft is so easy, fun, and inexpensive to make, you can gift some and keep some for your own beautiful tree ornaments.
Hang them right next to your kids’ pom pom, popsicle stick, salt dough ornaments, paper ornaments, star ornaments and the like and friends and family will never know that these watercolor ornaments are the homemade ones! Happy Holidays and Happy Crafting!
More Christmas Process Art Activities
No need to stop creating with these ornaments. Here are even more kid-made Christmas gifts preschoolers can create and give to their loved ones.
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.