Like other children, my son is rather partial to things that glow and shine. It was an interesting experience for him to make a Christmas ornament that glowed and shone.

Luminescent Christmas Ornaments: in this tutorial a toddler makes one, but older children and adults will have fun creating handmade ornaments

Since Budster was a newborn, he was fascinated by lamps. He would lay in his bed and switch his glance between three favourite things in the world, “Mommy. Daddy. Lamp”. His fondness has not changed: he likes lamps, glow sticks, light bulbs, lanterns and flashlights. So, I thought that he would enjoy creating a Christmas ornament that will glow. Not only he will admire a luminescent ornament on our tree, but every time he sees it, he will remember making it.

Materials

little Mason jars

– acrylic paints

– sponges (we used these make-up sponges, but I have used dish-washing sponges in the past)

– hot glue gun

– LED candles (I am sure any candles will work, but I bought this set several weeks ago, and I found them to be great: they are both smaller and brighter than other LED candles I have seen)

Tutorial

Luminescent Christmas Ornaments: in this tutorial a toddler makes one, but older children and adults will have fun creating handmade ornaments

 

1. Take two little mason jars or spice jars.

2. For younger kids, attach them to a sheet of paper with a double-sided tape. It will be easier for them to paint if the jars are not slipping. For older kids and adults, just put a sheet of paper underneath them while painting.

3. Paint them, using sponges. On the pictures below you will see that I made a simple sponge-brush for Budster, by attaching a sponge to a bamboo skewer’s pointed end. Let the paint dry.

4. Use  hot glue to attach a ribbon to the edges of the jars

5. Quickly screw the lid on, before the glue cools.

While Budster was walking with his Grandma, I prepared his working space. When he came inside and saw it, I had only a moment to take a picture before he went right to work. You can see our sponge-brushes here and Budster’s hand, promptly grabbing one .

Luminescent Christmas Ornaments: in this tutorial a toddler makes one, but older children and adults will have fun creating handmade ornaments

I showed Budster how to press it against the glass, leaving a textured surface. He found it amusing and kept on stabbing the jars, creating a wonderfully abstract mix of vibrant colours.

Luminescent Christmas Ornaments: in this tutorial a toddler makes one, but older children and adults will have fun creating handmade ornaments

Luminescent Christmas Ornaments: in this tutorial a toddler makes one, but older children and adults will have fun creating handmade ornaments

 

After the paint dried and I attached strings to the jars, it was time to put a little LED candles inside. Budster was very excited. “Wow! Wow!” he kept saying. He took the ornaments by the ribbons, as if they were little glowing baskets, and showed them to everyone in the house, before we tried putting them up on a tree.

Luminescent Christmas Ornaments: in this tutorial a toddler makes one, but older children and adults will have fun creating handmade ornamentsOur ornaments turned out blue and purple, though we do not follow any particular colour scheme for the Christmas tree this year. I think we will decorate it with whatever ornaments we will make. What are your plans for the tree?

Magical Christmas Lanterns: turn Mason jars into Christmas illumination

Christmas Cards: make cards, using buttons,  together with children

Ice Age Sensory Play: mix snow, ice and candles to create a winter fairy-tale in the sensory bin

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