This year, I am especially mindful about waste. The idea of having too many toys and loads of garbage doesn't feel all that festive. This year, we have greatly cut down on the gifts, focusing more on presence over presents. A large portion of my kids' gifts are experiences throughout the holidays. We have already gone to our local science centre, we have tickets for the Christmas train, and will go to the aquarium. When wrapping this year, I tried to reuse existing paper where I could. Then I assembled and brainstormed some activities to reuse Christmas wrapping paper. All of these are simple activities and require nothing more than scissors, paint, a paintbrush, glue and wrapping paper!

1. Story Stones Using Cut out Christmas Wrapping Paper

What You Need:

  • Rocks from outside
  • Christmas gift wrap with characters on it (Santa, reindeer, snowmen)
  • Scissors
  • Paint (optional)
  • White glue or Mod Podge

Instructions:

  1. Clean and dry rocks.
  2. Paint them (optional) and then let dry.
  3. Cut out characters from leftover wrapping paper.
  4. Glue characters to rocks using white school glue or Mod Podge.
  5. With a paintbrush, cover image and rock with glue to secure the edges and give a smooth finish.

2. Smooshing/Stamping With Wrapping Paper

paint

What You Need:

  • Wrapping paper
  • Tempera paint
  • Canvas or thick paper for painting

Instructions:

  1. Paint canvas with any color combinations.
  2. Use wrapping paper to remove paint creating an interesting texture effect.

3. Fine Motor Flowers Using Tissue Paper

What You Need:

  • Tissue paper
  • Scissors
  • Pipe cleaners

Instructions:

  1. Pile three or more pieces of tissue paper on top of one another.
  2. Flatten out any creases. (It doesn't have to be perfect.)
  3. Fold the tissue in an accordion style.
  4. In the middle, attach a pipe cleaner. See how to do this here.
  5. Slowly and carefully, peel the first layer of tissue paper towards the centre.
  6. Follow with the second layer, then third.

4. Scissor Skill Practice with Wrapping Paper

girl cutting christmas paper

What You Need:

  • Marker
  • Wrapping paper
  • Scissors

Instructions:

  1. Draw zigzags, shapes, and swirls.
  2. Give your child scissors and prompt them to cut along the lines.

5. Ornaments Using Plastic Lids and Wrapping Paper

What You Need:

  • Hole punch
  • String
  • Christmas gift wrap with characters (Santa, reindeer, snowmen) or symbols (snowflakes, holly)
  • Scissors
  • Paint (optional)
  • White glue or Mod Podge

Instructions:

  1. Cut out characters and/ or symbols from gift wrap.
  2. Use plastic lids from disposable cups or yogurt containers.
  3. Glue cutouts to plastic lids.
  4. Punch a hole at the top of the lid and thread a string through the hole.
  5. Tie the string and hang them on the tree!
I'm hoping by wasting less and experiencing more, we will have our most memorable holiday season yet. For more wrapping paper inspiration, check out these ideas.

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