Christmas in Australia happens during the warm summer months, so depictions of snowmen, log cabins and the reindeer of the far north aren’t quite as at home when celebrating an Australian Christmas. For children’s crafts that help to celebrate an Australian Christmas, look to family-focused crafts, musical traditions like caroling, and the national tradition of outdoor holiday picnics.
This craft is easy enough for children of any age, and just requires white paper and red and green washable paint. On a sheet of white paper, trace a circle in pencil for a guideline to create the wreath. Children cover one hand’s palm in red paint and the other in green paint, and place them in alternating handprints around the wreath. They can add a painted or real ribbon and write their name and the year as well if they like. Cut out the wreaths for temporary paper decorations around the house, or have the whole sheet laminated for Christmas placemats you can continue using in years to come.
This one is easily made out of household items and celebrates the treasured Australian tradition of Christmas caroling. Start with a cardboard paper-towel tube cut in two unequal parts, and a toilet paper tube; these are the bodies of your carolers. Paint them whatever colors you desire with tempera paints, and while they dry, make their faces by cutting out ovals from colored paper and drawing singing faces, with the mouths open. At the same time, cut out little hands from paper. Cut out small rectangles from old sheet music, folding in half to create a book for the carolers to hold. Glue the songbooks to the hands, and the hands to the tubes, after gluing on the paper faces. For a wintry look to the carolers, cut the feet off children’s socks and tie the cut ends with string or raffia to make knit hats for them. But in Australia, hats and scarves wouldn’t be needed at Christmas time, so adding doll-size sunglasses or brimmed hats to the carolers would be more appropriate. You also can give them paper or yarn hairstyles.
Make your own holiday picnic blanket to celebrate Christmas in the sun, with fabric crayons on a white polyester fabric. Draw a design on white paper first; adorn the blanket with Christmas lights, a eucalyptus garland, family names or Santa flying over Australia. When you are done drawing, lay white paper down on an ironing board, put the white polyester down, and then place your drawing face down on the fabric; top it with another piece of white paper. An adult or teenager should do the ironing part. If the iron has a polyester or synthetic setting, turn it to this setting, then press the design into the fabric, holding the iron in place for one or two minutes, then moving onto the next section. Make sure the papers don't shift, so that the design does not blur. Fabric crayons also can be used directly on the fabric for brighter colors, or try adding glitter glue for sparkle. For more Christmas accents, add jingle bells at the corners, or stitch the edges with red yarn to brighten up the picnic blanket.