German Christmas Crafts for Children

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Christmas is a wonderful time to teach your children about different countries and cultures. Children love discovering how their counterparts in other parts of the world celebrate the holidays, and German Christmas crafts are a prime example. Many popular Christmas traditions have roots in Germany, and German Christmas decorations that kids can create provide an opportunity to combine learning with fun.


Here are some typical Christmas season decoration ideas popular in Germany to make this season a special one.

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Create an Advent calendar

Things You'll Need

  • Small boxes or envelopes

  • Small treats

  • Printer (optional) for patterns

Help build the excitement of the season by creating a countdown to Christmas (Advent) calendar with your children. The German Christmas tradition incorporates a calendar, usually made with a thick piece of cardboard that has numbered doors cut into it. Creating this type of calendar would be too complicated for children. Instead, have them decorate 25 small boxes or envelopes. Fill each with a small treat. Starting on December 1, your child can open a box or envelope to reveal the treat.

To lend a degree of extra authenticity, print a piece of German Christmas art to act as a background for the boxes. You might also find printable patterns online that feature German Christmas decorations, such as the German star, called the Froebel star, and various cut paper designs.

Build gingerbread houses

Things You'll Need

  • Ingredients for gingerbread or ready-made gingerbread

  • Royal frosting

  • Candy decorations, such as gumdrops, licorice, jelly beans and candy canes

  • Shredded coconut

Inspired by the Grimm Brothers' tale of Hansel and Gretel, German bakeries began making and decorating fancy gingerbread houses in the early 1800s. Today's children are equally fascinated by these delectable cookie houses and will eagerly volunteer to help with the decorating. Whip up your favorite gingerbread or lebkuchen recipe, cut it into slabs, then bake it. Glue the pieces together with royal frosting.


Decorate with gum drops, candy canes, cookies, licorice, crushed hard candy, jelly beans and shredded coconut. A quick online search should give you detailed directions for making a traditional German gingerbread house. If you don't have time for mixing, baking and assembling, check your grocery store, craft store or baking store for pre-baked, assembled houses that only need to be decorated.


Decorate Christmas trees

The tradition of decorating evergreen trees for Christmas home decor first originated in Germany in the 16th century. Help your children learn about this tradition by having them decorate a tabletop evergreen tree. Rather than what we think of as traditional Christmas ornaments, explain that the first Christmas trees were decorated with edible objects like oranges, apples and gingerbread. Give them marzipan to make tiny replicas of these items for their tree.


Explain that later, trees were illuminated by candles and topped with the Weihnacht (Christmas) Angel. Have them make their own Weihnacht Angel with foil or German tinsel called ‌lametta‌ if you can get it. Try to find or make wood ornaments. Finally, embellish the tree with birthday candles.


Remind your children that the candles are for decoration only and should never be lit.

For added fun, learn the German lyrics for "O Tannenbaum" and sing them around your miniature German Christmas tree.



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