Here’s a list of fun Christmas art project ideas to keep the kids busy for the holidays. Try any of these easy Christmas painting ideas for toddlers to teens–and adults, too!
Whether you are a teacher looking for Christmas art project ideas or a parent looking for cute Christmas painting ideas–including handprint, footprint, and fingerprint art ideas to make Christmas cards. You will find several different types of Christmas art ideas in this roundup of fun Christmas arts and crafts! You might also enjoy this list of winter art projects for kids.
The Christmas art projects for kids on the list below are in categories to make it easy to find the perfect art activity for kids or adults. We have also included a bit of information about the history of several common Christmas characters and symbols typically associated with Christmas to make it easy to share these fun and interesting concepts with children as you make Christmas arts and crafts at home or in the classroom.
In other words, this collection of cute Christmas art projects, crafts, and painting ideas is not just a list of art ideas you can try. It also includes information about the classic Christmas symbols and characters, AND how and why they came to be associated with Christmas. First, scroll down to learn how Santa, his reindeer, Christmas trees, and more became associated with Christmas. Next, choose from any of the quick and easy Christmas art projects and painting ideas below. Look at this list of Christmas traditions to make the holidays a magical time of year in your home or classroom.
Christmas Tree Art Projects and Painting Ideas for Kids
Decorating and painting Christmas trees is a classic winter activity for young and old alike. Christmas tree art projects and painting ideas for kids are a wonderful way to cultivate creativity and celebrate the festive season. These projects can range from simple to intricate, catering to children of various ages and skill levels.
One popular idea is creating Christmas tree collages using different shades of green paper, which children can cut and layer to mimic the branches. Painting projects involve using fingers, sponges, or brushes to create unique Christmas tree shapes on paper or canvas. Adding decorations to these trees with glitter, sequins, or stickers allows for further personalization and fine motor skill development.
Another engaging activity is making 3D paper Christmas trees, which can be decorated with paint, markers, and glued-on embellishments. These art projects stimulate children’s imagination and provide a joyful way to create festive decorations for the holiday season. Spend some time getting creative with your children this holiday season with this collection of fun Christmas tree painting ideas for kids and adults of all ages.
There are several creative ways to make Christmas tree art. Children can use their handprints, footprints, fingerprints, sponges, ripped paper, bubble wrap, or a fork to make festive Christmas tree artwork like those on the list below!
Why do we have a Christmas Tree?
The tradition of using Christmas trees during the holiday season has roots in various historical and cultural practices, eventually becoming a symbol of Christmas in many parts of the world. Evergreen fir trees have been used to celebrate winter festivals for thousands of years. In ancient times, an entire fir tree was cut down and burned to celebrate Yule.
Why and how have Christmas trees come to be associated with Christmas?
The origin of the Christmas tree can be traced back to ancient times, but it was not initially associated with Christianity. Pagans in Europe, for instance, used evergreen boughs to decorate their homes during the winter solstice, symbolizing the coming of spring with its everlasting life. Due to their ability to stay green all year round, Evergreens were believed to ward off evil spirits and illness.
The Christmas tree is said to be popularized in England during the reign of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who was of German descent. An illustration of the royal family celebrating around a decorated Christmas tree, published in the Illustrated London News in 1848, greatly influenced its popularity in Britain and the United States.
Over time, the Christmas tree became a central and cherished part of Christmas celebrations. It represents joy, peace, and goodwill during the holiday season, adorned with lights and ornaments and sometimes topped with a star or an angel, symbolizing the Star of Bethlehem or the angelic hosts. Decorating a tree at Christmas has evolved into a global tradition that transcends religious boundaries and is celebrated in various ways around the world today. Learn more about the history of Christmas trees HERE!
Christmas Tree Art and Painting Ideas
- Watercolor Christmas Tree Art Cards | Rhythms of Play
- Glowing Christmas Tree Chalk Art Tutorial | Hodge Podge
- Christmas Tree with Fingerprint Lights | Rhythms of Play
- Sponge Painted Christmas Tree Art | Hello Wonderful
- Christmas Tree Winter Art | I Heart Crafty Things
- Black Glue Christmas Tree Art Project | I Heart Crafty Things
- Bubble Wrap Christmas Tree Art | School Time Snippets
- Fork Painted Christmas Tree | The Pinterested Parent
- Single Downward Handprint Christmas Tree Art | Fun Handprint Art Blog
- Upward Handprint Christmas Tree Art | Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails
- Family Downward Handprint Christmas Tree Canvas | Mum in the Madhouse
- Footprint Christmas Tree | Fun Handprint Art Blog
- Fingerprint Christmas Tree Art | A More Crafty Life
- Positive and Negative Fingerprint Christmas Tree Art | Rhythms of Play (photo below)
Related: Christmas Ornaments Kids Can Make
Cool Santa Art Projects and Painting Ideas for Kids
Santa-themed art projects and painting ideas for children can be a delightful and creative way to engage in the holiday spirit. These projects often include simple yet festive designs for young and old artists. For instance, children can paint Santa’s face on small canvases, focusing on his twinkling eyes and fluffy white beard.
Another popular project is creating Santa hats using red and white paint on paper plates or construction paper. Or, kids can use their handprints or cotton balls to make Santa’s beard after they have sketched a simple face or created Santa with construction paper or colored cardstock, googly eyes, and pom-pom nose. These activities not only foster creativity and fine motor skills but also help in making memorable holiday decorations. Children love making Santa Claus art! Try any of the fun ideas listed below.
What does Santa have to do with Christmas?
Santa Claus is one of the most classic characters associated with Christmas. This iconic Christmas character has roots in various historical and folkloric traditions and is traditionally associated with delivering gifts to children on Christmas Eve.
The legend of Santa Claus is believed to have originated from stories of a rich monk named Saint Nicolas, who gave gifts to poor and needy children. Stories of St. Nicholas can be traced back to a 4th-century Christian bishop from Myra (modern-day Turkey). Known for his generosity and the miracles attributed to him, St. Nicholas became the patron saint of children and sailors.
Why and how has Santa come to be associated with Christmas?
Over the centuries, the figure of St. Nicholas evolved through various cultures. In the Netherlands, he was known as Sinterklaas, a kindly figure who gave gifts to children. When Dutch settlers came to the Americas, they brought the tradition of Sinterklaas with them, which eventually merged with other cultural influences.
The transformation of this saintly figure into the jolly character known as Santa Claus began in 19th-century America. The poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (commonly known as “The Night Before Christmas”) by Clement Clarke Moore in 1823, and later illustrations by Thomas Nast, helped shape the modern image of Santa Claus as a cheerful, rotund man with a red suit and white beard.
Santa’s association with Christmas reflects the tradition of gift-giving during the holiday, inspired by the gifts the Three Wise Men brought to Jesus and by St. Nicholas’s acts of generosity. Today, Santa Claus symbolizes the spirit of giving and joy during the Christmas season. Learn more about the connection between Saint Nicolas and Santa Claus in fun family Christmas traditions.
Santa Claus art project ideas
- Learn to draw Santa | Art Projects for Kids
- Santa Claus Directed Drawing | Find the post HERE and video HERE by Proud to Be Primary
- How to Draw Santa Claus | Find the Video by Draw So Cute HERE
- Draw Santa Claus with a Christmas Tree | Find the step-by-step video tutorial by Farjana Drawing Academy HERE
Related: Ultimate Gift Guide for Kids
Cute Christmas Lights Art Ideas
Creating Christmas lights arts and crafts with kids is a delightful and colorful Christmas art activity that brings the magic of the holiday season to life. This engaging art project can start with a simple drawing or painting of a string of Christmas lights on paper. Children can then dip their fingertips (or thumbs) in bright, festive paint colors to make the bulbs, turning each print into a glowing light on their artwork.
Alternatively, for a more tactile experience, using actual string and gluing it in a wavy line across the paper, then adding colorful dot stickers or painted fingerprints as bulbs, can create a charming 3D effect. This activity fosters creativity and fine motor skills and provides a wonderful opportunity for children to learn about colors, patterns, and shapes. The end result is a vibrant and cheerful piece of Christmas art that can be proudly displayed, bringing a personal touch of festive holiday cheer to any room.
Christmas fingerprint art is fun for both kids and adults to make for the holidays. You can even make fingerprint lights on a Christmas tree card. Make fingerprint Christmas lights for a cute Christmas keepsake gift idea, or create gorgeous Christmas lights art with chalk. Or, try the Christmas lights arts, and crafts on the list below. Each of the Christmas art project ideas turns out beautifully.
Christmas Lights Art Projects
- Chalk Stencil Christmas Light Art | Buggy and Buddy
- Fingerprint Christmas Lights | Crafty Morning
- Easy Fingerprint Lights Cards | Dayna Banya
- Fingerprint Lights Christmas Tree Art Cards | Rhythms of Play (photo below)
Related: Christmas Elf Ornaments
Fun Christmas Elf Art Projects and Painting Ideas for Kids
Fun Christmas elf art projects and painting ideas offer a whimsical and creative outlet for kids during the holiday season. One engaging idea is to create elf portraits, where children can paint or draw their unique interpretations of Santa’s little helpers. Kids can use bright colors to illustrate the elves with oversized ears, pointy hats, and cheerful expressions.
Another popular project is elf footprint art, where children dip their hands or feet in paint to create elf shapes on paper, later adding details like faces and hats. For a three-dimensional elf craft project, constructing paper elf hats or crafting small elf figurines out of peg dolls, clay or pipe cleaners can be fun and educational, helping kids explore shapes and textures. Each of the Christmas elf art activities mentioned above, and on the list below encourages artistic expression and adds to the festive atmosphere, allowing children to immerse themselves in the joyful spirit of Christmas through their creations.
What are Christmas Elves?
Christmas elves are mythical creatures often depicted in literature and popular culture as small, playful beings who assist Santa Claus in his preparations for Christmas and live with Mr. and Mrs. Claus at the North Pole. They are the cute, tiny, dwarf-like creatures known for being Santa’s little helpers.
These elves are commonly portrayed as wearing green or red clothing, with pointy ears and tall pointy hats and shoes. They are most often found busy at work in Santa’s workshop at the North Pole, making toys, caring for Santa’s reindeer, and helping him manage his list of who’s naughty or nice.
Why and how have elves become associated with Santa and Christmas?
The association of elves with Christmas can be traced back to 19th-century literature and folklore. The roots of the Christmas elf lie in various European mythologies and traditions. In these stories, elves were often considered magical beings with powers to help or hinder everyday people.
The modern concept of the Christmas elf as Santa’s helper was popularized by Louisa May Alcott’s unpublished 1856 book, “Christmas Elves,” and further developed in American children’s literature during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Clement Clarke Moore’s 1823 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (also known as “The Night Before Christmas”) is often cited as the first introduction of Santa’s elves, helping to craft this new mythology.
Over time, the depiction of elves in popular culture, including movies, television shows, and other media, has solidified their role in Christmas lore. They embody the spirit of Christmas as industrious, cheerful, and kind, yet sometimes mischievous little helpers, contributing to the magic and excitement of the season for children and adults alike.
Christmas elf art and Craft ideas for kids
- Fingerprint Elf Art | Crafty Morning
- Draw Symmetrical Elf Shoes | Art Projects for Kids Blog
- Elf Hat Marker Art Video | Glitter Meets Glue
- Step-by-Step Elf Drawing | Art Projects for Kids Blog
- Elf Ornament Crafts | Rhythms of Play
Cool Snowman Art Project and Painting Ideas for Children
The collection of cool snowman art projects and painting ideas below offers a fantastic way for children to explore their creativity while embracing the winter season. One popular snowman art project is creating a mixed-media snowman, where kids can paint a snowy background and then add a collage snowman using cotton balls or white paper for a textured, three-dimensional effect.
Another engaging snowman art idea is finger painting snowmen. Invite little ones to use their fingers to dab white paint on blue paper, creating the body, and then adding details like hats, scarves, and carrot noses with colored markers or paints. Or, make 3D snowman or snowwoman figurines with clay with this fun snowman ornament craft tutorial.
For a unique twist, children can paint snowmen from an unusual perspective, like looking up from the ground or a snowman ‘selfie.’ Adding glitter or using metallic paints can spark the snowy scenes, just like real snow under the winter sun. These activities offer a fun and interactive way to celebrate the winter season and help develop fine motor skills and artistic expression in children.
What is a Snowman?
A snowman or snowperson is a snow sculpture or figure built in the winter after a fresh heavy snowfall. Making a snowman is a popular outdoor winter pastime, especially for children and their families. Traditionally, a snowman is created by rolling and stacking snow into three large balls of decreasing size, representing the snowman’s body, torso, and head. So, a typical snowman usually has two or three giant snowballs of different sizes stacked one upon the other, with the biggest snowball placed on the bottom.
Once the basic structure is made, additional natural materials and features are added to give the snowman personality and character. Common decorations include rocks or coal for eyes and buttons, a carrot for the nose, and sticks for arms. People also dress their snowmen with clothing such as hats, scarves, or earmuffs to add whimsy and charm. There are many ways to make and build a snowman, as there are ways to create snowman art. Try a few of the festive snowman art projects below with your children this year!
Why and how have snowmen become associated with Christmas?
In many cultures, the snowman has become a beloved symbol of winter and the holiday season. It is often featured in various forms of media, literature, and art, symbolizing winter’s fun and playful aspects. The image of a snowman evokes the joy and creativity of building and playing in the snow, making it a cherished Christmas and winter icon for both children and adults.
Snowman Art Ideas for Kids
- Snowman Directed Drawing | Proud to be Primary
- How to Paint a Simple Snowman | Flower Patch Farmhouse
- Snowman Painting ~ Winter Art Projects for Kids | Housing a Forest
- DIY Snowman Ornament Crafts | Rhythms of Play
- Fingerprint Snowman Art | Rhythms of Play (photo below)
- For more snowperson art ideas and activities, pop over to look at these winter art projects for kids!
Cute Reindeer Art Projects and Painting Ideas for Kids
Cute reindeer art projects and painting ideas are a delightful way for kids to get into the festive spirit of the holiday season. One charming project idea is creating handprint reindeer, where children can use their handprints as the reindeer’s antlers, adding features like eyes, a red nose, and a smiling mouth to complete the face.
Another fun reindeer art activity is painting or drawing reindeer portraits, encouraging kids to imagine and depict their unique versions of Santa’s famous helpers. They can use brown, red, and white colors to bring their reindeer to life, adding sparkly embellishments like glitter for a magical touch.
For a more tactile experience, making 3D reindeer crafts out of brown paper, craft sticks twigs, or wooden dowels decorated with googly eyes and red pompom noses can be engaging and educational. These reindeer art projects stimulate creativity and fine motor skills and create a joyful opportunity for kids to explore and express their holiday cheer through reindeer arts and crafts.
How and Why have reindeer become associated with Santa?
The association of reindeer with Santa Claus and Christmas has its origins in early American literature combined with ancient folklore. Santa’s reindeer were first made famous by a poem titled “A Visit from Saint Nickolas.” This famous poem was first published anonymously in 1823 and later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore.
Today this poem is known as “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” and is believed to be the first known written account that links Santa Claus and his reindeer. The image of Santa flying in his sleigh led by reindeer captured the public’s imagination and blended with existing folklore about Santa’s magical journey around the world on Christmas Eve. It also introduced the idea of Santa Claus driving a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer, each with their own unique name: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder (later Donner), and Blitzen.
Why and How did reindeer become associated with Christmas?
In the days leading up to Christmas, we often share the tales of Santa and his flying reindeer with children. According to tradition, Santa’s reindeer pull the sleigh and help Santa Claus deliver gifts to all the girls and boys worldwide on Christmas Eve.
But why not also share the ancient stories and folktales that influenced these modern-day tales with our children? The legend of Santa Claus and his reindeer originates in folktales from around the world. The two most notable are the legend of Saint Nicolas (mentioned above) and the “Deer Mother.”
In ancient times, people believed that the deer mother took flight on the night of the winter solstice. The darkest, longest night of the year. The Deer Mother was revered by many ancient peoples and was said to carry the sun’s life-giving light back to the Earth. Once I learned about this ancient folktale, I better understood why Rudolf had the brightest light guiding the sleigh through the skies!
How and Why did Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer become associated with Santa and Christmas?
The addition of Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer, came later in 1939. Robert L. May created Rudolph as part of a Christmas story for the Montgomery Ward department store. Rudolph’s story of overcoming obstacles and his glowing red nose, lighting the way for Santa’s sleigh, further cemented reindeer as a central part of the Christmas narrative.
Over time, the image of Santa and his reindeer has become an iconic symbol of Christmas, celebrated in songs, movies, and literature, contributing to the magic and wonder of the holiday season.
What are Santa’s reindeer names in order, and how many reindeer does Santa have?
Santa’s reindeer names in order are Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen, made famous by the story “‘Twas the night before Christmas.” Later, the popularity of the song “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer” brought Santa’s official number of reindeer up to nine.
Reindeer Art Ideas for Children
- Reindeer Directed Drawing-how to draw a reindeer | BusyKidsHappyMom
- Sponge Painted Reindeer | I Heart Crafty Things
- Handprint Reindeer Art| Crafty Morning
Related: Best Winter Art Projects for Kids
Christmas Nativity Art Ideas
Creating Christmas Nativity art is a meaningful and educational activity that allows children to explore the story of the birth of Jesus, a central narrative in Christian Christmas traditions. This artistic endeavor can take many forms, from drawing and painting scenes of the Nativity to constructing three-dimensional dioramas of the navity and the manger.
A popular project is to have children paint or color a stable scene, including key figures like Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, the shepherds, wise men, and animals. Materials such as construction paper, fabric scraps, and hay can add a tactile element to their creations.
For a more interactive experience, kids can make their own Nativity puppets using craft sticks or paper bags, which allows them to retell the story in their own words. These projects foster artistic skills and provide an engaging way for children to learn about and connect with Christmas’s historical and religious significance. Through creating Nativity art, children understand the holiday’s origins and the values of hope, joy, and peace it represents.
What is a Christmas Nativity Scene?
A Nativity scene depicts the birth of Jesus. The figures traditionally represented are the baby Jesus, his mother, Mary, and his father, Joseph. Sometimes the Three Wise Men, or Magi, are also included. Give one of the Christmas nativity art ideas below a try with your kids at home or in the classroom.
Related: Easy Holy Family Nativity Scene
Christmas Nativity Art Projects for Kids
- Nativity Christmas Art | Fun A Day
- Christmas Nativity Art | Munchkin Time
- DIY Christmas Nativity Craft | Rhythms of Play
- Simple Christmas Nativity Scene | Rhythms of Play
Related: DIY Craft Stick Nativity Stable
Christmas Nutcracker Art
What is a Christmas Nutcracker?
Nutcracker dolls are decorative figurines representing power, strength, and good luck. They also act as guardians against evil and danger. This is why a Nutcracker is almost always bearing its teeth. Try drawing a Christmas Nutcracker with this giant Nutcracker art project.
Christmas Nutcracker Art Projects for Kids
- Draw a Giant Nutcracker | Art Projects for Kids Blog
Related: Rustic Acorn Marble Ornaments
Christmas Ornament Art
Christmas ornaments are one of the most classic Christmas crafts around. Make some Christmas ornament art to accompany the Christmas ornament crafts you make with your children this year! You might also enjoy this list of DIY Christmas Ornaments you can make at home or in the classroom.
Easy Christmas Ornament Art Ideas
- Ornament Marker Drawings | Art Projects for Kids
- Potato Stamp Christmas Ornament Bulbs | Crafty Morning
- Holiday Ornaments Art Project | Artsonia
Best Christmas Handprint Art
Christmas handprint art is a beautiful keepsake gift that kids can make for parents and grandparents. Try any of the fun Christmas handprint art ideas below!
Christmas Handprint Art Projects for Kids
- Single Handprint Christmas Tree Art | Fun Handprint Art Blog
- Upward Handprint Christmas Tree Art | Pinky for Pink
- Family Downward Handprint Christmas Tree Canvas | Mum in the Madhouse
- Handprint Reindeer | Crafty Morning
- Best Christmas Handprint Art Ideas | Rhythms of Play–Click for more Christmas handprint art Ideas.
- Easy Christmas Carolers Handprint Art | Rhythms of Play (photo below)
Christmas Fingerprint Art
Kid-made Christmas fingerprint art is another fun and easy keepsake gift idea. Create some Christmas magic with your fingertips with any of these art ideas.
Easy Christmas Fingerprint Art Ideas
- Fingerprint Lights Christmas Tree Art | Rhythms of Play
- Reverse Fingerprint Christmas Tree Art | Rhythms of Play
- Best Christmas Fingerprint Art Ideas | Rhythms of Play–Click for more Christmas fingerprint art ideas.
Related: Best Fingerprint Art Ideas for Kids
Best Christmas Footprint Art
Christmas footprint art also makes a fabulous keepsake gift idea that kids can make. Make some handmade (or foot-made) Christmas art today!
Christmas Footprint Art Projects
- Reindeer Footprint Art| Emma Owl
- Footprint Christmas Tree | Fun Handprint Art Blog
- Best Christmas Footprint Art Ideas | Rhythms of Play–Click for more Christmas footprint art ideas.
Christmas Art Project Ideas for Children
Try any of these fun Christmas art projects with your children this year. We have included a selection of cute Christmas art projects for kids from toddlers to teens.
This collection has an art project to please everyone, from Christmas handprint and footprint art ideas to a fork-painted Christmas tree. Merry Christmas and happy holidays!
If you like Christmas art ideas, you will love this fantastic collection of winter art projects for kids and adults. You may also like 51 fun family Christmas traditions for a magical holiday.
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!
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