News and Features

Art&Seek Jr: Keep it Real (and Simple) with Holiday Activities for the Kids

Art&Seek Jr. is one mom‘s quest to find activities to end the seemingly endless chorus of the “I’m Bored Blues” while having fun herself.  Impossible you say? Check back on Tuesdays for kid-friendly events that are fun for adults, too.

I don’t know about you, but with only 14 days left until Christmas, I’m feeling a bit harried. Besides hitting the mall and decking the halls with boughs of holly, my list also includes cookie baking, party hosting and getting out that stack of Christmas cards that have been sitting on the kitchen table for a week. I remember how my mother used to sit and write out long personalized messages on each of the 100 odd cards she’d send out each holiday season. I’ll be lucky if mine have a stamp the way things are going.

Making a gingerbread house with a 3-year-old isn’t always simple, but it’s definitely sweet. Photo: Therese Powell

If you’re like me, it’s very easy to get caught up in the “rush, rush, rush” to the point that the “fa, la, la” gets completely forgotten. I find that about now is a good time to step back and enjoy some simple holiday sweetness. No, not gingerbread men – although, they do sound good. The simple holiday sweetness I’m talking about are those uncomplicated moments you share with your kids that remind you how great it is being a parent. They become the sweet memories you recall years later when you’re dreaming about December some hot July afternoon.

This week’s events fit the bill in the simple holiday sweetness department. And, best of all, you don’t have to go anywhere near a mall.

Yes, I say it over and over again, but truly, your public library is one of the best places to find great activities for kids. And this time of year you’re also going to find buckets full of simple holiday sweetness. Here are just a few of the many I plucked off the Art&Seek calendar:

  • The Parr Branch of the Plano Public Library is having a  Holly Jolly storytime & craft get together on Thursday. You and your kids ages 2-5 can get into the holiday spirit with books, songs and a holiday craft.
  • Jolly Old St. Nick will be at the the South Branch of the Denton Public Library on Wednesday and Thursday. Kids can enjoy stories, songs and puppets with Santa. Be sure to bring your camera for the photo opt with the big guy after the program.
  • On the other side of town at the Emily Fowler Branch of the Denton Public Library, kids 5 and up can join the Garden Culture Club and make gourd Christmas ornaments and other Christmas decorations for the holidays.

Stumped for a gift for granny? How about an ornament the kids made themselves? Photo: Vetro Glassblowing Studio & Gallery

And speaking of ornament making, artist Romi Gold will be at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center on Saturday for an ornament workshop. She’ll help you and the kids create your very own customized ornament. No need to bring any materials, the OCC will have everything you need – unless you want to be extra creative. Then, by all means, go crazy!

Finally, if you’re looking for the perfect gift for granny and wanting to take ornament making up a notch, you and the kids will definitely want to try the hand-blown glass ornament workshop at Vetro Glassblowing Studio and Gallery. With the help of an adult, children color the mixes, apply the colors to a hot molten glass gather and then watch as the glassblower creates the finished ornament. My guess is the wee ones won’t want to part with the ornament, and Granny will end up with a sweater. But that’s OK – not wanting to let go is the best part of simple, holiday sweetness.

Therese Powell is an Art&Seek calendar coordinator and KERA-TV producer.  She spends most of her free time seeking out adventures for her 7-year-old daughter, Rose.  Clue us in to your ideas for quirky kid adventures by leaving a comment. Or e-mail Therese at tpowell@kera.org.