Easy Homemade Christmas Ornaments for Young Children


Are you looking for the perfect DIY ornaments for your toddlers, preschoolers, or young children this holiday season, but scared for a difficult, messy project? Look no further! We have our tried and true homemade ornaments that are remarkably easy and cheap to make that the whole family with love with only three simple ingredients! 

With young children around always wanting to help, we like to keep things simple. These homemade ornaments are a great way to involve your little ones (and possibly older kids as well!) in a fun Christmas project while making fun ornaments for your Christmas tree! 

These easy DIY Christmas ornaments are sure to be a huge hit! 

Gathering Supplies

These easy Christmas ornaments only need three things that you probably already have at home or can easily find at the dollar store. 

cinnamon christmas ornaments
  • Applesauce, sweetened or unsweetened (we found generic works better than the pricier name brand)
  • Cinnamon
  • White Glue
  • Cookie Cutters
  • A Plastic Straw

Then, you’ll want to find some supplies for decorating your ornaments. The easiest way is to just paint them, but you can also add things like glitter or hot glue pom poms on! Also, check your local craft store for little Christmas craft supplies they may have on sale. 

Making Your Dough

Here’s the recipe for the cinnamon dough:

  • 1 cup cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup white glue

Add a little bit more applesauce if your dough is dry and crumbling. Add a little bit more cinnamon if your dough is very wet and sticky.

little boy mixing dough in a bowl

Once the ingredients are combined and the mix resembles a thick dough, roll it out on parchment paper. The best way to do this is with a rolling pin to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. The thinner they are, the faster they will dry and be ready to decorate. 

little boy using a rolling pin on dough

Letting your younger kids help with the mixing of the dough and rolling it out is a great way to encourage fine motor skills, too. 

This whole process is so much fun and really gets everyone into the holiday spirit. Truly, kids of all ages will love making the dough, cutting out the shapes, and decorating their ornaments! 

little boy playing with cinnamon dough

Cutting Out Your Shapes

Once the dough is rolled out, you can begin to cut out your shapes with cookie cutters or really anything you have! Feel free to free hand it also if you’re confident. We found some Christmas cookie cutters at the dollar store.

little boy using cookie cutters on dough

For very young children (or children of any age really), you can cut out circles to make sweet keepsake handprint ornaments. We’ve even made a footprint keepsake ornament with a baby.

After you cut out your shapes, pull off any small pieces sticking out because you won’t be able to pull or break them off once the ornaments dry. 

cinnamon gingerbread boy ornament

Then, towards the top of each ornament, make a hole using the plastic straw. The small holes are for threading string, ribbon, or a hook to hand the ornament on the Christmas tree.

cinnamon christmas ornaments with a straw in it

Decorating Your Ornaments

Once you have let your ornaments dry for a few days (up to 7 days if they’re very thick), you can begin to decorate! This part of the project is a fun craft in and of itself, and there are so many different ways you can make beautiful ornaments.

little boy painting ornaments

To keep this an easy project, we choose to just paint this year. But there’s so many fun ideas! You can use pom poms, googly eyes, glitter, fake snow, and craft sticks to make festive ornaments. 

Lastly, put the string, ribbon, or hook on your ornaments.

Note: Acrylic paint does work better than washable paint because of the thickness of the paint on the dark background, but with little kids washable is much safer. This is a judgement call on your part. 

Creating Keepsakes

The best part about these ornaments, besides the fun of making them, is how long they will last. My mom made these same cinnamon ornaments with us as children, and she still has them on her own tree over 20 years later! 

These are also a fun way to make the perfect gift from children. Handmade ornaments on our tree are some of our favorite Christmas decor! 

Other Christmas Fine Motor Activities 

Try these other fun Christmas activities, like a Christmas sensory bin! You can find all the supplies at the dollar store, too. Here’s the full guide. 

Or reuse those Christmas cookie cutters for this fun holiday fine motor activity.

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