Making Styrofoam-filled Christmas Ornaments with a Preschooler

We’ve made several Christmas ornaments by stuffing things into a clear glass ball.

We tried several combinations of paint and glitter, and those didn’t come out as well as we would have liked. I’m not sure why.

We stuffed pom-poms into a bunch of them. Those were all really nice.

This ornament was supposed to be filled up with styrofoam beads and glitter.

I didn’t want to buy styrofoam beads (and wasn’t allowed to go shopping on bedrest), so we improvised. We had a bunch of styrofoam made from big pieces of foam, and Joe and Grace crumbled them up. It made a huge (fun) mess, but the finished ornaments were worth it. They looked really interesting, and the static created by the foam rubbing on itself made the glitter jump around inside.

Christmas Ornaments for Preschoolers

Styrofoam-filled Christmas Ornaments

Materials

  • Small glass ball ornaments (we used 4-inch size)**
  • Styrofoam beads or crumbled styrofoam – There are many different kinds of styrofoam. You want one that is made of big chunks of foam, as in the photo above. Smaller pieces of foam don’t crumble as easily.
  • Glitter – This was the cheapest glitter in the craft store, so the pieces are really large. In retrospect, we should have used the finest glitter I had. It would have gotten caught up in the beads and stuck from the static electricity. This glitter just sunk down to the bottom of the ornament.

Instructions

  1. Carefully remove the top from a glass ball ornament. Be very careful. The ornaments are thin glass, and it is easy to break them. Ask Joe.
  2. Help your child to fill the ball with styrofoam beads. It takes a bit longer than I expected, and eventually, Grace lost interest.
  3. About halfway through the filling, pour some glitter in with the foam. Finish filling the ball with styrofoam beads.
  4. Replace the ornament’s cap.
  5. Done!

 

A note about crafting with glass ornaments

**Be careful when doing this project. One of our ornaments had a sharp, glass spur inside the opening. I used an emery board to file it away before allowing Grace to stick her finger into the ball.

I really like these ornaments. They’re lightweight, so they actually hang on Grace’s little Christmas tree.

 Check out the rest of the Christmas Ornaments Preschoolers Can Make 

© 2012, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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