7 Creative Uses for Leftover Wrapping Paper

Leftover Wrapping Paper Header

The holiday season is a time of generosity, family and gift-giving. Unfortunately, it’s also a time of waste: In the United States, people throw away 25% more trash during the winter holidays than any other time of year, resulting in millions of tons of garbage. One of the worst culprits is wrapping paper because most wrapping paper isn’t made from recycled materials and can’t be recycled. Every year, 4 million tons of leftover wrapping paper and shopping bags will end up in a landfill.

Here at KiwiCo, we are always looking for innovative ways to repurpose materials. Upcycling is eco-friendly and an opportunity for curiosity and creativity. Even if you plan to re-wrap your gifts using the same paper next year, here are some creative projects to use your wrapping paper scraps and cardboard tubes.

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5 Creative Hanukkah Traditions for Kids

Hanukkah is the Jewish Festival of Lights. During Hanukkah, on each of the eight nights, a candle is lit in a special menorah (candelabra). In addition to lighting the menorah, the holiday includes many awesome traditions from spinning the dreidel to cooking (and eating!) delicious food, and gift-giving. It’s a great time to gather with friends and family to share, craft, and create. Here are five creative ways to celebrate the holiday:

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9 Last-Minute Christmas Ornaments

Even in the middle of the holiday rush, there’s still time to hang a handmade ornament or two on the tree! Try these fun, last-minute projects to get one more seasonal craft in before Christmas. Most of these projects were submitted by our awesome community. They’re all designed to bring joy to both parents and kids, with a practical result!

Borax DIY Ornaments

Borax Ornament DIY Completed
These sparkly Borax Ornaments are courtesy of Stephanie S

We love crystal ornaments, and these double as a science project! You don’t even need to wait for weeks to see these crystals form. Using borax instead of salt or sugar will give you awesome, unique ornaments overnight!

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Awesome New Year’s Traditions From Around the World

As a kid, I remember being allowed to stay up on New Year’s Eve until the clock struck midnight. Then (after giving everyone a celebratory hug) we’d go outside to bang pots and pans. At the time, I didn’t realize that all that pot-banging began as a way to ward off bad spirits. My aunt begins each year by stepping forward on her right foot–to literally start her year off right! On New Year’s Day, our neighbors invite the whole neighborhood over for a pot of Hoppin’ John (black-eyed pea stew) that is said to bring good luck.

These are just a few popular American New Year’s traditions but there are many other customs in the U.S. and around the world. Does your family have a special way to ring in the new year?

All over the world, people celebrate the new year with different traditions. Here are a few awesome examples from around the globe: 

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Candy Cane STEM Experiments | 4 Fun Activities for Kids

Candy Cane STEM Experiments

The holidays are fast approaching, bringing candy canes as ubiquitous decorations and treats. Grab a handful and set young scientists on the path of discovery with these kitchen experiments!

  • Start off by learning how candy canes are made, how different components combine to make something new.
  • Dissolving Candy Canes: hypothesize about what will happen in different liquids.
  • Candy Cane Ornaments: How does heat changes matter?
  • Candy Cane Knots: What makes candy bend vs. break?
  • Candy Cane Construction: use candy canes to solve engineering challenges.
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3 Amazing Edible Experiments for the Holidays

Edible Experiment: Peppermint Meringue

Now you can combine holiday cooking with STEM learning with these delicious recipes adapted from the book Amazing (Mostly) Edible Experiments by Andrew Schloss published by Quarry Books. Simple to make, with easy teachable moments, these festive dishes bring kitchen science into the season. Make them with your friends and family for more holiday fun!

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5 Last-Minute Christmas Decorations Kids Can Make

Last-Minute Holiday Decorations: Felt Christmas Tree

Whether you just remembered that Christmas is coming — or trimmed the tree back in October — you can never have too many Christmas decorations! And never fear, there’s still plenty of time to make these short-and-sweet projects. Heat up some cocoa, crank up your favorite Christmas tunes, and deck the halls with these fun crafts!

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DIY Snowman Ornaments | Recycled Crafts for Kids

DIY Snowman Ornaments: Completed Bottlecaps

Don’t feel like you need to wait for snowfall to start working on homemade holiday decorations. Especially if you reside where snowfall is more an aesthetic than actual precipitation, these snowman ornaments will have home & hearth starting to look a lot like the holidays. Channel pre-Winter Break energy into finding reclaimed materials for these kid friendly craft projects. Objects from the recycling bin, garage, and basement plus some paint and ribbons are easily transformed into “jolly happy souls” that add magic to holiday decorating. 

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9 Creative Holiday Traditions from Around the World

It’s the most creative time of the year! All over the world, friends and family gather to make wonderful things for the holidays. Whether it’s painting ornaments to hang on the tree, twining wreaths to decorate the house, baking cookies for holiday swaps, beading necklaces for Kwanzaa, or dipping Hanukkah candles,  handcrafting treasures together is the best kind of celebration.

To celebrate the season, we explored the globe in search of delightful and creative hand-made traditions to share with you.   Here are a few of our favorites:

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