Monkey and I had some fun making Christmas crafts. Pinterest is pretty great for searching for ideas. I figured handrpint ornaments would be appropriate for a 2.5 year old, and they turned out pretty well.
I found a spiced salt dough recipe online, and I'd say making the dough was Monkey's favorite part. The dough still smells really good, though the ornaments did puff up a bit. I found conflicting advice on cooking them, and I should have cooked them at a lower temperature over a longer period of time. Around 200 for at least an hour probably would have been better.
I thought Monkey would enjoy the painting part, but after a few strokes, he was done and it was up to me to paint the rest of them. He did get a kick out of the handprints becoming reindeer, though, of course, anything reindeer this year is a big hit.
He was also very good for the handprints, being patient while I painted his hand, then being still while we placed his hand on the ornaments. Moose, on the other hand, well it was definitely a challenge getting him to spread out his hand.
We wrapped up the ornaments as presents for our family, and Monkey also had fun with that process.
My other "craft" was making a train table for Monkey's big train set gift. We had a coffee table up in the attic that we weren't using anymore, as we'd needed the floor space for toys. Instead of buying a specific train table, we just brought that back down, and then I stapled brown felt onto it. This way, my table is protected, and he has a good surface for playing trains, without having to have them spread out all over my floor all the time. And, we didn't need yet another piece of toy/furniture!
I can definitely say, having a toddler who is excited about Christmas does make the season last longer, and it is certainly more fun! I think he'll be disappointed though, once the tree is down, and his Santa and reindeer stuffed animals are put away! He has already been asking about his elf on the shelf, Max.