With our partner Fisher-Price™ Play Lab, we have been looking at how play and spending time together can help with children’s early years development.
This Christmas, there are many easy crafting activities that you can do together with your children and they can feel so rewarding. Here are some ideas you can try out at home with things that you have around the house already!
Home-made wrapping paper
- Make your very own wrapping paper using potato printing! This is an easy way to put your own “stamp” on your Christmas wrapping, and can be repeated as much as you need for all your festive wrapping.
- Halve a potato, draw your design on the flat side and then cut around it to make a stamp – make sure all knife work is done by an adult
- Dip the stamp in paint (we recommend washable paint!) or use a paintbrush to paint directly onto the stamp and then use this all over some plain paper, brown paper or even fabric to create your own design
- Simple shapes like stars, moons or Christmas trees work well and don’t worry about getting messy, that’s part of the fun!
- Friends and relatives love to receive something handmade from children and cards are perfect for this, especially showing you have spent time thinking of them
- Starting with a folded sheet of A4 card, you can make an effective card that children of all ages can decorate with designs of their own
- If you want to really get stuck into crafting, then you can save up bits and pieces such as ribbons, buttons and even dried Autumn leaves to add to the decoration
- Another good trick is to save old Christmas cards and decorations and re-use them in your Christmas card making – you can create a new festive scene, or cut out a new shape to the card such as a tree, bauble, cake, reindeer or sleigh
- Another adorable card craft is for children to paint their hands with washable paint and put a hand-print on paper – you can even decorate this to make a Christmas image such as a reindeer, Christmas tree or Santa. This also offers a wonderful memory of moment in their lives.
- Delicious and decorative, what more could you ask for when hanging something on your tree? Granted, these decorations can have a short shelf life in front rooms frequented by children and pets, but that’s all part of the fun! Check out our recipe.
- While we’re on the subject of gingerbread we should note that parents often love the idea of making a gingerbread house with their children, but feel they lack the skill to do so. If that sounds like you we covered this exact topic in a past Christmas blog
- Empty snow globes are very common and often not very expensive, and can easily be found in hobby shops, pound shops and online
- You can decorate the inside with natural items found outside, old toys or cake toppers to make a festive scene (though if you’re a dab hand at making miniature buildings don’t let us stop you!).
- Then simply fill them three-quarters full of water, add glycerine (available from chemists for very little money) and glitter, and you’ve got an authentic, attractive snow globe.
- If you’re on a tight budget, you can also make snow globes with a clean screw-top jar. Just glue a figure or decoration standing upright on the inside of the lid before following the rest of the instructions above. Tiny ones made using baby food jars look great on the Christmas tree.
- While you’re in those hobby and pound shops you might want to also keep your eyes open for clear plastic baubles as these are also great for low-effort, maximum-reward decorations.
- You can take two approaches to decorating baubles – either fill them with something attractive, such as a family member’s favourite sweets, nuts or sprinkles or decorate the outside with glue, glitter and markers that draw on plastic.
- You could even take some inspiration from the snow globes idea above and build a festive scene that captivates your children’s imagination.
- Alternatively the same craft shops also have craft kits containing wooden Christmas-themed shapes such as trees and these can be decorated with markers, glue and glitter to make decorations or personal gifts for beloved teachers.
- Turkey is the traditional food of Christmas dinner, and turkey wouldn’t be what it is without cranberry sauce!
- Since it’s often not used too much throughout the rest of the year families don’t necessarily keep a jar on hand, which makes it a perfect gift for the big day.
- You can use this recipe or watch our how-to video to craft a delicious gift for someone else or to simply ensure your dinner table doesn’t go without. The recipe itself is simple and messy, so kids love getting involved, and you can also work with them to create labels for the jars, making it a surprisingly kid-friendly activity.
- Another Hobby shop essential you can pick up are polymer clay sets. They’re easy to sculpt and can be baked in an oven so they harden.
- You can then use them as either a decoration itself (remember to add a wire hoop!) or as the centrepiece of your snow globe or bauble.
- You can also use more traditional clay to set a handprint of your children to mark a moment in time. Once it’s dry you can then paint it to save as a keepsake or frame it to give to a relative as a gift (this one tends to go down a storm with grandparents).
- One of the best ways to warm the winter nights without turning the heating on is with a mug of hot chocolate – and is always appreciated by children (and grown-ups),
- You can create a special hot chocolate mix as a present too – find out here with this handy help sheet or watch our how-to video.
- You could also set up a hot chocolate station for the month, with plastic storage tubs or sealable jars featuring things like marshmallows, candy canes, sprinkles and chocolate buttons.
- Reindeer food is an idea that really captures our children’s imaginations and can lead to some great Christmas memories you’ll all treasure
- For an environmentally friendly reindeer food recipe that is safe for wildlife check out the RSPCA’s instructions here on how to make some
Fruit cake in a jar
- If you’re looking for a food gift that can last long past Christmas day then fruit cake may be the answer, as it’s got legendary staying power
- It’s also cheap to make, as we demonstrate in this recipe from our services. The instructions are also available as a handy how-to video
- This is a great idea for crafting something to send to distant relatives, who might be expensive to post something to
- Simply choose a picture or video clip or two for each month of the year and make a video montage using video editing software on your computer, or via one of a number of free apps for your tablet or phone.
- You can then send an email including the video or share it via messaging apps.
- This idea could also be applied to the music you loved that year or a playlist of funny or entertaining online videos you’ve enjoyed.
- Sharing these can let those you care about know what you’re into and provide discussion points and shared reference points for the year to come.
Find out more about our Make Theirs Magic Christmas campaign and how you can get involved.