Crowded streets, parcel deliveries, and late night shopping! The real hustle and bustle of Christmas isn’t much fun for little ones. Beyond decorating the tree, and getting them to help wrap Granny’s presents, what else can you do to keep your children entertained this Christmas?
These are our top craft picks from around the web!
Scandi-Inspired Twig Tree
This twig tree offers two activities in one! Firstly, don your warm clothes and wellies and head to the woods. Spend a morning in the great outdoors and gather up twigs of all different sizes. (Don’t forget to take a carrier bag!)
Once home, all you will need is some string – fishing wire is perfect, but embroidery thread or garden twine will work just fine. Tying the twigs together in size order will encourage your child’s fine motor skills development, whilst also teaching them about sizing and ordering.
Then the fun part! Decorate to your heart’s content. This crafty activity was featured over on Love Chic Living’s blog, where writer Jen Stanbrook talks of the importance of festive decorating which suits your home.
Take the scandi-inspired look even further by collecting up feathers, dried leaves or pine cones whilst out in the woods. Or why not make some of our festive lacing cards by Red Ted Art. Loop the end of the thread to make a hanging decoration you can add to your twig tree.
Make-your-own Magical Snow Globes
What better excuse to fill lunchboxes with jam sandwiches all week so you can empty all of those jars! For these DIY snow globes you will need:
- Cleaned out, empty jars complete with lid
- Cute knick-knacks, model trees, or mini ornaments
Start by spreading glue across the inside of your jar lid, and stick your little model down and leave to dry.
Next, carefully tip some glitter into the jar, approximately a 0.5 – 1cm layer should be plenty, then fill with water. You may need to experiment with the level – remember your model is going to take up some space. This is a great activity for introducing your young ones to problem solving as you test how much water is needed.
Finally, glue the lid shut. Leave it to dry, and Voila! A magical, handmade snow globe!
These snow globes make a perfect gift. So now you need the wrap.
We all know that Christmas wrapping lasts a matter of seconds, and that gift bags can be costly, so why not make them yourself!
Over at Messy Little Monster, mum of two blogger, Louise, has a great tutorial on making these homemade paper gift bags.
For more sponging and stamping fun, why not give Linocut Boy’s potato print wrapping paper a go. Supervise older children cutting their potato design themselves, and let younger ones draw on the design and you can cut it for them.
This awesome printing activity is so much fun for the whole family to get involved with and a lovely personalised touch too. Ideal for wrapping around gifts for friends, family and teachers alike.
Chocolate Christmas Tree Pie
Christmas, and our roundup, wouldn’t be complete without something chocolatey. This tasty creation is not only delicious, but also teaches youngsters about shapes and tests their fine motor skills as they fold and twist the tree into a 3D wonder.
You will simply need:
- Two puff pastry sheets (we’re no Mary Berry, so shop bought will do just fine)
- Chocolate spread – this recipe uses Nutella, but you can use any spread you have
- Toppings – again, this recipe sprinkles nuts on, but chocolate chips, cranberries, or mini marshmallows work amazingly too
Tastemade have described their creation as “the kind of Christmas tree that everyone will want to gather around”, and we agree!
Salt Dough Robins
We can’t get enough of these salt dough robins. Not only do they make cute decorations to hang off the tree, they double as a precious keepsake. Made from your little one’s handprint they are a lovely creation to treasure and you can look back in years to come, reminiscing how small they once were.
Best of all, salt dough is made from three simple ingredients you are sure to have:2 cups of plain flour
- 1 cup of salt
- Up to 1 cup of water
It really is as simple as that. What’s more, you can add spices to your dough at the kneading stage and your decorations will smell as lovely and Christmassy as they look!
Head to the Messy Little Monster blog for further instructions.
Pinecone Natural Ornaments
Our final favourite from around the web, is these crafty pinecone ornaments from Rainy Day Mum.
It’s another go-to-the-woods-armed-with-a-carrier-bag idea, which we love, not only because it costs next to nothing, but because it’s a great way of getting the kids out in the open on the weekends.
Gather up all the pinecones and crafty materials you can find and really go to town. Rainy Day Mum has collated a host of ideas to have a go at.
For the glitter-obsessed (with brave parents), try these sparkly creations –
For the creative, why not paint your pinecone tree-green and adorn with bead decorations. Or why not challenge your child’s fine motor skills with a pipe-cleaner weaving activity.
Whatever the outcome, you are guaranteed to get in the Christmas mood and have an amazing time with these activities. Why not pop some festive tunes on to really add to the sense of occasion?!
Encourage learning as you go by talking to children about colours, shapes and patterning whilst you make. Getting crafty also improves a child’s concentration, and the reward of a finished creation in the end makes the entire process worthwhile.
We would love to see your pictures if you give any of these a go, or hear from you with your own ideas for Christmassy craft creations. Tweet us, tag us on Instagram, or get in touch via Facebook or email.