By Claire Dale
The holiday season is fast approaching, and the nights are drawing in colder. Winter is definitely almost here, which means it’s the perfect opportunity to spend some time indoors with your kids enjoying the art of craft together.
Christmas is a fantastic reason to encourage your children to start crafting. The magic of Santa Claus and his flying reindeer is enough to get those young imaginations to work and handmade and hand crafted objects make wonderful presents for beloved family members. In fact, craft in general is an area ripe for plundering for Christmas gifts! If you have Christmas presents to buy for children (and it’s often so hard to know what to buy for the kids that have everything!) then arts and craft books make wonderful gifts: you’re not just giving a book, you’re giving the gift of creativity, and hours of potential fun to be had! If you’re looking to fill some of those long winter’s nights with your family then here are some fun craft ideas that you can enjoy helping the children in your life to create:
For Babies – Robin Red Breast Christmas Cards
Even the smallest members of the house hold can join in the fun of creating something for Christmas. These robin red breast Christmas cards are so easy to make, but they look so effective too!
You will need:
Card stock and envelopes
Take your baby’s clean foot and brush a layer of brown paint over it: brushing the paint onto the foot will give a better finished result than simply dipping the foot into the paint. Take the painted foot and place it on the front of the card going diagonally from the top right hand corner down to the bottom left hand corner (with the toes at the bottom left hand side). This will form the body of your robin. Next take some red paint and paint a semi-circle inside the arch of the foot: this will form the robin’s red belly. Wait for this to dry. Finally, take your fine line marker pen and use it to give your robin legs, an eye, and a pointy beak. And that’s it! Your robin red breast Christmas card is complete! Of course, if you have the time and the materials you could embellish your card further: adding background to your robin, or writing ‘Merry Christmas’ at the bottom of your card. But I think it looks both simple and effective just as it is!
For Younger Children - Flying Bird Ornaments
Sticking with the theme of seasonal birds, these flying doves of peace will make fantastic ornaments to place on your Christmas tree. And they’re so easy to make that you’ve children will enjoy making plenty of them – enough to give to grandma and granddad too!
To make one bird you will need:
First you will need to cut out your bird shapes from your felt: one piece of felt will form the dove’s front, the other piece of felt will form his back. Depending on the skill levels of your children, you could choose to draw a template of these pieces so that they can draw around it and create birds that look fairly uniform. I prefer to let them cut their own shapes and end up with several different kinds of bird! Remember to watch young children closely when they’re using scissors: you may even feel safer cutting these shapes for them! Once you have your two shapes, fold over your ribbon to make a loop, place it against one of your bird shapes, then use the fabric glue to sandwich the two pieces of fabric together, with the loop inside. Press the two pieces firmly together and leave for around 15 minutes until it is completely dry. Then use your fine line marker pen to give your bird eyes on either side. The final step is to decorate him! Sequins, holly springs and glitter all make fantastic embellishments.
For Older Children - Pom Pom Snowman
These pom pom snowmen make great furry friends for kids over the festive period, or you could even add a little loop of yarn and hang them from your Christmas tree. How could you resist?
You will need:
Two 2 1/4-inch pom-poms
You can make this cute snowman using either shop bought pom-poms, or you could even make your pom-poms yourself. However you’re doing it, take your pom-poms and using your needle and threat, attach the three pom-poms together in a row. Take your black yarn and stitch two coal black eyes and a mouth onto the top pom-pom (this will form your head). Then take your buttons and stitch one onto each of the body pom-poms. Create a hat for your snowman using a little strip of red felt: wrap the felt strip around the top of the snowman’s head and stitch it on. Finally, loop the red ribbon around your snowman’s neck; this will form his scarf. Now your little snowman is ready to go!