To mark the countdown to Christmas and get into the festive spirit, what better way than making some Christmassy crafts? We’ve found two fun activities that you can do with the children which will also make really wonderful gifts for families.
Salt dough ornaments
Salt dough ornaments are really easy to make and look great hanging on Christmas trees. Adding the child’s name and date on the back will make it a treasured decoration for many years to come.
To begin with, you’ll need:
-1 cup of salt
-1 cup of plain flour
-1 cup of water
Instructions to make your salt dough ornament:
- To make the dough, mix together the salt and the plain flour.
- Take your cup of water and add it gradually to the mixture. Stop pouring the water before the dough becomes too sticky.
- Knead the dough on a floured surface (this is a great exercise to strengthen children’s hand and finger muscles).
- Using a range of cookie cutters, children can choose a shape they’d like to cut from the dough. Using a straw, poke a hole near the top of each shape so that it will be easy to thread a ribbon through later.
- Put the dough shapes on a tray lined with baking paper. Cook the dough on a very low heat (100 degrees Celsius) for up to 3 hours. If the dough is over 1 cm thick, the shapes will need to be turned over part way through the cooking process.
- Once the dough is dried out, leave it to cool. During this time, children can choose which colours and decorations they’d like to add to their shape. Acrylic paint sticks to the dough well, unlike water-based paint.
- Once the acrylic paint dries, children can add glitter, buttons or sequins with some runny PVA glue.
- When the decorating is complete and everything dries, thread some string or a ribbon through the hole. Now they’re ready to be hung on a Christmas tree!
Christmas button wreaths
As a variation on the foliage wreaths made from live plants, why not make button wreaths with the children? They make great decorations for around the home and they won’t go rotten like a normal wreath does!
To begin, you’ll need:
-Pipe cleaners (green)
Instructions to make your Christmas button wreath:
- Lay out a selection of different sized and shaped buttons for children to thread onto the pipe cleaner. The pipe cleaner will need to be worked in and out of two holes of each button, making this activity great for fingers practising fine motor skills!
- Once each child has finished the design of their wreath, help them bend the pipe cleaner into a circular shape.
- Twist the two ends of the pipe cleaner to secure the buttons in place.
- Allow the child to choose a ribbon, which can be secured around the top of the wreath. The wreath can now be hung from a Christmas tree or have pride of place on a mantelpiece!
What crafts will you be making with your children over the festive period? Take pictures and let us know by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook @TheParentaGroup.