• Wednesday, 21 December 2016

    Simple Crafts to Occupy Kids Before Christmas

    Christmas is all about kids, right? No, I don't have any myself, but I do have a fantastic eight year old niece. The last few days before Christmas can always be a nightmare for parents, with lots of excitement building up, kids can be a bit off the rails and very hyper. And as I am obviously a super helpful auntie, I do my best to keep her occupied whilst she's off school and give her parents a chance to do their own thing. Crafts are always the best way to keep my niece happy, she loves getting a chance to be creative. But all of these crafts are honestly so easy that anyone could do them.

    1. Salt Dough Decorations
      
    Ah, the classic Christmas craft and it couldn't be more simple. 1/2 cup of salt, 1 cup of flour and about 1/2 cup of water, chuck it all together to make a dough. Roll it out and cut shapes, make sure there's a hole for some string. I did this with my niece last week, we added a bit of cinnamon to make it smell nice and colour it a slight brown shade. We only had heart shaped cookie cutters at the time, so we free-styled a few and my clever niece came up with the idea of cutting around a reindeer shaped decoration from the tree. Bake them for an hour on a low heat, let them cool and paint. I didn't take any pictures of the most recent ones we made, but here's a few I made earlier! (Two years earlier to be precise...)

    2. Gingerbread.
    I'm appalled with myself that I haven't made any gingerbread yet this year. It's my favourite Christmas bake and I find that kids love to get involved, in particular with the decorating side of things. I don't have a particular recipe I use, I tend to just google it and see what turns up. BBC's food website tends to have the best ones, even though they took down a bunch of recipes not too long ago. If you're feeling really ambitious, you could even try building a gingerbread house. Which isn't too scary, as you can get specialist kits from most supermarkets.

    3. Paper chains. 
    You can't really get much more simpler than paper chains can you. Paper strips, a bit of tape or a stapler and a spare hour. Can easily be done with leftover wrapping paper, or even old magazines and newspaper. 

    4. Christmas cake decorating.
    This has always been one of my favourite parts of Christmas, I've been decorating the family cake since I was tiny. And the last time I got my niece involved she was pretty excited by it too. It makes me sad that practically everyone my age hates Christmas cake, because I adore it. When I first got married and spent Christmas away from the family, my mum made sure to send me a little rectangular cake to decorate because she knows I love it, despite Jay's hatred. Admittedly, this particular example is not my finest work.

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