The countdown is on and what more fun to get you in the mood for Christmas than arts and crafts with a six and three year old… hmmm just about anything else.
Each year, I undertake the eugh task of getting out the paint supplies and having them make something absolutely stunning. (Well they make something okay). It’s a tradition, and with every year there’s a new ornament to add or something to hang in the window. Our collection is growing.
This year we will be making salt dough ornaments (again). They are honestly the cheapest, quickest craft for kids to do, they adore it. It’s hardly any mess and can be spread out in the day so no one gets bored and clean up is manageable.
Amounts equal to 1 cup of flour, ½ cup of salt, ½ cup of water. Simply mix dry ingredients and slowly add water as needed to the right consistency until it is ready to knead until smooth and rolled out to be cut into an assortment of cookie shapes; remind children not to eat the dough, and to wash hands afterwards as salt can be irritating.
Once ready bake for 3-4 hours on a low setting…. Now put your feet up and ignore the cries of ‘are they ready yet mum? It’s a long time, ‘I get it kid’, but it also means you can clean up and pop on a christmas movie to get them further in the festive mood.
Once the dough has hardened, and hopefully not cracked, leave them to cool and decorate as so. We are partial to a bit of finger poster paint with glitter, and occasionally I will be trustworthy and let them use my acrylic paints. But anything works well.
In the past we’ve also decorated Santa’s Christmas eve plate with the sharpies. It’s such a quick and easy way of adding a personal touch. This year I’ve head on over to the my nearest Poundland and grabbed a few cups for us to decorate. Whatever they want, it doesn’t have to necessarily be for Mr Kringle himself, but adorned with something christmassy to drink hot chocolate out of is the task.
Oil based sharpie markers work the best apparently, as they can be washed without the colours fading. However we’ve used the regular ones and although the colours aren’t as vivid after baking, it does the job, especially if it’s just for decoration anyway. (The kids don’t actually eat of their Santa plate, it’s usually a display item).
This year I will be investing in the right Sharpies though as I’d quite enjoy a cup of milk out of my hand decorated Santa mug. They only take 30 minutes at 180 degrees in the oven after the design has dried out.
Lastly it wreath making using paper plates. This is usually the messiest one out of all three. Glitter bomb the dining room and you’ll usually be picking silver fluff of your feet for weeks to come. No matter how meticulous I hoover and wipe over each side there is always something left over to mock me.
You basically just need an assortment of glitter, tissue paper, buttons, green paint and pom poms for this rainy afternoon activity. Like literally anything you can get your hands on down the craft shop to be stuck down by messy pva toddler fingers.
Just simply cut out a circle in the middle of the plate to make your ring wreath and then let them go to town on it. Instruct them to paint the bottom green as to resemble the wreath, but apart from that let them embellish it to their little hearts desires.
I probably sound like such a grinch moaning about these experiences. But in all honesty, no matter how much stress, hair pulling and moans I express, I love it. My kids smiles on that one day make all the hard work worth it. Each end result we exhibit is one of craziness,and that’s just us. My son isn’t going to sit still and meticulously paint a work of art on salt dough. My daughter is going to get more paint on herself than the artwork. And my husband isn’t not going to moan about the mess of glitter for days…but hey ho! It’s not that big of a deal, and years of this occurences has just made me more willing to expect this.
Who else has a love/hate relationship with arts & crafts?!
Love Stevie x
You can read more of Stevie’s guest posts here.