Finding something to keep your offspring entertained can be a little tricky when you have a million and one things to plan and organise. Least of all gifts for various family members, plus the gifts for the children.
We have scoured the internet to come up with some crafty ideas for Christmas presents which you could get the children involved with. Thus killing two birds with one stone. You have found something to keep the children amused while you trawl the internet for that ‘must have’ gift for them this year. Hopefully you will also end up with something kitsch and cute to give to Grandma, Aunty or your best mate who just loves anything that has that air of childish charm about it.
It is sensible to remember which friends and relatives kept that potato print picture on the fridge – they are much more likely to appreciate the crafty kids stuff! Despite this, we have tried to come up with some ideas that would be useful and people are likely to want to keep (no toilet rolls, dried pasta or washing up liquid bottles in sight!)
Hanging Plant Pot
This first one is how to make a plant hanger using Macramé. Macra-what you say? It is a method of knotting – rather than knitting or weaving. With the loom band craze having swept our nation over the past few years, this one may appeal to those children who became experts. If your children are a little too young for the complex knots you can leave them to decorate the pot and painting the beads.
Next up we have found a really beautiful way of making Christmas decorations that would likely cost a small fortune in the garden centres of Britain!
You can buy clear baubles from craft centres, or on website such as eBay. You can find plastic ones for around 50p per bauble and glass ones for around £1 per bauble and they come in packs of 10.
If the intricate bird design in this link is a little complex, why not try and get your children to design a snowflake or draw or paint something. This could then be put inside and create a unique decoration to keep.
Tasty Christmas Trees
We couldn’t have a gift guide without including something tasty – you wouldn’t even have to give these as a gift you could make these up as a party snack or as a Christmas Eve treat. Either way we know you and your children will love them!
100g softened butter
100g golden caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 medium eggs
100g self-raising flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons milk
sprinkles etc. for decorating – mini smarties, metallic edible balls, popping candy – naything to make decorating fun!
8 lollipops or cake pop sticks
- Turn on the oven to 180 degrees (160 if you have a fan oven) Gas Mark 4. Grease a baking tin which is 20cm in diameter and line with a circle of baking parchment.
- Mix the butter with the sugar and vanilla extract, and mix until creamy. You could then get the kids to crack the eggs into a separate clear bowel and once you are happy there are no pesky bits of shell in there, one at a time, mixing these into the main mixture.
- Sift the cocoa and flour together (children love doing this bit!) Add the cocoa, flour and milk stirring everything together until smooth.
- Spoon into the cake tin and use the back of a wooden spoon to spread the top to make it as flat. Then bake for 20 mins. You will know it is ready when you poke a skewer into the centre and it comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool on a rack once it comes out.
- Once the cake is cool – cut into wedge (tree) shapes and put a lollipop stick or cake pop stick into the ‘outside’ of each triangle. The stick creates the tree trunk.
- Decorate! Let the kids go mad with edible decorations! You might want to mix some green food colouring with icing sugar and water to create a slightly runny mixture to cover the trees first. Or create stripes across the tree.
If you were creative you could do different shapes or spherical cake pops and decorate as Christmas puddings, Santas, Reindeer – the possibilities are endless!! To give as gifts, you would need to make them quite soon to when you want to give them.
To wrap the trees up you could cover them in clear cellophane. You may find different colours or Christmas themed cellophane if you look in baking equipment shops and hobby stores. Wrap the cellophane over the top of the tree and tie/secure to the stick using a ribbon.
If you are going to use them for a party – why not turn a shoe box upside down, get the children to decorate it and then poke holes in the top to stand the cake pops in?
Recipe was found on the BBC Good Food websites here. Image Courtesy of BBC Good Food.
If you have made or baked something with your children this holiday season – let us know! We like to hear from your ‘little experts’ and see what they have been up to. Whether it is playing with our toys and games or just getting crafty.