Updated: Dec 14, 2020
Want to personalise your Christmas gifts this year, or just find some activities to keep the kids busy over the break? Here are some great ideas to get you started.
In my mid-20's, pre-kids, I decided one year I was going to make one present for each family member. I'm not sure how well used those presents actually were (no one needs a 5-foot long scarf), but they all appreciated the effort that went into them.
Now in my mid (ahem)-30's I can't even imagine having the luxury of enough time to make presents. But my daughters love making stuff and so I started thinking about what they could be making this year. Not only will family members appreciate the effort, but it's also better for the environment and cheaper on the pocket than buying new.
Here's some ideas I've pulled together for making presents, or just having some fun being creative as a family this Christmas while we're at home for even longer than usual.
1. Christmas Cards
Ok, so this isn't technically a present idea, but they're really quick to make and you could just make a few for close family members and friends.
There are of course lots of lovely ideas for cards, but a couple I particularly loved were this fingerprint Christmas lights design from Crafty Morning which is perfect for really little ones and this more high tech paper circuit flashing card from Makerspaces, perfect for older children and those less interested in traditional craft activities.
2. Snow Slime in a Jar
If your kids and their friends love getting messy, then this snow slime idea from No Time for Flashcards is the one for you.
This ultimate slime recipe is Christmas themed and we all know that anything presented in a decorative glass jar immediately doubles in value.
There's also a pretty peppermint version you could try from MomDot.
3. Ice Lanterns
Let's hope the temperature doesn't go below freezing this Christmas, but if it does then at least these beautiful ice lanterns from Practically Functional will last that bit longer.
Perfect to decorate the front door step when you're having (no more than two households of) visitors, they can be made with just a few sprigs of Christmas greenery and some water. However, I don't recommend wrapping them and leaving them under the tree.
I'll be showing you how to make one of these lanterns in Little STEAMers this week too. You'll need to work together as a family!
4. Christmas Family Game
Make your own family Christmas game using a set of index cards or coloured A4 card cut up into eight. Decorate the back of each card in some way, or if you want to tie in some computer skills, these could be made on Word and printed out, similar to those shown in the picture below.
A simpler version for younger children uses craft sticks, which could then be put into a decorated jam jar.
Kids can really go to town on the rules for the game, but a simple version is to write a favourite family or Christmas song, movie or food item on one side. Then the game can be played using the rules from Pictionary, Charades or some combination of the two. Encourage them to keep the rules simple, as chances are the complicated version of the game they have in mind, won't be so fun in practice.
Finish off the game with a Christmas ribbon or a decorative box. Designing and making a game can keep kids occupied for hours, leaving you to enjoy a mince pie or two!
5. Cookies & Treats
There are of course about a million different recipes and ideas for Christmas cooking, but I particularly like this list from BBC Good Food.
Kids can choose their own recipe from over 70 ideas and be as independent as they like in preparing them, making this perfect for children of absolutely any age and grown up children too. Yum!
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