Have a handmade festive season with home-made decorations, presents and cards, created by your little ones (with a bit of help from Mum...)
Making your home sparkle with homemade decorations for Christmas is as exciting for your toddler as the big day itself. Even better, cutting wrapping paper with kid-friendly scissors will develop her fine motor skills, while using crayons will help strengthen her pincer grip, giving her a headstart for when she starts to learn to write. Be warned, it’s going to get messy…
Squirt paint into trays. Your toddler can dip her chosen shapes into the paint and print all on a sheet of brown paper. Use objects that are easy to grasp, so they don’t slide all over the paper.
You can also make gift tags by cutting around the printed shapes and gluing to cardboard. Use a hole punch and thread through ribbon or twine.
Toddler tip: This is easier to do on the floor. Spread a plastic splashmat, so your tot has lots of room to work.
Cutting wrapping paper with kid-friendly scissors will develop your tot's fine motor skills, while using crayons will help strengthen her pincer grip
Make a few of these and arrange on a vintage plate to create a festive table decoration. Get a roll of tin foil, and show your toddler how to make it into tree shapes by rolling it into a tube, then scrunching one end to form a point.
Once dry, glue on sequins, pompoms or glitter. As an alternative, transform a pinecone into a miniature Christmas tree by adding glitter glue and more pompoms.
Toddler tip: If your toddler finds handling the sequins and glitter too fiddly, sprinkle some onto a tray, so she can roll the glue-covered tree around.
Egg Carton Bells
Cut off the ‘cups’ from an egg carton and trim the edges. Let your toddler wrap a piece of tin foil (about 15cm square) around the cup, tucking any excess inside.
Poke two small holes in the centre of the cup using a needle. Thread a piece of ribbon through to make a loop to hang. Decorate with stickers and glitter.
Toddler tip: Make several at once, so your little one can be decorating, while you’re doing the fiddly bits.
Sparkly Photo Frame
A quick and easy personalised gift that anyone would love. Glue a photo of your child to a piece of cardboard. When the glue is dry, cut the photograph into a triangle shape, similar to a Christmas tree.
Get your toddler to glue on jewels around each edge. When the glue is dry, bend a pipe cleaner into a loop and glue it to the back.
Toddler tip: You can buy self-adhesive jewels (from £1.49, amazon.co.uk) that are less messy than glue.
Cover the floor with newspaper. Brush paint onto the bottom of your child’s foot and press it down firmly onto a piece of card.
When dry, cut around the shape of her foot. Punch a hole at the bottom and thread some ribbon through. Glitter paint will make it look extra-special, and you could also laminate it to make it sturdier.
Toddler tip: Just paint one foot at a time, so your toddler has a clean one to stand on.
Embellished Gift Containers
Transform small food containers into gifts – decorate with stickers, sequins and glitter, and fill with sweets, biscuits or toiletries. Small Pringle tubes and jam jars are ideal.
Toddler tip: For less mess, use glitter glue, rather than loose glitter.
Homemade Christmas cards will impress your relatives far more than shop-bought
Fingerprint Christmas Tree
Homemade Christmas cards will impress your relatives far more than shop-bought. Fold a piece of card in half. Using a thumbprint dipped in green paint, help your toddler to make a tree shape. Start at the bottom with six prints, making it one smaller each ‘level’ you go up. She can paint a trunk using two thumbprints. Leave to dry, then dot with glue and apply sequins.
Toddler tip: Hold your toddler’s thumb firmly to help with control.
Make a circle of thumbprints to form a wreath. Use a pinkie dipped in red paint to create ‘berries’ scattered around.
Toddler tip: Mark out the top and bottom of the wreath shape first, so your toddler makes it the right size.
Santa Handprint Card
Dip your tot’s hand into white paint and press down firmly on the card. Cut out a hat from red felt and trim from white. Glue it to the card. Glue goggly eyes and a mini red pompom for a nose. Draw the mouth using a black marker.
Toddler tip: If you’re making a few, do the handprints first, so you don’t have to keep washing her hands.