Christmas!

Wishing you all a most wonderful Christmas and a glorious summer (or winter, depending on where you are in the world). For my part I will be enjoying it with my beautiful husband and adorable children, thinking of absent friends and family who are much loved and often remembered. I hope that I will be eating too much, laughing all day and paddling my feet in the paddling pool.

I hope the new year brings you everything you could wish for that is good and hopeful and inspiring.

Oh…and don’t forget to read a few books.

Merry, merry Christmas.

Christmas Craft – Pom Pom Santa.

Christmas is coming!

I love Christmas. I scoff at the suggestion that, ‘Christmas is really for kids.” Firstly because I’m Christian and, for me, Christmas is about more than just celebrating time with family and friends (although that’s wonderful too) and secondly because, while my children bring something new and special to Christmas for me now, I still have the same excitement and sense of wonder about Christmas that I had when I was a child.

Also, if Christmas is really just for kids, how do you explain the lashings of port, brandy or rum that can be found in just about everything? From the mince tarts, to the Christmas pudding to the glaze for the ham?

Anyway, this leads us to a kid-friendly Christmas craft (and the first kid activity to be posted on this blog).

Here’s what you’ll need:

Coloured paper

Scissors

Knitter’s needle

Wool pom pom

Extra wool to match pom pom

A bit of blue tac or plasticine

A glue stick

Cotton wool

Here’s what you (and the kidlets) will need to do:

1) Make a pom pom. This is fairly simple to do – cut out two discs from an empty cereal box. Tracing around the top of a egg cup will give you the perfect size.

Poke a hole in the middle of each disk and cut a hole in the middle that is big enough for you to pass the wool through.

Hold the cardboard rings together, hold the end of your wool to the disk, pass the rest of the wool underneath the rings and through the hole.

Cross over the end that you’re holding, pass the wool under the discs again and through the hole, and pull it tight to anchor the end of your wool in place.

Continue this until the disks are completely covered in wool and you can no longer pass your wool through the hole in the centre.

Anchor the end of your wool by passing it under some of the tight strands. Using a pair of sharp scissors, work the point of the scissors through the wool and between the two discs. Cut the wool all the way around but do not remove the disks yet. Pass a strand of wool between the rings and make a tight knot then remove the disks.

And there you go, one pom pom. Now on to making your Santa.

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From your coloured paper cut out one face shape, one semi-circle (hat), one long rectangle (belt), two boot shapes, two glove shapes, two small pink circles (cheeks), one small yellow square (belt buckle), two small black rectangles and two small yellow rectangles.

The age of your child will dictate whether you cut all the shapes out and they do the gluing, or they do it all. My son is three and a half. He love scissors *shudder* but he’s not capable of cutting out shapes like the ones above.

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Start constructing the parts of your Santa. Stick the rosy cheeks onto the face and pencil in the eyes, nose and mouth.

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Glue the yellow square to the middle of the long black rectangle and then glue the two small black rectangles on top. Fold the small yellow rectangles in half and glue to the top of each boot.

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Wrap the belt around the middle of the pom pom and glue the ends together.

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Put one of the boots on the blue tac and punch a hole in the top of the boot with a sharp pencil. Repeat with the other boot.

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Run a piece of wool though the hole, tying it off with a knot.

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Using the knitter’s needle, pass the piece of wool up through the pom pom. When you’re happy with the length of the leg, tie a knot in the top and trim the strand of wool. Repeat with the other boot.

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Ooooo, look, Santa has legs…and a weird…disembodied head.

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Glue the hat to the head and add a beard and the fur on the edge of Santa’s hat.

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Glue a rectangle of card into the top of the pom pom. You might have to squeeze for a little bit to make sure it’s properly stuck. This will be what you stick your head onto so, to avoid freaked out kids, make sure it’s well stuck.

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Stick Santa’s head on.

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Attach the hands and arms in the same way you did the legs except use only one strand of wool. Attach the hand to one end, pass the wool through the pom pom and attach the remaining hand to the other end and tie off. Add cotton wool to the tops of the gloves.

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And there you go. Trace over the eyes you pencilled in earlier with a black pen.

This little guy takes about an hour to put together, if you’ve got the pom pom already made.

If you don’t celebrate Christmas or you don’t have the time to do this activity right now (maybe you’re busy for some reason…is there some big event coming up soon that might have you stressing out a tad?) then it can be varied in many ways.

What about a pink pom pom made into a pig? A black pom pom turned into a bat?

I’d love to hear your ideas for variations and I’d really love to see your kids creations.

Merry Christmas.