Activity Advent – Homemade Snowglobes….

I love Christmas snow globes and try and buy a new one every year to add to our collection although this year, a few appear to have been left in the loft  by Mr Frugal along with some other things.  He gets so grumpy having to go up there in the first place (it is a faff on to be fair) that I really don’t have the heart to ask him to go up again and I certainly have no intention of going up there myself!

This year we’re going to have to make do with the three he did managed to bring down and a couple of homemade ones that we’ll make together this weekend.

If you want to make your own, they’re really easy to make.  All you need is a small watertight glass jar, something to put in your snowglobe, glu or blu tac and some glitter.

Small jam jars or glass spice jars are ideal for this – just give them a test before you make the real thing by filling them with water and shaking them until your arm hurts ;-)

First of all, you need to blu tac or glue your toy to the lid of the glass jar.  I find blu tac easier because it’s instant and you don’t need to fend off impatient children while you wait for the glue to dry.

If you have real snow like we did when we first made these, get the children to go and fill the glass jar with some clean snow or alternatively,you could fill it with water.

Add some glitter to the glass jar, taking great care that it does only actually go in the jar otherwise you’ll be finding glitter everywhere for the next month!

Put the lid back on the jar, turn it upside down and there you have it – a home made snow globe of your very own ;-)

activity advent

Activity Advent – Homemade Christmas cards….

activity advent I’m so excited that it’s finally December and we’re ready to start having some Christmas fun.  Every day between now and Christmas, I’ll be posting a different family activity (as well as lots of other Christmas ideas and posts) – starting today with homemade Christmas cards.

cards

 

Christmas cards aren’t expensive to buy, in fact you can probably pick up a multi pack of 20 for less than a few pounds but they’re very commercialised and not very personal at all.  I buy the multi packs for the kids to write out and give them to their friends at school but for everyone else, we’ll be making our own cards again this year because people will know that we’ve put time and effort into their card and hopefully, they’ll appreciate it much more.

And, we’ll have the fun of making them ;-)

homemade Christmas Cards I loved the cards we made last year, as did everyone we gave one too, but this year we want to make them look even better so we’re going to be trying out some of these brilliant ideas that other bloggers have shared:

  • I love these Reindeer handprint cards from Jennifer’s Little World.
  • I’m sure I can adapt these Christmas tree fabric cards from Mum in the Madhouse so I can use up some ribbon.
  • If only I could crochet, I’d make these super cute crocheted snowflake cards from I’m counting UFOs.
  • Becky from Family Budgeting has lots of ideas to share and I love how easy and mess free they all look.
  • These cards over on Domestic Goddesque are the perfect excuse for a takeaway if ever you needed one.
  • There’s even more handprint card ideas  share on on Domestic Goddesque too – my favourite’s the Angel!
  • And clearly Domestic Goddesque is also a Crafty Goddesque because there’s also these brilliant snowman cards on there as well!
  • I love simple ideas and this is a perfect one over on JB Mum Of One’s blog.
  • If you want to use up some of your children’s paintings, there’s a great idea from Sandy over at Baby Baby.
  • There’s a great idea for recycling cards over on The A Residence.
  • One of the simplest, most effective cards that I’ve seen on my blog travels are the lovely fingerprint fairylights cards from Marianne over on Mari’s World.
  • If you fancy going Old School then you could try some personalised potato print cards like the ones at Pink Oddy, we’ll definitely be trying them.
  • There’s five gorgeous ideas that I can’t wait to try over on the Ana Mum Diary, I guarantee there’ll be at least one that you want to try yourself.
  • I also love the simple ideas over on Romanian Mum’s blog.
  • And my crafting hero, Maggy from RedTedArt has plenty of fantastic ideas to keep me going – there’s these gorgeous Gingerbread cards, this great idea to recycle some magazines, a lovely cute star card idea and a gorgeous personalised card idea.

I’m stuck for choice now ;-)

Say Hello to Maggy from RedTedArt

I soooo love this time of year. Christmas to me is just a magical time and a great way to form lovely Family Traditions for the children. We love getting crafty, as the days grow shorter and colder. Above all we love making Christmas Ornaments and making gifts for family. Giving us a crafting session and thrifty gift in one!

I would love to share 5 of our thrifty ideas this Christmas!

Loo Roll Santa

I love crafting with “Loo Rolls” – they are plentiful and surprisingly versatile. If not loo rolls, use kitchen rolls or at this time of year the cardboard tubing inside a roll of wrapping paper. Then turn your loo rolls into Snowmen Craft or Santa Crafts or better still an adorable Rudolph craft. Job done. Kids delighted! We play Snowman Bowling with ours!

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DIY Advent

There is still time to sort out a quick DIY Advent Calendar – especially if you use this little idea – yep, just get some festive or pretty paper cups and you are almost done! Check out our Advent Calendar hangout for ideas of “what to put in” – it doesn’t always have to be chocolate! I love it best when advent is “free” and about activities (e.g. let’s watch a movie together) rather than “things”.

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Saltdough Ornaments

Check out our easy and reliable Salt Dough Recipe and make Christmas Decorations with them. We made some simple hearts using cookie cutters. But the possibilities are endless (or at least as endless as the number of cookier cutters you have at home!). We love using hearts, Christmas trees and gingerbread men to make ornaments. Too cute

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Thrifty DIY Gift of the Year

This year I am all into these simple Chook Doorstops! Ours was made from an old pair of jeans and I want to make a pinstripe one soon from hubby’s old suits (you know, the one that can be given to charity as it has holes in all the wrong places). It has cost me only the price of a bag of rice and the rest is all recycled. And I think they look great. Give them to an aunty or a child (my son is already coveting this one). A great homemade gift and the pattern is SO EASY, it would make for a great first sewing project for a child!

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 Cookies as Gifts

We do love to bake at this time of year too and have a number of traditional cookie recipes that we love to make year on year. What child doesn’t love to bake? And they learn so much from it – all about measuring and weighing and the basic kitchen science of cooking things. They also get to learn about sharing and giving – once the cookies are ready, we like to give some to our friends and neighbours!

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On a final note…

This year we are going to give “The Gift of Creativity”. The idea is to create “Basic” and “Jazzed up” Craft Kits that you can put together yourself – and then, if you wish, add a copy of Red Ted Art the book and you will have a fabulously creative gift – both original and different! What do you think? You don’t need much in a basic craft kit, especially if you add recycled materials and finds from nature…. I love to add pinecones, stones and recycled fabric to our basic craft kit to get the kids think creatively about things they can find and reuse.

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1234567About the Author: Maggy Woodley, is a crafty mum of two! She loves everything about crafts and loves nothing better to recycle and forage for craft materials –making crafts economical and fun. Maggy also writes at Life at The Zoo about cooking with kids, gardening and sciency “stuff” and Theatre Books and Movies for well, theatre, book and movies! Red Ted Art, is also now being translated into German, Spanish and Russian for more people to enjoy! Do check them out!

Different ways you can contact Santa (for free)….

One of the most magical parts of Christmas to me has always been the letters that the kids have written to Santa.

We usually write them at the start of December and hang them on our tree as we have two small felt envelopes addressed to Santa on the tree and at some point soon after we hang them up, they disappear and the kids think that one of Santa’s elves has been to collect them and take them to the main man.

What actually happens is a little different though ;-)

Generally, I take the letters our of the envelopes and use the Royal Mail Santa Service to send them to Santa.  If you  make sure that your letter includes your child’s name and address and a stamp before the 6th December then Santa will try and write back.

Santa/Father Christmas,
Santa’s Grotto,
Reindeerland,
XM4 5HQ

To make a more personalised letter you could try making up your own letter from Santa using Free Letters From Santa or a site like Picmonkey has lots of Christmas backgrounds and stickers to use.

If you’d prefer you can  e mail Santa which is really quick and easy and we’ve always had a really quick reply from him when we’ve done this.

There’s even a live child friendly tweet stream – which isn’t really on Twitter as it’s the North Pole’s version of Twitter.

And don’t forget Portable North Pole where you can get a free video message from Santa.

Have a very ‘Appy Christmas – Fake call from Santa….

appy Christmas

If you’ve got young children then the chances are you’ve probably pretended that Santa’s on the phone at some point or another – I know I’ve done it plenty of times but this year I’m going to be doing it in style ;-)

There’s a free app available called Fake Call from Santa and once you’ve downloaded it, you just hit start and it starts playing a sleigh bell tune and displaying the following screen:

photo (1)

So you can show the kids that Santa’s on the phone before you answer it although clearly Santa is way too busy to come to the phone at this time of year so there’s no one on the other end of the phone but they don’t need to know that.

If you click answer, the following screen is displayed:

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So now you can have your one-sided conversation with Santa and they’ll be none the wiser ;-)

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