Birdseed ornaments are a great activity to keep kids occupied. (iStock)

Four fun holiday crafts to keep kids occupied

From birdseed to slime, we’ve got you covered

Here are a few holiday-themed crafts to help you keep the kids entertained through the holidays.

Easy snowmen ornaments

This craft is perfect for those between the ages of two and five or can be a great group activity. You’ll need: Clear plastic ornaments with removable lid, cotton balls, googly eyes, orange craft foam or felt (nose), colourful felt or fabric (scarf), black paper and hole punch (for mouth), glue or low-heat glue gun, ribbon or thread for hanging.

To start, fluff cotton balls and “stuff” ornaments until full. If your child is having trouble, they can use a pencil or the handle of a paint brush to push cotton balls into the ornament. When the ornaments are full, push the lids back on.

Let the kids be creative and “create” their own faces. Once they’re happy with their creation, attach the features with glue.

(Recipe via Happy Hooligans – happyhooligans.ca/snowman-ornament-toddlers-preschoolers)

Birdseed ornaments

If you’re looking for a way to make the exterior of your home feel a little more festive, this easy craft is a great one for the kids and the birds.

You’ll need: four cups birdseed, 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup water, one envelope unflavoured gelatin, three tablespoons corn syrup, one pound of lard, cookie cutters, cookie sheet, parchment paper, cooking spray, two straws, and twine.

In a large bowl mix flour, water, corn syrup and gelatin to form a smooth paste. Add birdseed and mix until it’s fully coated. Melt the lard and add it to the mixture. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and coat cookie cutters with spray. Fill each cutter with the birdseed mixture and press down firmly until mixture is packed as tightly as possible. Cut straws into three-inch segments and press into the top area of the cutter (this creates a hole to attach a string for hanging). Leave the straw in and allow the ornaments to dry for three to four hours. Carefully remove the straw and let harden overnight in the freezer. Once frozen, hang outside for the birds to enjoy.

(Recipe via eHow – ehow.com)

Sock Snowmen

Since our chances of a white Christmas are relatively slim, make these chubby sock snowmen for the inside of your home. You’ll need: one pair of calf-length white tube socks, one pair of patterned socks, rice (or beans, lentils), rubber bands, twine, buttons and or felt (for eyes and nose).

Cut the foot and band off of one of the plain socks. Turn the tube inside out and close one end tightly with a rubber band. Then turn it right side out and begin filling it with rice. You can over stuff the sock for a chubbier snowman but leave a little room at the top. Once finished, close the open end with a rubber band.

Take one of the patterned socks and cut the toe and heel off so you are just left with the middle tube. But don’t throw these piece away. Pull the middle section over your snowman’s belly. If you want to make a traditional snowman with three sections, use the twine to separate the snowman’s body by tying it around the bottom of the “sweater.” Use another piece to tie a bow at the top of the sweater to create a head.

For the snowman’s hat, use the toe of the patterned sock and tie a little bow at the end to create a small ball – this will make it look like a toque. Glue buttons or felt to the sock to create a face.

(Recipe via Anne Marie – ciao-mama.com/sock-snowmen)

Slime

While it’s not a Christmas-themed activity, slime is quickly becoming a favourite “experiment” for youngsters of all ages. Here’s a worry-free recipe that’s recommended for children aged three and up.

You’ll need: 1/2 tablespoon baking soda, one tablespoon contact solution (the type you clean soft contact lenses with), four fluid ounces of white school glue, food colouring of your choice.

Find a medium-sized bowl, cup or plate to mix your slime in and pour the entire four ounces of glue into the bowl. Add the baking soda and mix well. After mixing add a few drops of the food colouring of your choice until it’s the desired colour. Add contact solution and mix until slime forms and it begins to get harder to mix. Once it hits this stage, begin kneading with both hands. If needed add another 1/4 tbsp of contact solution to make the slime less sticky.

If you’re looking for a fun twist, use one cup of white glue, six drops of brown acrylic paint, 1/2 cup of liquid starch and five spoonfuls of dry dirt to create “mud” slime. Or if you want to make your slime sparkle, use glitter glue instead of regular white glue.

(Recipe from Elmer’s glue)

Find the entire holiday edition of West Shore Family online.


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editor@goldstreamgazette.com

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