Is there anything better than seeing the kids craft attempts come back out of the loft year after year… And then embarrassing them with them as they get older! Here we’ve found three different ideas to suit different ages, you’re welcome to use these or find your own ideas. Have fun!

Make your own festive decorations

Beaded Candy Cane
Difficulty Level: Easy

What you’ll need:

  • 2 different coloured beads (for older kids try using tri-star beads for a more complex looking candy cane)
  • Craft pipe cleaner
  • PVA glue
  • String/twine/nylon thread
Make your own festive decorations

Hama bead tree decorations

Difficulty Level: Medium (Adult Supervision needed) What you’ll need:

  • Variety of Hama bead colours
  • Hama bead peg board
  • Iron
  • Wax paper
  • String/twine/nylon thread

The traditional way to use Hama beads is by placing them one-by-one onto the pegs of a Hama pegboard. Some people make a design in this way, the Hama beads can be ironed together. This slightly melts each Hama bead to the next at one end, so the complete design can be removed from the pegboard as one. Don’t forget to leave a hole in the design at the top so you can thread your string through to hang onto the tree.

Both pegboards and wax paper can be reused. The exact temperature may vary from iron to iron, but the “cotton” setting is generally recommended.

Please note that ironing must be done by an adult or a supervised child.

Place wax paper over the completed Hama beads design

Apply the iron to the wax paper for a few seconds using smooth, circular movements – never hold the iron completely still.

Carefully remove the paper, but leave the Hama beads design to cool for a couple of minutes before removing it from the pegboard.

See here for some cool Christmas Ideas:

Make your own festive decorations

Finger print Christmas tree

You are going to love this fingerprint Christmas tree ornament! Personalised Christmas ornaments will always be our favourites here at A Year of Dates, the best way to make memories. Even if it is a little messy…

Difficulty Level: Easy but messy! What you’ll need:

  • 260g Plain flour
  • 130g salt
  • Water (up to 130ml)
  • Green food colouring (optional)
  • Acrylic paints
  • PVA glue
  • Black Sharpie
  • Christmas tree cookie cutter
  • Straw or skewer
  • String/twine
  1. Simply mix the flour and salt together in a bowl and then slowly add the water. If your salt dough is too sticky just add more flour. To make the salt dough coloured add green food colouring (add plenty or as the dough dry’s the colour will fade) or you can choose to paint the ornaments once baked.
  2. Make sure the colour is mixed in well and then roll your salt dough flat. The salt dough needs to be about 1cm thick.
  3. Use a Christmas tree shaped cookie cutter to cut out Christmas tree shapes.
  4. Make a small hole at the top of each Christmas tree (for hanging). Use a straw or skewer to make a hole big enough to thread string for hanging to tree.
  5. Dip your child’s finger into acrylic paint and press it onto the salt dough to create the baubles or Christmas tree lights. Or if you prefer to paint after its baked do this stage once the salt dough is cooled and painted green.
  6. Bake your salt dough at a low temperature (around 100 degrees celsius) for 2-3 hours.  Turn the salt dough over half way through to help speed up the drying out process.
  7. The salt dough decorations need to be fully dried out before you move onto the next step. 
  8. Seal the fingerprint Christmas trees with PVA glue. This is a really important step if you want to keep your salt dough ornaments forever. It prevents any moisture from being able to get into the salt dough or it will go soggy. Once sealer is dried use a black Sharpie to complete the Christmas tree lights and add a date. 
  9. Add some thread or ribbon through the hole at the top of your fingerprint Christmas tree and your salt dough ornament is complete. 

Whatever you make please be sure to share your creations with us on Instagram or Facebook, tag us and use the hashtag #ayearofplayadvent