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Shoot me now, says Nancy Smallwood

Looking for Christmas craft ideas for children? Look no further than Pinterest. Oh hang on...

If you’re on the hunt for Christmas crafts for kids to make, the internet will invariably point you to that all-craft mecca - Pinterest. Spiritual home to the overachieving souls among us, those seriously-how-is-your-hair-always-so-nice people that seem to live in a permanently blessed, Instagram-filtered world. Great for inspiration. Not so great for crafts for small, easily-distracted children... 

Here are just four of the most unrealistic Christmas crafts for you and your kids to make together, which I found by a quick search and dismissed just as quickly, and a couple I do recommend (just so you don’t think I'm just a cranky grinch!). Oh, and if you are brave enough to make one of the below, please show us the results via our Facebook group...

1. ‘Christmas Treat Jars’ 

(Pic: Crazy Little Projects) 

At first glance this looks innocuous enough, but look closer. Do you see it? That’s right. Glitter. The devil’s sugar, all over everything you own, probably forever. 

The instructions for this are deceptively simple, cover your jar in glue, then ‘add glitter’. But how? Roll? Sprinkle? Shake the lot around in a bin bag and hope for the best? We know art is not really art without getting a little bit messy, but if you add a small child into this equation, well, the words 'glitter' and 'poop' come to mind...

Although to be fair, if you like everything coated in glitter (and there must be people who do out there, because who else is buying all those bath bombs from Lush) then this might be the way to go. 

For everyone else though, avoid. 


2. ‘Toilet paper holder Christmas tree’

(Pic: Creatiful Kids) 

All cards on the table, we love being ultra-clever about recycling things. But this is just a step too far.

For one thing, it’s going to be challenging for your little ones to paint the inside of all those loo roll tubes. Then you need to wait for them all to dry. Then there’s the inevitable glue problem. Pritt Stick just doesn't cut the mustard for jobs like this, and we’ve got a mental image of toilet paper rolls repeatedly cascading all over the floor.

And this is aside from the fact that stocking up with this many toilet paper holders would take literally weeks, you’re also going to have to say 'Thanks! It’s made from toilet paper' whenever someone gives you a compliment on it.

Our advice: if you want to make this toilet paper holder Christmas tree, approach it with the fortitude of a serious crafter, something rarely found in four-year-olds.


3. ‘Sock snowmen’


It’s almost painful to say this about these sock snowmen because they actually do look very sweet. But look a little closer. Do you know what they’re filled with? 

Rice. Imagine it: all over your living room, in the sofa, between the floorboards. Rice. Slowly driving you insane as the days go by and a stray grain catches your eye for the hundredth time. Rice. Eventually responsible for your total Christmas meltdown. 

And we’re not even going to mention the fiddly button sewing. We reckon creating these little sock snowmen is better left up to much older, more careful children.


4. ‘Button ornaments’

(Pic: Martha Stewart)

Seriously, just look at how fiddly these are. We’re adults (or close enough) and even we’re seriously doubting we have the patience and skill to make such delicate little items. 

Anything you could genuinely probably sell for £2 a pop at the Christmas fair, isn’t something you want to be leaving in the hands of your easily-disappointed kiddies, especially in the run up to a time where everyone’s patience is spread thin enough as it is. Not to mention the amount of money you’d need to cough up down the local haberdashery to get this range of buttons. Oh, and the whole choking thing.


Why not try these Christmas crafts for your kids instead?

  • These easy-peasy pinecone robins can be hung on your tree afterwards, and will be a nice little gift for the grandparents.
  • Paper chain decorations are a classic - this way fashions them into a Christmassy wall display without too much hassle.
  • Salt dough ornaments - no cooking required, lots of room for creativity and again, great to hang up on the tree! 
  • Send these Christmas tree cards instead of the usual ‘winter scene’ for a change this year.