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Keeping cost down at Christmas. Arts & Crafts and free downloads

Updated: Apr 15, 2023

Snowflakes Arts & Crafts:

Here is five easy Snowflake ideas to make if your just not ready to start Christmas Arts & crafts.

Beaded Snowflakes:

You need: Pipe cleaner, beads, sissors & pom poms.

How to make: Take one pipe cleaner and cut into three equal lengths. Take first pipe cleaner, then take second and place in the middle of the first one. Take the third one and place in the middle of the other two so the cross over in the middle. Twist them in the middle and you will have 6 pipe cleaners together. Take your beads and place them on each part leaving enough space at the end to bend to stop the beads falling off. Add pom poms in the middle if you like.

Pom pom Snowflakes:

You need: printed picture of Snowflake (see download below), a peg, pom pom and some paint.

How to make: peg the pom pom onto the peg, dip into paint, dab onto the paper and leave to dry.

Lollipop Snowflakes:

You need: Glue, Lollipop sticks, glitter, gems, markers and other arts & crafts bits.

How to make: glue 3 Lollipop sticks in the middle to make shape of Snowflakes. Then decorate them how ever you like.

A hot glue gun is the best to stick the Lollipop sticks together. It will work with PVA but you need to make sure its completely dry before decorating so it doesn't move.

Pipe cleaner Snowflakes:

You need: Pipe cleaners, paper, paint

How to make: City pipe cleaner in half, take one half and cut it into three. Take the three pieces together in the middle into a star shape. Take second long piece and attach it to the star. Dip the Snowflake into the paint and stamp it.

Masking tape Snowflakes:

You need: Masking tape, white paper, paint, paint brush and glitter

How to make: make the Snowflake pattern on the page using the masking tape. Make sure to rub the tape to make sure its stuck. Then paint your sky on the page. When it dries, carefully pull off the masking tape to reveal your Snowflake.

For Snowflakes for the above Arts & Crafts

Keeping the cost down at Christmas:

We started this 4 Christmas ago when my 1st son was 5. His list was practically the whole Smyth catalogue and I needed for him to understand that Santa isn't this magic man who can give in to all of his toy demands. Cutting it down seemed an impossible task!

So of course I started to research on the internet ways of cutting down at Christmas. I remember seeing on Pinterest a four gift rule for Santa, something to read, need, wear, want and thought this might just work. I added in something to share to it as I felt it was important that I added this part in as at the time sharing was an issue between the two boys. Plus I do think it's nice that each year the two of them come together and pick something to share between them. Each of them pick one thing to share, so two sharing presents (last year it was a Wobble board and large box of lego).

I don't know where I seen the original 4 gift idea (so I can't credit it or I don't know the origin of it) however the 4 rule present is widely known now & has been in circulation for years, but the something to share was my own idea and add on to the original 4 rule present, four Christmases ago.

The first year I allowed the boys to pick 3 things they wanted as my 5 year old was becoming extremely stressed out at the thought he could only pick one toy eventhough he had a wish list as long as his arm full to the brim of toys too! He picked 3 small toys in the end for Santa.

The following year we stuck to the 5 presents for Santa:

Something to share: Each child gets to pick one thing he/she would like to share with their siblings. All siblings have to agree to each share present.

Something to wear: Something they physically wear on them, a watch, shoes, a wet suit, a life jacket, only rule you have to be able to wear it.

Something you read: Pick a book they would like.

Something you need: This could really be anything they need, shoes, coat, a bike, a watch, football boots, a helmet, anything that they need but perhaps you just haven't got around to getting them yet.

Something you want: This is the one thing they really really want. So they need to think long and hard on this one!

Two years ago my then 6 year old had to really really think hard about what he wanted. For once I found he was not been influenced by the TV adds, the smyths catalogue, his friends or even us! He was following his own interests and his own ideas.

Click the link below for our free download (image above) of our 5 presents to ask Santa for.

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Santa also fills the boys socks with things like colouring books, arts&crafts, playdough, tattoos, figets, sweets and some small toys like cars, mini lego packs that kind of thing.

The boys still get loads of other presents and toys from family members in the form of a wish list. This is our wish list we have been working off for a number of years. They can ask for some toys but they are also encouraged to ask for things like trips to the zoo, the cinema or a year membership to a forest Park. I find the boys could tell you every person who ever bought them the zoo tickets or the cinema tickets for Christmas but couldn't tell you who bought what toy!

Each family member picks something off the boys list to get for them, if it's something big a few people will go together and get it for them. That way the boys get what they want and family members are just delighted they know what to get them. Do check out my highlights over on my Instagram page @playwithmemammy for more on it. I will continue to update the highlights leading up to Christmas.

The way we do things won't be to everyone's liking, and that's OK, I'm not saying this is how Christmas should be, it is just how we do it to cut down on cost and the house filling up with toys and I thought I would share.

Click below for our free download of our Christmas wish list

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We also have a free Christmas mini activity pack available from the 1st November for a limited time so do keep an eye out on our Instagram page to keep up to date with the launch for it.

I will be adding some of our other cost effect ideas as time goes by on this blog so do keep an eye out on this blog post.

I really do hope these free downloads help your family and help keep the cost down this Christmas.

I have found over the years my boys are really understanding more about what Christmas is about by doing it this way rather than making it all about Santa.

Don't forget to follow us over on Instagram @playwithmemammy

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