Roll on Christmas day
Save up the cardboard from toilet rolls to make festive characters. Stick a triangle of green card to a painted roll, decorate with foil snowflake stickers and add a yellow star to the top. To make Santa, top a red roll with a cone of red card for a hat, add cotton wool to create a pom-pom and beard, then, using a marker pen, draw on a face and belt. Paint another roll white and stick on a triangle of orange tissue paper for a carrot nose, add a curve of paper and two yellow pom poms for earmuffs, then draw on buttons, eyes and a mouth.
Wrap up warm and get outside for a winter stroll around your nearest park or beauty spot. As you wander, look out for fallen pinecones to take home and decorate. When you return, cover the kitchen table with old newspaper, dig out some acrylic or poster paints and decorate the cones together. Traditional festive colours like reds and greens are fab, but you could give a more contemporary feel with turquoises and pinks. Or add a bit of sparkle with gold and silver paints. Once you are happy with your cones, heap them into a pretty bowl for an eye-catching centrepiece to adorn your Christmas table. Store them and get them out again each year for a planet-friendly and low-cost decoration.
Posted with love
Cards mean so much more when they are homemade and getting something personal through the post is always a nice surprise, especially for grandparents. Help children to fold coloured card neatly in half, then supply them with bright paper, stickers, glue sticks, paint, felt tips and old buttons, and let their imaginations go wild. You might be surprised at the festive creations they come up with!
Did you know that it’s estimated that enough paper is used each year in the UK to gift-wrap the entire island of Guernsey? Shiny wrapping paper is the least green option as it is coated in plastic, which can’t be recycled. If you are unsure, scrunch the paper in your hand – if it springs back, it’s unrecyclable. And swerve anything with glitter, most of which contains microplastics. The best option is plain brown paper. Make it festive with potato prints – and reduce your carbon footprint! Draw a tree onto the flat side of a potato that has been cut in half. A grown-up then needs to cut around the shape and slice off the outer parts. Kids can now dip the potato printer into whatever colours they like and stamp onto the brown paper. Once dry, use it to wrap presents with string or recyclable tape – most sticky tape is plastic and means that wrapping can’t be recycled. Family and friends will be impressed by your generosity and planet-friendly thinking!
Lot of lolly
Save lolly sticks to make puppets and tree decorations. Colour them in with felt tip pens then stick together to make shapes such as trees and little houses. Add buttons, googly eyes, stickers and felt shapes to create your own festive characters. Then use oddments of string or wool to attach a loop to the top to hang from the tree.