Ok so some of you may think that I'm getting a bit ahead of myself doing my first ever Christmas Activity Pack in November but I do it because next month is really only going to be about one thing. If you have any little boys in your house you will know about it likewise if you have any grown up boys in your house, you will still know about it. Can you guess what it is? My next pack is going to be all about it so make sure you come back.
It's coming up to my favourite time of year and my busiest too. I can do anywhere between 30-50 shows in December which takes a huge toll on me physically so when it comes to the end of December for Christmas and the New Year I really enjoy the break and spending time with friends and family. I have complied this pack with friends and family in mind. We have some great games that everyone can join in with. Some amazing home made christmas decorations to keep the kids excited and entertained on the run up to Christmas day and some great home made gifts, ideal for teachers, friends or neighbours.
First things first, if you have any budding magicians in the house, let them know I am massively jealous of them! Magic is so much more accessible now than it was when I was kid. You Tube alone is an incredible resource that just didn't exist back in the day. There are also dozens of different magic sets available for kids that vary in quality but some of them have amazing magic tricks in. I remember as a child finding the odd magic book in a book shop and studying it for months, eventually learning every trick that the book offered because that is all I had, I didn't know when I would find another collection of magic tricks to learn, there was no internet. I even wrote a letter to the Magic Circle as a child (so wish I had kept a copy now) and I mean I hand wrote this letter, going through numerous re-writes to get it correct and making sure my handwriting was legible and then I had to post it, imagine that! Then the wait for a response which did come however it very politely told me to go away. I was gutted and it nearly killed my passion for magic but every weekend I would go to stay at my Dad's house and he would give me a little pocket money. He happened to live near a John Lewis store who in their toy department had started selling something new, tiny cheap little individually boxed magic tricks by a new company called Marvins Magic. I had just enough pocket money every week to buy just one of these little boxes but I loved them. It was really Marvins Magic that kept my passion alive and I have since gone on to meet Marvin Berglas, the creator of Marvins Magic and he is not only a brilliant second or third generation magician but also just a lovely guy too. This is why I have started reviewing magic sets on my You Tube channel, you can take a look at one of my reviews below but there are loads more videos on my Wayne Wonder Channel, Go and take a look and see which sets are the best sets to buy and maybe there will be some very lucky budding magicians this Christmas who get to explore the brilliant ingenuity and diversity that Magic offers.
Christmas Colouring Pages
Have you noticed that colouring is becoming really popular lately? I mean adults are turning to colouring in their droves, in fact the Amazon best seller list regularly has colouring books outselling novels. I don't mean stupid obscure novels, things like 50 shades of Grey was being outsold in August by colouring books! here is a great article on colouring books. It doesn't surprise me all that much as there is something very zen and calming when you are in the zone colouring, so lets start with some great christmas colouring pages.
Home Made Gifts
Here are a few great ideas I have found that I think would be great for gifts to teachers or friends but also they don't cost much to put together.
This is a great simple idea to give the gift of a warm cup of cocoa in those cold winter months. So what will you need?
Bottles or Tubes– I think the tubes shown in the pictures may be hard to get hold of, so instead replay them with small mason jars. You can find small mason jars every from John Lewis to hobby craft and even supermarkets sell them.
Glue or Glue Dots – I like using glue dots when working with small items, like attaching the ribbon, because then I don’t burn my fingers with the hot glue gun, but you can certainly use that if you like.
Ribbon – anything you like, any size you like. I used a narrow ribbon around the bottle cap, and the wider around the bottles
Rubber Bands – you don’t have to have these, but it did make it easier to hold the bottles together
Floral Picks – anything you like, we found these at HobbyCraft
Ornaments or Decorations – the snowflake ornament was nice to add, then the person you are giving it Hot Cocoa Kit too will also have an ornament
Once you have all this, all you need to do is fill the tubes or mason jars, so what to fill them with? How about some of these ideas.
Hot Cocoa Mix – you can buy store bought packets,
Peppermint Sticks – you could also use candy canes and crush them
Mini Marshmallows – regular or peppermint
Mint Chips – we used Andes Mint Chips, you could also use regular Chocolate Chips
Oreo Mint Cookies – or other cookies you like
Once this is done all you need to do is use the rubber band to wrap everything together and finish off with ribbon and the flower/snowflake decorations.
Exciting Gift Cards
I actually think gift cards can be a brilliant gift, much better than money and if the gift card goes towards something very expensive than it can really be a special gift that can make someone's dreams come true. I have a friend that wanted to train to become a pilot but obviously this costs a lot of money. So a few of us got together to buy a gift card for his first few lessons. You see this was the start to a whole new life for him and he got a great head start just from a gift card. But we can do better than this. How about these ideas to present the gift card in a fun way.
These boxes are super easy to make. Take a box from a top trumps deck of cards. You can find top trumps decks in most toy shops. They normally come in a brilliant plastic box with a hinge to open and shut it. Cover the entire box with PVC Glue being careful not to cover the hinges with glue. Sprinkle the glitter all over the box and allow to dry, its a god idea to do this over a tray or bowl. Any spilt glitter can just be put back in the glitter tub to use next time. Once the boxes are dry you can put another coat of PVC glue over the glitter to protect it and to stop the glitter from crumbling off and getting everywhere. Once dry put the gift card inside and now you have something fun and different.
Here's another idea with mason jars! Fill it with M&M's and bury the gift card inside. I love this idea, mainly because I love M&M's but you can add some variety by mixing chocolate M&M's with peanut and crispy ones. Or if you visit M&M world in London you can get personalised M&M's or just pick the recipients favourite colour/s for the M&M's.
I love this idea and I would be super happy if anyone gave it to me. I think this is a perfect gift for teachers and with some coaching your kids can help you make it. So what do you need:-
Hot glue gun
2 x candy canes
1 x 4 finger kit kat
handful of smaller chocolates like celebrations
The picture pretty much says it all, use just a dab or two of hot glue to fix the candy canes to the kit kat and then again only a dab of hot glue for each of the celebration chocolates arranged in a pyramid to look like a sleigh.
I hope you've liked these gift ideas and obviously you don't have to use them just for christmas, these can be modified and used anytime of the year for birthday's or anything.
Don't go anywhere just yet, this pack is one of the biggest packs I have ever put together and next up we have a bunch of great games for you to try at home.
There is no better way to keep a whole group of friends or a family happy together than playing some great games. Of course you could let the kids play the xbox while the adults break out into separate conversations etc but that's not christmas, bring everyone together with these great games.
Reindeer Antler Game
This can be a great crazy game and it's great for taking some funny pics to share on Facebook or Twitter. Split your guests up into teams (as evenly as possible) and give each of them a bowl full of balloons. Balloons of all shapes and sizes make this game a lot more fun. Also give each team a pair of tights. Now depending on how crazy and manic you want this game you can use your phone to set a timer for either 5 or 10 minutes. When the time starts the teams need to inflate tie and stuff balloons into the tights, as soon as the time finishes one team member must get the tights on their head to show off their antlers, the team with the biggest craziest antlers wins. Make sure you get pics of everyone wearing their antlers.
This game is brilliant! it is not your ordinary bingo at all. Great for adults but tweens and teens can join in with this and love it too. You do need to know how many guests you have for this one. So lets say you have six people playing this, you need to plan this one ahead of time and you will need to get 3 or 4 small gifts, always about half the amount of gifts to players. These gifts don't have to be much maybe a movie hamper with a film, popcorn and a bottle of wine or something along those lines. Each present must be wrapped up so you can not tell what is in any of them. You could also do some red herring gifts too like a £1 scratch card in a larger box to make it look like something bigger.
We always play this around a table with all the gifts in the middle. You then need to multiply the amount of guests by five. So for our example we have 6 guests multiplied by 5 which is 30. We'll need to number small squares on an A4 sheet with 1 to 30, in fact you'll need to do this twice. Cut both batches of 30 squares up into tickets and place each batch into individual bowls. Every player takes 5 random squares from one of the bowls. These will be the players tickets. The second bowl of numbered squares is for the host. The host will be the bingo caller and pick out one of the numbers from the bowl. Who ever has the matching number gets to take a gift from the centre of the table. This is repeated until all the gifts have been taken.
Now we get into the fun bit, the next number is called by the host and whoever has the matching number can take a gift off of someone else. Again this is repeated with players taking gifts from each other until all the numbers are called and anyone that still has a gift gets to keep it. This game is always very popular and lots of fun.
Name that Christmas tune
I actually use this game in my Christmas shows so I know its brilliant and it's a great game for boys versus girls and again the kids can join in. You need two adults or teens to head up and represent their teams. Each representative gets a kazoo, yes a kazoo. Just a cheap plastic one will work, click on the image for an amazon link to go and buy them. I have included a button below for my christmas name that tune cards which have all of the most popular christmas songs printed on them. You'll need to print them out and cut them up into cards. Each representative gets one minute (use your phone timer) to play songs from the cards using the kazoo and their team has to guess what the song is. They get a point for each correct answer. The winning team is the team with the most correct answers. This is a funny game and the answers get more frantic the more you remind them of the time running down.
Obviously store bought decorations look awesome (mostly) some are terrible but you can get some lovely bought decorations. But NOTHING compares to home made ones, these are great activities to keep the kids amused and excited (like they need help to get excited) on the run up to christmas but you all get these great objects that hold memories. My mum still has two christmas decoration that I made in primary school that still go on her tree every year and its been great to show my daughter what I made as a kid. So here are some great choices to create memories and keep them for years.
For this great hang up deco idea you'll need to take a picture of your child's face, don't take an old picture and crop it. Take a new close up picture of their face and print it out as large as you can. The closer to A4 you get the better your Elf will look. You will also need a variety of construction paper/cardboard. Most craft stores sell a variety pack in A3 size card which will work great. Cut the shapes out for the body, hands, legs, hats and feet. The children can then customise their elf with different decorations like stickers, pom poms, cotton wool, felt tips etc. Just glue all the bits together and use some string to create the hanger. This can be hung from the ceiling, a door or entrance way to the house.
Frosty the Snowman
This is awesome, can you imagine walking into someones house and seeing this? Maybe this is not the kind of decoration that you can bring out every year however it would be cool to make with the kids and get some pictures with it. Obviously the main component of this snowman are two paper lanterns. You should be able to find these in pound shops however I found a bunch on Amazon. You need a big lantern for the body of the snowman and a smaller one for his head. You'll also need some sheets of felt that you should be able to get from Hobbycraft. Black for the eyes, orange for the nose and two red sheets for the scarf. First cut the circles for the eyes, mouth and buttons. Use double sided sticky tape to attach them onto the lanterns. The the nose, now for the scarf. Stretch one of the red sheets of felt as much as you can and then cut it length wise so that its the width of a scarf, now stretch it again and do the same to the second sheet of red felt. Use a safety pin to attach the two sheets of felt together and the make some slits in either end to finish off the scarf look.
Love this idea
This is a great idea for storing christmas cards, I would be a little worried about making a fire hazard however maybe modern led fairy lights would not generate too much heat but it does look great.
This idea has been doing the rounds for quite some time but I love how easy it is and how cute it turns out. Plus because you will be getting this out every year imagine pulling it out 5 years from now and the kids can see the size difference in their fingers. So this is so simple, just a small bit of paint in a dish and get the kids to cover a finger with paint. You may want to supervise this bit and just rock one finger in the paint. Get a good press on the ball, don't worry if it doesn't work the first time you should be able to wipe the paint off and try again. Allow the print to dry and then use sharpie pens to add the finishing details.