Christmas Craft Book

Christmas Craft Book
Laura Minter & Tia Williams
GMC Books

If you’re looking for inspiration for some festive projects to do with children then this could well be a boon. It’s a veritable treasure trove of thirty ideas that look impressive and are easy to make, mostly from household items, that will keep youngsters entertained in the next couple of weeks as the excitement rises.

Laura and Tia, award-winning bloggers and creators of several other craft books begin by giving an introductory page to get users in the crafting mood, followed by some words on materials, tools, tips and safety: then come the seasonal activities themselves. There’s plenty of cutting and sticking as well as printing, painting, and some sewing.

One activity I particularly like that requires the latter two is the Festive Story Stones with their own bag.

(You could easily adapt this one for other festivals such as Easter or Diwali, which gives it an extra bonus.)

Another one I was drawn to straightaway was the Elf and Fairy Peg Dolls. These would look great adorning your Christmas tree if you take up the suggestion to add a small length of ribbon to each one, but there are other ways you might use these: what about adapting them as winter puppets which could then be used in some fairyland dramas.

Young children are usually very eager to try and catch sight of Santa so what better use could they put a pair of Santa-spotter Binoculars than to have them ready for Christmas Eve. They could also leave ready for him some of the Tasty Treats (there are instructions for making Christmas cake truffles, Pinwheel Cookies and Crunchy Snowmen on the last few pages).

Every activity is clearly set out with step-by-step instructions and colour photos, and the book ends with some templates. Ready, steady … let’s get crafting.

The Leaky Story / The Pirate Craft Book

The Leaky Story
Devon Sillett and Anil Tortop
EK Books
On a shelf sits a row of books; books waiting to be read, not left untouched gathering dust and feeling unloved. One particular book though has a mind of its own. So powerful is its longing to attract attention that it starts to swell,

and drip. The drips become a trickle, then a series of plops until it spills down into wonderfully sploshy puddles on J.J’s living room floor. And thus begins an amazing adventure populated by J.J., his sceptical parents,

sea creatures and a dastardly pirate crew. The battle, both verbal and physical, between the Blossoms and the pirates is wonderfully funny; and, when a kraken appears, woefully waterlogged and a tad uproarious.
Finally though, the whole crazy episode appears to have run its course: the creatures shrink and the water begins to recede.

As J.J.’s world becomes increasingly saturated with salty brine, Anil Tortop’s scenes offer all manner of highly colourful perspectives on Sillett’s surreal story.
What a wonderful way to engender an enthusiasm for books in young listeners, as well as to further the development of their imagination.

On the topic of pirates is:

The Pirate Craft Book
Laura Minter and Tia Williams
GMC Books
Subtitled ’15 things a pirate can’t do without’, this contains piratical projects aplenty for would-be sea dogs. There are clothes – the full gear including eye-patch and hat complete with monogram, buccaneer boots based on a pair of old wellies, a waistcoat, (best worn with stripy T-shirt) and a belt and cutlass to make.
All self-respecting pirates have a parrot on their shoulder, so there are step-by-step instructions to make a felt one, either stitching it together by hand or by machine. A chest in which to stash all the treasure is another requirement and the one herein is made using an old shoe-box; and to find the treasure, a map is most likely needed; so here we have instructions to make one from felt.
Once you’ve got all these things, a pirate party might be fun so there’s a page of ideas for that, and another giving a recipe for a yummy chocolate treasure chest cake. Basic templates for many of the items are provided on the final three pages. None of the projects is particularly difficult, though many would require supervision. Avast me’arties: what are you waiting for?

I’ve signed the charter