Deck the halls with bells and pohutukawa!
The countdown to Christmas is officially on, and there are lots of ways to build excitement before the big day.
Christmas crafts and festive treats will keep your kid busy while they wait for Santa, and to add a Kiwi flavour, here are 5 New Zealand-themed projects for you and your munchkin.
1. Make a silver fern Christmas card
Kid-made cards are always welcome, and now’s the time to send some shimmer and sparkle to your nearest and dearest.
To make a pretty silver fern card, start by cutting and folding a piece of black cardboard to create a blank greeting card.
Next, collect a fresh fern leaf and coat it with white paint. Press the fern onto the front of the card (using a small paint roller or your hand, and a greaseproof paper barrier). Remove the fern and sprinkle the wet print with silver glitter.
Repeat the process to make multiple cards, glue on some sequins when the paint is dry, and add your Christmas message inside, using white or silver pen.
2. Craft a Christmas ornament
There are more than 26 million sheep in Aotearoa, and a sheep-shaped Christmas tree ornament is a cute way to add one more!
With a cotton wool body, cinnamon legs and a jingly bell around its neck, this little lamb feels, smells and sounds festive.
To make the ornament, you’ll need to raid the spice rack and craft box, and your toddler, preschooler or school kid will ‘baaaaaa’ able to follow these how-to-make steps with lots, or less, help from you.
You can also make a pohutukawa ornament, using red and green painted craft sticks and gold sequins.
And for something with real natural appeal, you and your older child can try your hand at weaving some harakeke stars for the Christmas tree. This video shows you how to make flax festive, and your stars can be tied onto the tree with red or gold ribbon.
3. Create a Kiwi keepsake
Once you’ve got decorations on the tree, you’ll need some presents under it, and a kooky Kiwi photo frame makes a great gift for whānau.
With a long nose, flappy wings, stick-like legs and googly eyes, this little Kiwi is easy to assemble with craft foam and glue, and the biggest trick is choosing which photo of your child to put in its belly!
4. Build a gingerbread dairy
A gingerbread house is stacks of fun to make with your mini-chef, and whether you use a readymade kit or a homespun recipe, the decorations are everything!
You’ll need piped icing and colourful lollies, and if you want a real taste of New Zealand, this gingerbread dairy design is, “Sweet as, bro!”
5. Serve a Kiwi fruit Christmas tree
The festive season is full of sugar and spice and all things nice, and a Kiwi fruit Christmas tree is a great way to freshen the palate on December 25.
To make one, simply arrange slices of peeled Kiwi fruit into a tall triangle shape, dot with raspberries and blueberries, add a furry Kiwi fruit ‘trunk,’ and top with a melon star.
If you’re feeling fancy, you can whip up some strawberry Santas too, and we wish your family a very merry Christmas!