Christmas to me isn't Christmas without some family crafts at the kitchen table, and a crafty book and gift in the stocking to get stuck into on Christmas morning.
This to me is what present giving is all about – wonderful, thoughtful gifts that give hours of pleasure.
I was lucky enough to be invited to a crafty afternoon with my son at the National Gallery recently, to celebrate their Christmas gift selection. We got really stuck into some great crafty sets which would make a wonderful addition to any child's Christmas.
My son, five, leaped immediately on the mosaic set. It's one of those crafty sets that you really have to see in action to appreciate. If I'd just seen it on the shelves then I'd probably have thought 'oh – you stick the different coloured squares in the right places, a bit like colour by numbers, and end up with a pretty picture. Boring!'
Well let me tell you that my son sat there, in intense concentration making this picture of a sunflower. You get 8 pictures to make in each set, and it costs six quid, which I think is a bargain for the hours of enjoyment
you your little one will get from it. Plus the end results are beautiful enough to display all year round.
It's definitely appearing in my son's christmas stocking this year. I know, because I had a word with the bearded man in red myself.
The other favourite – which I would love myself – was this stencilling set, which allows you to create 5 different pony scenes. Of course the stencils can be reused over and over again. Surely one of the best things about being a parent is being able to relive your childhood and play with all this fab stuff again?!
My other favourite things – all of which I'm contemplating getting – are:
- This paper model of Rousseau's tiger that actually moves once you've built it. It's a tenner and I think DH would like this…and should be fun once it's built up too.
- The colour your own Christmas tablecloth. Because it's only £6.50 and may help keep DS at the christmas dinner table.
- This art sticker book. Because we love sticker books and this is such a beautiful and fun way to introduce some of the masterpieces.
- The usbourne book of colouring and doodling. We have a few of these usbourne colouring and doodling books. At 9.99 they may seem expensive, but I can honestly say they are thick and bursting with creative pages begging to be filled in, coloured and completed. You won't go wrong with this book or any of the others in this series.
- 100 christmas things to make and do. I couldn't resist this and bought it immediately. It's crammed with festive ideas and I can't wait for the Christmas elf to deliver it on 1 December for a whole advent evenings of crafts!
All the gifts are available to buy online – which is great for christmas shopping from your armchair, list in one hand, coffee in the other!