Activity: Stamped Clay Decorations with Slinky Malinki

Reading books can be a wonderful way to prepare your child for a particular event or occasion. Decorating the Christmas Tree can be a highly anticipated and exciting activity for families. Below we share some ideal books and suggested activities to share with your children as you prepare to decorate your own tree.

Our background story:

I just love the Christmas season, but I’m a stickler for waiting until the December 1 to start any Christmas cooking and decorating. When the first weekend in December finally arrives,  it’s all about the tree. It was a tradition in my family to make a big deal about the tree, and I want it to be a tradition with the family I have created.

We still have to wait a few more days until the weekend, so while we wait anxiously for our beautiful, fragrant tree we will be preparing with some special stories and craft activities.

The Book (Other suitable books are listed at the end of the post)

Slinky Malinki’s Christmas Crackers [Board book]

Lynley Dodd

EAN:978-0143504627

Format: Board Books

Publisher: Penguin Group (NZ)

Published in: New Zealand

Published: October 2010

Although there are many beautiful books about Christmas trees, this is the perfect book to read with my daughter (Cam) this year as we prepare to decorate our Christmas tree. Cam is 17 months so her busy little hands and inquisitive little mind are bound to make their way over to the tree, just like Slinky Malinki-the mischievous little cat. Cam just loves looking for Slinky Malinki on each page. I’m sure  your child will too!

This is a simple, funny and cheeky story that is suitable for all ages. The illustrations are large, bright and full of Christmas colours. This board book version means this durable book is great for little hands.

With a long list of decorations, this book is a wonderful prelude to trimming your Christmas tree, and lends itself perfectly to making your own Christmas Tree decorations:

Trinket and Tinsel

with baubles and bows…….

Reindeer and ribbons,

a silvery bell,

glittering stars

and a Santa as well….

The Activity: Stamped Clay Decorations

Make the cutest Christmas tree decorations. These stamped clay decorations are very affordable and super easy. Thanks to Home Beautiful Magazine for the inspiration- and it’s so kid friendly. I just love it when I stumble upon an activity that is suitable for toddlers too. Children can help to make these decorations on a range of levels. School- aged children will be able to make the decorations independently; so could pre-schoolers with a parent by their side. Even toddlers can help with the rolling pin and cookie cutters. Enjoy :)

You will need:

Baking Paper

White Air Dry Clay

Rolling pin

Christmas themed cookie cutters

Alphabet letter stamps or Christmas stamps

Skewer

Ribbon

Our approach

1. Once you have your supplies ready, roll out the clay onto some baking paper

2. Use the cookie cutters to cut out your desired Christmas shapes

3. Gently press the Christmas stamps onto the clay (or you can use the letter stamps to create a word)

4. Use the skewer to create a hole in the top of the decoration

5. Leave the decorations to dry for at least 24 hours

6. Cut your ribbon pieces to your desired length. Then thread the ribbon through the hole and tie to complete your decoration.

Stamped clay decorations_ My Little Bookcase

Extra: If you want more colour instead of the raw/rustic look, you can paint your decorations with acrylic paint and finish with a ceramic varnish.

Other Decoration Ideas:

Candy Cane Reindeer

You will need:

Candy cane

Pipecleaners

Googly eyes

Mini Pom Pom

Glue.

1) Cut pipe-cleaner to desired length and twist around the top of the candy cane. 2) Glue two eyes and a pom pom to the front of the candy cane. 3) Allow to dry.


Sequined Bauble

You will need:

Polystyrene Ball

Sequins

Dress Pins

Ribbon

1) Mark out your design on the ball (Any design looks beautiful. The one shown has been created using a name/word. 2) Attach sequins to ball using the dress pins. 3) Add a ribbon to the top of the ball.

Other suitable books about Christmas Trees

Paper Angels by Emma Calder

Little Tree by E.E. Cummings

The Little Christmas Tree, Loek Koopmans

Christmas Tree Farm by Ann Purmell

Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry

The Beautiful Christmas Tree by Charlotte Zolotow

Activity: Stamped Clay Decorations with Slinky Malinki

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  1. I love, love, love the ideas for making the Christmas decorations ideas. I’ll be filing this one away for next year when our liite man is a bit more grown up. And I’m online now searching for the book! What a fabulous read.

  2. It is hard to find activities that such little ones can participate in too, thanks for the great suggestions!

    • It was an after thought because it is my daughter’s second Christmas, but I was thinking that even young babies could press their finger or hand into the clay to capture their fingerprint or handprint. What a special keepsake that would be.

  3. I have got a copy of Slinky Malinki Christmas for my youngest this year – he is obsessed with Hairy Maclary and Co.
    We gave the clay ornament idea a go. I posted about it http://adventureskids.blogspot.com/2010/12/we-play-with-clay.html
    I never would have thought to use stamps to make impressions in the clay, which I think was one of our favourite parts of our play with clay.

    • Catherine, Just had a look at your post. I must have missed seeing it earlier. Your ideas of making other creatures sounds wonderful too- not just confined to Christmas. I love the terracotta colour- has a more Aussie feel. You must have used different clay to us as ours was not hard to roll out at all.

  4. We have a few of the candy cane decorations about the place at the moment which someone made for us, and Princess made one at Kinder too, they are so cute. Love your clay decorations, they are gorgeous :) We might have to give those a go a part of our Advent activities next year :)

  5. Oh these are just gorgeous Jackie and Cam looks so little in the photos :) I will link up to this in our salt dough post! Thanks!!

  6. I love looking through your archives Jackie!! You have so many amazing ideas. My son is a HUGE Lynley Dodd fan and we have this book in our Christmas collection. Making a note to myself, so that I don’t forget to organise this craft for December. I have just gone through our Christmas books today and decided on their order for the Advent Tree Calendar. Each Christmas I have been purchasing a book to add to the collection. This year is the ‘The Jolly Christmas Postman’. I just have to figure out how to download a copy of your gorgeous bookplates so that I can add a special message. Thanks so much for all you do!

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