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By Tiffany Markman, copywriter, editor & mom to a gorgeous chatterbox. Follow her on twitter

I’m crafty. Not crafty-sneaky. Crafty-artsy. What’s more, in the holidays I would rather die than have to pretend to be a unicorn-astronaut-photographer one more time. I inevitably get the words or actions ‘wrong’, I get shouted at, and then everyone gets cross. So: crafts are the answer. And the more organised I am, the more likely my 6-year-old is to get drawn in.

If, like me, you can’t face another game of Pretend, why not try some of these? (As you’ll see, the theme of these activities is, loosely, circles, and specifically doughnuts, and I’m a big fan of crafting with waste materials.)

GLITTER DISC FISH (ages 4+)

This one is great, because we have a file of old CD-ROMs from a million years ago and I’m convinced they sit in landfills forever if not re-purposed.

You’ll need:

  • 2-3 old CDs or DVDs
  • Glitter or glitter glue
  • Permanent markers
  • Craft glue/mod podge
  • Cardboard or paper
  • Sticky tape
  • Safety scissors (or blade for mom)
  • Googly eyes or bottle tops

Next steps:

  1. Let the kids apply glue to the back of the CD, leaving the middle portion open. Alternatively, they can draw scales onto the CD with a marker.
  2. Sprinkle glitter generously onto the glue and leave to dry for a short while.
  3. Trace and cut out the mouth, fins and tail from cardboard or paper and attach with sticky tape. Smaller kids may need help with this part.
  4. Stick on the eyes using craft glue, and leave to dry for a few hours.


DOUGHNUT SPRINKLE GAME (ages 3-5)

This one is a cute way to teach counting and numbers. Take a look.

You’ll need:

  • The free printable
  • A laminate sleeve (optional)
  • An eraseable marker (optional)
  • 2 dice
  • Buttons, sequins or sweets

Next steps:

  1. First download this free printable file.
  2. Grab some dice and a handful of bright buttons, sequins or sweeties, and find a good place to set up shop.
  3. One at a time, have the children roll the dice, identify the number, and place the correct amount of “sprinkles” on the doughnut.
  4. Repeat or change it up as you see fit. The possibilities are endless.
  5. If your sheet is laminated, you can have children decorate the printable with an eraseable marker, and wipe away for each turn.


    DOUGHNUT PENCIL GAME (ages 7+)

This easy game is similar to pick-up sticks. It requires a piece of thick cardboard from a box or any other stiff waste paper, cut to resemble a doughnut, with a hole that can accommodate 15-20 pencils. Let your little one colour and decorate the doughnut, and then you can begin to play.

You’ll need:

  • A piece of stiff cardboard (up to A4 size)
  • Scissors (or blade for mom) to cut the doughnut hole
  • Kokis, crayons, pencils, glitter or stickers to decorate
  • 15-20 pencils
  • 2-4 players

How to play:

  1. Gather all of the pencils, put them through the hole, and make them stand. (You may have to try this a few times to get it right.)
  2. Instruct each player to pull out one pencil at a time. The goal is not to collapse the doughnut structure.
  3. The pencils will shift each time you pull one out, so when the doughnut touches the ground, the game is over.
  4. Whoever has the most pencils at the end is the winner.

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