This year, I’ve made my four-year old daughter an “Activity Advent Calendar.” My dad used to make us incredible treasure-hunt advent calendars: every day’s window contained a clue, which lead to another clue, and so on, until we found the prize. He did this every day! For 24 days! How did he manage to find the time to hide clues and prizes every morning?! I must remember to ask him…
Anyway, my version is the much lazier version, and it starts on day 9 because I was too busy and distracted before then. It contains a mixture of crafting, reading, singing, and giving, and isn’t numbered, which means that I can pick which one is most suitable for the amount of time we have on any given day (she’s only 4, so she doesn’t mind).
One of the craft activities was to make a gingerbread-man ornament to hang on the tree. I had glimpsed a felt gingerbread man on Pinterest and figured that I could work out how to make it, and make it kid-friendly. And this is how:
Step 1: Gather some light brown felt (if you don’t have any lying around, you could use cardboard – then you won’t even have to do any sewing!) and a gingerbread man cookie cutter.
Find some little buttons, two little googly eyes and something to stick them on with (double-sided tape or glue dots; my googly eyes were the sticky kind), a needle and embroidery thread (of wherever colour you like), 13cm of ribbon or string for the loop, and 10cm of ribbon for the scarf.
Step 2: Show your child all the lovely bits you’ve assembled, explain what you’re going to make together, and give them an idea of how to do it. Place the cutter into your felt (this should be folded in half so that you make two men at once) or cardboard and draw around it. Cut it out.
Let them place the googly eyes where they want them to go and stick them on, then they can stick or sew (depending on their age or abilities) the buttons onto the gingerbread man’s body.
Step 3: If you’re making the man with felt, you or your child can sew the two halves together with embroidery thread, leaving a space at the top of the head for the 15cm ribbon or string. Fold the ribbon or string in half to make a loop, and knot the two ends together. Place the knot into the space in the top of the man’s head and continue to sew around him so that the loop stays secure.
Step 4: Tie a scarf (your 10cm ribbon) around his neck, and draw a little smile on his face. Display him proudly.
If you make this gingerbread man, or anything like it, share your comments with me, or your photos on Instagram – remember to use #renewedcrafts and tag me: @renewedcc, so that I can admire them.