Stocking Stuffers For Free!
by Lindsay Small
There are some wonderful
freebies for kids out there on the net, and all you need to get them
is a printer, paper and/or card stock and ink – and a hiding place to
keep them away from eager eyes! I have compiled a list of some of my
favorites below and hope that you enjoy them too!
You can print these calendars
straight from your browser, trim as necessary, and assemble with a hole
punch or glue method (described below).
For a more "shop bought"
finish, try downloading the images to your hard drive and resizing them
with a graphics package to fit your paper perfectly. Assemble the pages
and take the calendar to a print shop to be spiral bound for a small
Print out these pages and assemble for a great black and white dinosaur
calendar which doubles as a coloring book for your child.
Jan Brett calendar
This is a lovely printable from author and illustrator Jan Brett. The
quality of the PDF file is fantastic although it takes a long time to
Stack your sheets of paper carefully, knocking them at the top edge
until they align perfectly. Lay them down in the stack so that the top
edge protrudes over the edge of the table or counter, and weight them
down with a heavy book or something similar. Then paint the edges of
the paper with some PVA glue (it helps to rub it in all along the edge
with a finger!) and leave to dry. You may want to neaten the edge with
a ribbon (also stuck on with PVA glue) or some tape – brightly colored
electrical tape can look nice, for example.
How about slipping some
cute masks into the stocking? Here are some nice Christmassy ones:
Gorgeous penguin mask!
Boy reindeer mask
Girl reindeer mask
There are lots of wonderful
paper dolls on the net. Older children will enjoy cutting them out themselves,
but for younger kids you can make a super present by cutting out the
dolls in advance and perhaps even laminating them (in which case you
will want to cut off the paper tabs first). You can then use small pieces
of velcro or sticky tack to attach the clothes to the bodies.
Here are some of our favorite
Christmas paper doll links:
A simple snowman paper
Another cheerful snowman
Color and cut out. Great fun.
Scruffy the Puppy Christmas
When your kids have colored everything in, cut the mouth of the puppy
with a craft knife and he can hold his pick of Christmas accessories!
Scruffy the puppy has
a doghouse which needs decorating for Christmas!
This is super.
The following paper dolls
are not Christmas-specific:
Betsy McCall and her friends
These are our absolute favorites – gorgeous dolls and gorgeous clothes
Cindy and Joey
Cindy and Joey are super dolls for little children. They have a huge,
seasonal wardrobe of clothes and accessories as well as dressing-up
costumes for fun.
This is an incredible craft site, full of ideas for children of all
ages and constantly updated. Making Friends is an enormous selection
of paper dolls (children and animals), clothes and costumes. They will
appeal to younger children, but you will need a good method of storing
the bits and pieces or they will take over your house!
Kate and Charles
These are absolutely charming brother and sister dolls with every accessory,
including puppy, kitten, doll, teddy and baby brother, each with their
own clothes. We have had hours of play out of these dolls, which have
(1940's?) clothes for all seasons. You will find them as "Paperdoll
00" and all the subsequent pages.
A lovely version of Cinderella and her various costumes.
An adorable period girl doll with lots of costumes.
Soccer Fan and Soccer
This is more likely to appeal to the boys! Color the dolls in your team's
American Football Figures
Here are some quarterback figures to color and cut out.
I found three super photo
frames to print out and fill with a little photo – perhaps of a sibling,
Mummy and Daddy or grandparents. You could also print them out onto
magnetic paper and use them as fridge photo holders.
Pink teddy bear photo-frame
Blue teddy bear photo-frame
Penguin photo frame
Making paper models is a super, quiet activity for children, and something
to point them towards when the excitement of opening their presents
has worn off and they are wondering what to do with themselves.
Download a Dinosaur
A great activity for dinosaur-mad kids! Download some dinosaurs, print
onto card, cut out and assemble. Fairly simple once the cutting is done.
This is a super, and fairly difficult, model of a Formula 1 racing car.
There are some really
super paper models to download here – a manic but lovable shark, a charming
English country house, and a cheerful (and relatively easy) nodding
Free Paper Planes
There are some wonderful (and relatively simple) models of fighter planes
here to download – either to color yourself or pre-colored.
These are for much older children (and their fathers)! There are some
excellent and very complex paper airplane models.
Print and color any of eight bookmarks of Arthur and his friends.
Choose your favorite animal, print, cut and tie on a ribbon
You will need to spend
some time cutting these games out - and you may want to laminate them
for durability. Little zipper bags which you buy in stationery shops
make good containers for them and allow the children to recognise each
game and take them with them easily.
Animal Dominoes Game
Four pages here to print out, cut out and use to play dominoes.
Animal Matching Concentration
Print out these two pages (baby animals and their mothers) direct to
card or stick onto card. We laminated them as well. Great for lots of
made up games too.
Animal Playing Cards
Print out these sets of cards and cut. Good for all sorts of games.
This is a version of bingo for people who really like bugs! It may appeal
to little boys more than girls but is sure to teach you something along
the way, especially if you print out the information about each insect
and drop in a fact or too as you go.
This is a super Pentominoes
game and game board (you will need Acrobat Reader for this)
This is a gorgeous design
for an angel "to do" list. Print out lots of copies, cut out and assemble
with the glue method described above.
Print and cut out a set
of recipe cards for a keen junior cook. Tie them up with ribbon and
they make a super little gift.
You will find a selection
of country style recipe cards here.
You can easily print out
a selection of coloring pages for children – there are literally thousands
of good ones on the net. Activity Village (my website) has loads of
original colorings to print here:
If you are looking for
more, try my coloring links section which will point you to hundreds
of good pages: http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/colouring3.htm
About the author:
Lindsay Small lives in London and is the mother of two energetic and
crafty children. She is the owner and editor of http://www.activityvillage.co.uk,
a web-site full of fun and educational activities for children under
10. She also sends out a weekly newsletter, Activity Village News, which
is full of ideas to help you keep your kids busy! You can subscribe
by sending a blank email to newsletterT@activityvillage.co.uk