Making Christmas finger puppets

I came across this finger puppet set and grabbed it with no particular purpose in mind.

A day later, my daughter needed a quiet day to recover from an unexpected overnight hospital visit and this kit was a great activity for us. With the incentive that the finished puppets will be part of the Christmas gift to a young friend of ours, she happily set to making some finger puppets!


The finger puppet kit…

The Jolly & Joy finger puppet craft set cost me $3.00 and contained the following items:Christmas finger puppet kit contents laid out

Underneath all the pieces were some red and green felt squares – it seemed a bit strange to find them glued on (I was scared of ripping the felt by pulling it) but then I realised they have no direct purpose in the kit and they are just there to form a nice background (thus the gluing). Of course, it also gives us some Christmas coloured felt for another craft activity!

Making the finger puppets

The instructions in the kit showed four pictures and explained how to sew together the actual puppets. My nine year old was able to read them once and then sew together the puppets without too much trouble – she got four sewn together in under 20 minutes. red felt with white stitching

The only issue is to make sure you hold the pieces of felt together correctly – my son got one reindeer piece around the wrong way and found they don’t fit quite so well!

Our next task was to attach the details and decorations, which required providing our own glue which I had not realised until this point. Make sure you get some glue that works on felt as I will have to reglue bits of ours as the glue we used was too easily absorbed by the felt.

Unfortunately, things slowed down at this point as the instructions were lacking from here on – we were directed to use the picture provided to figure out how to decorate the puppets which sounds ok until you realise the only picture provided is the small image on the packaging handle:

finger puppet instruction image

It was easy to confuse pieces – for example, we stuck the stocking top onto Santa’s hat initially then swapped to the actual hat trim piece – and not altogether clear where to stick major parts – which way to lay Santa’s hat down and how far up to place the beard took a little bit of figuring out.

attaching white felt felt beard to Santa's hat

Deciding how far up to attach Santa’s beard was a bit of trial and error

Christmas finger puppets to play with!five felt Christmas finger puppets on a red and green background

And thus we created five very cute finger puppets!

This was a simple kit and the puppets were fairly easy to make, although young children will need adult guidance.


Once created, the puppets mostly require a very large finger, especially the Santa puppet, making them better suited for adults to use but finger puppets appeal more to children obviously, especially if they made them! I guess one option is for adults to wear the puppets to entertain young kids, but it still seems a bit disappointing to me. Having said that, making smaller puppets would be much trickier for little kids…

Santa finger puppet on adult fingers

The Santa puppet was large enough for two adult fingers (and space to spare!)

The stocking puppet is upside down once it goes on a finger! And again, this one is quite large so it comfortably sits on two of my fingers, rather than one or two little fingers.

Christmas stocking finger puppet

The stocking puppet was upside down when placed on two adult fingers…

The other puppets had smaller openings so fitted nicely on one of my fingers (so will still be a bit big and floppy on a toddler’s fingers!) to put on voices or a performance!

Christmas tree and snowman finger puppets

By this point, my daughter had lost interest (thus the puppets have only been on my fingers so far!) but we will gift them to our young friend and hopefully he will enjoy them.

Making a Christmas Gingerbread house

Yes, it is July but why should that stop us making a gingerbread house?

Our completed Gingerbread House!

I actually have had this kit for a while as we just didn’t get time to try it before Christmas and it seemed like a good way to spend a cold Sunday afternoon with my children. I have to say that the icing was a little stiff and difficult to manipulate but I am assuming it is because the kit was sitting around for so long.

Although there has been some debate about whether the house can be eaten now or if it must wait until Christmas Day… Do you have a tradition about when to eat gingerbread houses?

Gingerbread house kit

I know you can make a house from scratch, and there are dough cutter sets in appropriate shapes, but we used a kit this time to keep it fun and simple – and to learn some techniques!

This kit had everything we needed except for a tray to work on and scissors to cut the bags open, so it is definitely quick and easy to get going on the house.

Inside and outside of the gingerbread house kit

The gingerbread house kit we used.

Decorating the house

Most of the decorating happens before putting the actual house together. This is much easier as the pieces can lie flat on a tray or board as you work – and are much easier for little fingers to access.

In some instances, the kids tried to mimic the instructions exactly, and then other bits they were more creative over (like adding a back door on a side panel).

COllage of images where children's hands are putting icing onto the gingerbread pieces

The kids loved decorating the house…

Constructing the gingerbread house

I did most of the work constructing the house as it takes a little coordination and patience to hold the pieces in place as the icing dries enough to hold them together. Having said that, only adding the roof was particularly tricky and it didn’t take very long to constructs our Christmas Gingerbread House 🙂

Collage os photos showing stages of the gingerbread house being put together

Constructing the house didn’t take long…

Once the house was standing, some additional lollies and candy canes were arranged as well.

The results…

We ended up with a cute Christmas house which the kids were very proud of. They also enjoyed the consumption of the house over time, too!

In the packet, the amount of icing and lollies provided looked pretty good. But I think there were too many lollies for the size of the house in the end. Once the candy canes and other large lollies were added, it seemed a bit overdone to my eye.

back wall of the decorated gingerbread house

The back wall was decorated simply.

Other gingerbread house ideas

If you like the look of a gingerbread house or want to make one without feeling you have to eat them all, here are some other gingerbread house ideas to try:

images of the completed Christmas gingerbread house

Making Christmas masks

I recently had a short time with my daughter when we had nothing planned so we pulled out a Christmas craft set and enjoyed making some masks.

A packet for making two Christmas masks

The Christmas mask set (from Kmart although the packaging doesn’t show it)

The kit was complete  – most of the decorations were foam stickers so no glue was required and allowed us to make both masks quite quickly.

COntents of the Christmas mask set

We decided to make the Santa mask first – and I’ll do a separate blog post for the reindeer mask.

They are very simple to make – start with the biggest pieces, peel off the backing paper, align it on the mask and stick it down. Depending on the child’s fine motor skills, the aligning part may be challenging and need some assistance – while things not being perfect is fine for kids’ craft, any sticky bits that are not attached will remain sticky and be a magnet for dust and fluff!

Child's hands peeling the bakcing of Santa's hat to make a mask

Child sticking a beard otno a foam santa mask

Adding Santa’s beard took precision to get it straight

The pom pom on Santa’s hat is the hardest part – there are many little bits of foam to remove and then aligning all the lines takes some skill. I would expect adult help is needed with this for most kids under 10.

images of the pompom on Santa's hat

The pompom on Santa’s hat requires fine motor skills to create

Then tie on the elastic and you have a mask to wear straight away – no need to wait for glue to dry! Note to add the elastic, poke it through the holes from the front and tie it behind the beard so when it is word, you can’t see the knots and there is less force on the edges of the holes.

Foam Santa mask over a girl's face

ta da! My daughter proudly wearing her Santa mask

Once the mask is finished, there is a reasonable bit of foam left over – certainly enough to keep my daughter happy with additional stickers to make something else with!

Completeed Santa mask with the left over foam pieces

Do you like our fun Santa mask?

It’s a quick and easy kit to have in the cupboard to pull out when you need some brief entertainment – or if you need a quick costume for a Christmas party!

If you can’t find the kit to buy, you could just buy a sheet of foam to cut out the face and then some adhesive foam to cut out the beard, hat, etc – but you may want to find a pattern for that if your drawing skills are anything like mine!


* I purchased this set and receive no rewards (money or otherwise) for reviewing this kit – I have no contractual or business arrangements with Kmart.

Making cute Santas

a craft kit of Santas

The Jolly & Joy Christmas Santa craft kit

A paper Santa made by a 6 year old
I made some Santas with my kids recently from a kit I had grabbed, so I thought I’d share the results as a review for anyone else thinking of getting this kit.

Jolly & Joy Santa kit

I actually got this kit a while ago so I can’t remember the price but I don’t think it was particularly expensive as I got it as a back up activity to do with the kids.

The kit

Laid out contents of the paper Santa kit

Kit contents plus scissors

The materials to make six Santas were in a simple plastic bag. Most things were counted exactly (eg there were 36 ‘diamonds’ for Santa’s belt) or are cut from larger pieces of paper (we used less than half a sheet of each colour). Note we just got little jewels whereas the packet mentions holographs.

Making the Santas

I helped a four year old and two six year olds make these Santas, so adjust my comments as need be to suit the children you have.

Craft glue

Young fingers squeezing a tube of glueMy biggest complaint is the glue. One little tube was included in the kit.

One tube of glue for three kids meant a lot of waiting and stretched patience – in the end, the older two went and played until the four year old had finished with the glue. Which was admirable of them and made helping easier!

In addition, there was not enough glue in the tube to finish three Santas, let alone the six the kit promises. I had more craft glue but if you were relying on the kit to be complete, it would be a problem.

Figure it out for yourself

The kit did not come with instructions or even an image of the individual pieces. Overall, it’s not something you need instructions for – but kids doing it alone would need help.

I realised that the belt, boots, mittens, nose, mouth and face all had to be cut out of the provided paper. I had to use the Santa cut out as a sort of template to cut out the shapes which was a bit too tricky for the kids.

The actual creation

Child's fingers gluing a pompom onto SantaGluing the pieces onto Santa was fun and easy enough. It kept the kids happy for quite a while and they were very proud of their results – I think they did a good job, too.

Yes, a bit of glue was all over their fingers and they had trouble gluing on the pom poms (because they stuck to their glue fingers better than the cardboard!) but that’s all part of children’s craft work.

The verdict?

Despite a couple of disappointments, these were fun to make and we ended up with some very cute Santas. We attached them to the wall above each child’s bed where they looked really nice.

Certainly a nicer result than making these from scratch and the kit would suit a fairly wide range of age groups. So I’d say they’re worth a look if you want a Christmas craft idea or some Santas to decorate with.

If you’ve used one of these kits, or go on to use one, what do you think of them? Would you consider getting another one?
three Santas made by children