It’s far better to put the festive madness that kids are gripped with at this time of year to good use, and getting them involved in creating some homemade gifts is the perfect way to keep excited little hands busy.
Spend an afternoon whipping some of these up during the school holidays – with ideas for all ages, you’re sure to find something everyone can play a part in.
For really little ones, it’s best to keep it super-simple. Even the smallest of kids will love (and be able to help with) these couscous mixes, which involve mostly mixing and pouring. Not only will your youngest helpers feel satisfied, these also make a really thoughtful present – in the depths of winter, served alongside steaming tagine, this fruit-studded couscous would be instantly warming. Make a note of the cooking instructions to stick on every jar, and feel free to let the kids get creative with the labels. Why not try personalising each one with a picture of the recipient?
As the kids get a bit older, give them kitchen jobs that involve a bit more concentration and perseverance. Younger children can help with the weighing, measuring and mixing of the dough for these stained glass biscuits, while older kids can have a go at bashing up the sweets to make the ‘glass’ centre. They’ll make pretty decorations for the tree, or would look lovely stacked in a box to give to friends, relatives or teachers.
Older children can have a go at making some lovely coconut penny toffees, which are always a welcome treat at this time of year. They’re super quick and easy to make, set almost immediately and will last for up to 10 days. You can make them into lollipops, too, by adding some sticks quickly as they set.