MAMA Memory Activity; Christmas Wrapping Paper Hearts!


So I know Christmas is over……. but in my MAMA Countdown to Christmas I did recommend keeping some bits of your child’s wrapping paper to use for a MAMA memory project and as this project is heart based I thought I’d let you know about it following on from our heart themed Valentine’s projects!

I completed this project on my own as my son was a little bit young but if you have an older child they could help you/do one too. It is a pretty quick activity.


– Heart shaped card board decoration.
– PVA glue.
– Pot for glue.
– Paintbrush.
– Glitter (I used red).
– Wrapping paper pieces.
– Permanent marker pens.

Step 1: Preparing the Paper.

I chose bits of the saved wrapping paper with pieces that were personal to my son (Bear, Mickey Mouse) and others to use as a base background (stars/Christmas trees). I then arranged them onto the heart to see how they would fit.

Step 2: Glitter and glue!


In a pot I squeeze in some PVA glue and then add a dash of water to make it a paintable consistency (think runny honey). I then mixed in some red and green glitter – this makes the decoration nice and sparkly when it’s all dried.

Paint some of the glitter glue onto the cardboard heart decoration and then start to layer your wrapping paper pieces onto it. On top of each piece of paper add another layer of glitter glue until you have covered the whole decoration.

I did this all in one go by dangling the decoration from my hand so I could access both sides. However, this was tricky and did get very sticky! So you could do the front then let it dry and then do the back. The key, whichever way you do it is hang it up to dry so it doesn’t stick to anything.

Step 3: Personalise further.


Once dry you can then use permanent marker pens to write your child’s name and anything else you want to such as “Baby’s First Christmas 2017”.

So now you have a lovely decoration to store away and use for next Christmas! Why not save wrapping paper each year and make a collection?!

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MAMA Activity: Christmas decoration mash up!


Whilst decorating the tree this year I discovered that lots of the decorations would be really great for mark-making so I collected a few slightly older decorations and put them aside for this final 2017 MAMA Christmas Activity post!


For the painting/glittering bit;

– Plastic activity mat for floor or table.
– Different coloured paints (water based, non toxic).
– Glitter shakers.
– Paint pots / paper plates.
– Coloured card.
– Pen/pencil.
– Scissors.
– Mark-making tools: Paint brushes, sponges, Christmas decorations (baubles, beads, tinsel etc), Pom-Poms, cotton wool balls and cotton buds.
– Old clothes / aprons for you and your child.

For the decoration bit;
– Permanent markers/felt tips.
– Cotton wool balls.
– Gift bows.
– The beads/Pom-Poms/tinsel you used for mark making.
– Orange card.
– Snowflake card cut out.
– PVA glue.
– Christmas sticky tape.

Step 1: Preparation

First I drew some large Christmas shapes (Santa, Christmas tree, bauble, star and snowman) onto card and cut them out. An older child may want to draw and cut out their own shapes.


I then set up my table space (could use floor). I always cover the area with the plastic activity mat first and then I set up the card shapes, mark making tools and paints (I used Christmassy colours: red, green, gold and white).


Get yourself and your child dressed in old clothes/aprons and prepare to get nice and messy!

Step 2: Christmas decoration mash up time!

This MAMA activity is all about experimentation so just let your child explore the mark-making tools and paint and decorate the card cut outs in whatever way they want to. My son especially liked the cotton wool balls and buds and dropping the paint coloured Christmas beads down onto the card (as well as his usual favourite – squeezing paint in his hands and slamming them down!).


After exploring all the paint I was then brave and allowed the glitter shakers out! My son shook them over the paint whilst wet so it gave the pictures a really Christmassy feel (the floor got a bit of a decoration too!).

Overall this activity kept him busy for a good 40 minutes as there was so much to explore!!

Step 3: Tidy, tidy tidy up!

Now we both got pretty messy (and glittery) with this activity so we needed a good initial wipe down of the excess paint and then it was definitely bath time!

I let all the reusable painting equipment soak and then I properly cleaned them later.

Step 4: Decorating.

After your pictures have dried you can then decorate them further, either yourself if you have a younger child or with your child. This is how I did it;

For the Christmas tree I stuck on the saved tinsel, beads and Pom-Poms from mark-making using PVA glue and Christmas tape (the beads did not stick with the glue very well which is why I used the Christmas tape). I finished the tree with a gift bow on the top but you could use any cut out star/angel.

For Santa I stuck on cotton wool balls with PVA glue to decorate his hat and make a beard and then used a permanent marker pen to draw on eyes/nose and mouth and other detailing.

For the snowman I stuck on cotton wool balls with PVA glue for buttons and cut out an orange card carrot nose and stuck that on too. You could use real buttons or Pom-Poms – whatever you have handy!

I liked the star as it was so just outlined it with permanent marker pen. I did the same for the bauble and then stuck on a card snowflake cut out on it with PVA glue.


Step 5: Displaying your creations!

I decided to display these pictures all together by attaching them to some tinsel on our stairs but you could frame them, give them to family as cards or hang them up from the ceiling!


MAMA Activity: ‘Snow Much Fun’ Part 2


Whilst experimenting with the white paint after completing our handprint snowmen we created some lovely pictures, a little bit by accident! So here’s how we created our winters pictures;


For the painting bit;

– Plastic activity mat for floor or table.

– White paint (water based, non toxic).

– Paint pots / paper plates.

– Coloured card.

– Paint brushes / sponges.

– Old clothes / aprons for you and your child.

For the decoration bit;

– Permanent marker pens / glitter pens / felt tips.

– Sheets of craft foam to cut into shapes you want / pre-made christmassy craft foam shapes.

– Extra coloured card to cut into shapes.

– Pom poms.

– Scissors.

– PVA glue.

Step 1: Preparation.

Set up all of your painting equipment either on the floor or table. As for ‘Snow Much Fun’ Part 1, put out white paint first and have clean brushes/sponges so you get crisp white pictures. Ensure you have wipes and an old towel handy and you and your child are in old clothes/have aprons on. This MAMA activity can get very messy so be prepared!!

Step 2: Experimentation.

Allow your child to mess around with the paint and brushes/sponges. Put the white paint in a variety of pots and let your child dip their hands/painting implements in them and see what marks they make on the card. Often if we do this activity on the floor feet get involved too!

Step 3: Folding Surprise Pictures!

Fold a piece of card in half then open it back out again so there is a crease down the centre. Encourage your child to squeeze the white paint straight from the tube into the centre crease (my son did not really need much encouragement as he loves to squeeze the paint out)! Once enough is on the card fold the card back over and pat it down. This was extremely hilarious to my son especially as some paint squeezed out of the edges! Open the card back up and find what surprise patterns you have created!


Step 4: More experimenting!

When you have put aside your folding surprise pictures now add in some other colours and have some more fun getting messy!

Step 5: Tidy tidy tidy up!

I’m sure you’re getting to know the MAMA routine now, wipe the excess paint off and then it’s bath time if needed! Put your painting equipment in to soak and then properly clean later.

Step 6: Decorating your pictures.

Our folded surprise pictures came out looking like snowmen so I used coloured card, pens, pom poms and snowflake cut outs to create wintery snowmen scenes. Depending on how yours come out use your imaginations and create, create, create!


On my sons experimenting handprint page I also let him choose things to stick on it such as Christmas themed craft foam shapes and Pom poms! He really enjoyed putting the shapes on with the PVA glue (under supervision) to create his own Christmas collage!


I hope everyone is getting nice and Christmassy, keep looking for more MAMA activities, tips and more! Find us on Facebook/Instagram and Twitter.

MAMA Activity Post: ‘Snow Much Fun’ Part 1


So as some of you may have seen my first blog post featured some handprint snowmen! I loved this idea so much I decided to get daddy involved in the action, so we could create some lovely family pictures to display this Christmas and then add to my MAMA journey folder!


For the painting bit;

– Plastic activity mat for floor or table.

– White paint (water based, non toxic).

– Paint pots / paper plates.

– Coloured card (we used blue to give an icy wintery feel but it could be any colour.

– Paint brushes / sponges.

– Coasters / placemats (if required).

– Old clothes / aprons for you and your child.

For the decoration bit;

– Permanent marker pens.

– Glitter pens.

– Felt tips.

Step 1: Preparation.

Set up all of your painting equipment either on the floor or table. For this MAMA activity make sure you only put out white paint first and have clean brushes/sponges so you get a crisp white picture.

Make sure you have wipes and an old towel handy and you and your child are in old clothes/have aprons on. Prepare to get messy!

Step 2: Experimentation.

I always let my son experiment a bit first, he likes to squeeze the paint on his hands and check out the brushes first.


Step 3: Hand print time.

It is a good idea for you to do your handprint first and then encourage your child to copy. An older child may then start to paint their own hand. If they don’t you will have to do it for them, as you will for younger children. I’ve found it best to try and make it into a game, as then they’re more likely to go along with it!

When hands are covered encourage your child to slam their hands down onto card (you can demonstrate doing this on another piece of card/paper at the same time). Alternatively gently push their hands down onto the card or with the card on a hard surface (coaster or placement depending on size of your card) push the card up towards the hand. I have had success with both ways is it depends on which you find easiest. If you have very young child who’s hands are still clenched you may have to do this whilst they are sleeping!

Add as many peoples handprints as you like to create a family painting! Again these can all be done on the same card or individual ones then cut out and stuck together afterwards.

Step 4: More Experimenting!

When you have set aside the handprints you are happy with, add in extra colours of paint/card and let your child (and you) play around!
It was at this point that my son and I came up with a new game that produced some lovely pictures (so keep an eye out for ‘Snow Much Fun’ Part 2).

Step 5: Tidy tidy tidy up!

Remove excess mess with wipes then, if required it’s bath time and depending on what colours you’ve used you can get quite interesting colours in your bath water!
Clean up the rest of the painting equipment – I often soak brushes and pots at the time then clean them properly when bedtime is done and dusted.

Step 6: Dressing up your snowman!

I used a mix of felt tips/permanent markers and glitter pens to add faces, buttons, hats and scarfs to the fingers of the handprints to create snowmen. you could use other things here like stickers/foam shapes to stick on etc and do it yourself or include older children.
Let your creativity run wild!


Now you have a lovely family picture to display over Christmas time and remind you of all the fun you had together!


Feel free to ask questions / comment or share your snowmen pictures with us and don’t forget we are on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as here on the blog.

MAMA Activity Post – Trimming the Tree


Since having my son a new level of excitement has been introduced to Christmas as there are so many family experiences to explore and fun arty activities to try! The design I chose for our first Christmas cards combined my love of hand prints and creativity, hope you enjoy making them as much as I did.

Equipment –

For the painting;

– Plastic activity mat to protect your floor. Can pick these up cheaply from £1 stores / art supply shops.

– Paper/card (for experimenting on).

– Plain white pre made cards/card that you can fold.

– Green paint (water based, non toxic).

– Paint containers (I often use old pots from custard/yoghurt desserts or paper plates).

– Paint brushes / sponges.

– Old clothes / aprons for you and your child.

– Wipes (lots).

– Old towel.

– Camera: take photos during the fun!

For the decorating bit;

– Pom poms / stickers / foam shapes.

– Glitter pens / felt tips.

– PVA glue.


Step 1: Preparation.
Preparation is key with MAMA activities so I often lay out all the painting things ready during nap time so its all set and ready to go. I also get all my bath things ready incase wipes aren’t enough after the activity!

Step 2: Experimentation.
I’ve found it best to allow you child to explore the paints/brushes and mess around with it a bit first so they get used to the feel of it.

Step 3: Hand print time!
I do a handprint first to show what we’re going to do. Children naturally like to copy so this can help. It also shows it is fun. With younger children you brush/sponge the green paint onto their hand then either press the card to their hand (better if its on a small board/coaster to give a harder surface) or push it their hand onto the card which is on the hard floor (ofter you get better results with the later). As my son got older though he would put the paint on his hands himself and slam his hand down, so then it was a case of putting the cards out in front of him and directing them in the right area!
You need one green hand print per card, alternatively you can do lots of hand prints on one piece then cut them out and stick them onto the cards afterwards.


Step 4: More experimenting.
Ater getting the handprints you want put them aside to dry and then let your child do what they like, I’ll often add in other colour paints at this time and its amazing what lovely pieces they can create!

Step 5: Tidy tidy tidy up!
After we’ve become good and messy I wipe up the main bulk of the paint with wipes, wrap him in an old towel and dunk him in the bath (often handy, if someone else has run the bath for you during step 4). There have been a few hand prints left on the floor and wall then he’s escaped from me and my towel wrapping so this step can be tricky if you have a toddler who likes to run away and hide! However the paint is water based and does rub off well I’ve found. After everyone is clean I then finish tidying up whilst my son has a well deserved snack!

Step 6: Trimming the tree!
With a smaller child PVA glue and pom poms are not great to use with them as they will inevitably put them in their mouth! Therefore I did the decorating the tree part myself and you really can do what you like here, so get creative!! I also found some ‘merry christmas’ stickers which looked nice. With older children they could help you do this decorating part as well.


So now you have some beautiful cards to send out, but don’t forget to keep one to put in your MAMA journey folder and also take photos to create lovely memories!

Please feel free to ask questions/leave comments or share photos of your Christmas cards!
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