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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!

Calendars:

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 payment.

Dinosaur calendar
http://www.cooldinos.com/calendar/2001dino
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
http://www.janbrett.com/2001_calendar/2001_calendar_main_page.htm
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 download.

Glue method:
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.

Masks

How about slipping some cute masks into the stocking? Here are some nice Christmassy ones:

Gorgeous penguin mask!
http://www.muttart.com/santa/images/penguin-mask.gif

Snowman mask
http://www.muttart.com/santa/images/snoman-mask.gif

Santa mask
http://www.muttart.com/santa/images/santa-mask.gif

Boy reindeer mask
http://www.muttart.com/santa/images/deer-mask-red.gif

Girl reindeer mask
http://www.muttart.com/santa/images/ms-deer-mask.gif

Paper Dolls

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 doll
http://www.planetpals.com/pdfimages/GB_winter.pdf

Another cheerful snowman paper doll
http://www.daniellesplace.com/snowman.gif
Color and cut out. Great fun.

Scruffy the Puppy Christmas paper doll
http://www.daniellesplace.com/dogdoll.gif
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!
http://www.daniellesplace.com/dogdoll2.gif
This is super.

The following paper dolls are not Christmas-specific:

Betsy McCall and her friends
http://www.geocities.com/Wellesley/9169/betsy.html
These are our absolute favorites gorgeous dolls and gorgeous clothes too.

Cindy and Joey
http://members.aol.com/derru/toybox/dolls.htm
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.

Making Friends
http://www.makingfriends.com/f_Friends.htm
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
http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Shadowlands/8955/pdolls.html
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.

Cinderella
http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Shadowlands/8955/pdolls.html
A lovely version of Cinderella and her various costumes.

Bethany
http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Shadowlands/8955/pdolls.html
An adorable period girl doll with lots of costumes.

Soccer Fan and Soccer Player
http://www.hpworldcup.com/fungames/index.htm
This is more likely to appeal to the boys! Color the dolls in your team's colors.

American Football Figures
http://www.funorama.com/qbclub.html
Here are some quarterback figures to color and cut out.

Photo frames

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
http://www.muttart.com/santa/images/pink-bear-frame.gif
Blue teddy bear photo-frame
http://www.muttart.com/santa/images/bl-bear-frame.gif
Penguin photo frame
http://www.muttart.com/santa/images/penguin-frame.gif

Paper Models
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
http://www.rain.org/~philfear/download-a-dinosaur.html
A great activity for dinosaur-mad kids! Download some dinosaurs, print onto card, cut out and assemble. Fairly simple once the cutting is done.

Racing Car
http://www.mcguirezone.com/goodies/racer.pdf
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 cow.

http://www.fiddlersgreen.net/misc/cow/free-cow.htm
http://www.fiddlersgreen.net/buildings/english/house/countryhse.htm
http://www.fiddlersgreen.net/misc/jaws/jaws.htm

Paper Airplanes

Free Paper Planes
http://www.geocities.com/EnchantedForest/Creek/8015/
There are some wonderful (and relatively simple) models of fighter planes here to download either to color yourself or pre-colored.

Paper Paradise
http://www.paperparadise.com/free/index.cfm
These are for much older children (and their fathers)! There are some excellent and very complex paper airplane models.

Bookmarks

Arthur Bookmarks
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/arthur/sue_ellen/bookmarks/index.html
Print and color any of eight bookmarks of Arthur and his friends.

Animal Bookmarks
http://www.billybear4kids.com/animal/bookmarks/bookmarks.htm
Choose your favorite animal, print, cut and tie on a ribbon

Printable Games

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
http://www.billybear4kids.com/animal/dominos/bears/dominos-sheet1.html
Four pages here to print out, cut out and use to play dominoes.

Animal Matching Concentration or Snap
http://www.billybear4kids.com/worksheets/animals/baby.html
http://www.billybear4kids.com/worksheets/animals/grown.html
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
http://www.billybear4kids.com/animal/cards/mania-cards.htm
Print out these sets of cards and cut. Good for all sorts of games.

Bug-Go
http://www.uky.edu/Agriculture/IPM/teachers/bug-go/bug-go.htm
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)

http://www.geocities.com/homeschoolforms/Pentominoes.PDF
http://www.geocities.com/homeschoolforms/PentominoeBoard.PDF

Notepads

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.
http://countryclipart.com/todolistprimangel.gif

Recipe Cards

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.
http://www.sherylsgraphics.com/recipecards.html

You will find a selection of country style recipe cards here.

Coloring Pages

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:
http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/colouring_pages3.htm

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

Copyright 2000
Lindsay Small

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

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