Just get crafty to keep kids happy ... if a little bit messy

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My money-savvy guru Martin Lewis reminded me of something I already know - you don’t have to spend lots of money to make children happy.

It was something that was just as true years ago, but there was a time when we didn’t spend a fortune on our wee ones or a time when we weren’t so obsessed with tightening our belts.

Now I’m a granny, I’ll admit that taking care of a three-year-old occasionally is hard work.

My grandson Jack is a bundle of fun and energy, and after a few hours with him, I can feel a strain in my pocket as well as my nerves.

A few weeks back, we did soft play, McDonald’s and then a trip to see some wild birds.

None of the activities were particularly expensive on their own, but it all added up, and some amusements failed to hold his interest for more than 10 minutes.

So this Monday, while my pregnant daughter got some rest, Jack and I had a craft day.

Yes, dear readers, house-proud as I am, kids love making a mess and it’s about time I accepted it.

So in the morning, we spent £2.50 on a squashy bottle of glue and four tubs of coloured glitter. Mid morning, we put on lots of cozy layers and took a walk in the countryside, lifting up pretty leaves, pineconces and small bits of bark.

Rosy-cheeked, we headed home for toast and beans, and then, I placed the Sunday papers on my kitchen table and we decorated our woodland finds in festive multi-coloured sparkle.

It was amazing; I can’t remember the last time he was so engaged for so long.

We placed our creations in a plastic dish lined with Christmas napkins and I proudly displayed our work on my coffee table.

Smiling and chuffed with ourselves, I sat Jack down for a wee rest in front of the TV.

I left him and walked in to what had been kitchen which now resembled a wreck attacked bya glitter bomb.

It’s incredible how glitter gets everywhere. The grooves between my kitchen tiles were thick with the stuff, and it had managed to spread all over the house thanks to it being stuck to Jack’s socks and my slippers.

An hour later, with the help of my Dyson, a dustpan and brush, and a lint roller, I had removed the worst of the glittering mess.

By this time, Jack had regained his strength and was jumping up and down shouting, “Again, again.”

I said “No” but promised to do something similar soon.

But before I do, I’d like to say a few words to two sections of the community.

First to mums and grans – if you’re planning on re-creating my craft day, please beware that a pinecone and dog poo look pretty similar to youngsters when covered in frost.

And my second message is to dog owners – PICK UP AFTER YOUR PET!!!

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