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Handmade Christmas Gifts Children Can Make

By Peggy Tee © In these commercial times, it can be easy to lose sight of the true spirit and meaning of Christmas. An easy way to bring the focus back, especially for your children, is to create handmade gifts to give away instead of simply buying off-the-shelf items from the shops. This involves the children in the gift giving and creates an activity that the whole family can partake in. What’s more, a handmade gift is a thoughtful and touching gesture, and will be treasured by its recipient for years to come. Art works It can be sculpture, painting or even music – bring out your child’s talents to create some personalized gifts for Christmas. Modeling clay can be formed into useful jars, mugs, vases, then baked hard in the oven and decorated with ribbons or paint. If your child likes painting or drawing, encourage him or her to unleash some creativity on canvas or art block paper via crayon, paint or colored pencils. You can make some frames using black cardboard, or pop them into some ready made frames from your local art shop. Lastly if your child plays the piano, the violin or loves singing, create a mix tape by recording their performances on the computer or via a tape recorder and send out copies on CDs to family members as gifts. Christmas snow globes You will require some clean, empty glass jars with air tight lids, glitter or confetti, decorative figures, epoxy glue, water and a ribbon for the lid. Secure your figurine to the bottom of the jar. While it dries, encourage your child to decorate the lid of the jar using ribbons, paper or paint. Once the glue is dry, let your child fill the jar with water up to two thirds full, then sprinkle confetti or glitter into snow globe. Brush on some glue on the edge of the lid and screw it onto the jar tightly to prevent spillage. These are wonderful little presents and are bound to bring a smile to friends and family who receive them. Felt bookmarks For this present you will need to provide your child with felt material in different colors. Using a template cut out from stiff cardboard, draw Christmas trees, reindeer or gift boxes onto the felt. Cut these shapes out then decorate using marker pens or by gluing on beads, different colored felt or tying on ribbons. Punch a hole at the top of the shape and thread ribbons through. These bookmarks are...

Restoring and Cleaning Your Classic Nintendo Games

The members of the original Nintendo generation have begun to enter their 20s and 30s. Many of them even have children of their own. For many, the onset of adult life comes with an occasional desire to revisit some of the simple pleasures of youth, and there can hardly be a better way to do this than by replaying some of the classic console games that gave us so much pleasure in childhood. Unfortunately, classic Nintendo and Super Nintendo games were cartridge-based and extremely sensitive to dust and corrosion, and when the delicate metal contacts on these cartridges were dirty, the games would often refuse to function at all. When buying a classic Nintendo game on the secondary market today, this problem is even more likely to occur as the vast majority of used cartridges that are available have been improperly stored for two decades or more. Thankfully, with just a few household items, it is possible to restore these games to their original operation while avoiding the inflated prices that are charged by game retailers for cartridge refurbishment. Getting Started Before you begin restoring your classic Nintendo games, you will need a fully-functioning and clean Nintendo console. Nintendo games are equally as susceptible to blinking and non-playability if the console is dirty as they are if the games themselves need to be cleaned, and it is far more difficult to clean the inside of a console, which was never meant to be opened by the end user. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you purchase a refurbished Nintendo console to enjoy your games with a minimum of hassle. Alternatively, several clone consoles are currently available which emulate the original hardware to near perfection. The SNES/NES FC Twin Video Game System is a popular example of this; it is able to play both Nintendo and Super Nintendo games, and generally costs under $50. Supplies Required Before you begin cleaning your classic Nintendo games, ensure that all of your supplies are laid out in front of you in a manner that is accessible. You will need some isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, a large supply of cotton swabs, a small dish or cup, and a place to dispose of your dirty cotton swabs. Because alcohol is a highly flammable substance, do not smoke or leave an open flame in the area where you will be working. Cleaning Your Games Pour some of the alcohol into your dish. Alcohol evaporates quickly, so using a separate dish will allow you to close your bottle...

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