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Happenings Around Embrey

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07 January . 2021

8 Whimsical Winter Crafts for Kids

Winter is coming.

Some see it as a season of cold and slush, but it’s also full of childhood wonder, adventure, and play.

Just thinking about being a kid during the winter conjures memories of sledding, snowmen, hot cocoa, that special sound of squinching snow underfoot, and the joy of having fun (and, sometimes, food) float down from the sky.

Winter brings a delightful season of unique crafts. Of course, most of these can be done any time of the year, but there’s something magical about doing winter-themed crafts when it’s actually winter. Many of these crafts can also be springboards for learning experiences, exploring nature, science, and art.

Here are 8 of our favorite winter crafts for you and your kids to enjoy:

  1. Toilet Paper Tube Snowmen
    We’ll admit it: we all have a lot of extra TP in the house right now. But what to do with the cardboard tubes (other than recycle them, of course)? Simply glue a strip of white paper around them and then decorate them with paint and other bits of colored paper. The result? A village of snowpeople made from TP tubes! And the best part is, they can also be used as puppets to act out all sorts of snowstories. Here’s a nice tutorial.

  2. Toilet Paper Tube Bird Feeder
    This one is another great way to reuse empty TP tubes. Roll them in peanut butter and then roll in bird seed. String them up through their convenient center hole and hang from a tree or something outside. Birds and squirrels will be very thankful for the added food during the cold months. Tip: use “deck friendly” bird seed or just unshelled nuts for the outer layer. That way, everything will be edible without leaving shells all over your deck or yard.

  3. Popcorn and Cranberry Garland
    This one is a winter classic. All you need is some thread, a needle, and various foods to string on the garland. Popcorn is great. Cranberries are pretty, but not all animals like them. Cereal with holes are good too. Before you string, check online to see if outdoor animals can eat the food you plan to garland up. Then, with plenty of adult supervision since a needle of some type is involved, help your little ones thread the garlands and hang them up outside. Making the garlands are fun, but seeing which treats the birds and squirrels like the best is even more exciting.

  4. Pine Cone & Cotton Ball Snowy Owl
    Baby owls are flippin’ adorable—a mass of eyes and fluff. Now you can make some of your own with a pine cone and cotton balls. One of the joys of this craft project is the outdoor expedition to find the pine cones. Then, just tear up cotton balls and stuff them between the seed scales. Make them as fluff-filled as you want. Add googly eyes and some material (pipe cleaners, felt, etc.) for wings and a beak, and you’ve got one adorable snowy owlet of your very own.

  5. Frozen Globe Yard Art
    This is a great craft if it is freezing outside or you have a very empty freezer. Fill balloons with water and let freeze thoroughly. [Adult Note: As water balloons are heavy with the water liquid or solid, you might want to take over transportation duties.] Once the water is frozen, carefully remove the balloon and place the ice globe in your yard. Have kids decorate them by “painting” them with water mixed with food colorings. For even more winter wonderment, place an outdoor light near them at night for bonus light art.

  6. Bubble Wrap Snow Scene
    Holidays bring presents in the mail, and that normally also brings bubble wrap. This is just one art project that can reuse that bubble wrap—many more can be found elsewhere online. Begin by painting a leafless tree silhouette on blue paper. Then, dip a piece of bubble wrap in white paint and press it repeatedly into the paper. The bubble wrap will act like a stamp, adding little dots of white to the scene. You can also use cotton balls, pencil erasers, and even child fingers to make the snow. This tutorial has some great pictures of a project in progress.

  7. Shaving Cream Marbled Paper Making crafts out of unexpected items is always extra fun. This one starts by filling a jelly roll dish (or any deepish pan) with regular shaving cream. Add drops and splashes of food coloring or acrylic paint, and then swirl all the colors around with a skewer, butter knife, or other swirling implement. Gently press paper on top of the swirly cream. Peel the paper back and set it on a flat surface (shaving cream side up, of course). Scrape the shaving cream off with a ruler or other firm and flat item. Let dry. You’ll end up with some really neat marbled paper that can be hung up as art, used to make one-of-a-kind holiday cards, or anything else your creative minds can dream up. For step-by-step instructions and pictures, take a look at this tutorial.

  8. “Painted” Holiday Cookie Art
    Baking is always a special winter activity. It brings people together to make good food in a room that is cozy and warm. Win-win-win. Here’s an easy craft to make some delicious art. Make or buy your favorite flat cookies. Ice them with white cookie icing. When the icing is dry, give them to your kids along with some food coloring “paints.” McCormick has some great color recipes (and a nice cookie recipe). And the best part is: when the art is all done, the eating can begin!

And that’s our list of 8 whimsical winter crafts for you and your kids to enjoy. Stay safe and warm this winter—and make it beautiful!