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Winter Crafts and Outdoor Activities

Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean you have to suffer from the winter blahs. Here are some fun activities to keep you and your child busy until the spring thaw ruins your fun.

Materials needed

  • plastic container that is empty, clean, and has a lid
  • coffee filter or piece of paper towel
  • bowl
  • magnifying glass

Steps

1. Go outside and fill the container with fresh snow.

2. Put the lid on the container and let it melt inside.

3. Place and hold the coffee filter or paper towel over the bowl. Pour the melted snow slowly over the filter or paper into the bowl. Can you see dirt and stuff piling up on the paper or filter? If you can't tell, use the magnifying glass.

4. Your child will never eat snow again!

Materials needed

  • 1 piece of glass
  • aerosol hairspray

Steps

1. Freeze the piece of glass and the hairspray can overnight.

2. Spray your chilled glass with the chilled hairspray.

3. Go outside and let some snowflakes settle on the glass. When you have enough flakes bring the glass indoors and allow it to thaw at room temperature for about 15 minutes.

4. Now you have a permanent record of your snowflakes!

Materials needed

  • 1 liter soda bottle, emptied and cleaned
  • ruler
  • laundry marker

Steps

1. Cut off the top half of the soda bottle.

2. Stand a ruler next to the bottle and mark the outside in centimeters or inches with a permanent laundry marker.

3. Place the bottle outside where it can collect the falling snow.

4. When the snow stops falling, measure how much snow has fallen in your bottle.

5. Take the bottle inside and let the snow melt. Compare the amount of snow that was in the bottle to the amount of water in the bottle once the snow has melted.

Materials needed

  • 1 large bowl
  • winter of snowstorms

What to do

Fill a large bowl with snow and bring it inside to partially thaw, and then add more snow on top. Keep doing this all winter long. You will then have the "layers" of ice and snow like a glacier.

Materials needed

  • several plastic spray bottles with adjustable nozzles
  • food coloring in various colors
  • a few inches of snow on the ground

Steps

1. Fill each spray bottle about halfway with water.

2. Add a few drops of food coloring to tint the water and twist on the spray top.

3. Give the kids free reign to draw or write whatever they want in the snow.

Materials needed

  • 5-gallon plastic bucket or pail
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • water
  • candle

Steps

1. Spray the inside of the bucket with cooking spray.

2. Fill the bucket with water, three quarters of the way full, and set outside to freeze (or place in the freezer if the temperature outside is above 32 degrees). Leave overnight.

3. In the morning, remove the ice block from the bucket. On the bottom of the ice "cube," there should be an area that is still liquid. Drain out the liquid and slush.

4. Turn the ice cube upside down and place back in the bucket. Allow to freeze for at least for four more hours.

5. The pocket where the water was now makes a great place to insert a candle. Light and place outside in your yard when it's dark for a beautiful ice "crystal" candle luminary!

Materials needed

  • white soap powder
  • water
  • electric mixer
  • 2 small buttons
  • toothpick

Steps

1. Mix soap and water with the electric mixer until it is thick enough that when the mixer is lifted from the ingredients it looks like meringue.

2. Shape mixture into three balls -- one large, one medium, and one small.

3. Place the medium-sized ball on top of the large one. Place the smallest ball on the top.

4. Decorate your "snowman" with buttons as his eyes and the toothpick as his nose.

Materials needed

  • small baby food jar, emptied and washed
  • glue gun
  • small plastic toy animal
  • small rocks or gravel
  • glitter
  • water

Steps

1. Use glue gun to glue rocks and animal to the bottom of jar.

2. Fill with water and spoon in some glitter.

3. Glue lid back on jar and shake to make it snow!

Materials needed

  • 3 white pom-poms (about 1/2-inch round)
  • 2 wiggle eyes
  • red sock or felt
  • black felt
  • thin marker
  • tacky glue or hot glue
  • tip of an orange crayon, or piece of clay, felt, or construction paper
  • Popsicle stick or piece of cardboard
  • magnet strip with adhesive or jewelry pin

Steps

1. Take 3 pom-poms and glue across Popsicle stick.

2. Take red sock or felt and cut a 1/2-inch x 8-inch strip. Tie the "scarf" around the snowman's neck.

3. Glue on wiggle eyes.

4. Cut "buttons" out of edge of black felt and glue on as snowman's eyes.

5. Depending on the type of nose you want for your snowman, glue on a tip of a crayon, a cutout of orange felt or construction paper, or a piece of clay in a carrot shape.

6. Cut a rectangle out of black felt 3 x 4 inches long and glue the short ends together to make the hat.

7. Trace around the top of the hat to make a circle to fit. Cut out and glue on one end of the hat.

8. Trace around the bottom of the hat, making the circle slightly larger to make the brim. Cut out.

9. Stuff the hat lightly with felt scraps to help it keep the shape.

10. Glue the brim to the bottom of the hat. Glue the hat onto the snowman's head and anchor onto the popsicle stick.

11. Glue a magnet strip to the back of the popsicle stick and let dry.

12. Hang on your refrigerator.

Materials needed

  • 3 papier mache boxes in incremental sizes (1 1/2", 1 3/4", and 2" across)
  • black and white craft paints
  • paint brush or foam brush
  • 2 wiggle eyes (about 1/4 inch across)
  • 3 black beads (3/8 inch)
  • red sock or red felt
  • orange clay
  • glue gun

Steps

1. Paint the 2 larger boxes with white craft paint and base coat the smallest box with black craft paint. Let boxes dry.

2. Using the end of foam brush (or other round surface such as the end of a pen), dip in white paint and apply white dots to the black box. Let dry.

3. Take the smallest box, remove the lid, and turn it upside down. Glue the lid on to the lid of the middle-sized box.

4. Glue the middle-sized box, right side up, on top of the largest box.

5. Take the red sock or felt and cut out an 1/2 inch x 8-inch strip to make a scarf. Tie the scarf around the snowman's neck.

6. Glue on wiggle eyes. Take a tiny piece of orange clay and shape a carrot nose. Glue to the face.

7. Glue on the black beads for the buttons.

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.