Fun Winter Kids' Crafts
A Feast for Forest Friends
Help local wildlife through the lean winter months with this cool cake made just for them. Sculpt snow as shown, then decorate it with veggies, berries, corn, and seeds. Stop by often to look for tracks. You can use a wildlife guidebook to see who might be munching on the goodies.
Pretty Building Blocks
Let Mother Nature freeze these colorful ice blocks, then get building to brighten gray days. (No cold weather near you? You can also make them in your freezer!)
- Fill assorted plastic containers with water.
- Tint each container with a few drops of food coloring.
- If the temperature is below 32 degrees, set them outside to freeze. Otherwise, put them in your freezer.
- Remove the ice blocks from the containers. (Run warm water over the plastic if the blocks are stuck.)
- Be sure to have your kids wear old clothes as they build; the melting blocks can stain clothing.
Crafter's Tip: For all-natural blocks that melt without a trace, simply omit the food coloring.
- Paint a pinecone green with acrylic or tempera paint.
- Use a dark brown marker to draw a simple bark pattern on a narrow rectangle of brown scrapbook paper. Roll the paper into a tube and secure it with tacky glue.
- Run glue around the top edge of the tube and set the pinecone on top. Let the glue dry.
- Wrap tufts from unrolled cotton balls around a pinecone and use a toothpick to push the cotton between the scales. Mound extra cotton on top to form the head.
- For the face, cut a teardrop shape from white felt and with tacky glue, adhere it point side down to the pinecone.
- With permanent marker, draw eyes on two yellow thumbtacks, then use them to tack two white felt circles to the face. Glue a yellow felt triangle between the eyes.
- Cut two more teardrop shapes from white felt for the wings. Draw on feather markings, as shown.
- Craft a tree trunk as described in the tree directions, and set the owl on top.
- Cut a brown pipe cleaner in half, then wrap one piece around each end of a pinecone, bending the pipe cleaners into legs.
- For the neck and head, fold a pipe cleaner in half, then in half again. Push the two middle folds into an oblong wooden bead until the pipe cleaner just pokes through.
- You'll have a folded loop and two ends sticking out of the other end of the bead: Bend the two ends up for the antlers. Bend the loop down and slip it onto the end of the pinecone for the neck. If needed, use hot glue (an adult's job) to secure the loop.
- Add points to the antlers by twisting on short lengths of pipe cleaner.
Your child can change the look of her cold- weather gear with ease by adding buttons. Sew one to the back of each mitten or glove. Cut shapes from felt—hearts, stars, rocket ships, cats—and make a slit as wide as the button in the center of each. Then slip a shape (or two, or three) onto each button.
This simple nature project lets you give feathered friends a treat during National Bird-Feeding Month (February). From corrugated cardboard, cut a large star with a circle inside. Poke a hole and add a loop of twine for hanging. Spread peanut butter on both sides of the star. Working over a rimmed baking sheet, coat the star with birdseed.
Blog We Love: Our feeder was inspired by an idea on Cami Elias's blog, Full Circle (ourhouse.typepad.com). Her family used this technique to make the word welcome.
Home Tweet Home
These wee matchbox birdhouses make perfect canvases for your child's dollhouse dreams. To make one, use tacky glue to cover an empty matchbox with paper or other materials (we used cork sheets, foil, and twigs). With a craft knife (an adult's job), cut a doorway that folds open and provides a perch. (Cut the hole first if you're attaching twigs or other thick materials.) Decorate with markers. Cut paper to fit the matchbox's slide-out tray, and draw the inside of a house on it. Glue it in place. Tape on a roof made of sturdy paper, then glue on decorations, if you like. For the birds, draw faces on pom-poms with marker.
Frosty the T-Shirt
You don't have to save tie-dye for summer! Use it to add character to a winter wardrobe.
See the next slide for instructions.
How to Make It
Find three small plastic or rubber balls in varying sizes (Ping-Pong balls, golf balls, and bouncy balls all work well). Place the smallest ball inside a white cotton shirt, smooth and cinch the fabric around it, and secure it with a rubber band. Do the same with the medium ball, then the largest, making sure the cinched balls are as tightly grouped as possible so that the circles will touch, as shown.
Dye and rinse the shirt according to the dye package instructions. Remove the balls and dry the shirt, then add features with dimensional fabric paint. Sew on a few buttons to finish.
For Goodness' Snakes
To celebrate Chinese New Year, craft a slithery reptile that can bend and wiggle like an actual serpent.
- Use acrylic paint to coat six bathroom tissue tubes with a snakeskin pattern.
- After the paint dries, cut the ends of the tubes into points.
- Use a hole punch to make a hole in each point, except for the ones that will form the head and tail.
- Overlap two of the tube ends, then insert a 3-inch length of pipe cleaner through all four holes. Bend each end of the pipe cleaner flat against the tube to secure it. Repeat to assemble the rest of the snake.
- With tacky glue, add googly eyes and a red ribbon tongue.
Did You Know?
According to Chinese folklore, the color red scares away evil spirits. Be sure to add some to your snake!
This cozy fleece beanie comes together so fast you'll want to make a few. What to do: Measure your child's head starting from the middle of her forehead. Cut a piece of patterned fleece that's the length of the circumference (plus 2 inches) and 16 inches wide. Fold the fabric in half, matching the 16-inch edges together. Sew a 1/2-inch-wide seam along this edge. Double over one end of the tube to create a brim. Gather the top 3 inches of the hat and tie with colored cord.
A Flurry of Fun
These fancy snowflakes require just three simple steps—even your littlest one can help! Using scissors, cut medium-weight paper into 1/4-inch-wide strips; then cut those strips into 6-inch lengths. Fold each strip about a third of the way down. Using a pencil or chopstick, curl both ends of the strip toward the fold. You'll need 8 strips to form one snowflake. For each snowflake, arrange the points of 8 strips in the center; attach each adjoining side to the next with glue. Add on leftover strips to fill out the flakes.