Saturday, January 15, 2011

Reclaimed crafts for a winter wonderland

Going Green Mama is on the hunt for indoor activities to entertain her kids for a weekend...

Oh the weather outside is frightful, and the kids are so delightful...Actually, they're ready to come out of their skin with excitement... Because it's winter, and SNOW is outside!

Sadly, as both parents are down with a bug, outdoor play is unlikely. So this month's edition of reclaimed crafts focuses on winter projects the kids can do, hopefully without that trip to the store.

After we get through the hustle of the Christmas holidays, it seems like we're all in the mood for a big cleanse. Rip down the decorations. Purge our extra belongings. So "winter decorations" don't just appear too often, either in home decor or in children's activities beyond making cut-out snowflakes. Yawn.

So here are a few quick, seasonal ideas for those of us stuck inside:

The Magic Onions has directions for making bird feeders, something that can easily be done with cookie cutters and leftover ribbon from the holidays.

Or you can take a simpler path and just do as we did: take pine cones, "paint" them with peanut butter, and roll them in a mix of leftover sunflower seeds, raisins and nuts. The birds of course, ate them up in no time!

My kindergartener has been learning about "King Martin," as she called him, this week in school. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, we checked out part of his "I have a dream speech" (which really helps bring that historical figure to life). We've also been checking out, my new favorite go-to place for activities for the kids (it covers a broad range of topics from preschool through high school).

If my ears and sanity will cooperate this weekend, we might even try making this African Djembe drum I found at (OK, we would have to make two for parity.) Looking at the instructions, you could likely scrounge up materials and eliminate the twine (used mostly for decorations and to cover glue lines) and stick to the small terra cotta pot, plastic lid and container, and beans.

As for my family, I'm sure they're tired of asking me to make snowmen (and being denied) when:

1) the snow is not the right consistency
2) temperatures are now safe
3) mom or dad are not sick.

I think we'll have to settle for an indoor version like the one at Roots of Simplicity, which offers directions for makeshift indoor snowmen stuffed with plastic bags or sheets.

What are your favorite ways to creatively entertain your children indoors?

Wishing you all wellness this winter,

Robbie @ Going Green Mama


SustainaMom said...

What is it with kids and drums? At preschool, my son made one out of a Quaker Oats container filled sand. My nephew wanted one when he visited, so we filled an old yogurt tub with dry beans. They had a blast!

Thanks for the link. I'll have to check that out.

Green Bean said...

What fun! We'll have to try that snowman as we, out in California, have no snow. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Robbie,

Thanks for the nice compliment. We're happy you found us and thanks for taking time to share our activities with your Booth readers! Let us know how your drums turn out.

By the way, check out our Winter Activities Challenge. ( Once you register and do five activities you'll be eligible to win an iPad or little Lego sets. Good Luck!

All the best,
Kat ( - kedenATeducationDOTcom)

PS - your reference to "King Martin" made me laugh out loud. I love how kids process the stuff we teach them!


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