Winter Craft Ideas
January 10, 2014

Unfortunately, sometimes it’s just not feasible to go outdoors with your kids.  With temperatures below zero in the Lehigh Valley lately, we have been spending a lot of time indoors, which leads to much more creative family activities.  Even though my older son Lucas, 8, doesn’t typically enjoy doing arts and crafts, we are able to draw him in by doing projects with the items we’ve collected from the outdoors over the years.  Miles, 2, loves getting involved in almost any project we do—especially if it involves paint or glue.  Since our family spends so much time outdoors and we have two boys who like to collect items from nature, there never seems to be a lack of supplies.  We have ceramic pots outdoors with a variety of sticks that we have accumulated and jars of interesting rocks, acorns, pine cones, feathers, and bark. All of these items make excellent items for making natural craft projects with the kids year-round.

Below are some really simple craft ideas that you can do with kids of all ages, using items from your back yard and your house.

Nature Mobile

Take a small branch or a large stick to be the anchor for your mobile.  Next, tie string or twine around items you have collected such as pine cones, leaves, interesting stones, pieces of pine trees, etc.  Your strings can be of varying lengths.  Tie the ends of the strings to your anchor piece, creating your mobile.  To make your mobile more colorful, paint the items you’ve incorporated into your project.

Nature Garland

This is the same sort of idea as the Nature Mobile. Tie various bits of nature (pine cones, stones, twigs, etc.) to a string or twine or adhere them to your garland material with hot glue. Make sure adults are the only ones to use a hot glue gun, as the glue is extremely hot.  We have our garland hanging on our mantle.  It’s also a nice idea to make seasonal garland, or garland around the holidays for decorations.

Pet Rocks

                                                                                                                             

 

Take rocks and small stones to make “pet rocks”.  Kids can use markers or paints to draw faces on rocks or glue rocks together to make ears, noses, etc.  Kids can also add googley eyes, feathers, or other craft supplies to give pet rocks additional features. At one point, we had an entire window sill full of different pet rocks that we had made; there were so many that I lost track of their names.  You can also use these items as paper weights.  These items also make fantastic, hand-made gifts.  

Acorn or Rock Necklaces

Paint acorns or rocks in a variety of ways. Kids can either make creative faces and add different craft items like feathers, cotton, pipe cleaners, etc. or just add abstract color to their acorns and rocks.  If using acorns, tie a string around the acorn top, making a necklace. If using rocks, wrap the string around the rock in a variety of ways to secure it.  Knot the ends, finishing your necklace.

Nature Picture

You can use almost anything from nature to make a Nature Picture.  Collect twigs, pine cones, flowers, feathers, rocks, etc. and glue pieces on construction paper or card board to make a collage or picture.  This is a simple project for kids of all ages.  

 

Bird Feeders and Houses

Bird feeders and bird houses are also great fun for kids to make, and you can easily incorporate your collection of natural decorations if you wish.  Check out the links below for a variety of feeders and houses you and your kids can create for your feathery outdoor friends.

 

http://www.hgtv.com/gardening/natural-handmade-bird-feeders/index.html

 

http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/991705/easy-bird-feeders-crafts-for-kids

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