The long, cold months of winter tend to make all of us a bit stir crazy, but with some planning and creativity, winter creativity can flourish. A dab of glue, a spot of paint, and some imagination can turn otherwise unused household items into crafty treasures.
If you have any singleton mittens lying around lonely without their mates, use them to create artwork. Donning a mitten and dipping it lightly into some paint, a child can experiment with texture and color to create beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces of art. Mitten prints could be applied to paper or cardboard to be used to wrap or box gifts.
Draw mittens on sheets of construction paper, then kids can practice cutting out the shapes with scissors. These mittens then can be used in other projects, such as creating marble mittens. Place a mitten inside a clean container that has a tight-fitting lid (such as a whipped topping or spreadable butter container). Dip a marble in paint; place the marble in the container, then put the lid on top. Kids can shake the container to create patterns. Experimenting with several marbles and colors of paint can become a lesson in color creation and manipulation, too.
Smaller children can dip their hands in paint and decorate mitten cut-outs with their handprints. This activity not only engages children in artistic creation, but parents can date the work and have a personalized piece to mark the memory and the child’s development.
Smaller art pieces, such as the marble or handprint mittens or origami snowflakes, can become a wreath. Simply cut out a doughnut from sturdy cardboard, and ask the children to help you mount the individual pieces as a collection on the wreath. To make this a learning activity for younger children, encourage them to create themed wreaths by choosing items that would go together, such as all of the blue mittens or pictures of winter clothing.
If you have any circles heading for the trash—like scratched CDs or juice can lids—they can quickly become snowmen with a bit of white paint and some decorative odds and ends. Paint the circles. After they dry, glue them together, then use bits of fabric, ribbon, pom poms, pipe cleaners, or markers to give them personality.
With your imagination and a bit of creativity, winter days hold hours of beauty and fun.