Wheaton Montessori News
Winter is officially here! This time of year we tend to spend a bit more time indoors and it can be easy for kids to get a little stir-crazy. Having a few winter art projects on hand can make chilly nights and weekends fun for everyone! Most of these ideas don’t require any special supplies; you likely have everything you need at your house already.
Did you receive a stack of greeting cards in the mail this season? Grab some glue, scissors, and a piece of paper to make collages. Keep in mind the end product might not be what you expect, but it’s fun for kids (and adults) to express themselves through art. Young children will get some great practice with fine motor skills as they cut pictures and letters out of old cards, and they can arrange them however they want to make a new picture.
If you have scraps of wrapping paper, construction paper, or even old magazines laying around and you can find a hole punch tool, your kids can make confetti!
While this task is time-consuming, kids will love it, and they can take turns using the hole punch. Once you have a decent pile of tiny, colorful dots, put them inside a balloon, blow it up, and hang it from the ceiling. Later in the evening, it can be popped in celebration!
If you have any leftover tinsel garland you can make this amazing sparkly sign for 2019!
A few paper plates can turn into fun noisemakers. First, let your kids each decorate two plates with crayons or markers so their creations will be extra colorful. If you have glitter and are feeling brave, feel free to bring it out for the occasion **See note below**. Sandwiching the two plates together, dry beans or rice should be added between. A hot glue gun can seal the two plates together. For more inspiration check out this site: https://www.thecentsiblelife.com/paper-plate-shakers-for-new-years-eve/
**If you were brave enough to use glitter with a toddler around, enjoy the glitter for decades to come in the nooks and crannies of your home! And if you know a great way to clean up glitter, please share it with the rest of us!
This project is definitely all about the process, as opposed to any lasting finished product.
Fill the bottom of a glass baking dish with ice cubes. Give your children a small bowl of salt and encourage them to gently sprinkle it on top of the ice to watch what happens. Doing this will be fascinating for them, and it will create all sorts of interest grooves, dips, and tunnels in the ice.
Next, let the children paint the ice. This will work best with liquid watercolors but use whatever you have on hand. The melting ice will cause the paint to run and mix much more than it would on paper. After they have painted for a bit, they can sprinkle some glitter on top, or whatever other fun ideas you all can come up with. They may want to return to the salt, or continue painting for a while.
When your children tire of this activity, it’s easy enough to bring the whole dish straight to the sink for simple clean-up. For more information check out one mom’s description of how this fun project went for her kids!
If you are an avid knitter, sewer, or love to crochet, consider teaching your children. These skills are something they will use forever, not to mention the treasured memories they will have of the time you spent together.
Never sewed a stitch in your life? You can still enjoy easy fiber arts projects with your kids! Try making felted soap: a bar of soap completely covered in decorative felt can be fun to make and to use (think of it as a built-in wash cloth!) You will need:
Take a piece of wool roving and wrap it completely (and tightly) around a bar of soap. If you would like, take other colors of wool and use smaller pieces to wrap around the bar of soap, making an interesting design. Put the whole thing into the foot of the stockings, run under warm water, and agitate. Keep rubbing the soap for a while, making sure to alternate sides and wet it occasionally.
The combination of warm water and friction is what causes wool to turn into felt. After ten minutes or so you may want to take the soap out of the stocking to see if it’s done. If finished, the wool will have obviously transformed into something that looks more like fabric, and it will fit snuggly around the bar of soap. If it’s not quite there, pop it back into the stocking and keep rubbing it under the water.
The term ‘snow art’ is completely open to interpretation. If you grew up in a place where winters brought lots of the white stuff, you are probably adept at building snowmen. Why not try making snow turtles, snow cats, or snow camels? Let your child’s imagination get the process started, then have fun trying to figure out how to make their ideas a reality – together!
As an added creative bonus, you can make your snow art colorful! Colored snow sprays are now sold in stores, but it’s easy enough to make your own with a spray bottle, water, and some food coloring. No spray bottle? No problem! Liquid watercolors and brush will bring the same element of fun outdoors.
If you decide to try any of these winter art ideas, or come up with some of your own, we would love to hear from you. Send a picture and tell us how it went!