Art

Winter Fun for Everyone!

It is that time of year again. That time of year where we dream of warmer weather, flowers growing, kids running and playing outside, campfires, hot days by the pool, s'mores, lawn games, vacations...I could go on! However, currently it's Winter. That time of year where most of us are stuck inside avoiding the frigid temperatures and only wishing we could step outside without 4 layers on. We watch the sun go down at 5:15 and have a countdown on the calendar until Spring/Summer....How's a mom to survive the Winter?

For the past 8 years I have been involved in different avenues of childcare. I worked from the world of daycare to being an assistant teacher in a public school. During my time in these places I was able to create a lot of fun lesson plans for my kids. There were countless Pennsylvania winter storms that kept me inside with 8 school age boys, who just wanted to go outside and play, many afternoons with my little babies where I couldn't come to terms with reading another Dr. Seuss book, to the headaches of hearing preschoolers stealing toy trucks from one another...I had to do something! So today I'm digging down deep into my lesson plans to hopefully help you brave another winter day with your kiddos. These are just some fun activities and crafts that I found to be fun with the kids I worked with and a few I've gotten to do with my daughter. Some cost not a single penny, while a few may require a small trip to the dollar store, it really depends on what you have on hand.

Each age will have an activity and a craft! So here we go!

Infant (0-12 months)

Winter in a Bag:

Sensory tables/ bags are the best for little ones to explore different objects. What I love about this project is that it's no mess and I don't have to worry about Eleanor (6 months) putting stuff in her mouth. You can use what the website says in your bag or use whatever you have at home. Personally I am going to use hair gel, marshmallows, glitter and some sprinkles! Use whatever you have, you don't necessarily have to go out and buy things! 

Snowmen Feet:

photo credit: crafting for holidays

photo credit: crafting for holidays

Getting babies to do crafts can be a bit challenging but it doesn't mean it can't be fun. I love doing little crafts like this with Eleanor because it shows her growth. Doing footprints is a lot easier than handprint activities with ones this little because it's easier to control little feet with paint better than little hands with paint. This project is simple and all you need is construction paper and paint. It's always fun to paint their feet and get a little giggle out of them too. 

A little tip: When painting baby's feet make sure to have a book nearby to place the paper on. it makes it a little easier by having a hard surface behind the paper when getting their footprint. Oh, be sure to have some wipes or soapy water nearby to quickly wipe their feet and avoid white paint from getting everywhere!

Toddler (12 months-2)

Snow Play Dough:

This activity allows your toddler to help make and create with their hands. They can help you measure out the ingredients and place them in the bowl. To make the play dough you only need three ingredients which is pretty great! ( one of them is essential oils; I'm no pro in this area but you should definitely talk to Alicia about getting some doTERRA peppermint for this project ;) )

Paper Heart Penguin

This is a cute project to do with your little ones. An adult will have to do the cutting but it is fun to see the kiddos put together a cute little penguin. Of course most penguins won't look like the image above but that's the fun of letting them place the pieces of paper where they want. It creates a unique penguin they made on their own. 

Preschool (3-5)

Free Winter Printable

This is a great set of worksheets for preschoolers learning their letters, working on tracing and using scissors. They can also have fun by coloring the sheets and they can work on learning their phone number. Best of all it's FREE! All you have to do is print it out. 

Melting Snowman:

This craft was always a hit with my kids. It is great because it allows the kids to work on fine motor skills while having a fun time. It can get a little messy, but it's worth it in the end. 

FOR EVEN MORE FUN: Make the snowman with Cool Whip or Shaving Cream! All you have to do is get yourself a container of cool whip or shaving cream and add some Elmer's glue. It creates a fun puffy consistency.

School Age (6-12)

Winter Roll and Write:

This is a great activity that uses imagination and creativity. It allows children to work on writing skills or if they can't write have them draw a picture and tell you their story and of course the printable is FREE, which is awesome. 

Snowball Fight:

You don't need snow for a snowball fight! Grab some extra paper you have around the house, and crumble it up to make some snowballs. Place your "snowballs" in a basket. Create boundaries with a halfway mark. Get two teams together (e.g. brother vs. sister, mom vs. kids, Dad vs. everyone etc...) and start throwing those snowballs. Make sure you set a timer, once it goes off everyone stops and they count their snowballs on their side. Whoever has the least amount wins! It's a fun way to burn some energy inside and have fun with the whole family!

 

I hope some of these activities sparked your interest or gave you ideas to go out and look for more on your own! Creating and learning together with your kids is some of the best fun you can have! 

Sincerely, Sarah :)

Making Memories is Messy

How long does it take you to just take your kids to the park or the store?! It's A LOT of preparation!! Today Will and I took the babies to the farmers market and I had to pack a bag like we were going out of town for a day or two. Four bottles, snacks, dinner veggies (just in case we decide to stay out longer than planned), small toys, and everything else that goes into the diaper bag. Strolling them around, changing dipes, carrying them, making sure everyones happy and clean is a lot of work, for a few hours of memories... but it's oh, sooooo worth it!!

We got home from the farmers market and having a day out, and it was time to make dinner. After dinner, it's bath time, after bath time, Will watches the babies so that I can clean up. It literally took me an hour and a half to clean up after dinner. It was craziness. The babies were soo messy after dinner time, that I even had to clean the bath tub after they were done. I'm now sitting on the couch after all of the work that has been done to make sure this day was as fun as possible, and I can't help but smile.

We had dinner together as family, we picked our family pumpkin, our babies laughed a lot... and that is worth it all.

Don't be fooled, I do get tired, weary, and complain a bunch... but when I really think about this crazy, tiring, overwhelming, but awesome job of being mom... I can't help but smile, because my babies were smiling (at least most of the day, when they weren't fussing) : )

Making memories is extremely messy, and a lot of times tiring. But it's worth it! Don't ever get discouraged and think about giving up on getting out and making memories just because it'll be a lot more work than being in the house. (I do this a lot, and then get super determined to get out and do something) You can do it, and it'll more than likely turn out to be more fun for you too!!

Hang in there sweet, tired, and wonderful momma!!! You're doing a great job.

-Amber

Fall Crafts

This past weekend was AMAZING, because we got to spend it with each other! Alicia put together a little fall craft day for all the cousins, and me of course. She came up with the cutest ideas, and I wanted to share them with you.

Spider Pumpkins -

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Supplies: Scissors / Knife to make holes in the side of the spider for their little legs Pipe Cleaner Googly Eyes Glue

Painted Pumpkins -

photo 1

I think the supplies for this one is self explanatory.

Finger Print Trees -

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Supplies:: Construction Paper An adult to draw the outline of a tree Paint Baby / Kid fingers and hands

*You basically use their little finger prints as the leaves of the tree! Isn't this the cutest?!?!

And of course there's the always popular, free style craft for the true artist in the family. : )

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Alicia also made these amazing cookies with peanut butter cups in the middle for us to enjoy. Coffee for the adults and milk for the kiddies. It was THE best afternoon.

What are some fun crafts that you guys do as a family?! Get out the craft box, and make a mess and memories!! It couldn't get much better.

-Amber