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Three Winter Crafts for Kids

EducationWorld is pleased to present this article contributed by Lila Daniels. She has taught high school art and worked in higher education publishing. Daniels contributes to several Web sites, including TeacherPortal.com.

When temperatures dip and snow starts to fly, teachers may find themselves trapped indoors with a classroom full of energetic students. Having a few winter crafts in your back pocket can turn any snowy day into an opportunity to create.

Here are three winter craft projects to try with your students:


Felted Geodes

Kids are sure to “ooh and aah” over this colorful winter craft.

winter craftsMaterials:

  • Wool roving (available in bulk over the Internet)
  • Warm, soapy water
  • Sharp knife or scissors

Pick one piece of wool roving and pull it apart just slightly to give some space between the fibers. Lay it flat. Pick a piece in another color, pull that apart just slightly and lay it over the other to make an 'X.'

Repeat, layering wool roving in those two directions. Once the pile is big enough, about 1 inch high (try experimenting with smaller and larger piles), roll the pile into a ball and dip into the soapy water. Roll the ball between your hands for several minutes, applying pressure, until the ball begins to harden. You can also roll on a hard surface like a cutting board or table top, but be prepared for it to get wet.

Once the ball is nice and firm, run it under clean water to rinse out the soap and set it aside to dry for a few minutes. After it has dried a bit, cut your ball of wool open and see the incredible pattern you have created inside!

There are all sorts of things you can do with your geodes. They can be strung up and used as ornaments or strung together to make geode necklaces or bracelets. They can glued together to make geode snowmen, insects or aliens. Use your students' imagination to take this craft even further!

Total time: 20-30 minutes


Stuffed Creatures

You can make snowmen, doves, or any kind of critter you can think up!

Materials:

  • Felt
  • Polyester craft filling
  • Glue
  • Tinsel string or wire
  • Markers
  • Googly eyes
  • Other small decorations

Choose a pattern or make one up yourself, but just make sure it is wide enough to seal the edges while holding a bit of stuffing in. You can use a coloring page from the Web as a pattern. Trace it on to a piece of felt two times and cut out. Line up the two sides of your creature. If you want your critter to be a hanging decoration, make a loop of tinsel string or wire.

Glue the loop to the inside of the bottom piece of felt. Then, add glue around the edge of the bottom layer. Leave a one-inch space open. Press the top layer of felt down onto the bottom layer. Let it dry. (Advanced crafters may want to sew them instead.) Stuff your creature with fill. Seal up that last open spot with glue and let it dry.

Now, decorate! Draw eyes or add googly ones. Try making hats and scarves out of felt and gluing them to your creature. You can wrap them up in tinsel string or glue on beads or foam shapes.

Total time: 30-45 minutes


Star or Snowflake Photo Ornament or Magnet

Wondering what to do with all those wallet-sized school photos? Turn them into gifts, of course!

Materials:

  • Photos
  • Card stock or cardboard
  • Glue stick
  • String for hanging
  • Small stick-on magnet
  • Paint, markers, glitter and other decorations

Find a large star or snowflake shape. Again, coloring pages work well as patterns -- just make sure there is a central area that is at least 3 inches wide. Cut out one for the back and one for the front.

Cut out a circle that is 2 inches wide in the center of the front piece. This is where your face will show through. (Most wallet-sized photos are 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches, but you can always adjust the size of your circle to fit your photo or trim your photo to fit your shape. Next, apply glue around the edge of that circle and place it on your photo making sure your face shows. Give the glue a few minutes to set. if you are making an ornament, glue a loop of string so that it sticks out of the top of your shape. Then, glue the front piece of card stock onto the back piece.

Now, decorate your picture frame. You can use glitter, markers, peel-and-stick jewels, foam shapes or anything you want. For magnets, decorate only the front and add a peel-and-stick magnet to the back.

Time: 30-45 minutes
 

Winter Craft-Making Tips

  • Do a trial run. You'll work out any bugs and have a nice example to show.
  • Glue sticks work better and dry faster than school glue.
  • Have fun. Honor whatever direction your students take with the project (as long as it's appropriate). Celebrate their creativity.

 

 

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