Snowflakes

As I travel across the country for the third time in the last week, I can only imagine what my babies are doing to keep busy under the watchful eye of Aunt Sara. It was cold and raining when I left this morning, so I envision many little ones – eight to exact, including my two nephews – running around indoors, shirtless and shoeless, as my boys often are.

I have many ideas running through my head, as I begin to plan out the next several weeks of school, with my notebook here in front of me. Lessons, field trips, and many more wintery weather activities will take place, before the sun decides to stay out from behind clouds and begins to shine again.

When my plane was preparing for departure on the tarmac of the Denver runway the other day, I noticed that it began to snow. A beautiful sight for this California girl, who doesn’t much witness snowfall, let alone study snowflakes. I sat in awe as I began to really see the flakes of frozen water drawn to my window like magnets. Beautiful white specks, displaying the individuality of their Creator.

a handful of real macro snowflakes | photo cred:  Yantra

Sitting there I began to notice that, although each flake was unique and beautiful, each had six points – something I had known to be true, but was now witnessing first-hand. Of course, I immediately googled snowflakes and began reading about these little flakes.

Now, I vaguely remember being taught all about snowflakes when I was of elementary school age, but I just sat in awe of God and the little flakes of frozen water. Flakes that can blow through as a blizzard, trapping families in their homes. Flakes that, when falling ever so slightly, can be one of the most beautiful natural occurrences.

It was at that moment, sitting there in my seat, that I decided that my children needed to see the beauty of snowflakes. A perfect topic for a fun wintery weather activity! I recalled how, when I was little, I was shown pictures of the remarkably shaped flakes and proceeded to recreate images of snowflakes by cutting shapes in to a folded piece of paper. Seems simple enough, but not living near the snow, it never really occurred to me how fun this would be to do with my own kids.

So, I decided that next week, when I am home from my travels, the kids and I will study snowflakes. If not real ones, the idea of them.

Indoor Fun

So, how did you do this last week? Were you able to be more intentional about fitting in a fun activity or creating a new craft with your kiddos each day?

This week we discovered some new games – Zingo and Super WHY! ABC Letter Game – and we played some of our old favorites, as well – Uno and Connect 4. We even made some sweet treats; the most favorite of which is the yummy and delicious Muddy Buddies. Josh also spent some time with Daddy digging up his dinosaur bones and piecing together a T-Rex!

Josh

I didn’t quite get in the special time with each of my kiddos every day this last week, as I had hoped, but we did create some great memories indoors. All while the weather was not so pleasant outside.

As you have already seen of my fabulous guests this last week, I have some pretty crafty friends, but in my efforts to find fun, unique crafts and activities for us to try, I have discovered some new lovely and creative blogs. (Thanks for your recommendations, Mindy!)

I hope you’ll check ’em out, too!

  • The Crafty Crow is a craft collective, meaning that many great crafts are featured from around the blogosphere every day.
  • P is for Preschool is written by the director of a real Kansas preschool. Its kinda fun, because all posts are correlated with letters of the alphabet!
  • Little Food Junction is a delightful blog with terrific ideas to make food fun. I am loving the Valentine’s Day food art!
  • Today is Fun is a site that features entertaining, affordable activities that are meant to foster kids’ innate creative impulses and encourage a love of life.

Where do you get your inspiration?
Please share… I still need all the help I can get!

This post is sponsored by Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup who wants you to know that 32 feet of fresh egg noodles go into every can. For lots of fresh ideas about how to keep your kids entertained and the chance to win $500, check out Wintery Weather Fun at DivineCaroline.

Winter Sun Catchers

amanda In my quest for a craft-filled week, I have asked some of my friends to help me out with some fun ideas. Today my friend Amanda has agreed to share a wintery weather craft with us.

Amanda is a happy stay-at-home mom to two. She blogs at ohAmanda and Impress Your Kids. She’s a member of the 2010 Disney Mom’s Panel. And she twitters about all of it @oohamanda.

Please help me make Amanda feel welcome and let us know if you try these mini ice sculptures!

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When Christine first asked me to do a wintery craft, I knew I wanted to do something with ICE. I love crafts that ::whisper:: you don’t have to keep! I saw this great Winter Sun Catcher in our most recent Family Fun magazine and was dying to try it. It consisted of food coloring, ice cube trays and a cake pan. It sounded easy and isn’t it pretty?

With all the freezing, it took two full days and I photo-documented it every step of the way. My four year old daughter, Lydia was ecstatic about checking on our “ice-thing”. However, when it came time to time to take it out of the mold, this is what we ended up with…

winter craft ice

Not quite the same, huh? Lydia almost cried. So, we had to jump to Plan B. I have a ton of silicone ice and muffin trays in various shapes (I pick them up on clearance whenever I see a cute one). We squeezed 1-2 drops of food coloring into each compartment. Then we used a measuring cup with spout to fill the shapes to the top.

ice craft winter

Instead of trying to do a hole like the Family (not-so) Fun Sun Catcher, we cut some yarn and dropped the ends in the water. (You’ll want to cut the yarn significantly longer than the ones shown above.) We had to use a a fork to push the yarn under the water…I tried using my fingers first but now my nails are blue. Oh well.

winter craft ice

So, what do you think? Pretty cute, huh? Plus, I upped the ante by adding a quarter to one of the ice-ornaments. Lydia’s already staked that one out. It would be fun to put leaves, berries, small toys or glitter inside, too!

ice sun catcher

This is the perfect craft for any age kids. I think it would be fun for older kids because you could experiment with color combinations and measurements. Little kids just like water. And I’m pretty sure watching it melt is going to be even more fun than making it!