Winter arts and crafts
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    Default Winter arts and crafts

    What crafts do you all enjoy through winter that doesn't involve Christmas? Looking for inspiration!

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    It depends on the way you organise your curriculum, I tended to have a theme, around weather usually, that then gave us a way into keeping warm etc..
    My arts and crafts was a self service trolley set up for age range on a particular day, the children chose like they would from child choice drawers and baskets and then did their own creation...I was never much for pre cut adult led pictures. Natural materials were always a popular choice, just painting or drawing/scribbling with various media and shapes of card, paper, found items. But in the lead up to Christmas at this time, the specific adult led activities did centre around Christmas type activities, the beginning of December was usually reindeer or robin led, we visited the reindeer park locally and watched robins in the garden, so craft around feeding the birds and cards with reindeer and robins could be completed, watching the weather and wrapping up warm for reindeer and bird watching linked nicely too. Then more Christmassy with two weeks to go.

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    I'm also not into end product crafts for very little ones, although Christmas was the one time some of them would creep in.

    At the start of December I used to start with gingerbread activities - but you might find that a bit too Christmasy. Ginger scented play dough with various gingerbread cutters, googly eyes, buttons, ribbons, pipe cleaners etc and let them design their own gb men. There are so many stories out there about gb men/women, other than the traditional one. They can use the cutters with paint to do printing, and then draw on them or glue bits on to decorate. Naturally you can't do the gb story without making and decorating edible ones. All good for fine motor skills too.

    The Mitten is a great book for Winter. I have collected lots of mittens and gloves over the years and we match them and talk about patterns and design - lots of scope for vocabulary development - spots, dots, polka dots, stripes, plain, thick/thin stripes, zigzags... The children can try to recreate some patterns on pre-cut mitten shapes using different tools - cotton buds are good for dots, cotton wool balls in pegs are good for bigger spots, play dough pizza cutters are good for stripes etc. You could also talk about texture by using fabric, wool etc to make the mittens feel nice and warm.

    Just remembered, I used to do star activities in early December too. Easy to tie into the dark nights.

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    I'm another one not into 'end product' ( again, except around Christmas when I have at least a vague aim! ) I might set up an activity with particular colours or shapes or something, but no matter what I think they might do, it usually ends up being something else!

    when we had snow the other day, we watched the snow falling, we ( eventually ) went out and played in it, and read a book called 'Williams winter wish' ( couldn't find my percy the park keeper book about snow! ) I had already put out coloured paper with white pencils, crayons & chalk. I then added bits of white paper to cut up ( with scissors ) and glue ( plus bits I had already cut up ( and the inside of my hole punch ). Cotton wool was added, as was some glitter and some salt ( I don't generally use food as a play activity, but it was sparkly like the snow! ) I also had some colouring pictures of snowflakes, showing them as lots of different shapes and sizes, and also some printed in a pattern, on strips of paper (I have a couple of LOs that are really into colouring at the moment) the pattern strip prompted lots of discussion about shape and size, and one LO then cut the strip to make all the snowflakes separate and collected them in a little envelope to take home. The following day I had different, younger children, and so we just used some white paint and cotton wool to experiment with. it was icy outside, so if I had had the older children, we would have tried painting the ice, and maybe even making ice sculptures. The after school children made paper snowflakes and one used all the offcuts and little bits he could find to make it 'snow' all over my floor !!!!

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    Like the others I dislike ‘prescribed’ crafts , I fill a large tinker tray with crafty bits ; for winter there might be lots of white , clear , silver bits and bobs Which get used for transient art or for creations with glue paint ‘ whatever takes their fancy. Just now the tray has cinnamon sticks ‘ apple and orange slices ‘ star anise and lots of other scented Christmassy bits along with beads tubes and all the usual small loose parts crafty bits. The children have made some lovely creations already , some like to glue them down , others are happy just creating and reusing.
    1A31F217-5D3D-4A77-880F-D71C4D326A83.jpg
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    Last edited by mama2three; 03-12-2017 at 08:17 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maza View Post
    I'm also not into end product crafts for very little ones, although Christmas was the one time some of them would creep in.

    At the start of December I used to start with gingerbread activities - but you might find that a bit too Christmasy. Ginger scented play dough with various gingerbread cutters, googly eyes, buttons, ribbons, pipe cleaners etc and let them design their own gb men. There are so many stories out there about gb men/women, other than the traditional one. They can use the cutters with paint to do printing, and then draw on them or glue bits on to decorate. Naturally you can't do the gb story without making and decorating edible ones. All good for fine motor skills too.

    The Mitten is a great book for Winter. I have collected lots of mittens and gloves over the years and we match them and talk about patterns and design - lots of scope for vocabulary development - spots, dots, polka dots, stripes, plain, thick/thin stripes, zigzags... The children can try to recreate some patterns on pre-cut mitten shapes using different tools - cotton buds are good for dots, cotton wool balls in pegs are good for bigger spots, play dough pizza cutters are good for stripes etc. You could also talk about texture by using fabric, wool etc to make the mittens feel nice and warm.

    Just remembered, I used to do star activities in early December too. Easy to tie into the dark nights.
    I love the book The mitten too .
    Animal link is good too.

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    Oh mama2three how stunning. Love the scope for 3D work too! I think I have some new things to add to my wish list!

    FloraDora it is a stunning book isn't it? Great for prediction skills/picture cues, measuring, other cultures, properties of materials... I have always wanted to buy more Jan Brett books but seriously need to stop spending. I never seem to see her books at the library, which is a shame. I think I'll mention it to the children's librarian - they are very good (at our library anyway) about using customer requests to purchase new books.

    loocyloo, you are amazing, and the children are so lucky to have you - and to have snow!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maza View Post

    loocyloo, you are amazing, and the children are so lucky to have you - and to have snow!
    Awww. Thank you. I always think you sound pretty amazing too. Thanks for the suggestion of 'the mitten' ... I've added it to my list!!

    Mama2three ... I love your tinker tray ... and suggestions of what you've put in it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maza View Post
    I'm also not into end product crafts for very little ones, although Christmas was the one time some of them would creep in.

    At the start of December I used to start with gingerbread activities - but you might find that a bit too Christmasy. Ginger scented play dough with various gingerbread cutters, googly eyes, buttons, ribbons, pipe cleaners etc and let them design their own gb men. There are so many stories out there about gb men/women, other than the traditional one. They can use the cutters with paint to do printing, and then draw on them or glue bits on to decorate. Naturally you can't do the gb story without making and decorating edible ones. All good for fine motor skills too.

    The Mitten is a great book for Winter. I have collected lots of mittens and gloves over the years and we match them and talk about patterns and design - lots of scope for vocabulary development - spots, dots, polka dots, stripes, plain, thick/thin stripes, zigzags... The children can try to recreate some patterns on pre-cut mitten shapes using different tools - cotton buds are good for dots, cotton wool balls in pegs are good for bigger spots, play dough pizza cutters are good for stripes etc. You could also talk about texture by using fabric, wool etc to make the mittens feel nice and warm.

    Just remembered, I used to do star activities in early December too. Easy to tie into the dark nights.
    What sort of star things did you do Maza, i like the sound of that x

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    We did some lovely star crafts a while ago based around the books Katie and the starry night.how to catch a star , And draw me a star. One favourite was wax relief painting , bigger ones drew stars using wax crayons and painted over with a dark blue or black wash , younger ones loved sticking on stars stickers , painting over and then peeling off the stars. If you add salt over the wet paint it makes a lovely effect. It would also make lovely Christmas cards with a little quote like ‘ it was on a starry night.....

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    Books - the ones mama2three mentioned (not heard of all of them, will check them out, thanks), LAura,s Star, LAura,s CHristmas Star and my favourite - Winter Stars by Shirley Hughes

    Vocab - twinkly, shiney, bright, sparkle, glittery etc

    I have several star cutters and we made some salt dough stars in different sizes and painted them in different colours (we had some perlised paint and some metallic, which were perfect, but regular paint was lovely too. We have used them for so much - counting, sorting by size or colour, matching colours, making repeating patterns, lining them up, transient art, filling and emptying containers, transferring with tweezers, adding them to a role play cafe as biscuits

    Singing Twinkle Twinkle and finding the most appropriate instruments to play whilst singing

    My friend made DD a mini beanbag (star shaped) filled tightly with rice and with beautiful ribbons attached to one point. It is honestly one of the favourite toys amongst all the children here and would be easy enough to make if you have the inclination! We use that for our physical activity when doing stars, and then we use prepositions to describe where it lands (Maths)

    Foam stars from Poundland - great in the wate tray and then sticking them to windows (in the bath for your own LO) Mine love using these as stepping stones too

    Star shadow ‘puppets’

    Using star shaped paper for collage work - sticking shiney bits and bobs on them

    Star shaped threading boards made out of cereal packet and covered in shiney paper - could use regular wool/laces or glittery pipe cleaners

    Cardboard box star with wool to wrap around from point to point

    I got some star shaped ‘links’ from Tiger - great for fine motor skills

    star beads also from Tiger, for threading, pushing into play dough or other transient art

    Star shaped ice cubes (tray from ikea I think) - children can help you prepare them - add something sparkly to each star - shiney bead, glitter, sequins, sparkles pipe cleaner etc

    star button board or star snake

    Make real star biscuits

    Cheap doilies cut into star shape, lay on top of plain paper, paint over doily and lift off the doily

    The ARtful Parent website has some lovely salt dough ornament ideas which look lovely on the Christmas tree or just hanging in the window (suncatcher type of ornaments)

    Printing using cookie cutters, potato printing

    Adult ‘draws’ a star shape on paper with PVA glue from squeezy bottle, child sprinkles salt on the glue (quite generous amount, use small pipettes to add a drop of food colouring onto the salt and watch it travel along the salt

    I always make a star sensory tub - use something as a filler and then chuck in a load of my star shaped objects (buttons, bead, links, decorations etc) and the children can pour, transfer with tweezers, add a muffin tin/ice cube tray - put 1/2/3 stars in each compartment, add star anise for smell, glittery stars feel rough, plastic ones feel smooth

    Shaving foam marbling onto star shaped paper

    I usually find that stars and hearts are the first shapes children recognise and name, so I love them.

    Add appropriate star shaped objects to water tray with glitter. I often do shallow, indoor water trays in Winter.

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    Katie and the starry night is lovely. There’s a whole series of the books , Katie visits various art galleries and looks at the paintings , in this one it’s Van Gogh , and she has adventures with the characters in the pictures. IThey are a really nice introduction to great works of art , and they inspire amazing creativity.
    Draw ma a star is by Eric Carle , the artwork is familiar to the children from the hungry caterpillar etc

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    Quote Originally Posted by mama2three View Post
    Katie and the starry night is lovely. There’s a whole series of the books , Katie visits various art galleries and looks at the paintings , in this one it’s Van Gogh , and she has adventures with the characters in the pictures. IThey are a really nice introduction to great works of art , and they inspire amazing creativity.
    Draw ma a star is by Eric Carle , the artwork is familiar to the children from the hungry caterpillar etc
    The Katie books are amazing aren’t they? Loocyloo recommended them on another lovely art thread a while back. I’m going to look for the Eric Carl one at the library this week. DD once went to an art club where they based their work on Eric Carle’s Style - using torn up paper in different shades. A star themed one sounds lovely!

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    Sun Hats & Wellie Boots: Advent Countdown - Follow the Star (with 25 Activity Ideas)

    Hope the link works. Not an art activity as such, but really lovely. Would need to be adapted obviously if you were doing it with your mindees rather than as a family activity.

    Oops! Something went wrong! This page wasn't found. - The Artful Parent...

    Both websites have several star activities - if you type 'stars' into their search boxes.
    Last edited by Maza; 06-12-2017 at 10:01 AM.

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    Maza I love that top link , especially the. Activity ideas for each day and how overall it’s about the real meaning of Christmas not just the glittery bits!

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