Winter brings special opportunities for creative expression. Nature herself creates a gallery of wonderwhen the temperatures dip below freezing and provides a canvas of white snow. It almost begs for us toget out thereandaddsome of our own personal creativity.
In between building the snow family and sledding down your favourite hill, the family might enjoy someof these art projects.
Food Color Graffiti
Grab a few spray bottles, fill with water and a few drops of food coloring and youare ready to create a masterpiece. Start by squaring off some “frames” in the snow using one of thecolors, or just a stick. Spray bottles allow you to adjust the size of the spray which can be useful in thedesign.
Want to go a step further? Use some natural materials found around the yard to make it moredimensional–a twig here, some moss there. You may have some leftover items from your summer andfall nature box(link to other article).
Blowing bubbles may be fun in warmer months, but during frigid cold they becomemagical.Pick a day that has no wind, so the bubblesdo not float away and pop before freezing. Theyalso form bestwhen temperatures are hovering around-12°C, but try it starting at just below 0°C andsee what works.
The basic formula for making your own bubble solution isone part water, four parts dish soap, and adash of light corn syrup(or glycerine if you have it).If you are blowing through a typical bubble wand,blow up so that the bubbles can freeze before hitting the ground.
Know that the life of a frozen bubble isnot exceptionally long.Another option is to grab a straw and place the solution in a bowl where your kids can just blow andmake a pile of bubbles. Keep a camera close by because the results can be fabulous pieces of art.
To begin have the kids go on a treasure hunt to gather things around the yard such as piecesof pine branches, any berries that may be visible, or small pinecones. They can cut the bigger items intosmaller sizes, so they easily fit into the mold.You will need a pan to use as a mold. Bundt cake panswork great, or other specialty cake pan shapes.(1)The kidscan nowput their treasures into the mold.
You might want to grab some bright beads or othersmall things from your craft bin to add some color and mystery. Once it is full, add the water and makesure everything is submerged. Leave it outside to freeze overnight if cold enough or put into a freezer.
The next day, run a little warm water around the outside of the pan and release the mold. Now youhave a great centrepiece for your outdoor tables.
Similar process to the Ice Molds (1) described above but in smaller sizes. Suncatchersneed some bling to make them shine, so they will have more colored glass and shiny glittery things fromyour craft bin instead of branches. Submerge a piece of ribbon to the top before freezing to use forhanging. Once they are frozen you can hang them outside your windows and see how they shimmer.
In a previous article, we discussed making birdfeeders which is also a great creative outletthat matches well with some winter bird watching. Whatever you do, do not waste this opportunitythat nature has provided. Bundle up and get those creative juices flowing!
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