WACKY WINTER FUN
1. Pasta Snowflake
- Various dried pastas
- Wax paper
- Ribbon or string
- Working on waxed paper, arrange wagon wheels, bow ties, and other dried pastas into different geometric patterns.
- Then use a toothpick dipped in glue to stick together the pieces of each one. Let the glue dry completely.
- Peel away the waxed paper and hang your snowflakes from a window frame or ceiling with ribbon or string.
2. Sock Snowfolk
- Beans (or rice)
- Empty plastic container
- Rubber band
- Pipe cleaner
- Button eyes
- For each one, first pour ½ cup of dried beans or rice into a clean, empty plastic container, such as a single-serving milk bottle, a water bottle, or a plastic peanut jar (ours were about 7 to 10 inches tall).
- Turn a white tube sock inside out and slide it over the bottle, starting at the bottom. Tuck the top of the sock inside the bottle, trimming it a bit first if necessary.
- For a hat, cut a piece of colored fleece that’s at least half as tall as the bottle and wide enough to wrap around it at least 1 inch of overlap. Wrap the fleece around the top half of the bottle and secure it with a rubber band or elastic hair tie near the bottom of the fleece. Gather the material at the top of the hat and secure it with another rubber band or hair tie.
- To add a pom-pom to the hat, remove the fleece from the bottle, turn it inside out, then rubber-band it back in place and hot-glue a pom-pom to the top. Roll up the bottom edge of the hat or tuck it under for a brim.
- Next, hot-glue on the snowman’s features, a carrot nose (half an orange pipe cleaner coiled around the tip of a sharpened pencil to form a cone), small black button eyes, and colorful button down his front.
- Finally, tie on a strip of fleece for a scarf.
3. Ice Light
- Large metal bowl
- Plastic yogurt container
- Cupful of small stones or coins
- Votive candle
- Start by pouring a couple inches of water into the mixing bowl. Place it outdoors to freeze.
- Fill the yogurt container with the stones or coins then center it on the ice in the bowl.
- Slowly pour more water into the bowl, so that it nearly reaches the rim of the smaller container, and let it freeze solid.
- To remove the lantern from its mold, run warm water on the outside of the bowl and the ice should slip out.
- Next, dump out the contents of the inner container and pour in warm water to loosen it.
- Remove the container and place a votive candle in the opening.
4. Patchwork Art
- Colored paper
- Markers or paints
- Choose a full sheet of paper for the background.
- Tear other colored sheets into different shapes by holding down a ruler and slowly pulling the paper so that it rips against the edge. Make a bunch of small squares to piece together mosaic style or create larger pieces for houses and trees, felt board style.
- Glue torn pieces to the background.
- Use markers, paints, or other materials to embellish the designs.
5. Bobbing Bird
- Craft knife
- 1-liter plastic soda bottle
- Fist-size ball of clay
- White athletic sock
- Rubber band
- Wooden spoon
- Black Foamies craft foam
- Laundry soap bottle cap
- Rubber ball
- Use a craft knife (adults only) to cut a flap in one side of a 1-liter plastic soda bottle.
- Place a fist-size ball of clay inside the bottle (this will keep it from toppling over too easily), then pull a white athletic sock up over the bottle from the bottom.
- Twist a rubber band around the bottle neck to hold the sock in place and use the handle of a wooden spoon to tuck the sock top into the bottle.
- From black Foamies craft foam, cut a rectangle that wraps three quarters of the way around the bottle and extends about two thirds of the way up from the bottom.
- Trim the edges to resemble penguin wings and attach them to the sock with mounting tape.
- Next, cut out colored-foam eyes, a beak, a bow tie, and feet and tape them in place.
- Top off your bird with a laundry soap bottle cap hat.
- Now, try your luck at making the penguin waddle. The trick is to roll a rubber ball so that it knocks the bottle smartly without tipping it over.
6. Chewy & Louie Candy Characters
- 2 small white gumdrops
- 2 large white gumdrops
- 2 orange jelly beans, halved
- Royal icing
- 2 purple Necco wafers, halved
- 2 orange M&M’s, halved
- Black shoestring licorice
- To make each penguin, use a toothpick to attach the small gumdrop (the penguin’s head) on top of the large one (the body).
- Snap a toothpick in half and use the same technique to attach the jelly bean halves to the penguin’s body as feet.
- Using small dabs of royal icing, glue to Necco wafer halves in place as wings and the M&M half as a beak.
- Snip off two tiny lengths of shoestring licorice and affix them with royal icing to make the eyes.
7. Merry Christmouse
- 2 ½-inch Styrofoam egg
- White acrylic paint
- Fishing line
- Corsage pin
- White felt
- Googly eyes
- Craft wire, 5 inches
- First, use a serrated knife to cut a 2 ½-ince Styrofoam egg in half lengthwise (adults only), then cover one of the halves with white acrylic paint and let it dry.
- For whiskers, fold a 2-foot length of fishing line into quarters and tie a knot in the middle. Trim the ends to about 1 ½ inches, then stick a corsage pin (available at craft stores) through the knot and into the narrow end of the egg half.
- For each ear, cut a 1-inch circle from white felt, making a cut halfway through it. Overlap the 2 sides of the cut and glue them together to create a curved shape. Glue a ½-inch pink felt circle to the center then glue the ear in place.
- Finally, glue on a pair of googly eyes and stick a 5-inch length of craft wire in place for a tail.
*Add mistletoe or garland to make it “Christmas-y.”
*Add a magnet to hang on the refrigerator.