Winter Activity for Children

P1010383The sweetest, and arguably the most difficult, time of year occurs between mid- December to early- January. We busy ourselves with holiday preparations, cooking and baking, gift making and gift giving, family gathering and traveling, and not to forget the regular every-day chores of laundry, cleaning and meal preparing.

This is also the time of year when our children are not in school for four-to- six hours per day, five days a week. Very quickly, without a routine, they become anxious, bored, frustrated, and temperamental. Who can blame them? Each one of us would have difficulty if our lives drastically change over night.

Many of these negative feelings can be prevented, and temper-tantrums can be avoided, with a little bit of planning. Here is one activity suggestion that can induce family bonding, and not whining, for a morning or afternoon during the winter school break.

I am warning you now… This Winter Activity for Children post will be picture heavy. 🙂

What you will need:

One large pine cone per child

Peanut Butter

Bird Seed

Cake pan to place seed in

Yarn or other type of string to tie around onecone

What to do:

Go for a walk with your children where you know there are conifer (evergreen) trees. This can be at a park, a playground, a school, near any commercial building or along a country road. Gather more fallen pine cones from the ground under the trees, especially if the cones are closed, than you think you will need. This will give you a better selection to choose from when you begin your project at home.

Take home your pine cones and tie a 12- 18 inch piece of yarn around the widest portion of the pine cone, being sure to leave a “tail” to tie around a tree branch a little later. Next, “frost” the open pine cones with smooth peanut butter (this will be messy, and children will love it!), and then roll or sprinkle the frosted pine cones with your bird seed over a cake pan. Again, this part can–sorry, I mean, will–be messy. The cake pan will help contain the mess of little seeds rolling about the kitchen. Lastly, hang the peanut butter frosted and bird seed sprinkled pine cones outside on a tree branch to give our feathered friends a treat.

Thinking of giving this winter activity as a gift? Here is an adorable FREE poem to give with the pine cone, seed and yarn in a bag: Winter Activity for Children .

Rolling "Frosted" pine cone in bird seed.

Rolling “Frosted” pine cone in bird seed.

Sprinkling extra bird seed onto peanut butter covered pine cones.

Sprinkling extra bird seed onto peanut butter covered pine cones.

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Completed pine cone in need of yarn. Was it difficult to tie yarn around the pine cone after it was coated in bird seed? YES! I suggest working with the yarn earlier in the activity.

A second completed pine cone hanging form the tree.

A second completed pine cone hanging form the tree.

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Completed pine cone hanging in the tree.

  Thanks for stopping by! Please share your thoughts and comments below… I’d love to hear form ya!

Love ya,

Kristen

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The Coat: A Story of Charity

“The Coat” inspired real people–teenagers, in fact–into action.

Although I do not work outside my home in the W-2 sense, I have the opportunity to perform small acts of charity everyday with my neighbors, fellow parents at school, and random people in my urban community.  I am thankful for these two videos as they remind me that I can make someone’s day brighter, and warmer, through simple acts of kindness.

I hope you, too, know how powerful you are and how much greatness you can do through your simple acts of kindness. Share the love, pass it on.

Love,

Kristen

Creative Decorating for Valentine’s Day

For the last few years I make the 14 Days of Valentines for my sweet hubby celebrating the fourteen days leading up to Valentine’s Day. Though my sweet hubby LOVES finding a surprise gift every day, and then shares with the world what he got, I only create the 14 Days of Valentines every other year to keep it fun and unexpected.

So what do I do on the “off” years?

Flower arrangements, candy heart boxes, and re-used white Christmas lights with red garland. All of the displays were beautiful, and no one would fault me re-creating anyone of those displays again. I feel happiest, though, when I can make something new and exciting for my family.

This year the theme is Candy & Sweets.

We recently moved to a new house that has an adorable fireplace mantel. When I explained my idea to the children about decorating the mantel with lots and lots of candy, each one of them became very excited to help gather the list of supplies we needed for this most unusual event (candy is not common in their diets).

With a short trip to the local Thrift Store to pick up a few vases (I like square-shaped vases… more contemporary) and to the local Winco grocery store to pick up candy and sweets in bulk, we had the makings of a great mantle. Add a paper-heart garland (click here for how-to directions by Crafty Betty Joana) and the mantel is complete.

Project CostsIMAG0368

4 Varieties of Candy: $11

3 Vases (I already owned two): $7

2 Scrapbooking Papers: $0.99

Total: $19

It only took an hour to create this look (this includes making the garland) with the help of my four-year-old daughter. And the best part? We (they, actually) can eat the decorations all month long! This makes for happy children and a happy hubby.

Valentine’s Day Candy, Shiny Glass Vases and Paper Garland: $19

Valentine’s Day Candy, Shiny Glass Vases and Paper Garland: $19