I am a strong proponent of getting kids outside, no matter what the temperature. As long as we’re dressed appropriately, I let the kids play in the freezing snow in Chicago, or at the park in 100+° in humid Houston- and I love to help them observe how nature changes with the weather. Last spring we made a duct tape bracelet on a nature hike, gathering treasures along the way. I wanted to display their nature collection this winter (on a visit to Chicago) and we found a great way to do so: ice sun catchers. Winter crafts for kids are more fun when you get the kids outside!
Make your own Ice Sun Catcher!
First, dress up in warm clothes and go on a nature hike! While many plants hibernate during the winter, look for pine cones, seeds, berries, and evergreens. Talk to your kids about how some trees (deciduous) have adapted to the cold by dropping their leaves while other trees have adapted by developing needles that retain water and won’t get broken in the snow. We talked about how the seeds and berries give food to the animals who do not migrate or hibernate- and were hoping a squirrel or mouse would enjoy our sun catcher as it melted away the goodies.
We tied the twine around a pine cone to anchor it into the ice. The kids, in their own artistic way, arranged the pine needles, dried leaves, berries, sticks, and even rocks into the pie tin.
Carefully will with water, making sure the twine is at least partially underwater. Let them sit overnight in freezing temperatures (or at least for a couple of hours) and then pop out the ice sun catcher and hang up!
Even though it was 32 degrees out, ours began to melt in the sun!
This is a great art project that is both free and easy, gets your kids outside and exercising even in the cold, and helps them appreciate how nature changes in the seasons! We enjoyed watching our craft from the kitchen, as the kids waited and hoped for critters to visit and feed on the seeds and berries.
Would you like to see more winter crafts for kids? Check out all of these great ideas from your favorite bloggers!