Winters here with force and so are dark afternoons and if your little ones are anything like mine they’re bored! So heres a couple of things that might help:
While you have the paints out why not get some blank cards or paper and start making Christmas tags. Any thing goes for these so start gluing on feathers, glitters, stickers then cut in to stars or circles and you have some very original Christmas tags
Have waterproofs and a flask? Chuck on your wellies and fill a flask with hot chocolate and have a winterland walk.
While you’re out on a walk why not take a bucket and start collecting some leaves, some winter flowers, sticks etc and start making a scrap book.
Now’s the perfect time to start planting Daffodil’s so pop the kids in the back garden with a trowel and get your spring plants in place. Make sure you plant the bulbs far enough down so they don’t get bitten by any frosts.
Play Dough! Why not make its winter style and pop in a couple of drops of orange and cinnamon powder? Or a bit of vanilla?
Home Made Playdough
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
2 tablespoons cream of tarter
2 cups of water
1 tablespoons mineral oil
Mix all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until stiff. Allow to cool, then knead.
Make some paper snowflakes or angels and decorate your windows.
Make a pinecone bird feeder. Fun to make and attractive to hang in the garden
What you'll need:
Smooth peanut butter
Ribbon or yarn
How to make it:
Cut a long length of yarn or ribbon to hang the bird feeder.
Tie the ribbon in a knot around the pine cone near the top (about 3 sections down).
Tie a knot in the end of the ribbon.
Use the knife to get a large clump of peanut butter on the paper plate.
Use the knife to spread peanut butter inside the pine cone and around the edges.
Sprinkle the birdseed over the pine cone.
Roll the pine cone in the birdseed that is on the plate.
Hang the bird feeder on the tree.
Enjoy watching the birds eat their treat!
Baking: Now theres the joys of little cupcakes and ecorating these with sugared fruit or hundreds and thousands but why not try this one from the bbc?
140g icing sugar , sieved
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
250g butter , cut into small cubes
375g plain flour , sieved
200g icing sugar , sieved
edible food colouring , optional
edible gold and silver balls
approx 2m thin ribbon cut into 10cm lengths
Tip the icing sugar, vanilla extract, egg yolk and butter into a mixing bowl, then stir together with a wooden spoon (or pulse in a food processor until well combined). Add the flour and mix to a firm dough. Shape the dough into two flat discs and wrap in clingfilm. Chill for 20-30 mins. Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5 and line two baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about the thickness of two £1 coins. Cut out Christmassy shapes (use a cutter if you like) and place on the baking sheets. Using the tip of a skewer, cut a small hole in the top of each cookie. Bake for 10-12 mins until lightly golden.
Lift the biscuits onto a wire rack to cool. Meanwhile, mix the icing sugar with a few drops of cold water to make a thick, but still runny icing. Colour with edible food colouring, if you like. Spread it over the cooled biscuits, decorate with edible balls and thread with ribbon when dry.
Card games: Snap and memory are great for keeping your little ones amused and good for building up their concentration. Why not teach your older ones how to build a card house?
For weekends when its too wet or cold outside why not make an adventure round the house? Throw down some cushions as stepping stones and scale the mountain of the stairs only to reach the den made from duvets at the top.
With your duvet made from duvets or rugs and cushions have a winter picnic. Lots of little sandwiches, jellys and cakes under a rug are far more exciting then at the dining table!
Visit your library! Free dvds, free cds and mountains of free books! Some also offer story times and other activities.