Wintery Weather Fun

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on January 18, 2010

What words come to mind when you think of this time of the year?

Maybe you live in Chicago and are snowed in, stuck at home with all your lovely and adorable kids. Cold. Bored.

Or, perhaps you live in Southern California and your family still heads to the beach on any given day. Lucky.

Well, this time of year takes a toll on my nerves and patience. Even in mostly-sunny Northern California, it’s too cold to send the kids out back (although, they beg some days until I relent), the rain lets up for just long enough for things to begin to dry out and then it rains again, and I refuse to let my kiddos play video games all afternoon . Frustrated.

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am not a very crafty person. However, there are some activities that never grow old. Take sculpting homemade play-doh – also known as Kooky Dough – or coloring, for instance. Occupied.

There is one such activity – more of a craft, really – that my kids and I enjoy. Not only is this a perfect rainy afternoon distraction, but the end result can be transformed into fabulous gifts for grandparents, aunts and uncles. Think Valentine’s Day!

We spend hours, quite literally, making melted crayon art, just as I did when I was a kid. {Adult supervision is an absolute must!}

Here’s how:

Gather together a roll of wax paper, your broken and de-papered crayons – if your kiddos are anything ike mine, you’re sure to find tons – and an electric skillet. A crayon sharpener may come in handy, and parchment paper may actually be a better choice over wax.

crayon designs - what you need

Take a sheet of wax paper and place it over a well-heated electric griddle. The “warm” setting works well and eliminates accidental owies.

crayon art - step one

Carefully draw on the wax paper as the crayons melt into a beautiful design. Sometimes we shave off pieces of crayon and let the slivers of color fall where they may, creating a more “random” piece.

crayon art - ethan

crayon art - josh

crayon art - together

When our pieces have cooled, we either cut the colorful artwork into fun shapes, trim it up and place it on a window to catch the intermittent sunlight, or we cover with clear contact paper and turn them into one-of-a-kind placemats.

crayon art - window

crayon art - placemat

Wintery Weather Fun!

Now, I’d like to hear from YOU! I have a $50 Visa Gift card to give to one of my friends here at From Dates to Diapers. Simply leave me a comment telling me about your winter fun ideas. You may enter once a day, through midnight (ET) on Sunday, January 24th, as long as you leave me a unique idea each time. The winner will be chosen at random, and will be announced next Monday, showcasing their winning winter fun idea!! Check out the winner’s idea!

This post is sponsored by Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup who wants you to know that 32 feet of fresh egg noodles go into every can. For lots of fresh ideas about how to keep your kids entertained and the chance to win $500, check out Wintery Weather Fun at DivineCaroline.

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{ 422 comments }

emily s January 24, 2010 at 10:11 pm

making forts out of sheets and pillows…nothing better!!

kim eddings January 24, 2010 at 10:11 pm

One winter craft is to take paper and create modpodge creations.

Jessica P. January 24, 2010 at 10:21 pm

We take old broken crayons and melt them down in a cupcake pan to make new crayons.

Roxann January 24, 2010 at 10:32 pm

We love to bake when we can’t get out because of bad weather.

Arla January 24, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Make kids little keepsake boxes out of empty facial tissue boxes, cover them with art paper or tissue paper, embellish or paint them

Jennifer January 24, 2010 at 10:48 pm

We recently had a family game time, and we rotated between playing a board game and playing the Wii. We set up the rotation so that each kid got to play each game with each parent.

Maggie M January 24, 2010 at 10:49 pm

We love baking cookies but what we really enjoy is decorating and eating them.

Nicki January 24, 2010 at 10:51 pm

Put on our classical music and break out our Melissa and Doug Music Box with tambourines and harmonicas to play along

Michele January 24, 2010 at 10:57 pm

We love to go outside and play in the snow….if not, hot cocoa with marshmallows and a good movie sure is cozy!!

Veronica Garrett January 24, 2010 at 11:03 pm

I try to keep the children from getting bored while they are inside. We play games, bake cookies, pop popcorn, make fudge. We sometimes play movies wrapped up around the fireplace.

Kris January 24, 2010 at 11:18 pm

We had a great time tubing!

Angela G January 24, 2010 at 11:22 pm

We don’t get a lot of snow here so we sometimes use shaved ice and make snowballs to throw at each other.

Auriette January 24, 2010 at 11:25 pm

When it’s too cold to go outside, go inside to see a live performance at a local theatre or see an exhibition at a museum. Spend time talking about what you’ve seen.

Michelle H. January 24, 2010 at 11:26 pm

Baking with the kids is one of my ideas. Also, now would be a great time to make Valentine’s Day cards.

Amanda T January 24, 2010 at 11:28 pm

We’re hooked on Go Fish! right now–my 3 yo got it for Christmas.

amanda.townsend2 at gmail dot com

heather c January 24, 2010 at 11:33 pm

we like to make our own hot chocolate, with cream, milk and a chocolate bar.

Laine January 24, 2010 at 11:35 pm

We build forts out of couch cushions and blankets :)

Lori Z. January 24, 2010 at 11:42 pm

Barbasol. Shaving cream is a fun, tactile, medium for them to sit on the kitchen floor and play with while I make dinner. And it cleans up well!

Lily Kwan January 24, 2010 at 11:50 pm

I think it would be fun to sip hot cocoa and roast marshmallows in the fireplace.

Andrew January 24, 2010 at 11:53 pm

we like to make our own chocolate

Charlene Kuser January 24, 2010 at 11:57 pm

One activity I like to do with the kids if make a pine cone bird feeder.
Coat pine cones that you have collected on a walk with peanut butter, and roll them in bird seed. Tie yarn to the top and let them sit overnight. The next day walk around the yard and find the branches you want them to hang on and
tie them on and sat back and watch the birds as they feast

Gianna January 25, 2010 at 12:02 am

We make our own crayons with the crayola crayon maker and then make up funny color names :)

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