Winter Crafts for Kids

  1. LED Ornaments
  2. Cratered moons
  3. Suncatchers
  4. Rock candy
  5. Gingerbread houses

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Holiday break is fast approaching, and for many, that means two weeks with the kids to rest and relax. It also means finding some great experiences to enjoy together and finding the time to create and make things together. We’ve created some winter crafts for kids to make it easy to really enjoy your break. At our house, winter comes with a barrage of fun activities. We break out the decorations, make presents for our grandparents, and cook up a storm.

This year we wanted to share some of our favorite winter crafts for kids for you to enjoy too, because let’s face it, sometimes their winter crafts aren’t fun for you. Each of these craft activities also has some great science concepts built right into them – even if it might seem otherwise.

So join us on a holiday adventure as we learn basic circuits, the physics of phase changes, structural engineering, space science, and the chemistry of crystals! Follow the link to get in-depth instructions and the science breakdown so you can sound like a genius while you have fun!

5 winter crafts for kids

1. Simple DIY LED Ornaments

This is a fun activity because it involves moving your body as you forage for thick sticks, learning about power tools as you saw and drill, art as you decorate your ornaments, and simple circuit creation as you make them light up. It really is an all in one, got your bases covered, do it with the whole family activity. It’s also nice because you don’t need too much in the way of circuit creating supplies, even just LEDs and a coin cell battery will suffice, although we use a little copper tape in our house.

2. Melted Pony Bead Suncatchers

Winter can often be a dreary time, especially if you live in an overcast place like Seattle. These suncatchers create beautiful art that adds a nice splash of color to your windows to ease the dull skies. We turned some of ours into cool necklaces using a drill, which makes me think it could be the perfect present for grandparents that are looking for a little color on their windows too. It opened up the door for us to talk about what melting is, and investigate if anything can melt – both of my kids thought this project would be just as effective if we used wooden beads instead of plastic beads, so there was a lot of learning that happened as we created!

3. Cratered Moon Ornaments

We did cratered moons as a mini-maker a while ago when I ran some field trips and community science shows. This is a great way to get kids of all ages creating, since who doesn’t love to throw rocks into clay and pretend they are the master of the universe as they muster up asteroids from nowhere and zip them into entire moons? You can also incorporate painting into this by painting the moon (or a phase of the moon) on after it dries.

4. Engineer Gingerbread Houses

Gingerbread houses are a cornerstone of our family’s holiday tradition. We go all out – we cook our dough in a cast iron skillet with a recipe handed down for generations, and pipe it together with the deliciously crunchy sugar icing. It is a ridiculous amount of work getting the dough made, deciding what type of house to make, sketching plans, cutting the pieces, and putting them up. Nevertheless, I love all of the spatial reasoning and engineering skills my kids learn as we try to cut the right types of pieces and stabilize them together. Also, seeing the voracity with which they can eat candy is pretty amazing too. If you have less time on your hands you can always go for the tried and true graham cracker houses, they will still get all the educational impact, with likely a whole lot less mess. Check out the link for our family’s gingerbread recipe and a printout for a simple house.

5. Grow Rock Candy

I love teaching science through food because I know that I have 100% of their attention as we make it. I basically have an eager captive audience that won’t get annoyed when I start talking about chemistry and crystal growth. We celebrate Christmas in our house, so I really wanted to make candy cane shaped rock candy, but couldn’t find the curved wood pieces to make that happen. I’m sure it is easy to do yourself, but I just didn’t have it in me. For the Jewish community, it could be really cool to use popsicle sticks in the shape of the Star of David. Elmer’s glue is non-toxic so would be a good choice to hold them together. After doing this project the ammonia crystal trees shot right up to number one in my list of science projects to do in 2018!

Share our winter crafts with your friends and readers with our step-by-step guides!

Light up Holiday Ornaments infographic
Homemade rock candy crystals infographic
Gingerbread house engineering infographic
Cratered moon ornaments