The long winter days of sweaters, snow boots and winter coats have arrived along with a polar vortex. Winter is an unpredictable time of the year no matter what part of the country you live in. Whether it's cold and clear or a blizzard is blowing, it pays to be prepared with some cool arts activities that you can do as a family to keep everyone entertained and chase away those winter blues.
Winter art activities don't need to be anything elaborate -- just enough to stretch your child's imagination and challenge their thinking skills. A simple walk in your neighborhood after a snowfall and digitally capturing the splendor of our recent snow rolls and then replicating the wonder with either water colors or crayons will expand self-expression and can promote social interaction when done as a family.
Play-dough is another way to engage your children during long winter days, but don't dash out and buy a three pack. Try whipping up a batch in your kitchen and invite your children to measure out the ingredients. Here's the recipe that we've used with our programs for years:
1 cup water
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons cream of tarter
Directions: Mix and cook ingredients over medium heat until it forms a ball. Knead dough.
Give your child cookie cutters and other assorted kitchen items to use to create shapes and sculptures from the dough. Keep in a plastic bag to maintain moisture.
As winter drags on and snow days come and go, make sure that you're prepared with the supplies that will foster your child's creativity. Build your creativity stockpile and fill it with child-friendly scissors, brushes, glue, paint and a variety of paper. Remember: It's not just milk and bread you need as you rush out to the grocery at the threat of snow. Include tools for your creativity stockpile, too.
Enjoy the beauty of winter.
Phyllis Self, recreation operations superintendent for the Westerville Parks and Recreation Department, is a member of the Arts Council of Westerville.