Indoor Winter Art Activities for Creative Kids
When it’s just too cold or wet to get outdoors this winter, there are lots of ways to entertain your child in the warm and dry, while also getting their creative juices flowing.
Whether they like crafting, baking, or collage, there are plenty of ideas for winter-themed activities you can do from the comfort of your home.
So let’s take a look at five activities to keep your little one busy, each having the added bonus of creating a homemade gift your child could give to family members or friends for Christmas!
Winter spice biscuits
Baking involves maths, science, and creativity, teaches children valuable life skills, and ends with a delicious treat. What’s not to like?
You will need (makes approx 20 biscuits);
- 200g unsalted butter
- 200g white caster sugar
- 400g plain flour
- 1 medium egg, beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- Winter themed biscuit cutters (snowflakes, fir trees etc.)
- Icing sugar
- Icing pens (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 175ºC.
- Mix the flour, sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon in a mixing bowl until well combined.
- Add the butter. Children can use their (clean!) hands to work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs.
- In a separate bowl, crack the egg, add the vanilla extract, and beat lightly.
- Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and mix everything together until a dough forms.
- Dust a clean surface with flour and roll out the dough to about 6mm or ¼ inch thickness and using the cutters, cut out your winter-themed biscuit shapes.
- Place the biscuits on a parchment-lined baking tray and bake them in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until they turn a light golden brown. Keep an eye on them!
- Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
- Once the biscuits have cooled, your child can unleash their inner artist and decorate them using icing pens or icing sugar mixed with water.
- Place the decorated biscuits on a plate and finish off with a sprinkling of icing sugar powder for a wintery snowy effect.
DIY snow globe
Children (and adults) are captivated by the snowy scenes inside snow globes. Your child can make their own, and many of the things needed may already be hiding in a drawer or cupboard at home.
You will need;
- Small glass jars with lids
- Plastic figurine/s that will fit comfortably inside the jar (winter-themed or anything your child fancies)
- Distilled water
- Clear craft glue
- Waterproof sealant (optional)
- Decorative ribbon (optional)
- Using the clear craft glue, attach the figurine/s to the inside of the jar lids. Allow to dry completely.
- Fill the jar almost to the top with distilled water, leaving some space at the top to avoid overflowing.
- Add a few drops of glycerin and a generous sprinkle of glitter to the water. The glycerin will slow down the movement of the glitter.
- Carefully screw the lid with the attached figurine onto the jar, ensuring it’s tightly sealed. For added security, you could apply waterproof sealant around the rim of the jar lid.
- If you like, tie a ribbon around the neck of the jar for decoration.
Make a pomander
Oranges and cloves! You may have memories of making these as a child. The name Pomander comes from the French ‘pomme d’ambre’ which roughly translates as ‘apple of perfume’, and these were traditionally made and gifted by well-off people around Christmas time. Oranges and cloves were an extravagance, so it was a sign of someone’s wealth to be able to make and share pomanders. Luckily nowadays oranges and cloves are readily available, so try making some of these incredible smelling winter decorations.
You will need;
- An orange
- Toothpick or pen/pencil
- Criss-cross the ribbon around your orange and tie in a bow at the top (as you would a ribbon around a gift box).
- Using a toothpick or the tip of a pen/pencil, make a hole in the orange, then push in a clove.
- Continue pushing in more cloves, either in a pattern or until you have covered the whole orange.
- When finished, you can hang your pomander on the Christmas tree, your front door, over a fireplace etc.
- Enjoy the festive fragrance!
Salt dough ornaments for the Christmas tree
Making ornaments for the tree is a great way to inspire creativity and develop fine motor skills in children. They add a lovely personal touch to the Christmas decor and create something that can be kept and used for years to come.
You will need;
- 2 cups of plain flour
- 1 cup of salt
- 1 cup of water
- Biscuit cutters (Christmas / winter-themed shapes)
- Acrylic paints
- Ribbon or twine
- Clear varnish
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and water to form a dough. Knead it until it’s smooth and easy to work with.
- Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 6mm or ¼ inch. Use the biscuit cutters to cut out shapes from the dough.
- Make a small hole at the top of each shape using a straw or the end of a paintbrush (this will be used to hang the ornament later).
- Place the shapes on a baking tray and bake them at a low temperature (95°C or 200°F) for about 2-3 hours or until completely dry and hard.
- Once they have cooled, they are ready to be decorated with acrylic paint.
- When the paint is completely dry, thread a piece of ribbon or twine through the hole and tie a knot to create a loop for hanging.
- To preserve the decorations you can apply a clear varnish.
Bring the outside in, with this lovely open-ended winter activity. Children can explore different textures, shapes, sizes, and colours of natural objects they might find on a walk, in the garden, or even leftover pumpkin seeds from Halloween pumpkin carving.
You will need;
- Natural loose parts such as pine cones, leaves, dried flowers, conkers, acorns etc (make sure they are dry)
- Coloured ribbon or string (optional)
- Cut a cardboard circle with a hole in the middle (the shape of a wreath). If you are going to add a ribbon later, make a hole close to the outside edge of the circle.
- It’s a good idea for your child to come up with a pattern they want to arrange the loose parts before they start sticking.
- Then it’s time to start with the glue. Get them to start in the middle by squirting glue around the outside of the hole in the centre of the circle, sticking their objects and then working their way out to the edges until the cardboard ring is full. Make sure they use enough glue to keep the objects in place – some of them might be quite heavy.
- Allow 24 hours for it to dry.
- Either thread a ribbon/string through the hole at the top to hang your wreath on a door or above a fireplace, or it could be used as a table centrepiece by placing a jar candle in the middle of it.