Family Fun ~ Winter Crafts

Portly Penguin

Total Time Needed: Afternoon or Evening
Image example courtesy of


12-inch balloon
Plaster cloth (such as 2 packages of Activa Rigid Wrap) cut into 6-inch strips
Shallow pan of warm water
Aluminum foil
Masking tape
Acrylic paints and brushes
Craft foam and stapler or foam tape (for variations)



Pick your wrap: Plaster cloth, sold at most craft supply stores, is manufactured by a number of companies and comes in different-size rolls. For these projects, Activa Rigid Wrap brand; two 4- by 180-inch rolls make one 12-inch plaster pal (one roll per package, $6;

Cover the work surface: Use a disposable tablecloth to protect your work station (consider setting up outside on a picnic table) and have kids wear washable clothing. The plaster dissolves in water and washes out easily, but it can be quite messy.

Choose your base: Balloons and aluminum foil work well as the base materials for our plaster projects, but you can also use cardboard, plastic cartons, Styrofoam balls, and other sturdy craft materials.

Protect the plaster: Avoid splashing water on the unused plaster cloth. Any drips will harden permanently and won't smooth out.

Let it dry: Drying times vary greatly depending on temperature, humidity, and the number of layers of cloth. To speed up the process, you can follow the package directions for using a microwave or a conventional oven, or place the project in a sunny spot.

*Instead of adding a plaster beak, simply paint one on after the plaster is completely dry.

*Instead of curling the tips of the wings (as in step 4), curl the penguin's wings in the middle, close to the body.

Snowman Cotton Ball Craft

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This is a super simple, inexpensive craft for little children, and they enjoy the feel of the cotton balls.


cotton balls (about 40 per snowman)
blue construction paper (1 sheet per child)
black construction paper
orange construction paper
optional: popsicle stick


Optional: Premake the craft for them to use as a model and let them make their cotton ball snowman freehand, but you can draw or trace two circles onto the blue construction paper as a guide for the children to glue cotton balls inside.

Have the children glue cotton balls in two or three stacked circles to make a snowman shape.

Squeeze some glue onto a paper plate or margarine container lid and let the children scoop bits of glue with a popsicle stick (or whatever method works for you). Sometimes it gets too messy letting them squeeze the glue right out of the bottle onto the paper.

Cut out construction paper shapes (adults can do this prior to craft time for young children)

BLACK: 5 large circles per snowman (2 eyes and 3 buttons)
BLACK: 5 small circles per snowman (for the mouth)
BLACK: hat shape (rectangle with a square on top)
ORANGE: Cut out one triangle per snowman (nose)
ORANGE (or brown): Long rectangle shapes (arms)

Have the children glue their snowman faces, buttons, hat and arms to their cotton ball snowman.

Salt Crystal Snowflake

Image example courtesy of


Hot water (preferably boiled beforehand)
A cup or mug
Salt (we used table salt)
thick black paper
(It should be heavy paper or cardstock. We found that plain construction paper will not work.)

Boil water and pour it into a cup that can withstand hot water.

Add a couple of teaspoons of salt and stir with the paintbrush until it dissloves.

Continue to add salt a teaspoon at a time until it no longer dissolves and there are salt crystals at the bottom of the cup even after stirring for a while.

Paint your snowflake.

Tip: Every time you go to dip your brush in the salt water be sure you to stir the solution so that your salt crystals don’t all sink to the bottom of the cup.

Leave your art to dry overnight.

Fleece Hat

Total Time Needed: 1 Hour
Image examples courtesy of

Tape measure
1/2 yard fleece fabric
Needle and thread
Buttons, appliqués, or felt pieces for decoration
1 yard decorative cord


First, determine the size of the hat. (To avoid ruining the surprise, measure the head of someone who is similar in size to the recipient.) Now cut a piece of fleece that´s 16 inches wide and as long as the measurement you took plus 2 inches.

Fold the fleece in half, right side in so the 16-inch edges match up. Sew a 1/2-inch-wide seam along this edge, stopping 5 inches from the bottom (see A). Just below the last stitch, make a 1/2-inch cut in from the side. Turn the material right side out. Now sew a seam along the last 5 inches of unsewn fleece (see B).

Roll the bottom of the hat up two turns, so the cuff conceals the bottom part of the seam. To keep the cuff from unrolling, sew on a decorative button, an appliqué, or a felt cutout.

Finally, gather the top 3 inches of the hat and tie a colorful cord around it.

CLICK HERE to learn how you can Build Your Own Bird Feeder!

Other Ideas:
Winter Coloring Pages
Winter Games & Puzzles
Winter Themed Worksheets
More Craft Ideas


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