More Fun Activities For Kids

1. Winter is a great time of year to take a walk and collect things. Look for nuts, pine cones, seed pods, dried weed flowers, milkweed pods, cat tails, or anything else that catches your fancy.


2. Make a small collage from the many kinds of hitchhiker seeds. (These are the seeds that stick to your clothes or the dog as you're walking through a pasture or wooded area.)


3. A very simple pine cone wreath can be made by gluing pine cones onto a wreath form cut from heavy corrugated cardboard. Use a small wreath form and small pine cones with a pillar candle placed in the middle for an attractive table decoration. Stick a little evergreen or holly in between the pine cones.


4. If you live in the country or know someone who does, look for very small (6 to 8 inches) pine tree sprouts. Dig one up (Be sure to ask for permission if it is not your property!) and plant it in a pot. Decorate it with small ribbon bows and paper snowflakes. Plant it again in the Spring.


5. If your yard has that dreary winter look, cheer it up with a tree decorated for the birds! String popcorn and cranberries. Hang scooped out orange halves filled with peanut butter and birdseed. Make suet balls and hang them in the mesh bags in which oranges and onions are packaged. Cut attractive shapes from paper plates, spread them with peanut butter and bird seed and hang them on your tree. Don't forget to put out some fresh water for the birds, also.


6. Put together a feeding station for the squirrels so that you can watch their antics through a window.


7. Check the seed catalogs or local nurseries for flower bulbs to force during the winter. Amaryllis are pretty. So are crocuses and narcissus. You can also force a branch from a flowering bush like pussy willow and forsythia in a bucket of water.


8. Make candles! Okay, this is not a garden or outdoor activity. But, it is a fun thing to do during the winter. One of the cutest candles I ever made looked like an ice cream soda. Carefully pour some colored wax 3/4 up in a drink glass (the old - fashioned Coke type glasses look nice) that has a wick placed in it. Whip some cooling plain wax with an old hand beater until it's foamy. Scoop the foamy wax on top of the candle. Stick in a cut piece of straw and top of with a cherry made from red wax rolled into a ball shape while warm. You could probably forego the wick with this candle because it's just too pretty to burn.


9. If you haven't cleaned out your garden area yet, now is a good time to do so. Even the youngest kids in the family can help pull up old plants and weeds. And the best part is that you don't have to worry about anyone pulling up the wrong plants!


10. January is a great time to look through all those seed catalogs you've been getting in the mail with the whole family. Plan next year's garden, order the seeds, and start any plants you need to start early like tomatoes and peppers. Pick out something fun and different to try this year like yard long beans or chocolate colored peppers.


11. Do you still have any of those baby pumpkins around clashing with the Christmas decorations? Cut them in half, scoop out the seeds, and bake them. (Of course, this is only if they are not rotten or mildewed anywhere.) Throw the seeds out in a corner of the yard somewhere and see if they sprout in the spring.


12. If you have snow, look for animal prints from birds, squirrels, rabbits, or deer. Of course, if you see a lot of footprints from a dog, you probably won't see many of anything else!


13. Spray paint the dried weeds you collected. Make a vase for them from a large white paper cup. Decorate the paper cut with a glued-on mosaic of tissue paper or construction paper pieces.


14. Make some snow candy. Cook up some molasses to the hard ball stage and drizzle it over a pan of clean snow just like Laura Ingalls Wilder!


15. Remember, spring is never far away! Look for the beginnings of spring on a nature walk in February or March. If you don't have any crocuses or other early bulbs sprouting, be sure to plant some for next year!



Bry-Back Manor/Garden Fun