5 kid-friendly crafts based on children’s books

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As the days get shorter in the northern hemisphere, we all start to settle into our homes and look at the list of crafty projects we want to do during the winter and that we have learned from last Winter. I know it’s not just me sticking my head out in the spring and simultaneously thinking “oh thank God” and “shit, I haven’t finished that list…”. Single. year.

So before hibernation really begins, I’ve put together a list of DIYs based on children’s books that you can do with the kids in your life during the winter. Kids make things more fun, and they’ll motivate you to complete your project by either 1) dropping it halfway through, forcing you to finish it on principle, or 2) putting your all into it and making it a joy and a bonding experience from start to finish. Either way, you’ll complete a project and hopefully have fun along the way!

learn to knit

There are many children’s books that feature knitters, but the one I’ve enjoyed most recently is Zinnia and the bees by Danielle Davis, in which a young knitter goes to detention for yarn bombing, then a hive of bees decides to live in her hair.

If you and your child want to learn to knit, there are a myriad of resources. Personally, I learned by watching the videos on KnittingHelp.com over and over, then I taught my mom. You can pick up this Learn to Knit Kit on Amazon ($14) and get everything you need.

Knitting develops fine motor skills, teaches patience and builds attention span. Moreover, he makes stuff, which is pretty cool! You and your child could follow in Zinnia’s footsteps and knit a sweater for a tree (hint: it’s a tube), or make mittens/scarves for those in need.

Plant an indoor garden

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t grow things. I am inspired by Uncle John’s Town Garden by Bernette G. Ford. In the heart of winter, it’s always good to remember that spring is coming, and what could be better than a small indoor flower garden?

Of course, you don’t need a kit to grow an indoor garden; you can also wing it! Get some potting soil, put some seeds in it, water occasionally and see what happens.

Make seed paper

Speaking of growing things, if you’re willing to get a little dirty, you could have a great time making seed paper. This is one of my favorite projects to do with the kids because it’s guaranteed to turn your kitchen into a complete disaster, everyone has a great time and who doesn’t love the end product??

I found a great tutorial here at The Spruce Crafts. The general idea is that you’ll want to soak and then blend a bunch of newspapers and/or junk in a blender until it’s a gooey, gooey mess. Squeeze out the water, then stir in the seeds with a spoon. You can use any small seeds; Wildflower seeds are popular, but be sure to get a mix native to your area. You can press the seeded paper into cookie cutters to create fun shapes, then let it dry. So!

Make your own snow

A perennial favorite is The snow day by Ezra Jack Keats, and for good reason. Who doesn’t love a nice day in the snow followed by hot chocolate next to a cozy fire?

If snow isn’t available yet – or even if it is and you just prefer to stay indoors – you can make snow that won’t freeze your fingers! Another tutorial from The Spruce Crafts, this one can make quite a mess too, so be prepared. It only requires two ingredients (three if you decide to add glitter): shaving cream and baking soda. Play around with the ratios until you’re happy with the texture, then shape snow figures or build your own winter landscape.

Note: This snow is not edible.

Build a drop

Yes, a blob! (By the time I finish this paragraph, “blob” won’t sound like a word anymore.) Inspired by Anne Alpert’s Blob, in which a blob named Bob learns everything he could be – including himself – I brings you the Build-A-Blob kit from Alpenglow Industries. Created by finger knitting or using zip ties and then attaching giant googly eyes, it’s a fun project for kids and parents alike. And once you’re done, you can choose what color you want the Blob you’ve built to be! ($30)

There are many ways to keep you and your kids entertained during the winter. I hope these crafts based on children’s books have given you some ideas! Find even more crafts based on children’s books in this list of DIY kits for book lovers or in this roundup of The hungry caterpillar Activities.

About Tracy G. Larimore

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