The snow continues! Last week, it snowed maybe every other day, from Sunday to Sunday. It’s enough to make part of me want to just hunker down and take a long winter’s nap, saying, “Please wake me up when spring is here for good!” As some of you know, I moved to AZ seven years ago to get out of the snow. I found a job for my husband in AZ, encouraged him to apply for it, and rejoiced when he got it so we could move out of the frozen north. After 30+ years of slogging through Utah’s winters, it was just soooo nice to go to a place in AZ (not Phoenix) that still had four seasons, including snow, but milder versions of each one. Yes, AZ has places like that!
We still got snow, but it would just always melt by noon (unless you were in the mountains, which were less than a ten-minute drive from my house). I took the photo above from my front porch in AZ on a rare snowy morning. So this snow was perfect for homebodies like me who like to look at it through the window, seeing it blanket the landscape all picturesquely, but then don’t want to drive in it when I have to leave the house. Anyway, while in AZ I learned about this idea called hygge from my friend Olivia. Now that I’m back in Utah, cultivating hygge is what is helping me get through winter.
So yes! I am embracing winter now as part of my post-AZ hygge life in Utah. Let’s see…I went sledding on Christmas Eve, holed up in a mountain cabin over New Year’s Eve weekend while it snowed nonstop for 4 days, and now that we are in the post-holiday winter doldrums I’m finding lots of ways to create a cozy-looking home with cute decorations that befit the season.
I love it when the art and craft project I do for the 6-7 year-old class for my weekly homeschool co-op also turns out so cute that I want to decorate my house with it. See top photo above. For this past week I picked these 3-D snowflakes and strung them on yarn to make a garland. You can find a tutorial here. These are so simple! All you need is paper, scissors, stapler, tape, and string or yarn. (I didn’t bother with the cardboard tubes to store the garland in as suggested in the tutorial. It adds to the cuteness for sure but I didn’t have time to get those.)
I just love how this was easy enough for each kid to make at least one snowflake. I broke down the steps and showed the process to them beforehand with a sample from most of the steps. I manned the stapler and the transparent tape, and they had to wait in line for me to help them for that part. I brought the string already cut in pieces less than a yard. They strung their own snowflakes onto the string. Out of the 13 kiddos, most were done after making one snowflake and went on to our free play. We had about 5 who persisted and made 3-4 to make a garland. It was fun! After taping each one I’d hold it up high for all to see and announce who made it. I exclaimed over how beautiful each one was. I was delighted to see them each smile with their eyes lighting up after my excitement.
Before we did the activity, I read aloud the picture books shown above and below to them. Then I unveiled the snowflake garland I had made beforehand and asked them if they wanted to make one. They eagerly dove into the project. I suggested they make the garland and then take it home and then give it away, in order to “share some kindness and bring some light.”
So if you are looking for a fun simple winter art project for children combined with two picture books, look no further! Lots of other snowflake picture books would work, but I chose these to combine the idea of warming up in winter with decorations, giving, and kindness.