This is the time of year when snuggling up by a warm fire wearing fuzzy socks sounds really appealing, isn’t it? Sometimes it can be tempting to rely a bit too much on television and video games to keep everyone entertained when the wind is blowing outside, but there are a lot of quiet activities that you might enjoy doing with your children on stay-in-the-house days. Arts and crafts can get pretty messy at times. Have you considered teaching your kids any of these cold weather crafts?
Knitting or Crocheting
I was an adult when I learned how to do these particular needle crafts, but they’re simple enough that I’ve been able to teach my nine-year-old with no trouble at all! It’s inexpensive to get started (you really just need a crochet hook or set of knitting needles, plus yarn) and easy to pick up. Even better, you can keep your yarn and a pair of scissors nearby, and can enjoy your craft while carrying on a conversation on the couch. I enjoyed the Klutz book on crocheting, and I have a talented friend who showed me the basics of knitting. Free patterns for both of these art forms are yours for the taking; just type “free crochet patterns” or “free knitting patterns” into your search engine, and you’ll have enough reading material to last you a lifetime! You can also find patterns on the yarn labels. Crochet baby hats to give to your local NICU or learn how to knit dishcloths to give out as gifts.
This was one of my favorites when I was a pre-teen. You can buy kits that range in difficulty from extremely easy to expert, and featuring words, animals, flowers, portraits, holiday motifs… just about anything! Once you learn how to turn your embroidered X’s into pictures, you can buy cross-stitch fabric and embroidery floss and make your own patterns on graph paper. This is another craft that doesn’t take up too much room and is very portable throughout the house (and in doctors’ waiting rooms, too!). One caveat: if your child is prone to dropping the needle, it might end up in someone’s foot later on. I have personal experience with this, so trust me on this one!
Our grandmothers used to go to quilting bees, where they would get together with the other women in the neighborhood or at their church and work on quilts. They might make a quilt for a new baby in the community, or for a recent widow. Quilting bees would be a fun mother/daughter bonding activity. You could also simply quilt squares to sew together later. Quilting takes up more space than the previous crafts mentioned, because you need to lay everything out; also some people prefer to do their quilting with a sewing machine, which is not quite as portable than hand-quilting. Still, it’s a cozy cold-afternoon activity to enjoy with your kids.
While working on any of these projects, you could listen to music or a book on CD, talk about your day, or simply sit and enjoy the quiet concentration.
What are some of your favorite cold-weather crafts for indoors?