3 Eco-Friendly Winter Crafts for Kids

Keeping kids engaged in brain-stimulating activities during winter break can help them stay sharp for their return to school and also hold boredom at bay. One great way to keep kids busy is through crafting. Eco-friendly winter crafts for kids can teach them to be mindful of the environment and find unique ways to incorporate natural elements—such as birdseed, vines, and branches—into their crafts.  

Crafting is an excellent way to keep your student actively learning during winter break. Keep reading to learn three eco-friendly winter crafts for kids. 

Eco-friendly winter craft #1: birdseed ornaments

During the winter months, songbirds can sometimes have a hard time finding food. You can make it easier for them, and enjoy their beauty in your backyard, by making festive birdseed ornaments.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 cup of water

  • 3/4 cup of flour (any type)

  • Three tablespoons of corn syrup (regular or light will both work)

  • Two and a half teaspoons of unflavored gelatin

  • Four cups of birdseed

  • Large mixing bowl

  • Nonstick cooking spray

  • Eight to 12 large cookie cutters, about one inch thick

  • Wax paper or parchment paper

  • Nonstick saucepan

  • Skewer

  • Natural jute twine, cut into five- to eight-inch strips

  • Wire cooling rack

  • Wooden spoon or rubber scraper

First, spray the cookie cutters and wax or parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange the cookie cutters on wax or parchment paper, and heat the water and corn syrup in the nonstick saucepan. When the mixture comes to a boil, turn the heat on low and add the gelatin. Stir continuously until the gelatin powder is dissolved. Next, add the syrup and flour to the mixing bowl, stirring until well blended. Add the birdseed and mix thoroughly until it’s thick and stiff. 

Spray your hands with nonstick cooking spray, and fill each cookie cutter to the top with the birdseed mixture. Make sure the mixture is compact so that the ornaments hold their shape. Cover the mixing bowl with the plate in between filling the ornaments so the mixture doesn’t dry out. If you have extra birdseed mixture left over, roll it into seed balls or small firm cakes—this way, nothing is wasted. You can put these on the ground for ground-feeding birds. Use your skewer to poke a hole in each ornament, wiggling the skewer to make sure each hole is large enough for the twine. Gently move cookie cutters to the drying rack and allow them to dry overnight or for a full day. Remove the ornaments from the cookie cutters and add twine loops. Hang the ornaments on trees out in your yard and watch the birds congregate. 

[RELATED: 3 Winter Art Crafts for Kids

Eco-friendly winter craft #2: nature wreath

For many families, the winter holidays aren’t complete without a front door wreath. This craft begins with a walk in nature. Along the way, ask your kids to gather vines, branches, leaves, and other treasures.

You’ll need the following items:

  • A round wire basket

  • Three spring clamps

  • Natural jute twine

To start, clamp the first pieces of vine and branches onto the side of the wire basket using a spring clamp. Bend the side branches, shaping them along the inside of the basket—this will hold the wreath’s form. Next, bend the pieces of vine around the basket, clamping when necessary. When the wreath reaches two-to-three inches in thickness, tie the natural items with the twine on six to eight spots around the circle. Only make a knot around the vines, not the basket. Take the vine wreath out of the basket, wrapping a few sections of vine around the wreath and tucking the beginning and ends between the vines, branches, and other items. 

Once this is done, set it aside and wait a few days before cutting off the twine. During this time, the wreath should have no problem holding its shape. Once the allotted time has passed, help your kids hang the wreath on your door.

[RELATED: 10 Gift Ideas to Excite the Student in Your Life This Holiday Season


Eco-friendly winter craft #3: natural bubble bath bomb

This fun craft teaches your child valuable STEAM skills. Incorporating natural elements, an eco-friendly bath bomb can double as a homemade gift for your child to give family members.  

Here’s what you need to make them:

  • 1/2 cup of baking soda

  • 1/4 cup of citric acid 

  • 1/4 cup of cornstarch

  • One to three teaspoons of bubble bath

  • A muffin tin or small cake mold

Begin by adding baking soda, citric acid, and cornstarch to a bowl, mixing well to combine all of the ingredients. Add one teaspoon of bubble bath to the dry ingredients while stirring to make sure all ingredients mix well. Test the firmness of the bubble bath bomb by taking some in the palm of your hand and squeezing it—if the bomb falls apart, add a bit more liquid bubble bath. When the mixture begins to clump, you know you’ve added enough liquid. 

Next, fill the muffin tin or molds with the bubble bath bomb mixture, pressing it along the sides of whichever container you choose. Remove the bombs from the tin or molds and place them on a piece of parchment paper to dry overnight. 

[RELATED: 3 STEAM Activities to Try in the New Year]

Eco-friendly crafts like the ones above can help your student simultaneously avoid boredom and keep learning over winter break. Discuss with them any ideas they may have for crafts, and incorporate those into your holiday break plans as well. 

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