Posts Tagged ‘winter’

Unique Box of Holiday Treats

Thursday, December 6th, 2018

box-of-holiday-treats

My daughter sent a unique box of holiday treats to her aunt last Christmas because she wanted her aunt to feel special. We bought an inexpensive box that looked like a book, and we painted it. (It looks brown like a cardboard box before it is painted.) You can get a box like this at any craft supply store.

You can use tempera paint or acrylic paint, whatever you have on hand. First my daughter drew the design with pencil on the box. Then she painted it. She had to paint the back of the box on a different day so that the paint on the front would be dry.

Since it was Christmastime, she decided to draw a cute snowman standing in the snow. She used white for the snow and light blue for the sky, highlighting the words and accessories with red paint.

box-treat-craft

After the box was finished, we made some marble fudge (with white and dark chocolate swirled together) and decorated a gingerbread man. Lastly, we added a bag of candy, including chocolate gold coins, Hershey kisses, and mini chocolate bars.

Christmas-treats

When the package arrived at her aunt’s house, she was pleasantly surprised, and she most definitely felt loved!

Deluxe Gingerbread Houses

Monday, December 15th, 2014

deluxe-gingerbread-housesLook at these deluxe gingerbread houses! It’s incredible what people can build out of gingerbread, frosting, pretzels, and candy. Every year there is a gingerbread house competition at the Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane, WA, and every year I’m impressed.

If you look at the first picture, there is a treehouse structure with a pretzel rope ladder. There must be some form of candy that looks like rocks, because it was used to build a lot of this scene. The sign says “Jellystone Park,” and Yogi Bear is included in the scene. A pretzel cabin and a camping area with tents rounds out the scene.

deluxe-gingerbread-houses-2This one is obviously about famous landmarks. They used mainly plain gingerbread, with frosting and candy embellishments. The sand at the bottom of the pyramids is undoubtedly crushed graham crackers.

gingerbread-houseThis is a nice gingerbread house. The roof is covered with mini-marshmallows, as well as the snowy ground. Chocolate garage doors, pretzel embellishments, and a shoelace licorice candy fence surrounds the scene.

gingerbread-waterfallThis waterfall scene is so extravagant that its ingredients are out of my league. I think fondant was used, and I hear it is difficult to work with. Nevertheless, it is a gorgeous scene!

gingerbread-snow-sceneOkay, this one is more manageable by real humans. The snowy scene incudes two dog sleds with dogs, a regular gingerbread house with pretzels for logs, and white frosting covering the ground and Oreo cookies for a hill in the background.

gingerbread-pickup-truckThis scene is fun. It has a pick-up truck driving up a ramp to the cabin. Even though there is snow on the ground, there is greenery around the house, probably shaped out of fondant. It looks like the basic structure of the pick-up truck is made out of graham crackers, covered by fondant.

gingerbread-carHere is another scene that is ridiculously complicated and impossible for mere humans like us to attempt. I’m sure the creator of this one is an expert with fondant because the car that is in the air is a masterpiece of perfection!

If you want some humorous tips on building gingerbread houses:

If you want to see how I failed at building a simple gingerbread house:

 

Snow Scene Centerpiece

Monday, December 16th, 2013

snow-scene-centerpiece

Make a beautiful snow scene centerpiece for your table in less than five minutes. All you need is rock salt (or Epsom salt), a branch of greenery, some Christmas ornaments, and a large glass bowl.

Dump the rock salt into a large clear bowl in the center of your table. Rock salt looks more beautiful, but Epsom salt is more useful, since you can re-use the Epsom salt in your bath after December is over.

Place some greenery into the white salt. You will need to break off small bits of a branch of an evergreen tree, or you can use shears to cut it. I stuck pieces of greenery into the “snow” so that they would look like trees in a forest. But you can also lay them flat in a beautiful way.

Look at the decorations on your tree, and see if you want to showcase one ornament, or if you want to choose several ornaments. A village house would look pretty in the snow. Arrange the ornaments in your bowl. I added jelly beans for color. You could add red berries or a red garland for a similar effect. Just mess with the scene until it looks pretty.

Enjoy your finished snow scene centerpiece! For more fun winter activities, click here.

Winter Nature Hike Scavenger Hunt (free PDF)

Monday, January 21st, 2013

winter-nature-hike

When the snow is falling softly outside and the children are squealing with delight, why not go on a winter nature hike scavenger hunt? Bundle up the kids along with their snow boots, and go to a nearby trail. A beautiful sunny day is ideal, but even overcast days can be delightful, especially if it’s snowing. Let the children enjoy the snow falling onto their faces. Let them listen to the wind blowing through the trees. Then let them find the following items, and snap a picture of them. At home you can make a scrapbook of your nature hike.

If you have older children and they have nature journals, they can sit (they’ll need waterproof snow pants) and sketch the different items on the list. Later they can add color with colored pencils or watercolors.

winter-nature-hike-scavenger-hunt-3Here are some items that your children can look for:

  1. red berries on trees or bushes
  2. bird flying or perched on a branch
  3. pinecone (find several kinds of cones)
  4. winter-nature-hike-scavenger-hunt-4animal tracks (different kinds)
  5. bare branches on deciduous trees
  6. evergreen tree (several kinds)
  7. large rock (or specific rock like granite)
  8. cumulous or stratus clouds
  9. winter-nature-hike-scavenger-hunt-5frozen pond or puddle
  10. squirrel, deer, or other mammal
  11. a good view (climb a hill or mountain for best views)
  12. fallen tree
  13. thorny bush
  14. leaves-in-snowmoving water (stream, waterfall, or melted snow trickling off a rock)
  15. feather (try identifying what bird it belonged to)
  16. moss (collect different kinds)
  17. evidence of insects (look under fallen logs or rocks)
  18. fallen-logweeds
  19. an icicle
  20. fallen leaves or pine needles

 

You can print out a copy of this scavenger hunt here:

 

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