I am so pleased to be partnering with Oak Meadow today to bring you this post about welcoming winter.
It always seems so strange to me how ‘winter’ comes far before the seasons officially change. Today is indeed the first day of winter and yet winter weather has been here for so very long already!
This is precisely why I feel that winter is just sooo long. It really is! At least the winter weather. It takes over the latter part of fall and always overtakes early spring as well.
Last year I decided I ought to find a way to enjoy the winter since it took up so much of our year. I am still working on it, but winter and I are now on much better terms.
In fact, there are even a few things about winter I could say I love. I love the smell of my woodstove and how it warms me right down to the core. I love admiring a fresh snow fall before little feet and toboggans have run a muck through it. I love those little footprints and toboggan tracks running a muck too.
As part of our series with Oak Meadow, I am eager to share with you how we welcome winter in our home. In the first post I wrote in this series, how we welcome fall, I shared how I have found such joy in using our Oak Meadow curriculum. I adore how the curriculum really focuses on the seasons and how it has made me really focus on rhythm in our household. I have also shared how we welcome spring and summer.
Today I wanted to share with you a few winter craft ideas from our Oak Meadow Craft book, (which I see is now also available as a Digital Download), a great learning activity to do in the snow, and a beautiful and simply DIY winter decoration.
Winter is certainly a season for crafting. We are inside far more than we generally are, with no gardening to be done, much fewer animal chores, and of course due to the icy chilly cold. Crafting by the woodstove is always a good idea. Winter is definitely a time for turning inwards.
One simple craft I plan on doing this coming week with my little ones, as we do every year, is making popcorn and cranberry strings. We often wrap them around our Christmas tree and then place them outside for the birds.
But with our new little kitten, nothing much seems to stay on the Christmas tree so I believe we will be putting it right outside this year.
A second craft we are going to be doing is making critters out of walnut shells. In the winter we always have walnuts out with our nutcracker. And every winter I try to find some way to use those pretty walnut shells. We have turned them into candles and also into boats for little gnomes.
The critters we create this year will certainly be used for oodles of imaginative play. (Inside by the woodstove, I can assure you)
Of course we will be venturing outside. That IS the Oak Meadow way. The snow does offer a beautiful canvas for so many things! I wanted to share with you a great letter or number learning activity. My oldest son has difficulty with number and letter reversals. He often draws “d” and “b” backwards and a few others as well. This particular learning activity has helped him a lot.
I stamp out the letter in the snow rather large (or snow shovel it out depending on what Mother Nature dished out). Then, he stands at the beginning of that letter and walks it – BUT – he does it as though he was the pencil. So often it means he is walking backwards or sideways – he never turns his body. Creating the shape of the letter in this way has really helped to get it into his head in the correct way.
A rather neat little trick! Plus, the kids always have a great time with it. My littlest loves using his feet to stamp out his name. And then we go inside – you guessed it – by that woodstove.
Finally, to welcome winter we of course decorate our house. Garland and the Christmas tree go up, and some decorations are pulled out of storage as well. We do have oodles of pine trees as well, so this year I looked up an idea for getting creative. I decided I wanted to make a simple outdoor decoration using pine branches to spruce up our porch.
I found this idea of simply sticking some pine branches, berries, and some ribbon in an old watering can over on Housepitality Designs and loved it! Super simple and so pretty.
That is one thing I can certainly say about winter: it is beautiful. I try to ensure I see the beauty in it each day (ideally before noticing the numbing of my toes and fingers), because winter? It is looong. Much too long to waste.
So welcome winter, though please don’t feel the need to stay too long.
I also wanted to share with you the Oak Meadow Craft book we use in our home. It is called, Oak Meadow Crafts for the Early Grades and we really do love it. The crafts are nice and simple, and almost entirely using material you already have on hand.
And if you are a fellow Canadian, Oak Meadow is offering us a very special deal! (It might be a pity deal due to ALL the winter we get …)
On Boxing Day we receive 10% off all items in the bookstore plus $1 shipping!
Use code: 2017BoxingDay
Thank you so much for reading friends. Sending you warm thoughts as you welcome winter in your homes.