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Smart Parenting

Practical advice about raising children


Winter Activities for Kids


Photo by iStock

It can sometimes be difficult to come up with creative and simple holiday activities for kids that are eco-friendly as well. The important thing to remember is that it’s not impossible and may simply require a little out-of-the-box thinking. Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying these eco-friendly holiday activities with your kids.

Make Jewelry by Reusing Bread

This concept is likely one you haven’t heard of, but it’s a gem. You can use bread, lemon juice and glue to make beads that are like air-dry clay. After the beads have dried, paint them and string them to make a necklace or a bracelet that is eco-friendly and cute.

These bread beads can be made anytime of the year and are great for making seasonal jewelry or fun friendship gifts for school. To make the beads for Christmas time, use red and green paints or even paint snowy scenes or Christmas trees on the beads.

While you’re making them with your kids, remember to point out that you aren’t wasting the old bread by throwing it away, but are reusing and recycling it instead.

Make Amish Friendship Bread

The Amish Friendship Bread recipe is one of the most popular recipes available. The recipe is symbolic of one of the main Amish values: community. Someone makes a friendship bread starter for the recipe and shares a portion of it with a friend, so they make their bread using the same starter. This recipe reminds you that everyone is connected in one way or another and everyone has something to contribute.

Transform Magazines Into Paper Snowflakes

Making paper snowflakes is a holiday tradition in some homes. It’s a simple and fun activity to do with kids of almost any age, and it creates beautiful results. You can turn this craft into an eco-friendly one by using magazines, newspapers and other papers to make the snowflakes.

Once the snowflakes are finished, you can string them up to make a fun holiday banner or tie a loop of string to the top and let your kids hang them on the tree. Get creative and enjoy the process!

Make Your Own Snow Globes

Recycle glass jars into creative and fun snow globes with your kids. Once the bottles are clean and dry, you add a little Styrofoam to the lid and build your snow globe scene on top of that so it’s visible when the snow globe is put together.

Add in distilled water, glycerin and glitter before gluing the jar shut. Be sure to let everything dry before flipping it over or shaking it. The end result is magical and a great reminder to your kids that recycled things can be beautiful.

Bake an Edible Gingerbread Terrarium

Making a terrarium is always a fun idea, but making an edible gingerbread terrarium with a special holiday scene is even more exciting. Start with clean glass jars. Whip up and cool a gingerbread cake. Your kids can help you make the batter for added fun.

Once the cake is cool, let your kids crumble it up into the glass jars to make an even layer of “dirt.” Get creative with the materials you use to create the scenes. For example, coconut can be fluffy snow, animal crackers can be reindeer and sprigs of rosemary can be beautiful mini-trees. Leave it to your kids and their imaginations to create something festive and fun.

Remember that holiday crafts can be both kid-friendly and eco-friendly without taking much time or requiring many materials. Come equipped with your imagination and your desire to have fun and make memories with your kids — and the rest will take care of itself.
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