Snow Days

Snow. Some people love it, some people don’t. I’m one who doesn’t care a lot for snow, although I don’t mind it so much now that my husband is retired. As long as we can stay inside and look at snow from the warmth and comfort of our home, that’s fine. It’s just bundling up, getting out in the snow, and dealing with bad roads and slushy streets that I really don’t like.

Of course, kids love snow, because snow often means a “snow day” with schools closed. I grew up in a town with lots of very steep hills. That meant the buses couldn’t make the rounds to pick up students, and that, in turn, meant we had a lot of snow days.

Even as a child, though, I didn’t care much for playing in the snow. Sliding, skating, making snow angels, building snowmen, snow forts, and having snowball fights were never among my favorite pastimes. Being the cooking-crazy kid that I was, I did enjoy fixing “snow ice cream”.

Ever tried it? It’s delicious, and it’s fun to make. You’ll find the recipe here. For what it’s worth, I never put “sprinkles” on mine.

Another thing I enjoyed — although I wasn’t good at it — was the ever-popular papercraft of making snowflakes.

Remember when we first learned that every snowflake was unique? How fascinating was that! And then we were given sheets of paper to fold and cut, and… well, yeah, I thought it was fun, but I was never very good at it. I’m the clumsy switched-from-leftie-to-rightie kid who did not do well with scissors.

As a grown-up, I’m still clumsy and I still don’t do well with scissors. All the same, over the years, I’ve always enjoyed making cut-out snowflakes, first with our children and now with our grandchildren… and soon the great-grandchildren will be old enough for papercrafts.

On one recent morning as I watched the snow falling outside the window, I took out a sheet of paper. I folded. I cut. I created a simple snowflake. It wasn’t a very good one, mainly because the scissors I have here in the studio are very inexpensive (i.e. cheap) ones. I definitely should invest in better quality scissors, especially in light of the fact that I struggle so much with cutting.

But, for what it’s worth, here is my little cut-out snowflake, shown against a background of deep blue watercolor.

If you’ve forgotten how to fold and cut, you can follow along with a cute tutorial from “Cool School” here:

This video is definitely fun to watch with the little ones.

If you’re wanting something a bit more “sophisticated”, you might check out this EzyCraft tutorial, complete with a variety of snowflake patterns.

 

When I was young and in school, we didn’t have the internet. We didn’t even have computers! But the world is different today, and “snowflake-making” has also gone digital. You can visit “Snowdays” where over 14 million online snowflakes have been created.

I have to say that while it’s nice to make a snowflake without scissors, I’m still not good at it. You can see my snowflake here.  If you watch the snowflakes falling at the site, you’ll see some gorgeous creations!

There are other online snowflake sites, too. Some are easier to use than others. Here are few links for you and your little ones to try.

Snowflake Maker

Paper Snowflake Maker

Snowflake Maker – The Problem Site  (Graded Difficulty Levels)

The site I like best is probably the “Snowflake Generator” created by Vivian Wu. Here you can create a “kaleidoscopic” snowflake using different parameters, none of which I actually understand, but which do produce beautiful results. Here is the link directly to the interactive snowflake generator: Snowflake Generator – Vivian Wu. And here is the image I created by playing around a bit.

 

These snowflake generators can be great fun — especially on a “Snow Day” when kids are looking for something different to do. There are lots of other “winter-themed” and “snow-themed” art projects for children, too. There’s the Snowman Paper Plate Game which sounds hilarious! I can’t wait to play this little art game with our 10-year-old grandsons. Another fun “art activity” is the “Winter Hat Drawing Game” from Glitter Meets Glue. The game sells for $5.00.

And maybe the best “snow day” site you’ll find is 101 Snow Games and Activities. This goes beyond drawing, cutting, folding, and other art activities to include a variety of fun things to do on a snow day. Some of the suggestions involve outdoor activities… so, yeah, I think I’ll pass. I’ll stick with staying inside, sitting by the fireplace, and watching it snow.

Have fun!

 

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