When the weather outside gets way too frightful to even consider taking your little one into the great outdoors, try an indoor winter sports craft for kids that will keep her in the season. Just because your toddler or preschooler can't hit the slopes or skate along the ice rink doesn't mean that she can't explore the best that the winter has to offer through her own artsy adventure.
The first and foremost issue when doing any winter sports craft -- or any art activity for that matter -- with your young child is safety. Toddlers and preschoolers are notorious for exploring with their mouths. That said, avoid anything that is potentially toxic or poses a choking hazard. Look for the Art and Creative Materials Institute (ACMI) seal of non-toxic safety certification. Also, check labels to make sure the product is safe for your child's specific age.
Does making a winter sports craft with your child mean that you need to break the bank buying faux snow, realistic looking mini skis or teeny tiny ice skates? Of course not. There are plenty of less pricey arts and crafts materials to choose from that will work with multiple winter sports-themed projects. Winter sports are dominated by snow and ice. Look for inexpensive options to make ski slopes or icy ponds such as cotton balls, white Styrofoam, white craft foam, tin foil -- it makes a reflective skating pond surface -- or white non-toxic tempera and finger paints. If you are looking for items that work well as mock sporting equipment, try craft sticks as small skis or make skates and snow shoes using card stock paper.
Your young child will get a kick out of making a 3D craft that literally pops out at him. Make a mini model that features a sports arena or Olympic slope. Build a mountainous ski slope on a cardboard base by molding soft white clay into a mound. Sprinkle on opal glitter for a snowy sparkle and add pint-sized skier figurines swooshing down the slope on craft stick skis. Another option is to create a shoe box diorama. Make the bottom of the box into your sporting surface, covering it with foil to make a skating pond. Help your child draw skaters onto card stock or construction paper. Fold the bottom of the paper under to make a tab and glue the athletes to the skating surface.
Celebrate the sports of winter with a flat project that lets your little one learn about multiple types of athletes. Look through kid-friendly magazines for pics of people engaging in winter sports such as Olympic athletes skiing down the slalom course, speed skaters wooshing around the rink, snowboarders flying through the air or twirling figure skaters. Cut the pictures out and collage them, using non-toxic clear drying school glue, onto a cardboard base. For an easier anytime or on-the-go option, have your child draw herself playing her favorite winter sport using construction paper and crayons.
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