Welcome to January activities for kids and what I hope will become a helpful monthly seasonal resource. I really want to share some activities that will hopefully engage your children and spark their creativity.
I love it when our kids become immersed in an activity, even for just 20 minutes, as it gives me a sense that I have achieved something with them that day to help eliminate dreaded mum guilt!
We love our crafts and activities to be simple, seasonal, and relatively fuss free. I like to try and use items you can find around the home and outdoors. I’m also mindful of the environment where I can be.
We have 4 children ranging from teens to preschool. A lot of our activities are early years and primary aged focused but that said some of these crafts and activities are enjoyed by my tween. She can also be handy as she enjoys helping the younger ones set up their play or offers ideas to extend the activity for them. I’m always amazed how children’s creativity and curiosity find ways to play with things that we present them with that we would never have thought of ourselves.
Now to get on with sharing our seasonal arts, craft and activity ideas.
Take your apple and press a small cookie cutter into it. Leaving the cookie cutter in, simply scoop some apple out to leave a hole.
(Grown up ) Pierce an apple with a skewer and feed some string through and loop and tie.
Mix some birdseed with a teaspoon of peanut butter or lard and fill the apple hole with the mixture.
Hang the apple up for the birds to enjoy.
We have done easy ice painting before for early years ice play suitable for toddlers. This ice painting engaged them even more than the last one and even better it’s a toddler safe recipe. We decided to make snowflake pictures with the ice paints and then one to freestyle.
Empty yoghurt pots or a deep ice cube tray
Fill a yoghurt pot with water and add a drop of food colouring. We found blue to be really effective, red and purple but experiment that’s what’s fun about this activity.
Stick a lolly stick into the water. Then I found it easier to place another yoghurt pot (with a slit in the top of the pot) over the filled pot to keep the lolly stick straight. Alternatively you could place a small duplo block over the top for little hands to grip hold of.
Place in freezer. Prepare the paper if wanting to do a snowflake picture. We did this by placing paper tape on paper for our youngest to paint over. Once the coloured water is frozen run under warm water briefly and slide the ice cube out. Use the now empty yoghurt pot as a place to rest in during the activity.
Another ice activity. Ours found this STEAM activity great fun. If possible do this on a freezing cold night or alternatively make use of your freezer.
Foliage and berries. You could also use dried orange slices leftover from Christmas time.
We placed some leaves and berries on the bottom of the bowl and then put one smaller Ikea plastic bowl into a ceramic bowl and taped it in to keep secure. We then poked foliage around the sides and filled with water.
Once frozen overnight outside or in the freezer you can run the bowl under lukewarm water and pop the ice bowl out carefully. Let your littles examine it and then pop it in the freezer and take out in the and pop a tea light inside and see it glow outdoors in the evening.
A simple food activity for young children.
Rich tea biscuits
Blue Food colouring
Mix icing sugar with water and food colouring and decorate your biscuit. If you can get hold of some Christmas sprinkles or have leftover ones then use them. Alternatively use any kind of sprinkles!
I like January for its simplicity after the indulgent month of December. I like to use up things in the home and keep things frugal and simple. this play dough activity is just that. Make up a batch of plain flour play dough with no food colouring necessary. Pop in simple resources in a tray for play. I wanted to use items from my Christmas wreath and our wooden tools for play.
Dried orange slices
Cinnamon sticks /Star Anise / cloves /dried chickpeas
Foliage, sticks and pinecones
Rolling pin, scoops and spoons
This is an effective way to paint a snowy tree scene using plastic bubble wrap that you have kicking around from leftover Christmas delivery packages.
Draw a bare tree and then let your child loose with some bubble wrap dipped in white paint.
This is one that I stole from my daughters preschool ideas board. We tweaked it to ingredients we had at home.
Hat – Strawberry / Raspberries / Grapes / Blueberries
Eyes and buttons – Currants
Nose – Carrot
Let your little one slice up the banana. With supervision help them thread the banana onto the kebab stick and add the fruit to make a bobble hat. Gently press currants into the banana for eyes and buttons. Then take a small piece of carrot and place as his nose. You could always serve with some squirty cream for snow!
We love being outdoors, even in the depths of Winter we dress them in waterproofs and many layers, take a flask of hot squash or hot chocolate and head outdoors. There is still so much to spot and discover in Winter. Just playing out in the frost, ice and snow amuses our children greatly. Bringing back nature treasures to use with paint or play dough trays or freeze them for ice exploration. I have a useful post with 5 activities to get motivated outdoors in Winter which includes a free printable scavenger hunt.
I hope that these January activities have provided you with a few simple ideas for the month. I will be back every month of 2021 with seasonal arts, crafts, activities and outdoor inspiration. We would love to hear if you try any of these activities and do share them with us. You can follow me over on instagram for more ideas, tips and day to day family life.
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