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Winter Fun for Families

Ideas for Winter Holidays

by Kas Winters


 

 

 

Celebrate February Holidays!


Groundhog Day

February 2nd

shadowpicture 

 

Make Shadow Pictures

Set up a lamp or other bright light and place your hands between the light source and a plain wall. Make hand shadows by placing your hands in various positions. Try making your shadow animals move. Make vocal sound effects to go with them. Let children stand in front of the light and watch their own shadow as they move. Have a discussion about the idea that shadows aren't scary when you know what is making them. (You can also talk about the groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, and the various folklore stories that connect his shadow with the beginning of spring. Here in Arizona, we have a rattlesnake named Agua Fria Freddy who looks for his shadow, but we know it will be hot soon whether he sees it or not!)


Rosa Parks Birthday

February 4th

Discuss Ways to Stand-Up for Yourself

Research in the library or on-line and get the story of Rosa Parks. Then discuss ways that children can stand up for themselves in a positive way. This can range from dealing with bullies to any other conflicts children might have in their lives. You can also talk about how a simple action can have profound and long-ranging effects just like the simple action that Rosa took made major changes and helped many people.


National Weather Person's Day

February 5th

Make a Rain Gauge

Celebrate the weather by making a rain gauge that is equivalent to those used by the weather bureau. Use a tall, thin jar (like the type that holds green olives). Place masking tape vertically on the side of the bottle. Take a #10 tin can and fill it with 1 inch of water. Pour the water in the the tall, thin bottle and mark  1" on the masking tape at the top of the water. Measure the distance and use the same measurement to mark 2", 3", 4" etc. on the masking tape. If you divide each of the segments equally into 10ths, you will be able to measure the rain in tenths of an inch.

    Place the #10 tin can outdoors, in a pail, that is a couple of feet off the ground in a location where it will get rain. After the rain, pour the water from the tin can into your bottle and measure it based on the markings on the masking tape.


Anniversary of the Constitution

February 5th

Read the Constitution of the United States of America

Read the Preamble and discuss it. Talk about the reasons, the risks, and the incredible results associated with this history-changing document. Over a period of time, you could read the entire Constitution and have a series of discussions about the contents.


Laura Ingalls Wilder's Birthday

February 7th

Read a Little House on the Prairie Story.

Most people are familiar with the television series based on the author's books and watching a video of an episode is one way to celebrate Laura's birthday. However, reading one of the stories together (even over a period of days or weeks), is a terrific way to build relationships, make some memories, and learn about history too.


Boy Scouts' Day

February 8th

Do a Good Deed

Whether or not you have a child who is a Scout, it's always a good thing to do a good dead. Teach children to be considerate and look out for the needs of those around them. A good deed is something that is done to help someone with no expectation of recognition or reward.


Toothache Day

February 9th

Make a Tooth-Brushing Chart

The best way to avoid having a toothache is to take good care of your teeth. Encourage children to develop good dental habits by making a chart where they can check off a box when then have brushed, and flossed during the day. You can include other hygiene habits or foods to eat for good health on the same chart.

 

 

Umbrella Day

February 10th

Take a walk with an umbrella

Even if it isn't raining--or if, perhaps, it's snowing--just take a walk and take an umbrella with you. Make it fun. Laugh and tell jokes along the way. Use your umbrella to pretend you are a tightrope walker and are using it for balance. You might pretend you are a "Southern Belle" with your umbrella. Close it and use it as a cane to do a dance along the way. Of course if it IS raining, you will be protected while you walk and splash in the puddles. (However, if there is lightning, take the walk another time, for safety's sake.)


National Inventor's Day

February 11th

Make an Inventor's Kit

Fill an empty box with "stuff" from which inventions can be made. Include pieces of wire, wood scraps, drinking straws, string, push pins, safety pins, various nails, screws and small pieces of hardware, tape, pipe cleaners, buttons, plastic spoons and forks, paper plates and any other miscellaneous supplies you might have. Then give a child the box and suggest that they might see what they can invent using the materials provided.

 


Lincoln's Birthday

February 12th

Have  Lincoln's Birthday Dinner

You can keep it simple and just have children use Lincoln Logs and make a log cabin centerpiece for the table or you can include other activities and make it a special and educational activity.

     Serve a meal that Lincoln himself might have enjoyed. It could include items such as turkey or chicken, boiled vegetables, stew, biscuits, cranberries, pickled beets or apple pie.

    If you have any decorations such as an old-fashioned hurricane lamp, or other items, use them to decorate the table.

    Have children research interesting quotes or facts about Abraham Lincoln and discuss them at the dinner table.


Valentine's Day

February 14th

Click here for Valentine Activities.


National Gumdrop Day

February 15th

Use Gumdrops and Toothpicks as a Building Set

Get a bag of gumdrops. You can use small gumdrops or an assortment of large, small and "orange slice", long thin, or funny-shaped gumdrops. Add a box of round toothpicks (colored ones are fun) and see what a child can build using gumdrops. (Monitor to make sure that only a few construction pieces turn into snacks; and don't give toothpicks to very young children for safety reasons.) Make buildings, bridges, animals or toys from gumdrops. Use them as dinner favors to celebrate National Gumdrop day.


Random Acts of Kindness Day

February 17th

Give Someone Flowers

Since it's not the time of year for flowers to be growing in a garden outdoors in most places, find creative ways to give a gift of flowers. Draw pictures of flowers. Cut flower shapes out of construction paper and put them on pipe-cleaners stems to make a sweet bouquet. Make flowers out of clay or salt dough. Give someone a package of flower seeds with a promise to plant and care for them when the season is best for planting.


Chinese New Year

February 10, 2013

Year of the Water Snake

 

ChineseNewYear

 

 

Make a Chinese Lantern

Begin with a piece of 12" x 9" construction paper. Use a ruler to mark 1/2" spaces along the 12" side of the paper. Fold the paper in half. From the folded edge, at each 1/2" marl. make a cut up to 1" from the open edge. Open the paper. Glue the 9" sides together to form a lantern. Attach a strip of colored paper to make a handle. Hang lanterns from a string or sit them on a table. Have a snack of fortune cookies.


 

 

Kids' Craft of the Month


For more family activities and winter fun, check out Kas Winter's book,

Winter Fun for Families.


President's Day

February 18th

Read a Biography of a President or Choose Either the Washington or Lincoln Birthday Suggestions on this Page.


Mardi Gras

Date Varies each year

February 12th, 2013

Make Mardi Gras Masks

Use poster board, a paper plate or a plain half mask as a base. Decorate the mask with paint, markers, crayons, feathers, beads, stickers, felt pieces, fabric scraps, silk flowers, ribbon, sequins, beads, glitter or bangles. Attach a wooden  stick or a drinking straw to one edge of the mask to make a handle to hold it or attach ribbons or an elastic band to wear the mask.

   Celebrate Mardi Gras with a Creole-style dinner or pancakes and wear masks at the table.


Ash Wednesday

Feb 13th

If this is a day that your family observes, go to church together and spend some time talking about the purpose of Lent.


Washington's Birthday

February 22nd

Make Cherry Tarts

Begin with ready-made graham cracker crust tart shells. Fill them with canned cherry pie filling and top with whipped cream.

    Even though the story of the cherry tree is a legend only, it makes a point about the character of George Washington. Use this as a starting point for a conversation. Invite each family member to contribute one piece of information about the life of George Washington.


Quiet Day

February 25th

Play a Quiet Game

Play a game and see who can be quiet for the longest time. Play a card game or other simple game that is not too noisy. Put a jigsaw puzzle together. While you are being quiet, listen to things that are making noise. Are there birds singing? Flies buzzing? Motors running? Sirens out in the street? Radios playing? Vehicles driving down the road? People sneezing or couching? Focus on listening.


Polar Bear Day

February 27th

Find Pictures of Polar Bears

Look in magazines such as National Geographic or wildlife magazines. Got to the library or a bookstore. Search on-line for photos of polar bears. Once you have  pictures, enjoy looking at them together. Using a photo as reference, try drawing a cartoon of a polar bear.


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Put the FUN in Parenting!

Mother Lode

The Ultimate Collection of Ideas for Keeping Kids Busy

Over 5,000 Ideas for Tots through Teens

By Kas Winters 

USD $20.00

 


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02/08/13

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