Winter crafts for toddlers and kids

Mud creature
There's loads to do in winter - like making mud creatures! (Photo: Forestry Commission/WTML)

Even at this time of year, there are lots of lovely natural objects to be found outdoors – from pine cones and pretty pebbles to seed heads and interestingly knobbly sticks. Collect some on your next walk and have a go at our winter craft activities!

Mud, glorious mud!

There’s nothing better than a big pile of mud! Get stuck in and make a marvellous mud monster or gloopy mud pie.

Find some lovely, squidgy mud and mould it into a monster shape on the ground. You don’t have to do a whole mud monster – you could just make a monster face if you like.

Then use some natural objects to give it eyes, a nose and a mouth. You could use grass for hair, or short sticks to turn it into a spiky monster. How scary can you make it?

Next, have a go at making a mud pie – mould some mud into a pie shape and add pine cones, pebbles and grass to make different flavours. Remember not to eat them though!

Journey stick
Record your travels with a journey stick (Photo: WTML)

Stick weaving

Make a frame with sticks as for the picture frame above. You only need one stick for each side, but make sure they’re quite strong and not bendy.

Tie lengths of wool or string in lines straight across your frame. Keep them quite tight and not too far apart. Then weave in and out of these with more wool or string. You can weave bits of greenery and other natural materials into your creation too! Take a look at our stick weaving sheet for more ideas, or have a go at making a journey stick.

Magical winter stick mobile

Make your own nature mobile.

First, you’ll need to find a sturdy stick, or several sticks you can tie together in a criss-cross shape. Then just dangle your natural objects – like tree cones and smaller twigs – from it using string or wool. It looks more interesting if you make them all different lengths. When you’ve finished, attach another piece of string to the stick to hang it up.

Brown paper craft tree

Too wet to go outside? Then make this easy winter tree collage.

You will need:

  • some brown paper (such as parcel wrapping paper or paper bags)
  • a piece of paper to stick it on
  • glue
  • cotton wool
  • scissors

Cut the brown paper into strips – you may need to get your grown-up to help with this. You’ll need quite a wide strip for the trunk and narrower ones for the branches.

Then hold the end of each strip and keep twisting it until it looks like the gnarled and knotted branch of an ancient tree. Arrange the branches on the background paper and stick them down. You can make it really wintry by rolling the cotton wool into little balls and sticking them on your collage so it looks like snow.

Stick picture frame

Show off your favourite picture with this rustic stick frame.

You’ll need to gather some fairly straight sticks of similar lengths. You can just use one stick for each side of the frame, but it looks especially nice if you use a small bundle of three or four. If you want your frame to fit a particular picture, make sure the sticks are a bit longer than the sides so they overlap at the corners.

Tie them together at the corners with string or wool. Loop it around quite a few times so the frame doesn’t come apart. If you want, you could decorate your frame by winding the string or wool all the way around the sides and attaching some natural objects, or other items such as bits of ribbon or colourful buttons.

Check out our 20 things to do with sticks activity sheet for loads more twig-tastic ideas!

Our activities section has loads more fab winter craft ideas. How about having a go at bark rubbing, making a fantastic fairy door or collecting natural bits and pieces for a winter badge?

Feeling inspired? Want to get loads of exciting craft ideas like these through the post every season? Then become a Nature Detective today!

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