Ah, wintertime. It’s cold, snowy and as soon as Christmas is over, it can be pretty glum. After all, there is usually a
good four months left of winter after the holiday season, and sometimes kids need a little excitement to sustain them until spring. This is especially the case if a little one has a birthday in the chilly winter season. Just follow this quick guide and you’ll be set for an easy, fabulous winter birthday party.
Snowmen - What you’ll need (per child): Three Styrofoam balls (small, medium and large); two toothpicks or wooden dowels; 1” piece of orange pipe cleaner; two eyes; one hat; one black marker; one brown pipe cleaner; one, 6” X 1/2” strip of red felt; glue; scissors.
How to do it: Connect the three Styrofoam balls with the toothpicks or wooden dowels; ensure the largest ball is on the bottom and the smallest ball on the top. Snip each end of the red piece of felt to fray the ends, and then tie around the neck of the snowman. Place the hat on top of the head, make two dots with the black marker indicating where the eyes should go. Remove the hat, then glue the eyes on the snowman’s face. Take the piece of orange pipe cleaner, fold it in half to make it come to a point and insert in the head of the snowman to make a nose. Draw a series of black dots to make a coal mouth, then coal buttons down the middle of the medium ball as well. Lastly, glue the hat on the snowman’s head.
Snowflake mobile - What you’ll need (per child): Six pieces of white paper, cut in half; two, 6” wooden dowels; clear string; scissors; water color paint; glitter glue.
How to do it: Connect the wooden dowels in a + shape and secure with the string. Cut out 12 snowflakes of different sizes. Decorate the snowflakes with water color paint and glitter glue. When dry, attach one end of a piece of string to a snowflake, then attach the other to the end of the wooden dowel. Repeat with each snowflake, attaching three snowflakes to each quarter of the + with varying lengths of string. Tie a piece of string to the middle of the + so the kids can hang them up when they get home!
Try classic sugar cookies cut into a variety of shapes. Snowmen, snowflakes, Christmas trees and stars can be decorated with colorful icing and candies. To make it extra special, prepare bowls of multi-colored icing, sprinkles and candies, then let the kids decorate their own cookies.
Sliced veggies with dip. Instead of the usual dips, try something different like tzatziki or hummus.
Sliced fruit with dip. Mix plain yogurt with brown sugar to sweeten and dip fruit in it for a healthy treat!
Try Chinese take-out boxes (available at Michaels). They come in an assortment of colors, and are easily decorated with glitter, glue and paint. Fill them with winter-themed stickers (snowmen, snowflakes). Or if you get the kids to decorate their own cookies, you can wrap them up and put them in the take-out box.
Take a unique approach to invitations by cutting out a 6” X 6” piece of white foam for each invitation. Create a 1” border around the outside by decorating it with foam cut-outs, markers, paint and glitter glue. Stick with the winter theme by using silver and blue colors, snowflakes and snowmen.
Between doing crafts and snacking, send the kids outside for a snowman making contest (weather permitting). Make sure beforehand that all kids have warm clothes on and have some extra gloves and hats available just in case. Prepare a box of supplies for the kids to use (scarves, twigs, carrots, watering cans (filled with water), and anything else you may have around the house) and let them work their magic. When everyone is done, judge each snowman on creativity, and award a prize, such as a coloring book, to the creator of the best one. Give small runner-up prizes to each participant. Other outdoor activities to do include: cold potato game (as in ‘Hot Potato’), and a snowball relay race. After the snowman making contest, let the kids warm up with hot chocolate and a movie. It will help everyone wind down, including you!
For party-goers who feel the Need for Speed...
Dana Wheatley shares information about three of Calgary’s 17 toboggan hills; these hills each provide different toboggan experiences for all your little partiers.
Confederation Park – 2800, 10 Street NW (north side of park immediately west of Rosemont Community Centre). This would be a good choice if your kids were on the younger side, as it is unlikely to be overrun with big kids.
Prairie Winds Park – 223 Castleridge Boulevard (north side hill). It's high and fairly steep, which will be a big hit with older kids.
Glendale Park – 25 Avenue and 45 Street SW (west side). It has a variety of different kinds of runs so younger kids can be playing safely not too far from where bigger kids are enjoying the slopes. Dana shares more info about these hills, plus important toboggan safety tips in her article ‘Toboggan Fun for the Whole Family.’
Stephanie is a freelance writer specializing in travel and food writing. For more information, visit www.stephaniearsenault.ca.
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