If your kids have a case of the rainy-day boreds, turn things around with these five engaging winter craft ideas. STEM-inspired projects aren't just relevant in the classroom – they can be part of your child’s craft time too! 

With the change of season upon us, winter themes are topical as kids watch the weather change. Adding STEM elements to each activity will make sure they're igniting planning and critical-thinking skills, and, as a bonus, these hands-on crafts mean they’ll be working on their hand-eye coordination, dexterity and bilateral coordination as well. Even better? It’s also lots of fun!

1. Snow Globe Paper Plate

This cute kids’ craft idea for winter simulates a snow globe.

This multi-layered winter-themed craft is packed with creativity to inspire kids' minds and keep their hands busy on cold and rainy days. It involves planning and problem-solving as they work with different textures and materials to transform an ordinary paper plate into a cool (and very impressive) snow globe shaker.

Teach kids about cold weather environments with this fun winter craft idea.

Step 1: Paint a backdrop of colour on a paper plate as the base for a winter-scape design. 

Step 2: Plan what kind of arctic animals will live in the snow globe, whether it be penguins, a seal or polar bear. You could print out basic shapes (like this polar bear template), trace them onto cardboard, or create animals from scratch, using a marker to add in details like eyes, ears and more. (For the polar bear, you need to stick the back part on to the plate first, then add the front part on top.)

Step 3: Use coloured paper to add extra life to the landscape, such as green trees. Feathering the edges with scissors by making small cuts on either side of the tree's edges adds more texture and dimension to the design. Once done, glue the animals and trees onto the painted plate.

Make ‘snow’ by punching holes in a sheet of white paper.

Step 4: Create a pile of 'snow' using a hole punch on white paper. Empty it into a bowl every 20 or so punches, until you have a little pile of crisp white paper snowflakes. Make sure the paint and glue on the paper plate are completely dry, then pour all of your snow onto the plate.

Creating your own snow globe is one of the most fun craft ideas for winter.

Step 5: Take a second paper plate and place it face down onto clear cellophane, tracing or cutting the circle directly, leaving a round piece of clear wrap.

Step 6: Place a thin line of glue around the edge of your snow globe plate, and gently press the cellophane over the top, then wait for it to dry.

Step 7: Finally, cut the edge of the second plate with scissors, starting in the middle and working your way outwards, keeping the round edge unbroken. Gently glue it straight onto your snow globe plate, over the layer of cellophane, sealing it together.

To make this paper plate snow globe you need plates, cellophane, paper, paints and a hole punch.

What You'll Need: 

2. Winter Tree with Snowball Artwork

Making a tree out of sticks is a great winter craft idea for preschoolers. It gets them out into nature and works their motor skills.

This winter craft idea for preschoolers is an excellent way to open their eyes to the season around them. It also gives you the opportunity to discuss the nature of snow, how it’s made and how it differs from rain, plus where you can find the real thing. 

The actual project involves getting out into nature to collect sticks, then engineering as they construct their tree, developing dexterity while painting with unconventional pom poms instead of a brush.

Did you know? Trees that lose their leaves are called deciduous trees.

Get the kids to gather a variety of twigs and stick them on card as a fun craft idea for winter. 

Step 1: Collect small sticks and twigs from your garden or neighbourhood. Notice different textures and weights and, once back home, sort your sticks into matching sizes and colours, making it easier to create a tree later.

Step 2: Take a piece of thicker paper or card, and paint a crisp blue winter sky, leaving the bottom of the page white so you can cover it with 'snow' later.

Step 3: Now it's time to plan the focal point. Take your sticks and twigs and arrange them into the shape of a beautiful winter tree. Look at trees near you to help inspire the tree shape, with a thicker, longer stick in the middle and smaller twigs as it branches out.

Use pom poms or cotton balls to paint ‘snow’ onto your tree.

Step 4: Once happy with the overall design, it's time to glue the sticks in place with a low-temperature glue gun. Smaller kids could use liquid glue; however, the sticks and twigs may slip and slide a little until the glue dries.

Step 5: When the tree is constructed on the page, it's time to add some snow! Taking a medium-size pom pom, use a peg to pick it up and dip it into paint, then press it onto the bottom of the page, creating a blanket of 'snow'. You'll notice as the pom pom presses on the page, the dots change from smooth when there is a lot of paint, to more 'snowflake' like as the paint wears away. This gives you multiple ways to express how the winter snow looks.

Step 6: Add a sprinkling of white dots floating down from the sky. Take another peg, but this time use a tiny little pom pom to create even smaller snow balls and flakes. After adding some to the page, gently press the paint over the ends of the twigs, to make the tree look like it's really transforming in the cold weather.

To make this winter craft idea, you’ll need twigs, a card, a glue gun and paint.

What You'll Need: 

SEE ALSO: STEM Activities for Kids These Holidays

3. Snowflake Sewing Plate

This lovely snowflake plate is just one of five STEM-inspired craft ideas for winter.

An ideal project to really work primary school age kids' fine motor skills, this pattern-planning and threading craft will enhance their dexterity, help young hands work with precision and also improve their grip. And, at the end, they'll have a cool snowflake plate to hang from a hook or handle.

Cool winter craft ideas include sewing a snowflake onto a paper plate you can hang.

Step 1: Download and print out the snowflake template using a computer, or make one with a ruler and pencil to create your own design.

Step 2: Cut out the snowflake design and place it onto the inside of the plate, attaching it with sticky tape if you need to. Then take a sharp pencil and carefully poke holes, spaced out around 1cm apart, that follow the snowflake's design. When you take the paper design away, you will be left with a pattern of dots to follow.

Follow the instructions for this kids’ craft idea to sew a snowflake on a paper plate. 

Step 3: Carefully push the thread through the hole at the end of a plastic needle, pulling it through until you have two long pieces dangling on either side. Then tie a thick knot at the end.

Step 4: Flip the plate back over, so you’re looking at the flat back of the plate, and begin by pushing your needle through a hole in the design, pulling the thread through until you feel the knot hit the plate. Then push the needle through the next hole and back to the other side of the plate, and continue on.

Step 5: Once your snowflake design is finished, take some paint and add colour to the edge of your plate. Then punch a hole, add a twine loop, and you have a finished winter craft to hang up at home!

This kids’ craft idea requires a paper plate, plastic needle, thread and a snowflake design.

What You'll Need: 

4. Snow Brick House

This winter craft idea of making clay ‘snow bricks’ will have the kids entertained for hours. 

As an engineering-based project, this craft idea is perfect for kids of all ages because they make the rules! By creating a pile of clay 'snow bricks', they can start building any kind of structure they like. They will develop skills like planning, problem-solving and hand-eye coordination as they roll, pinch and smooth. Bonus for parents: it's messy play without too much mess.

This winter craft idea involves rolling and shaping air dry clay into ‘snow bricks’.

Step 1: Take air dry clay, and pinch off a small amount, before rolling it into a ball between your palms. Once you have a smooth ball, start to pinch and manipulate it into a rectangle block shape.

Step 2: Using a popsicle stick, press the flat part of the stick onto the short sides of your rectangle brick, pushing each side upwards to create a diagonal angle. This creates a trapezoid shape.

Kids can make a snow dome with bricks by using a glass as a mould in this winter craft idea.

Step 3: If you want to make a snow dome or snow house, take a small bowl or glass, cover it in cling wrap and then smooth clay over the wrap surface, making a basic dome frame. Allow it to dry, before carefully removing it from the glass and wrap.

Step 4: Take your newly dried and hardened clay snow bricks, and start fitting them together around your frame. Place one down, then take another and turn it upside down. You'll notice the edges come together to 'lock in' neatly. 

Step 5: Use fresh wet clay and your popsicle stick to fill in any gaps, which will also help stick the bricks to your frame. 

Hot Tip:  If you want to play around with different-shaped bricks, try using an ice cube tray. Fill with clay, leave outside to dry, then gently push out the cubes and leave them to completely dry through.

To make this snow brick house you’ll need air dry clay, paper plates and craft sticks.

What You'll Need: 

SEE ALSO: The Importance of Sensory Play

5. Snowball Catapult

Making a snow ball catapult is  a cute craft idea for winter.

This project is full of flinging fun! Kids will use their smarts to engineer their own snowball catapult using craft staples like popsicle sticks, elastics and pom poms. It’s a great intro into the world of physics as they learn about cause and effect.

A catapult is a simple STEM craft idea that explores principles of physics and construction.

Step 1: Add paint to plain, jumbo popsicle sticks, giving the project some extra personalised flair.

Step 2: Once dry, make a pile of eight popsicle sticks, and secure at each end with elastics. This will become a strong foundation for the catapult.

Step 3: Next, take two single sticks, and place one above and one below the thick pile in the opposite direction. Pinch at one end, and secure with an elastic. Then twist another elastic around the middle pile and two single popsicle sticks, giving it a firm hold.

A fun winter craft idea is these snow ball catapults.

Step 4: Take a recycled plastic bottle top, and add a small amount of glue to the smooth top of the lid. Press down onto the top end of the single popsicle stick that points into the air. By using a low-temperature glue gun, it will dry immediately so you can use the catapult straight away.

Step 5: Fill the lid with your 'snow ball' pom poms, then hold the base with one hand, and press down on the top stick with your forefinger. When you release your finger, the end will fly up, and the pom poms will release.

Make this winter craft idea with popsicle sticks, rubber bands, a bottle top, glue and pom poms.

What You'll Need: 

SEE ALSO: Family Craft Projects: Colourful Pencil Holder