The return of the Sun – winter fun for winter children

It’s the time of year when we are fast looking toward the days shortening and the awaiting the Winter Solstice. Cold noses and toes thaw out inside to the tune of yarn scarves sluicing off melting snows onto tile floors. Chubby little hands reach for cookies and carry sugar crumbs all throughout the house.

As the days grow darker, it is a great time to start the tale of the Sun King. There are many versions, but the one found on the Completely Pagan Facebook page is especially adorable. It is a precious moment between a grandfather and his grandchildren.

In a small voice, the child said “Grandfather can you tell me of the story of the first Yule? I always liked that one the best.”

With a clearing of his throat and another puff on his pipe, the Grandfather started to spin the tale of the first Yule.

Telling stories is thirst work, you know. A lovely activity that you and the children can take part in to celebrate the sunshine days that will come after Solstice would be to make Winter Solstice Tea. Here an easy peasey recipe by Charming Pixie Flora, aka Flora Sage.

She gives her recipe as

Winter Solstice Tea (aka Russian tea)

1 jar of Tang (or 566 g sweetened orange drink mix)
2/3 cup Instant tea (unsweetened)
1 package Lemonade mix (unsweetened)
1/2 cup Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
3/4 tsp Cloves

Mix and store in a glass jar.

Use 2 teapoons (sic) of mixture in a mug with hot water.

However, I really like to add a burst of vitamin C and get that citric acid into the body during this time of year. So I suggest adding some sliced fruits to the mix. Lemons, limes, grapefruits, and even tangelos make fun additions, and serve as reminders of the Wheel of the Year.

Image by Scott Bauer

If you have a mind to, industrious folks can reserve a few of the fruits for peeling. They can be eaten with the tea, while the peels can be dehydrated for use. These can them be used in potpourri blends, incenses, or in other creative ways. Good times.

Cocoa caribou and indoor bowling – winter fun for winter children

Whether you celebrate Yule, Solstice, or even have blended interfaith celebrations this season, there is always a place for ornaments. Large, small, glittery or plain, making them is half the fun of the season for many children. Salt dough is the standard, but new innovations from new generations have made their marks.

Cocoa Caribou

Glitter added to basic shapes have created masterpieces on the trees. Textures and surface enhancements like salt or mosaic tiles can really appeal to the more tactile focused children. Adding yarn wraps also provide sensory experiences.

 

But add into this equation this year something different. Asia Citro of funathomewithkids.com  has given us a great idea with her Chocolate Salt Dough Recipe for Ornaments. How fun! Sounds like a certain personification of the Divine Masculine energy would approve.

Picture it: You, friends, family, chocolate, and cookie cutters in the shape of caribou or reindeer.

Each of the ornaments, of course, can be unique. How about a blue one? Glitter can help with that. SO SHINY!!!

Yarn Bowling

Everything does not have to be a sitting activity. This time of year sees a lot of cabin fever as we approach the longer nights. So moving around is very desirable. It also is a way to recycle some everyday items that you probably have in your kitchen now.

Know what it is?

By saw2th (http://www.flickr.com/photos/saw2th/411691526/) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Yes, that is right. The common water bottle. These magical items can become something truly fun in the right hands. With a little work, they become bowling pins.

What you will need:

A couple skeins of yarn, preferable multicolored.

Ten water bottles.

Glue

Optional: Ten metal washers or 3 containers common table salt

This is pretty simple. Open your empty bottle, insert the end of a piece of yarn, and close the bottle back. Now wrap the yarn down the length of the bottle until you reach the bottom. Once there. put in a dab of glue to secure it to the outside. Repeat with the nine other bottles.

They will be unstable, of course, since they are so light, so if you want to give them some help, either glue a washer to the bottom of each bottle OR add two fingers of salt to the bottom of each inside before you wrap.

Now, make a yarn ball. This will be your bowling ball. Set up your lane and bowl away.

WARNING: This activity will not be proof against the attack of house cats. You have been warned. Keep a camera ready.

After you have finished, they can be put away for later. OR you can hang them as ornaments  by the string. OR you can give them as a gift. Make several sets and have a tournament when having the seasonal get-togethers. It will keep the kids occupied.

Here is hoping you have a great time.

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