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Getting Crafty with the Kids

DIY crafts inspired by Austria

It’s been almost half a year since everyday life came to standstill. The closure of daycares, schools, extra-curricular programs, and even playgrounds has meant that parents and grandparents have had to find crafty ways to keep kids entertained. Understandably, by now, caretakers everywhere might be running low on creative ideas for keeping kids occupied during quarantine. 

If it’s starting to feel like your household has watched every family-friendly film on Netflix a hundred and one times, and it’s just too hot or rainy to play outside, you may need some suggestions for fun activities you and your children can accomplish around the house.

Sometimes, all it takes are a pair of scissors, a stick of glue, and some imagination to make lasting memories as a family. During these last few weeks of summer, keep the whole family busy by getting creative with these easy-to-make crafts, inspired by Austrian artistry.

Paper Edelweiss

There’s something symbolic about edelweiss. Many North Americans associate the flower with the soul-stirring folk song featured in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical The Sound of Music, in which the flower symbolizes freedom from oppression. 

Historically known to grow in the Alps at altitudes of over 5,000 feet, the small flower survives the harshest of winter storms. A lover receiving an edelweiss flower from their partner knew they had to scale the highest heights to pick it for them. That’s why, to the people of Alpine Austria, edelweiss has always been a symbol of bravery. 

We’re all living through a moment that requires a good deal of courage. Now that we’ve got the time, why not encourage the kids to make one of their own?

Using only construction paper, scissors, and some glue, kids can craft their very own “blossom of snow.” Cut a thin stem, white petals, yellow circles, and arrange them on the backdrop of blue skies and grey mountains. Click here to see how it’s done!

Homemade Snow Globes

You don’t need to live in turn-of-the-century Vienna to be a Schneekugelmanufaktur

Snow globes were invented in Austria in 1900 by Erwin Perzy I, a mechanic specializing in surgical equipment. Perzy founded a family-run business to craft hand-made snow globes. Today, the third and fourth generations of his family still operate the business. To accommodate the demands of the annual holiday season, the company continues to make 200,000 snow globes each year by hand.

By assembling small figurines in a clear glass container with water, glue, and glitter, kids can create a Schneekugel of their own! Here are some step-by-step instructions to follow!

The winter may still be months away, but if they start practicing this craft now, they’ll be experts at making their own DIY gifts for this winter’s holidays. 

Cardboard Cuckoo Clocks

Does it feel like time has lost all meaning? Do you find yourself wondering how hours have managed to somehow pass by slowly and faster than usual at the same time? During the months of lockdown, we’ve all developed strange new relationships with the concept of time. This craft might help us all get back on some kind of schedule.

Dating as far back as the 1600s, cuckoo clocks are thought to have originated in the Black Forest region of Germany. Today, they’re a favourite souvenir of Austrians tourists, and a genuine cultural symbol. 

Crafting your own cuckoo clock out of cardboard might look a bit tricky to assemble, but it’s definitely worth the effort! Watch this video for a detailed overview of how to make one yourself!

In addition to keeping the kids busy, these crafts will help them keep track of time, escape into imaginary worlds, and build their own symbols of bravery. Set aside some time to tackle these projects as a family, and make some fun projects while making wonderful memories.


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