Today marks the winter solstice. Shortest day, longest night of the year. From here til mid-June, it can only get brighter from here. It can seem like such a long wait when we’re in the middle of the darkness, though. (I don’t do well with the time change and darkness at 4 pm, if you can’t tell).

It reminds me of the end of pregnancy. The space of in-between, as this essay famously put it. Things are growing and changing, but so imperceptibly at times it feels like we’re staying still. What to do to fill the time? Every day could be momentous, yet it can easily feel so monotonous. If you’re looking for something seasonal and timely to fill the wait, either for a baby, for Christmas Day, or the start of a new year, might I suggest some watercolor snowflakes?

What you’ll need:
– Coffee filters
– Cup of water
– Paintbrushes
– Watercolor paint
– Scissors
– Paper towel
– Tape

Using a vinyl table cloth or other water resistant surface, lay some sheets of paper towel on the table. Flatten out the coffee filter and paint plain water with your brush all over the filter. It doesn’t have to get soaking wet, but we found better results if we dampened the filter first.

Using a layer of paper towel underneath soaked up any excess paint and also made a cool design. Your kids may have as much fun playing with the colorful paper towel when it dries as much as they did creating snowflakes. It’s up to you how you want to design your snowflake and what colors you want to use. If you’re like my daughter, go for the whole palette. If you’re like me, 2-3 wintery colors.

Definitely brightens up winter already, doesn’t it?

Let the coffee filters dry once you’re done. You may need to swap out the damp and colorful paper towels for a dry batch. Drying took about 30 minutes or so. Then you can get to folding and cutting.

My recommendation is to start small and add as you go on. And sit on your hands while your 4-year-old declares she can do it all herself. It’s going to be a bit jagged and asymmetrical, but “NO HELP!” After you clean up your diamond and oval shaped confetti all over your table, take some scotch tape and hang them up on your windows to let some light shine in.

Happy crafting!