Indoor Activities to
Chase Away Winter Blues

The holiday season may be long over, but winter is not. The cold and wet weather of Oregon tends to keep people indoors and lots of indoor time can be difficult for children and adults alike. Most of the gifts received last month have already been relegated to the ranks of "the rest of the stuff" cluttering the house and a restless boredom threatens tempers and moods. The result is usually lots of television watching which only compounds the problem with inactivity. There is a better way: Let recycling save the day! This is just the time to bring out Reuse in Action projects that can liven up the house with imagination and creativity. And don't worry, it doesn't take talent (something most of us have in abundance but think we don't) and it doesn't take a lot of new purchases. Reuse in Action projects use common items from around the house, things that end up in the trash or recycle bin, and transform them into fun or functional items. Not only do you reap the benefits of a healtheir active household, you save money on entertainment and the earth saves resources as well.
* 6-pack Snow flake: Are you hoping for snow this winter? Its not too late! Even if putting a few of these on your window won't make the real thing join in, it will lighten spirits to make and display them. Take eight matching 6-pack holders and fold each one in half lengthwise. Staple the very ends to make a canoe shape. Arrange these into a star burst pattern and staple each to its neighbor way up close to where they meet in the center of the star burst. Only staple one side of the canoe to the neighbor, the other side needs to be attached to the neighbor on the other side. Then staple each to its neighbor at the middle ring of the canoe and the whole thing will keep shape. You can tape this to your window now, or if you want to make a three dimensional snowflake, repeat the above steps and attach the first to the second by stapling the ends of each of the seven points. Hang with a scrap of string or ribbon. For Valentine's Day add pink and red hearts. In spring, add yellow centers to make the decoration look like a flower.
* Home made Rain stick: If you'd prefer rain and the weather isn't cooperating, try making a rain stick! It may not change the weather but it sure is fun and challenging. Take an old paper towel tube and use a pushpin to make a spiral of holes all up and down the length. Use a tooth pick to identify the opposite side of the tube and make an equal spiral of holes on the other side. Now insert tooth picks into the holes to create a spiral of toothpicks all up and down the length of the tube. Snip the ends of the tooth picks and dab with glue so they are securely attached to the tube and wont' fall out or in. Let that dry. Then cover one end of the tube with tape. Put a small amount of beans, grains, pebbles, tacks, and/or anything like that. Cover the other end and test the sound. (Keep in mind, less material makes more sound) When you are satisfied w/ the sound, cover both ends securely and decorate the tube with paints or decoupage of colorful scraps.
* Mr. Grasshead: You don't need to buy a chia pet for fun indoor growing, make a Mr. or Mrs. Grasshead instead. Put about 2/3 tablespoons of grass seeds into the foot of an old pantyhose. Fill the foot with about 1 - 1 1/2 cups of potting soil on top of that. Then tie a knot in the end to keep it from falling out. Paint Mr. or Mrs. Grasshead's face.( or you can stitch an old fashioned stocking doll face) Fill a yogurt cup about 3/4 full with water and put the Head onto the yogurt cup. Make sure to leave a long enough "tail" on the pantyhose so that it reaches the water. Also make sure to keep water in the cup so that the grass will grow. Kids love to watch Mr. Grasshead grow, cut his hair and watch it grow back!!
Sarah Grimm is education coordinator of BRING Recycling. If you would like more information about reuse activities for kids and adults, contact her at 746-3023. Sarah Grimm, education coordinator BRING Recycling 541-746-3023

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