Cooler weather and darker evenings don’t have to mean boring days and nights inside. We’ve put together a few family-friendly activities that are sure to light up your life!
Check them out!
Cosy Cloud Ceilings
Has winter got the kids stuck indoors and climbing up the walls? No problem – let’s channel that energy into the ceiling instead! These super cool cloud ceilings have been going viral on TikTok and are a creative way to make a child’s bedroom or games room cosy during dark winter nights.
What you’ll need…
- Poster boards – enough to make your entire cloud area
- Peel-and-stick LED strip lights (use LED lighting only, for safety reasons)
- Spray adhesive – 1-4 cans, depending on size of your cloud
- Cotton toy stuffing
- Staples, tape, or adhesive strips safe for your ceiling surface
You’ll need a few hours for this project, so pick a good rainy day. First, decide where your cloud ceiling (or wall!) will go. Mark out the centre of the cloud with a pencil. If you’re placing it around a light fixture, be sure it’s LED and keep the cotton filling away from edges, just in case. You can also use a smart bulb with different hue settings to add an extra layer of colour effect.
Next, take your poster boards and apply them to the ceiling using your chosen method, working outwards from your centre point. Planning where to place, wire and connect your LED strips ahead of time helps. Then, start sticking your strip lights onto the boards.
Grab chunks of the filling and lightly coat one side with the adhesive spray. Cover the poster boards with the filling to make the cloud effect. Avoid sticking the filling directly on the LED strips, but place just around them to diffuse the light. Lastly, turn on your lights, and enjoy the view!
Safety tip – while LEDs shouldn’t get so hot as to cause a fire hazard, only use your cloud ceiling when you’re in the room.
Expert-level: to make a next-level cloud ceiling, adding in LED variations with multiple modes, colours or even audio sensors to match music or sounds can make them seem even more realistic. Try a thunderstorm variation with smaller strips of flashing white LEDs between blue, or a faux sunset with undulating red, orange, and purple!
Glow in the Dark Rocks
Another fun activity that involves lighting up otherwise wintery nights, these glow-in-the-dark rocks can be used as electricity-free nightlights, ornaments, or even glowy pet rocks! Here’s some inspiration and how-to.
Grab some glow-in-the-dark paints in different colours, and plain white paint – choose hobby-safe paint from a reputable store. You’ll also need a few paint brushes in different sizes, plus some newspaper to keep things clean underneath while you paint.
Find a few nice, smooth rocks, give them a scrub to clean, and let dry. Paint a base layer of white on first and wait until dry. Then, grab your glow paint and get creative! You can paint the whole top one colour (great for nightlights), make a cool pattern with lines or dots, or paint on cute animal faces to make pet rocks.
Then just leave your rocks in a light source to charge for a few hours, turn off the lights and enjoy!
Easy Peasy Pizza
Making pizza from scratch is satisfying but takes a lot of time and effort. We’ve solved that problem and made it simple for the kids to get in the kitchen and help. The dough recipe is easy-peasy, and the topping choices are endless.
What you’ll need…
- 2 cups of plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp butter
- ¾ – 1 cup milk as needed
Toppings: whatever you want! Tomato sauce, tinned spaghetti, bacon, cheese, pineapple, ham, capsicum…
- Sift flour and baking powder together in a large bowl
- Add salt and oregano, then rub the butter in with fingertips
- Add milk until dough is soft, springy, and smooth
- Roll out on a floured board to chosen thickness
- Place onto greased pizza baking tray and add your toppings
- Bake at 220 C for 15-20 minutes