It’s December now and Christmas mode has been well and truly ACTIVATED. Accompanying our wonderful Winter Wild issue this month is a selection of new activities to keep the festive feels going. Let’s take a closer look at them!

An Ode to Owls

Are you a poet and you don’t know it? Find out with our wintery writing challenge. There’s much to consider with this activity: the theme, the rhyming scheme (it’s hard to stop rhyming once you start), the message (what rhymes with ‘message’? Help!). The owl is, of course, central to this activity – what kind of owl will you write about? Have you noticed how owls are thought of as being wise? We’ve seen them over the years in fiction and myths as symbolising wisdom (the less said about Winnie the Pooh’s pal, the better, ed). Are they wise because their senses are so heightened, or perhaps it’s because their ‘creatures of the night’ vibes gives them a mysterious, omnipresent edge. In ancient Greek mythology, the owl’s night vision was considered so impressive that the owl came to represent (or accompany) the goddess of wisdom, Athena. Do you think the snowy owls in our Winter Wild issue are wise? What attributes did you find inspiring? Check out our challenge, here; we can’t wait to read your work. 

Snowy Owl from our Winter Wild issue - Illustration by Kayley McKean

Amazing Aurora Art

Did you enjoy reading about the true beauty and magnificence of the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis in our Winter Wild issue? There is fascinating mythology surrounding them; from the Inuit tribes of Alaska who believe they’re the spirits of deceased animals, to the Sami people of Lapland, who think they’re the souls of the dead, and the Finns, who believe the lights can diffuse arguments – it’s not hard to see why these stunning light waves have inspired such amazing ideas. We’ve got a nice and gentle activity for our artistic AQUILAnauts this month, making beautiful aurora artwork using some simple art supplies. Can you capture the allure of the aurora? 

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Strang

Wild Weather

British people have a reputation for being obsessed with the weather – but can you blame us, seriously?! It’s very changeable these days (here, there and everywhere, ed) and despite us being perfectly able to look out of the window to assess the weather, we check the forecast instead, consult weather apps or wait for an update at the end of the news. We thought it would be rather fun to have a go at predicting the weather ourselves using a series of nifty contraptions! Get ready for some outdoor fun, with our Wild Weather activity; just remember to take a brolly with you. 

Wild Weather Awesome Activity - wind speed experiment

Good Deed Advent Bunting

There’s something about homemade Christmas decorations that’s so lovely. And there’s something about getting away with eating a chocolate every morning before breakfast that’s lovely, too. Ed. That is true. In our Awesome Activities this month we combine these two ideas and make some festive Christmas bunting – but with a twist! Each day there’s also a good deed to complete. Have you ever heard the phrase, ‘No act of kindness, no matter how small, is wasted’? This saying was credited to the ancient Greek storyteller, Aesop. We think it’s true – how many good deeds could you do? 25, you say?! Best get cracking then – click here!

Make your own advent bunting

Create Fabulous Festive Wrapping

Did you know that in the UK, 5 million tonnes of paper get sent to landfill every year? Imagine how much of that is single use wrapping paper! Unfortunately shop-bought wrapping paper is often dyed and laminated, sometimes has decorative glitter on it and once used it goes in the bin still covered in pesky sticky tape – it can’t really be recycled. But what if there was a way of making my own wrapping paper, I hear you ask! There is! Check out our guide to creating your own personalised, recyclable wrapping paper, here. 

Christmas stencil shapes

Make a Cosy Christmas Grotto

Back in February 2019, our Real World Maths issue featured a super fun activity involving making a pillow fort, while simultaneously considering physics and maths in the construction process (classic AQUILA, always with the sneaky learning. Ed). This activity was insanely popular with our readers, and we received photos for months of these incredible feats of pillowy blankety building. So, we thought to ourselves, let’s create an activity involving fort-making, but make it CHRISTMAS! Fiendish! If you press here, you will discover our gorgeous grotto challenge – find those fairy lights, make your pomanders, and get building!

@yuganovkonstantin via wiki commons

We hope you enjoyed our cosy and relaxing wintery activities this month, for more fun and games click here to join our club!

Words: Jennifer Newton-Brown