I've always liked the idea of winter garden projects, but the payoff (a single blossom in, say, early June) is maddeningly slow for cabin-fevered children. These exotic vines and flowers, on the other hand, are quick to sprout and very low maintenance.
To make them, fold 6-by-12-inch rectangles of heavy-duty aluminum foil over the ends of pipe cleaners, cut the foil into leaves and flowers and apply acrylic paints to all surfaces. Let them dry overnight, then wind them around banisters and handrails or hang them from a curtain rod in a sunny window. Your kids might even "grow" a few tiny ones in small pots to brighten up their bedroom windowsill.