Friday, November 30, 2012

10 Weeks to an Organized Christmas: Children's Activities 1

If you are joining us for the first time for the 10 Weeks to an Organized Christmas series, be sure to check out all the posts in the series HERE.  

I have to admit that I'm slacking a little at publishing all my Christmas Activities.  There will be 25 of them, and almost all of them will tie to Jesus in some way!  While I'm completing the other activities on my list, here are three to get you started.  I will be utilizing my calendar print out (find it HERE) to plan each day for my family.  I will be writing down at least one activity to do on each day leading up to Christmas!

Hershey Kiss Advent

This activity should be done on the 1st of December, or even the last day of November.

You will need:

*A long strip of plastic wrap or colored cellophane (one for each child)
*25 Hershey's kisses (or other candies) per child
*Ribbon, cut into pieces

What to do:

Lay out a long strip of plastic wrap or colored cellophane on the ground.  Have your children each count out 25 "kisses".  Encourage older children to help younger children with counting, if necessary.  Have the children lay out the kisses along the strip of wrap.  Then, use the ribbon to tie the wrap around each individual kiss.  Tie a long, looped string at the very top to hang.

How to Tie it to Jesus:

While making this "kiss" advent, talk about the meaning of advent with your kiddos.  The word "advent" means "to come".  Talk about how we are counting down to Christmas, which is when we celebrate that Jesus came to earth as a little baby!

Snowy Night Scape & Follow the Star Game

This is a fun craft for kids of all ages, even the little guys.

You will need:

* Black or Dark Blue Paper
* Salt
* Water
* A yellow star (made from construction paper, a yellow button, etc.)
* Paintbrush
* Glue
* White crayon

What to Do:

Mix up a solution of salt water.  You will want it to be heavy on the salt, as it will represent the snow when the water dries on the paper.  You can add a bit of glue to the solution, too, if you want to ensure that the salt sticks well; just don't add too much or it will be hard to paint with the salt.  Have your child glue the yellow star onto the paper.  Then, allow your child to color "stars" with the white crayon.  Finally, allow your child to paint with the salt mixture.  Allow it to dry.  The end result should be a snowy night scape.

How to tie it to Jesus:

While doing this activity, place an emphasis on the big, yellow star.  Talk about how the star appeared in the sky when Jesus was born.  The wise men followed the star to find their way to Jesus.

Bonus Activity:

While the landscape dries, place a trail of big yellow stars (print from your computer or cut from construction paper) around your house leading to a small treat.  Have your children pretend that they are the "wise men" following the star to baby Jesus.

Foot and Handprint Angel

This craft can be done in one of two ways.  You can do it with paint on paper, or with just paper.

You will need:

*Yellow and white construction paper
*A picture of your child's face
*Yellow and another color (maybe light blue or pink-for the "robe") paint (if doing the paint angel)

What to do:

If you are utilizing paper only:

Trace your child's hands on yellow paper (these will be the wings).  Trace your child's foot on white paper (this will be the angel's robe).  If your child is old enough, allow her to cut out her templates.  Once cut out, allow your child to glue the wings to the body (toes face down).  If desired, let your child embellish the angel with glitter, markers, or other decorative items.  Finally, cut out the picture of your child's face and glue it to the top (you can also have your child draw their own face).

If you are utilizing paint:

Paint your child's foot with a color of your choice.  Have him step straight down on to a piece of paper (toes will face down). Paint your child's hands yellow and then press their hands down to make the angel wings on the paper.  Either draw or glue a photo of your child's face to the top.

How to tie it to Jesus

While doing this craft together, talk about the angel Gabriel who appeared to Mary and informed her that she would be giving birth to baby Jesus!  You can also talk about how 9 months later, a full sky of angels appeared to some shepherd's to tell them that Jesus had been born.  It would also be great to talk about how the angels worship God, and that we are supposed to worship God, too!

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