Sunday, November 27, 2011

Kidsworld Crafts: Advent Wreath

I love discovering new ways the family and church traditions together. It is part of the whole reThink "Orange Concept" I am trying to make a practical part of my life and ministry. One of my favourite childhood Christmas traditions was the Advent calendar and lighting the Advent candles at church. So I was excited a few year's ago when I got to be apart of a family living out orange.

I had been invited over for Sunday dinner. On entering the dinning room I noticed neat candle centerpiece on the table. It was an arch with a purple, pink, white, then two more purple candles. As I looked at it I thought, hey that's like an Advent wreath. Just before dinner I discovered I had been right, it was like an Advent wreath when I was invited to join them in an advent themes family devotional that included lighting some of the candles.

I was reminded of that family while preparing for Kidsworld this week. We were celebrating the first Sunday of Advent and I wanted to help families continue celebrating Advent at home. After a google search for inspiration I decided on creating paper plate Advent wreath. If you want to make your own Advent Wreath

You Will Need:
  • paper plate (we used festive plates)
  • five clothes pins
  • an envelope (preferably smaller than the plate)
  • ribbon about 10cm (5 inches)
  • glue (we used hot glue)
  • five "flames"
  • markers, crayons or paint

What To Do:
  1. Draw or print five candle flames on paper. Have children colour and cut out the flames. We also wrote the four words associated with Advent (Hope, Peace, Joy, Love) written on the flames. Put these "flames" in the envelope so they don't get lost.
  2. Colour the five clothes pins. If you want to follow the traditional Advent colour three candles are purple, one is pink, and one is white.
  3. Attach the envelope to the back. We found it worked best when we glued the fullest part of the envelop to the plate leaving the flap side visible. it also made it easier to pull out the flames.
  4. Attach the five clothes pins to the front.
  5. Attach the ribbon as a loop to the back.

I was inspired by a number of different wreath crafts so I know there are a lot of different ways mine could be improved. Here are a few suggestions:
  • Placing the clothes pins is really up to you. A few kids spreed them around the plate. Some wanted them all at the bottom or all at the top. One girl wanted all here flames to point in. Someone else wanted all their flames to point out. Most didn't care.
  • Instead of using a paper plate, make the wreath out of green painted hand prints or cut out green construction paper hand prints.
  • This is was on of the crafts that inspired my wreath. They used cardboard tubes (toilet paper rolls) to make a great three-dimensional wreath.
  • Attach a magnet to the back of the plate so the wreath can be keep on the fridge.
  • Cut out the center of the plate to make it look more wreath like.
  • Use extra decorating supplies like sticker, ribbons, old Christmas cards, craft foam, or glitter to jazz the wreath up.
  • Allow the children the freedom to be creative. We had a few kids who wanted rainbow candles, that was cool.
  • Some of the kids added words like "Merry Christmas" to the center and someone else suggested that you could glue a family photo in that space"
Tips for Large Groups:
  1. Handout the envelop, flames, and clothespins to the children. Keep the paper plates and ribbon by the glue gun station.
  2. Before kids start cutting or colouring have the write their names on the envelope. We asked them to write on the side with the flap. So that we could identify whose was whose after everyone was done.
  3. Remind children to put their cut out flames in their envelope. This helps to keep flames from getting lost or accidentally recycled.
  4. If you have enough adults and glue guns make the gluing an assembly line. One person glues the envelope on the back, next attach the clothes pins (this might require a few different glue guns as it takes the most time and the line bottlenecks), and the next person adds the ribbon.
  5. Ask kids were they want the clothes pins before gluing. I would ask them where they wanted there first "candle" they would point, I added a glob of glue and stuck it there. It helped to keep them interested and encouraged their creativity, which is always a challenge when adults are needed to assemble.
  6. Have an activity planned for the children finished first. It could be a singing time, another craft, or game that anyone can join as they finish up. We had a video connected with our them ready to go.

1 comment:

Kathy McPherson said...

Thank you, this is very clever, and I like the fact that it's interactive. The children can think about the concepts of each week, instead of just counting down the weeks. I also like how simple and safe it is, and it can be modified for different ages and abilities. Nicely done!