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I teach 3-4 year olds on Sunday in Church. This Sunday is the Christmas lesson and I wanted to give them a nativity set that they could play with and retell the story of Jesus' birth. I found an idea on Pinterest that someone said they were making in their Women's Group in church, but they didn't really credit anyone with it. It is really cute and just by looking at the picture, it is easy to figure out how to make it.
So, I broke out my popsicle sticks, felt stash and Sharpies and went to work.
I just cut the shapes freehand and then cut a slit to slip the stick inside. Then I glued it all in place with the glue gun. I embellished with ribbons and beads and drew on the faces and lamb details with the Sharpies. I confess that my lambs are not without blemish and some of my angel faces are a little crazy, but I don't think my 3-4 year olds are going to care. Also, I was going to make Joseph wear green and the shepherds brown, but I accidentally glued the sheep on the wrong guys. Oh well. So, here is how I will teach them the beautiful story of the Savior's birth:
(from Luke 2)" And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (That means that everyone had to go pay money to the king.) And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth unto Judea, unto the city of Bethlehem ...to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being geat with child." (She was going to have a baby, and it was going to be baby Jesus!)
" And while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. (It was time for her to have her baby). And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn." (She wrapped him in tight cloth bands, which is what people did in those days to keep the baby warm and feeling secure.) (I would also explain what a manger is and talk about how it must have felt to Mary.)
"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night."
"And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid." (Having an angel suddenly appear to you in the middle of the night would be kind of surprising!)
" And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, i bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." (He told them about baby Jesus being born and where they could find him.)
" And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
"And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem and see this thing which has come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us." (The shepherds decided to go and see the baby Jesus.)
"And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger."
(from Matthew 2 beginning at verse 1)" Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the King, behold there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, 'Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.' " (Then, I will paraphrase that King Herod was jealous that someone else would be called King of the Jews and he demanded of all of his chief advisers where Christ was supposed to be born and they told him Bethlehem. So he lied to the Wise men and told them to find the baby and then tell him so that he could worship him himself.) "And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also."
"When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east,went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was." (Remember Heavenly Father put a new star in the sky when Jesus was born.)
" When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house", (Jesus' family is in a house now because it took the wise men a long time to get to Bethlehem when they saw the star),"they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him; and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way."
And that is the true story of Jesus' birth. The children in my class will receive a set of figures that looks like this.
I know they will have fun telling the story with their own embellishments. But, I will tell them the true story and we will keep Christ in Christmas, and that makes me so happy. Joy to the World, Let Every Heart prepare Him Room.
At the school where I teach, I had the students do some fluency reading about different cultures, especially Christmas traditions. Of course, we read about France, and then as an activity before Winter Break, we made mini-Buch de Noel cakes. They are perfect for people who do not have the time or perhaps not the inclination to bake cookies or cupcakes, but want to do a little Christmas decorating.
First, you need to get a couple of simple, delicious products.
I happened to have Sparkle Gel on hand, but you could use any kind of frosting or Candy Melts to stick you decorations on the little Swiss Rolls. I have a bunch of different kinds of sprinkles in my Cocoa Bomb stash. I like these holly and berries for a mini buch.
The Swiss Rolls come in a twin pack. So, open them and place one on the plate you will be decorating on. (I got these cute little ones from the Target One Spot)(Similar here).
Next, just swirl on the frosting or gel, then apply the sprinkles carefully. These Buch de Noel Cakes are very cute, and tasty. I can just imagine a platter full of these at a holiday party. Kids love to make them and they love to eat them!
You can get as fancy as you want. The variety is fun!
Enjoy! (Hoping to post another time before finally wishing you a Merry Christmas!)
It has taken me a week to finally get on here and tell you what a smashing success the Ugly Sweater Express was last Saturday! Here are some Photos of the event!
This was our Cocoa Bomb table from 3 winks! We also sold Stinky Pretzels and Vegan-gluten-free Pumpkin bread! Our bombs were a fantastic success! Lots of return buyers from last year, and new converts this year.
(Remind me to give you guys the recipe for Stinky Pretzels. They are addictive!)
Here is Lindsey enjoying a bomb! It was either Salted Caramel or Peppermint, both of which we sold out of by the way!
This is daughter-in-law Jessica, pregnant with our 5th grandson, holding her new little niece. Stuff in her booth and from her etsy shop (Last Yesterday) have been featured on Buzz Feed, and other places. She is so talented.
Our son, Tyler even got in on the act, selling delicious smoked pulled pork and brisket sandwiches. They were also a "smokin' " deal!
Dear Friend, Neomi sold her homemade tamales, with her famous rice to go with them! We were well fed.
Man, I wish I had more and better pictures of all of the other booths and crafters that were there. We were so busy most of the time, that there was no time to really go around and look (or buy) or take pictures. The day was so much fun and really got us all into a festive spirit. If you are in Phoenix next year, you really don't want to miss it!
One of my favorite stories of the day were the teen boys who had a booth. They made decorative items with wood and horseshoes. They made a pretty penny that day. I was able to meet their mother who told me about the ideas and fun they had preparing to be in the show and how happy she was that it was something that got them away from their phones and video games or TV. It just goes to show that creating and crafting can do great things for people!
I have had a great idea that I shared with my class at school, and I will share it on here soon, along with that Stinky Pretzel recipe. In the meantime, enjoy the holiday season. I will be wishing you all a Merry Christmas before long, but right now, I have to go work on my decorations! I am behind, but surprisingly not too stressed. #feelinglikegiving#lovethetruereasonfortheseason.
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to nearly nine and counting! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, and my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Read more about us here!
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