Saturday, November 26, 2011

24 Symbols of Christmas in Clay-Advent activity for kids

I planned on writing a blog about Karma's SPD today but spent most of the day cleaning and putting up Christmas decorations and time got away from me.  So instead I will share this blog I originally posted on 3 Moms and a Kitchen last year.  My kids really enjoyed this Advent activity last year so we plan to repeat it again this year :)

24 Symbols of Christmas in Clay

If you celebrate a more Secular (non-religious) aspect of Christmas this may not be for you.-not trying to offend anyone, all of the 3 Mom's have different beliefs.

If you are looking for more ways to invite or keep Christ in the Christmas traditions you give to your children then this is probably for you.


The gift as it appeared on our doorstep

A very good family friend sent this for the kids to play with.  I love the idea so much that I wanted to share it.  Its like an Advent calendar for you to count down the days by playing with clay and making a different symbol each day.
My kids are in love with it, only my 4* yr old is really old enough to make the symbols but he and my 2* yr old are happily playing with the clay now.  My 18* month old seems to think its just a snack haha.

What You Will Need:
Red clay (playdough-I have included a recipe below or you can purchase some from the store)
Air tight container
Red ribbon or bow to top the container
Printed out instructions.


Here are the instructions to include:
On the top of the box print out the following sweet poem to explain what to do each day you can just copy and paste from here):

Christmas comes but once a year.
It comes and goes with gifts and cheer.
What can we give that you have not?
We give you something that can't be bought.

In this box you'll find red clay.
You make a Christmas symbol at the rise of each new day.
Make this symbol and lay it down inside.
Close the lid with red ribbon tied
For 24 days you'll do the same.
Until the day baby Jesus came.

Remember that the symbol you make
Are special reminders that no one can take.
Of that first Christmas night that shone so bright.
May you always strive to have His light.


Then include attached to the container somewhere-my friend rolled it up and tied on as a scroll-the instructions for what to make each day, which are:

24 Symbols of Christmas
1. Heart- The great love Jesus has for each one of us.
2. Snowflake- We are all unique and precious in God's eyes
3. Wreath- The symbol of the never ending eternal nature of love.
4. Gift Bow- Tied as we should all be tied together in bonds of goodwill.
5. Stocking- A symbol of the need to fill our souls with good.
6. Fir Tree- The needles point Heavenward
7. Star- A Heavenly sign of the prophecy long ago
8. Candle- Reflecting on thanks for the star of Bethlehem
9. Shepard- Lay careful watch over their flock by night.  Jesus is the good Shepard who knows His sheep and loves each one.
10. Sheep- The sheep loved their Shepard and knew His voice.
11. Bells- Ring out to guide all sheep back to His fold.
12. Cane- The Shepard's crook used to bring lambs back into the fold.
13. Angel- A Heavenly messenger bringing glad tidings.
14. Music- The angels Heavenly music over all the weary world.
15. Wise Men- Saw the star above.  May we be wise and watch for signs of His 2nd coming.
16. Camel- The wise men come from afar.  May the world around come to Christ
17. Gift- The gifts the wise men brought.  Jesus, the most important gift of all, eternal life to all mankind Jesus gave.
18. Red ornament-Symbolizing the Savior's sacrifice for us all.
19. The Inn- May we make room in our hearts to let Him in.
20. Stable- His humble shelter
21. Cattle- He was born among the weak and lowly
22. Manger- His humble bed
23. Hay- Where Jesus lay asleep
24. Spirit of Christmas- To give of one's self is more precious than gold.


My 4 yr old trying to make a bell-love the goofy face he made!

I plan to store the container and printed instructions with all the rest of my Christmas decorations so that we can do this every year.  The kids had a lot of fun this morning playing with the clay and enjoyed the instructions I read to them.

You can just buy red playdough from the store or you can make your own.  Not sure how good homemade will hold up in the future for all 24 days but I am pretty sure the clay that was given to us is homemade.  Here is the recipe I use when I make playdough for the kids myself, there are many variations of this to be found online.  Just add red food coloring to make it red.

Playdough:
1 cup flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water

1. Combine salt and flour in large mixing bowl
2. If using food coloring, add to water.
3. Add water slowly to dry ingredients, mixing with hands.  Add a little at a time.  Mix until dough is smooth and elastic but no longer sticky (may have to add more flour), give to kids to play with.


My 18 month old seems to think it makes
a better snack than toy.

I have only ever used this playdough for a day or two and not sure how well it holds up long term.  I have seen "recipes" for playdough that require some things to be boiled on the stove, this may make a longer lasting dough, I am not sure.  I like to keep things simple so I use the one above.  If you had to you could make new dough every few days I guess (if you did not want to buy the store bought stuff that is).

These make really cute gifts to give as well.  Ours was a gift and my kids love it!

As always, we love to see your pictures so if you make this take some pics of your kiddies making their daily shapes and upload them to our wall, we would love to see.


I have no artistic skills when it comes to molding clay
so this is my attempt at "bells" for day 11
I just made an impression of an ornament
from our tree.

Love,
Christy
 
* This was originally written in December 2010 so obviously all of my kids are a year older now.

1 comment:

  1. This totally inspired me. I am not very religious...long story short I grew up with a father who is an atheist and a mother who didn't practice much of anything; part of my family is Buddhist and the other part is Seventh Day Adventist. We're a motley crew! But I have been looking for some sort of holiday activity to do each day, so I think we will make an ornament a day. I am combining your idea with a similar post that I found earlier today. Thanks for the inspiration!

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