Family Advent Calendar

It isn’t quite time for Christmas – but if you want to get a head start on advent this is a ‘make your own advent calendar’. One symbol for each day with a Bible reference to read as a family.

Print the symbols onto card and cut out. Place each one in an envelope with the number on the outside, add small treats to the envelope too. Put up some string or ribbon and use pegs or paper clips to attach the symbol each day during advent.You can leave the symbols black and white or colour them each day. There are Bible verses to read each day – when our children were small we’d have eaten the chocolate either at breakfast or straight after school and read the Bible verses at bedtime.

Free printable is here  Christmas 3-shapes 3 ( verses)  Christmas 3-shapes 2 ( verses)  Christmas 3-shapes 1 ( verses)

The Treasure Box People

It’s great when things come together isn’t it? This week it’s my turn to tell the story at Tuesday Toddler Group and it’s The Lost Sheep. A week ago I ordered a Treasure Box (they have a special offer and I couldn’t resist) and it’s all about The Lost Sheep.

The Treasure Box People is a subscription box designed for families to learn more about the Bible together. (£10 for a single – enough for one child and £15 for up to three children) Each month you receive a box full of craft ideas (and more!) to make as a family with easy instructions and everything you need. There is a Bible story book to read together. The crafts, games and ideas for prayer all relate to this story. In my box it is Nick Butterworth’s and Mick Inkpen’s retelling of The Lost sheep. My children would have loved this!

I really like the variety of activities – the pom pom sheep is a make that will take some time, the shepherd is a bit quicker to put together and the lost sheep game would be great to play every day! The packaging is child friendly paper bags. And children love getting something through the post.

The Treasure Box People spring special offer has a few more days to run. Well worth trying out for yourself. Here’s the link

Spring Sale from the Treasure Box People

While you are here have a look at my giveaway 

Easter egg – messy craft!

This is a craft where you get in a bit of a sticky mess – but it’s fun! The egg shape is polystyrene. (I bought them from Amazon) I covered it in PVA glue and added tissue paper layers. If you finish off with a layer of glue it’ll look shiny. Experiment with the decoration. I added some cut up feathers to one egg. Chocolate sweet wrappers would look great too. Leave the decorated eggs to dry on some clingfilm as they shouldn’t stick to the film!

Easter decorations!

This craft is suitable for all ages – you may have to vary how you decorate the shapes. I used air drying modelling clay to make flowers and eggs. These were cut using cookie cutters. The shapes need time to dry out – a couple of days.

We’ll be decorating flower shapes at Toddler Group. You could make these at home with your children and if you make a hole for string you could hang them on an Easter Tree.

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Smooth the edges before the clay dries

 

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Decorate using PVA glue, tissue paper and sequins

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A few years ago I made a similar craft using salt dough – I must admit that the shop bought air drying modelling material (long name!) was easier and seems less brittle. The salt dough egg post is here

Teach us to pray

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We are doing the story of Peter at after school club today – Acts 12:1-19. Peter was in prison. The church met to pray. So our take home craft is a reminder to pray. This would be a great thing to use as a family too. Each person could pick a card from the bag and use it to say a short prayer.

To make – paper bags or envelopes, pens/pencils, scissors, print out of the four prayer prompts – praise, sorry, thank, please and sticky label with ‘remember to pray printed on’

Talk about what the four prayer prompts mean – why we can praise God. How we can praise him for what he is like and the things he has done. Why do we need to say sorry to him? We have thought, said or done things against God’s law. What can we thank God for? food, clothes, friends. What can we ask for his help with – the please prayers. These can be for ourselves and for others. The children can write some of these ideas on the reverse of the cards.

Download the prayer prompt cards – childrens-prayer-card

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advent 13 2015

‘In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.’

Luke 2:1

Christmas tree biscuits

This is a very easy recipe called 1-2-3 biscuits from ‘Cakes and Cake Decorating’ by Rosemary Wadey.

The recipe 

2oz/50g butter

1oz/25g caster sugar

3oz/75g plain flour

To make 

Cream butter and sugar together and then gradually add the flour. Knead till smooth. I made this in my mixer but it is easily done by hand.

Chill the biscuit dough for at least an hour. If you miss this it will be very difficult to roll out and cut into biscuit shapes.

Once chilled roll out on a floured surface. Cut into shapes. I used a christmas tree shaped cutter. Bake at 150C /300F /Gas 2 for about 25 minutes (less if you have a fan oven. Check often anyway). They should be lightly browned. I have a gas oven that has a mind of it’s own so please don’t take my timings as exact!

Once cooked allow to cool and then decorate using icing (icing sugar and water mixed- add water little by little). I added green colouring jell. Decorate any way you like. Eat!

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advent 4 2015

‘For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’

Isaiah 9:6

A song to enjoy

Something to make – twinkly Christmas star

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all you need

  • 2 pipe cleaners (large) cut in half and twisted together in the centre to make a star
  • beads to thread on to the pipe cleaners. Once done fold the end of each pipe cleaner
  • fold one  pipe cleaner into a hook at it’s end so you can hang it on the tree.

edited – found a spelling mistake!