Several years ago when my children were children (and not adults – how did that happen so fast?!) we planted some conkers in plant pots. Once we had kept the squirrels at bay they began to grow and are now abour six feet tall. They are still in pots as horse chestnut trees can become very large if planted direct into the garden and our garden isn’t big enough. Here’s a photo of one of our trees.
Cress is lovely to grow at home with children because it grows so fast! No long wait to see the seeds sprout. Within a week you have something that you can eat. No need for soil – I used an egg box, some tissues and the seeds.
You could make a picture diary of this process – either take photos or do drawings. If you water the seeds at the same time each day it becomes a nice little ritual either at tea time or snack time.
(If someone in your family is allergic to eggs use a different growing container)
Easter or Resurrection Gardens are a great way to celebrate Easter. They are a reminder of the Easter story and are fun to make. Traditionally they would be made using soil, moss, flowers etc but this version is made entirely from paper and card – if you haven’t got easy access to soil and plants this is for you!
I’ve used – paper plate (a piece of card would do too), cereal box to make the cross (make two cross shapes and glue together so it will stand up), paper ice cream tub for the tomb ( a roll of paper with card glued over an end would be fine), a paper circle for the stone, tissue paper for the path and grass and pictures of flowers from magazines/garden catalogues.
Links to ‘how to make’ the characters (specifically the angels but the same basic idea is used for Mary, Joseph and the shepherds too) and the manger
The stable is a cardboard box covered in tissue paper. If you cover the inside of the box with yellow paint or tissue paper the characters will show up better. You can add battery powered tea lights too!
You could make this over several weeks in toddler group or Sunday School or make at home.
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.
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.
Smooth the edges before the clay dries
Decorate using PVA glue, tissue paper and sequins
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
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.
I so wanted to make something like this last year but just ran out of time. So this year I was determined to make a craft focusing on Christingle. This is not necessarily instead of making the real thing. This craft could be done as an extra activity or used for very young children that you would rather didn’t have a candle.
The basic shape is drawn on a paper plate (this needs to be sturdy) and then I used paint. I would have used red ribbon but it was being elusive! The ‘sweets’ are beads on pipe cleaners. Do this for young children or alongside them as the beads are small. I attached these with cellotape.