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Some Catholic / Christian Thanksgiving and Advent Crafts and Activities
Wonderful Time of Year
Hands down, the BEST time of year for kids' crafts and activities are the months October, November, and December. Halloween was great fun, and now we're into Thanksgiving, soon to be followed by Advent and Christmas. So here are some ideas to get all of us started!
First of All, Let's Respect the Bird! Here are Some Thanksgiving Ideas:
We must give Thanksgiving it's time. It deserves it. So here are some Thanksgiving time crafts and activities. Please keep in mind, most of these will be Catholic / Christian ideas, but some of them can still be used in secular settings.
* Thanksgiving Paper Chain
Use Thanksgiving colors - red, yellow, orange, and brown - cut into strips, and write one thing you're thankful for on each strip. Get all the kids to contribute what they're feeling grateful for, and have any older ones write their own. Mine are 4 and 7 months at the moment so they're not writing yet. Next, have them help with gluing the paper chain together. Display prominently in the house, and during meal-time prayer, thank God for all of those blessings.
* Food Pantry Gifts
Gather some Thanksgiving-themed foods to donate to your local church or village food pantry. Make sure to donate some Thanksgiving baby food jars as well: turkey & gravy, green beans, peas, applesauce, and pumpkin!
Have the kids decorate a big box with Thanksgiving pictures to put all of the donations into.
* Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle and the story of Loaves and Fishes
As a family, read the first chapter of the Gospel of Mark. It's the story of the miracle where Jesus turned a few loaves and fishes into a feast for everyone. After reading, encourage your kids to draw a picture of the story, or their favorite part of the story. Talk about being grateful for all that God does for us. Discuss how we can trust that He will provide.
The Babies Shall Feast Too
Advent's Coming up Quickly!
**This hub is focusing on the beginning of Advent and not Christmas**
Advent is the time to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ. We're not celebrating Christmas early, but getting ready for Christmas. Here are some crafts and activities that can help us do this with our families.
* Saint Nicholas Day
People celebrate St Nick day in different ways. I went to Catholic school, and so we did both. To us, St Nicholas and Santa are the same person. However, Santa was in charge of Christmas, and St Nick came to us on his Feast day - December 6th. I've recently been learning of all the ways other Catholic / Christian families deal with this situation of two personas being the same person, but having two days. There are a lot of different traditions regarding this, but here's what we do:
On the night of December 5th, have kids leave their boots (or shoes) outside their bedroom doors because St Nick comes overnight and puts candy in the boys' and girls' shoes.
Read these Children's Books - Inexpensive, Informative, and Kid-Friendly
Other Advent Activities and Crafts
* Feast of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
Catholics believe that Mary was free from sin, God's human masterpiece. And He chose her to start the life of His only Son, Jesus. She is very special to Him and to us.
Create a white paper chain for Mary and glue flowers on it. Have the kids write each of their names on the flowers.
* Nativity Scene and Three Wise Men
Set up your family Nativity Scene (without Baby Jesus - He comes on Christmas Day) without the three wise men. You can have them start their journey at some place in your home and every day, inch them closer to the manger over night. They should arrive at the Baby Jesus on Epiphany - January 6th.
You could even do Wise Men Antics or something if you want to do a game like Elf on the Shelf!
* Make a Felt / Flannel Board Advent Wreath
On a felt board (you can make your own felt board simply by putting some felt around cardboard or sticking a big piece of felt on the refrigerator or other place) stick a felt wreath. Just cut an oval shape out of green felt; feel free to make it look leafy if you'd like.
As we come to each new week in Advent, add a candle to the wreath. There are four:
3. Rose (pink)
* Share and Make Candy Canes
Jesus is the Good Shepherd who guides His sheep home. The candy cane is a symbol of the shepherd's staff. Explain the symbolism to your kids while sharing some delicious candy canes. You can also twist red and white pipe cleaner around each other and bend a hook shape, thereby making your own candy canes.
* Little Oratory / Shrine
And of course, change the cloth on your little oratory or shrine to go with the colors of Advent: Purple during Advent, and White on Christmas Day.
How to Make a Fabric Advent Wreath
What are YOUR Fun Thanksgiving and Advent Activities??
Leave a comment below; I'd love to hear all about your traditions! There is so much to celebrate during this time of year, and so many rich and exciting ways to do so. I look forward to hearing from you!