***This is the first installment in my lessons from the nativity series, where I'm sharing some activities I'm doing with my kids this Christmas season. We're talking about what we learn from different characters in the nativity story, then making ornaments to go along with what we discuss. I've included scriptures, songs, discussion questions, and step-by-step tutorials for making each ornament. Find them all here: angel | star | manger | Baby Jesus***
A few years ago I had the idea to spend some time on each of the four Sundays before Christmas talking with our kids about what we can learn from each of the nativity characters. I don't mean learning about the Christmas story - the kids know the gist already - I mean what each of the characters can teach us. I choose one character per Sunday and we read the scriptures that mention him/her, then learn a song that features him/her, then talk about a lesson we can take from that character's portion of the story. We did this a few years ago and it was really fun, so I decided to to it again this year, with one addition: each Monday night we'll make an ornament representing the character we talked about on Sunday. This year we'll learn about the star, the angel, the manger, and Baby Jesus.
(Next year I'm planning to talk about Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the Wise Men. Then maybe I'll add a few more the year after that - and in a few years each child will have their own set of nativity ornaments they can save and use to teach their own kids!)
The Angel teaches us to SHARE the message/spirit of Christ
Scripture (from Luke Chapter 2):
Song: Angels We Have Heard on High
Discuss: When do you we share what we know about Christ? How can we be respectful of what others believe? What is the spirit of Christmas? How can we share the spirit of Christmas with others in our family and community?
Craft: Begin by printing the PDF pattern found here.
I used sheet music to make my angel because I like how it references the songs of praise the angels sang, but you could use any type of paper you have on hand. Try checking thrift stores for old music books OR find free sheet music online that you can print and then copy onto the front and backs of normal paper.
1 - Gather supplies: paper, hot glue gun, 6 inch doily if you want wings, string and needle (or sewing machine). We don't actually believe angels have wings, but I think they look pretty on the ornament and we can talk to the kids about the symbolism of the wings.
2 - Cut out 8 angel bodies using the PDF pattern.
3 - Use a large eye needle and string or embroidery thread to start sewing up the middle of the angel pieces (it helps to mark a line up the middle lightly in pencil - and for younger kids it would be helpful to poke holes in advance). Alternately you may use a sewing machine to sew straight up the middle of the angels.
4 - When you get to the top, tie the extra string in a loop for hanging the ornament.
5 - Fold the angel pieces in half so you can "fluff" them up as shown.
6 - Accordian fold the middle of a 6 inch doily, then smash the middle flat.
7 - Hot glue the doily onto the back on the angel at the shoulders.
8 - Done!
9 - Hang on the tree.
Linking to some of these parties:
Tuesday: Tip Junkie | Ladybug Blessings | Sugar Bee Crafts | The Blackberry Vine | Hope Studios | Funky Polkadot Giraffe | Not JUST a Housewife | Homework Today's Assignment: Be Inspired | Shwin and Shwin
Weekend: Tatertots and Jello