(This blog post is for the craft impaired).
Those of you who know me well are going to be amused by this post since you know that making things like this stress me out. (But, hey, cutting up fruit stresses me out – maybe I just need to learn to relax a little!) Anyway, I have not caught on to the whole Pinterest thing, although I will use it as search engine sometimes when I know specifically what I want (like today). But it takes me awhile to pin up things on our actual bulletin board – I do not think I can handle a virtual one (although someday maybe I will change my mind).
This post started because Roberts Dairy changed their milk cartons. We were planning on making gingerbread houses using those containers for our homeschool group party, and the new cartons are now the wrong shape to work well. Since I did not want to spend $80 on whipping cream cartons (the right shape carton still) and since Roberts processes that in KC and was unwilling to ship empty cartons to me, we were forced to come up with “Plan B.” Making graham crackers stand alone for gingerbread houses is possible if you make them the night before the kids decorate them. My friends helping me plan our party decided that making 40 houses in advance would be a bit stressful. We needed a simpler idea, So, I started praying as I was searching that I would find something that would work. And I found something that will fit our “Jesus is the Sweetest Gift” theme even better.
A graham cracker nativity.
This idea was much simpler and more meaningful than just making a house. Now for our group we are not buying the stuff to make all of the people or the animals. We might encourage them to make a baby Jesus out of candy, but mainly we are going to just have them decorate the stable with candy and cereal. Simpler. The link does show how to make all of the animals and figures, but unless you have really independent preschoolers or you are really bored, I would just stick with figuring out a way to make baby Jesus and call it good.
As I was searching for this project I realized that there were probably other moms who liked the idea of doing crafts in honor of Jesus during Christmas time but also didn’t know where to start. Maybe these moms are also craft challenged like I am. So, I decided I would do a little research and see if I could find a few simple crafts where you would not have to buy lots of materials. I just knew that I had better write this blog post for today – I could handle the four crafts of Christmas (but the nine crafts of Christmas might put me over the edge!) So here are three other crafts that feature that reason we celebrate (to go along with the graham cracker nativity). My intention is not for you to do all four, but to instead have options as to what works best for you.
If I were to do this, I would probably do it on a piece of cardstock, so I could frame or laminate it and actually keep it. (Plus I am not sure that my ten year old’s foot would fit on a plate anymore, if I decided to do all 4 of my kids.) But I thought this was cute and not overly complicated. And as long as you have waterproof paint and cover all surfaces in an entire room with newspaper, how messy could it be? 🙂
I could not track down where this idea originally came from. The “artist” used paint to create the candy cane stripes. I would probably have my kids use colors. And why buy straw when there is plenty of dead grass just outside my door? I think it would still be cute.
The last one I am showing you would require the purchase of popsicle sticks, but at least that is a versatile material. Nativity puppets. I liked this project because you can print as few or as many figures as you would like. My homeschool kids made some puppets like this with Miss Barb last year- theirs were made from a gingerbread-type shape, then they decorated them with paper clothes and googly eyes. That was fun for my older kids, but I definitely like this other idea better for preschoolers.
Here they are shown just as figures, so you could do that too if you don’t want to mess with the popsicle sticks.
Something I thought I would never say in one of my blog posts … happy crafting!