January 2016: Holiday History & Craft

Holiday History and Craft, January 2016Okay…so I totally failed. I did something I’ve never done before and hope I’ll never do again. I failed to meet a blog post deadline – and now I’m two weeks late. I’m sorry. But today’s the actual day, so you’re getting January’s Holiday History and Craft now and for the rest of the year I’ll go back to being faithful to post on first Monday of each month.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Usually referred to as MLKJ Day, I never quite grasped what it celebrated/memorialized when I was a kid. My parents did try to educate me – we read about M.L. King, Jr. in the encyclopedia, but it wasn’t until I was formally studying U.S. History that I understood. Let me see if I can make this easy to understand and not too long-winded…and then we’ll do a craft! Continue reading

December 2015: Holiday History & Craft

Holiday History & Craft December 2015 Christmas Wreath Painted

Christmas, Christmas, Christmas! (Who really needs more Christmas crafts? We do!) December is one of my favorite months of the year because I love the Christmas holiday. Today we’ll talk a little about the history of Christmas and then make a wreath with a fork, paint, and sequins.

Nativity PaintingHistory

We usually describe the first Christmas as the event in the City of Bethlehem when Jesus – God’s Son – was born. Fulfilling Biblical Old Testament prophecy, Jesus came to earth as a baby, was born in a Bethlehem stables, and laid in a manger. Angels announced His birth to nearby shepherds, and later wise men from the east came to see Him. (Luke 2, Matthew 2) But it wasn’t until a long while after Christ’s birth that His birthday started to be celebrated…and His birthday probably wasn’t even in December.

December became the month of celebration because some of the religious folks decided to “Christianize” a pagan holiday. You see, the Romans had a feast for one of their false gods in December; it was called Saturnalia and was celebrated with gift giving and red and green decorations. The Roman Church eventually took some of the Saturnalia traditions and combined them with some religious beliefs and called it “Christmas” – trying to make Christ’s birth the focus of their new holiday.

christmas-treeSome of our favorite Christmas traditions also have roots from the past. Did you know that Martin Luther – the Protestant reformer – was said to have cut one of the first Christmas trees for his children? And a few centuries later Queen Victoria of England popularized Christmas trees in England and America. Do you like the poinsettia flowers? Those were traditionally used in Mexican celebrations of Christmas.

One of my favorite Christmas decorations is a wreath. Wreaths have been used for centuries to display the beautiful, natural woodland plants and to welcome guests for celebrations. Today, I’ll share an idea for making a wreath of your own!

Holiday History & Craft December 2015 Christmas Wreath PaintedCraft

What You’ll Need:

White Cardstock

Green Paint (Washable)

A Fork (make sure it’s okay to get paint on it)

Wet Glue

Sequins (I used gold, silver, and red)

Ribbon (I used gold)

The Lid From A Pot

Pencil

Paper Plate

Wax Paper

Holiday History & Craft December 2015 Christmas Wreath PaintedBegin by tracing around the pot’s lid on your cardstock to make a perfect circle.

Spread some wax paper to keep the table clean.

Next, put some green paint on the paper plat and dip the flat part of the fork in the paint. Press the fork onto the paper, using the circle to guide you. (See photo).

Holiday History & Craft December 2015 Christmas Wreath PaintedContinue “fork painting” until your wreath is full and even.

Let the paint dry for a few hours.

 

 

 

 

Holiday History & Craft December 2015 Christmas Wreath Painted

Tie the ribbon into a pretty bow and decide how it will be placed on the wreath. I put mine at the top, but it really could go anywhere you like. Glue in place.

Glue sequins on the “greenery” of your wreath. Let it dry for a while.

Your wreath is finished. Let the decorating begin…

We wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Holiday History & Craft – November 2015

P1030797Gobble, Gobble…Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner. Whether you prefer turkeys in the wild or on your dining room table, you have to admit they’re part of Thanksgiving in America. Let’s learn little more about the holiday and make a craft.

 

 

 

 

Artist's idea of the first thanksgivingHoliday History

“The First Thanksgiving” was in 1621. The Pilgrims of Plymouth (in Massachusetts) decided to have a celebration to enjoy the harvest foods and socialize with their friends.

Throughout American history, leaders set aside certain days for prayer and thanksgiving. It was usually a day to attend church and be extra reverent and grateful. During the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln established the last Thursday of November as a national day of thanksgiving – this was first step to making it a national holiday with everybody celebrating on the same day.

In 1941 President Franklin D. Roosevelt made Thanksgiving Day an official American holiday and announced that it would always be celebrated on the 4th Thursday of each November.

Now, here’s a fun fact about American turkeys… Did you know Benjamin Franklin voted to make the turkey our national bird? Do you know what our national bird is? (It’s the Bald Eagle!) Which do you think the better choice for a national bird and why?

Holiday History and Craft, November 2015Craft: Harvest Turkey

Today we’ll decorate a turkey with some of the “harvest from the fields.” I hope you’ll enjoy this autumn craft.

What You’ll Need:

Cardstock

Printer or Copy Machine

A Turkey Coloring Page (I found my example turkey here http://www.coloring.ws/turkeys1.htm  PARENTAL GUIDANCE strongly advised. There were ads on this website).

Colored Pencils

A variety of dried seeds, bean, or rice (I used popcorn, black beans, kidney beans, rice, and green split peas)

Wet Glue

Begin by finding a Turkey Coloring Page (see above for suggested website) or draw your own.

Holiday History and Craft, November 2015Color the turkey with colored pencils and decide which parts are going to be covered with the beans/seeds/rice.

 

 

 

 

Holiday History and Craft, November 2015Put a moderate amount of wet glue on the area or line you want to cover with beans/seeds/rice and place the items on neatly to cover the area. Continue until all desired areas are covered.

 

 

Allow to dry complete.

Display your Harvest Turkey and wish your family “Happy Thanksgiving!”

Holiday History and Craft, November 2015

Holiday History & Craft – October 2015

Holiday History and Craft October 2015 - Yarn PumpkinHappy Fall Y’all! To celebrate one of my favorite seasons of the year, here’s our latest holiday history and craft blog post for kids.

Holiday (Seasonal) History

Autumn is the season of harvest in the northern hemisphere. The northern hemisphere? Yes! You see, there’s an imaginary line running around the middle of the Earth, and that imaginary lines is called the equator. Above the equator is the northern hemisphere and below is the southern hemisphere.

Did you know the earth tilts (leans) toward the sun? When the northern hemisphere is tilted toward the sun, it is summer there, but it is winter in the southern hemisphere. So guess what? When it’s autumn in North America (which is in the northern hemisphere), it’s spring in Australia (which is in the southern hemisphere.)

1280px-Autumn--On_the_Hudson_River-1860-Jasper_Francis_CropseyBy the time autumn comes in the northern hemisphere, it’s time to harvest the crops. Seeds planted in spring, grew into plants in the summer which produced great fruits or vegetables…ready to be harvested in the autumn.

In the olden days, people used to have gatherings and help each other harvest the fields and gardens. Sometimes they would host a corn-husking. The dried husks of corn had to be removed and they would have a “work-party”; the corn would get husked and there were games or dancing.

Autumn is the time to bring in the pumpkins from the fields and get ready to make pumpkin pies. Do you like pumpkin pie?

Today, we’re going to celebrate the autumn season by making a pumpkin decoration!

Craft: Yarn Pumpkin

Holiday History and Craft October 2015 - Yarn PumpkinWhat You’ll Need:

Cardstock

Pencil

Marker pens

Wet glue

Orange yarn

Scissors (Be careful; scissors are sharp!)

Holiday History and Craft October 2015 - Yarn PumpkinStart by drawing the outline of a pumpkin on the cardstock. Pumpkins have “character” so if yours is a little crooked or uneven, don’t worry! Add the curved lines to the center of the pumpkin. Make sure you draw the stem and make add a vine.

 

 

Holiday History and Craft October 2015 - Yarn PumpkinUsing your markers, color the stem (and vine, if you drew one) of the pumpkin. I used a combination of green and brown.

 

 

 

 

Holiday History and Craft October 2015 - Yarn PumpkinNext, measure the length of the inner lines and cut orange yarn to the correct length. Trace the lines (one at a time) with the wet glue and gently press the yarn onto the glue. Repeat on all the inner lines. Let it dry well.

Trace the outer edge of the pumpkin with glue and press orange yarn into the glue. Let it dry well.

 

Holiday History and Craft October 2015 - Yarn PumpkinYour pumpkin is now ready to display and admire.

Happy Autumn!

 

September 2015: Holiday History & Craft

Hmm…September holidays? They’re few and far between.

So how about celebrating National Literacy Month?

If you haven’t guessed already, I love books and reading! When I was younger, my mom almost couldn’t find enough good books for me to read. Here’s a few of my all-time favorites:

Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You SeeBrown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

 

 

 

Make Way For DucklingsMake Way for Ducklings

 

 

 

Little House on the PrairieLittle House on the Prairie

 

 

 

Seaman The Dog Who Explored The West With Lewis and ClarkSeaman: The Dog Who Explored The West With Lewis and Clark

 

 

 

Elsie's GirlhoodElsie’s Girlhood

 

 

 

Carry on Mr. BowditchCarry On, Mr. Bowditch

 

 

 

Pride and PrejudicePride & Prejudice

 

 

 

So books are great, but you know what’s annoying? Losing your place in a really good story…thus the importance of bookmarks!

Let’s make a bookmark…use your imagination…

Make a Bookmark

September Holiday History and CraftWhat You’ll Need:

Cardstock

Pencil

Ruler

Scissors

Hole Punch

Ribbon

Art Supplies

Your Creative Imagination

September Holiday History and CraftBegin by measuring a 2 inch strip on your cardstock with the ruler. Mark with the pencil.

 

 

 

 

September Holiday History and CraftCut on the line, and then punch a hole in the top.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, the imaginative part… Think of something you like or a book’s theme and create the artwork for the book mark.

September Holiday History and CraftI copied part of an illustration from “Make Way For Ducklings”, colored it, glued it to the bookmark, and wrote the ducklings’ names along the side.

 

 

 

September Holiday History and CraftFor the other bookmark, I used a favorite motivation quote from “Carry On, Mr. Bowditch” and drew the points of a compass to add extra decoration.

What inspires you? What’s your favorite book? Tell us in a comment or share a photo of your finished bookmark on our Facebook Page.

Happy National Literacy Month!