August 2015 – Holiday History & Craft

THIS ONESummer… Enjoying the hot days, cool evenings, watermelon, water fights, good books, or the beach? How about ice cream?

Well, this poor writer and crafter was at her wit’s end this month because there are no major U.S. Holidays in August. How sad…until I discovered that August is “Family Fun Month.” That’s perfect, so that’s our theme for the month.

Now, since it’s kind of hard to write some history about our topic, (after all I think we all know what family fun is) let’s jump right to the craft and have some FAMILY FUN!

Who doesn’t love ice cream? I don’t see very many raised hands. How about a non-drip ice cream cone to organize the papers on the refrigerator? Let’s get crafty…

CRAFT – Ice Cream Cone Magnets

Adult Supervision Advised

Family Fun Craft - August 2015What You’ll Need:

Wax paper (to protect the table from glue)

Foam Sheets – brown, and then the colors of your ice cream (I chose white and pink)

Markers

Pencil

Scissor (BE CAREFUL when using these – they’re sharp)

Glue

Clothespins

Magnetic strips

Lay out some wax paper and begin by gluing (or using self-adhesive) to stick the magnetic strips to the back of the clothespin. Set aside. (If making multiple magnets, just repeat steps as many times as necessary!)

 

 

 

Family Fun Craft - August 2015Cut out a triangle from the brown foam sheet. Make sure it will cover the width of the clothespin and about 2/3 the of the length.

Cut a circle from the foam sheet you’ve chosen for the ice cream color. Hint: I used a small plastic container to help me trace a perfect circle, use the pencil.

 

Use the markers to decorate the cones with cross-hatch designs and add chunks of cookie to the vanilla ice cream (or whatever else you imagine would be good). Note: the marker pens I used took a very, very long time to dry permanently. You might try a permanent market or some other form of pen…just a thought.

Family Fun Craft - August 2015Now, glue the ice cream to the cone and let it dry for a while.

 

 

 

 

Finally, glue the clothespin to the ice cream cone (magnetic side up, of course). Let it dry.

Place on refrigerator, file cabinet, or other metal surface and clip paper notes into the clothespin.

THIS ONELastly, eat ice cream?

 

 

July 2015: Holiday History & Craft

July Holiday History and Craft Patriotic PinwheelsFourth of July is next weekend, and if I delayed this post ’til next Monday, the holiday we’re celebrating will have come and gone. So here’s the post a few days early!

Today, we’ll explore the history of Fourth of July and make a new craft! (This article and craft is designed for children and is written accordingly.)

History

The_Declaration_of_Independence_July_4_1776_by_John_TrumbullLet’s play trivia.

We celebrate Fourth of July because:

A) George Washington became president

B) The Civil War ended

C) The Declaration of Independence was approved

If you guessed C, you’re correct! Now, here’s a little more history you should know. It was actually on July 2, 1776,  when the Continental Congress voted to separate America from Great Britain. (You see, back then, England was in charge of America and could tell us what to do…we didn’t like that very much and voted to be independent.)

Thomas Jeffeson

Thomas Jeffeson

After the vote to become a separate nation, the Founding Fathers decided they needed to put it in writing. (Smart men!) So Thomas Jefferson (who would later be our third president) drafted The Declaration of Independence, declaring the reasons America would be its own country. Jefferson’s document was approved and read on July Fourth, and there was a BIG celebration.

Through the years, Americans have always had a “national birthday party” on July Fourth to celebration our country’s independence. Many cities have parades; there are barbeques and fireworks. What’s your favorite thing about Fourth of July?

The colors of the American flag are red, white, and blue, and these are the most popular colors for this holiday. Let’s make a pinwheel garland to decorate and celebrate Independence Day!

Craft

July Holiday History and Craft Patriotic PinwheelsWhat You’ll Need:

Red, White, and Blue Paper (don’t use cardstock)

Ruler

Pencil

Scissors

Tape

Two Prong Paper Fasteners

String

July Holiday History and Craft Patriotic PinwheelsWith the ruler and pencil, measure and mark 5″ squares on the paper. (You can make as many pinwheels as you want and each square makes one pinwheel.) Cut out the squares.

 

 

July Holiday History and Craft Patriotic PinwheelsUse the ruler and pencil to mark diagonal lines from corner to corner on your paper square. Cut on the lines, coming toward the center and stopping about 1/4″ from where the lines cross (intersect). Cut carefully…oh, and remember scissors are SHARP!

 

 

July Holiday History and Craft Patriotic PinwheelsNow, see the photographs. Fold two opposite diagonals to the center and secure with a little tape. Fold the remaining diagonals and secure with a little piece of tape. Now, take the paper fastener and carefully push it through the center; turn over, and open the back prongs to secure it in place. Finished!

Follow the marking, cutting, and folding directions with all your paper squares.

July Holiday History and Craft Patriotic PinwheelsJuly Holiday History and Craft Patriotic Pinwheels

July Holiday History and Craft Patriotic PinwheelsTake all your pinwheels and arrange them in your preferred pattern. (I used R,W,B,R,W,B)

Now, turn them upside down. Cut string the length of your garland and leave a little extra. Thread the string under the open prongs and tape in place.

 

When you hang your garland, you may need to secure some of the pinwheels to the surface you’re hanging against. Some of my pinwheels wanted to turn the wrong way, so I just used a little piece of tape to hold them where I wanted. 🙂

July Holiday History and Craft Patriotic PinwheelsHappy Fourth of July! Have a great week celebrating America’s independence.

June: Holiday History & Craft

Father's Day Craft - Holiday History & CraftIf Mother’s Day is in May, guess what holiday we have in June? Father’s Day! Do you know when it became an official holiday in the United States? Do you need a gift idea? Here’s your Holiday History & Craft for June.

(This article and project were prepared for children and it’s written accordingly.)

We’re going to learn about how this holiday began and make a pen or pencil holder. Come join the fun!

 

 

History

President Nixon made Father's Day an official holiday.

President Nixon made Father’s Day an official holiday.

Remember how Anna Jarvis started Mother’s Day? (You can read about it here.) Well, another lady – Grace Golden Clayton – wanted to do something special for her dad. Her dad had passed away and she knew a lot of children had also lost their fathers in a mining accident in her town in West Virginia. So on June 5, 1908, Grace and her friends held a special church service to honor their fathers. This was the first time “Father’s Day” was held in the United States, but unfortunately the idea wasn’t very popular and Grace didn’t try to encourage others to accept the holiday.

But in Washington State, another lady – Sonora Smart – also wanted to honor her father. Throughout her life, Sonora encouraged people to set aside a special day for dads and talked to retailers and lawmakers about the holiday. Different presidents offered support for the national holiday, but it wasn’t until 1972 that President Richard Nixon signed the bill which made Father’s Day an official holiday.

Father’s Day is always the third Sunday in June!

Craft

I made a lot of these for my dad when I was little. It’s a pen or pencil holder for his desk at home or at work. I hope you like this craft! *Adult supervision is recommended*

What You’ll Need:

Father's Day Craft - Holiday History & Craft15 0z. tin can

Craft Sticks (a.k.a. “popsicle sticks”) – I used 36 and had extras left over

Wood paint, any favorite colors

Foam paint brush

Paper plate

Wax paper

Glue (I used hot glue, but normal glue will work too)

Table knives

Rubber bands

Father's Day Craft - Holiday History & CraftDirections:

Begin by emptying and washing out the tin can. (I used peaches…yummy!) Dry the can and set aside. **Be careful the raw edges of the can may be sharp**

Next, layout the wax paper, pour some paint onto the paper plate and start painting those craft sticks. I used three different shades of blue, but you can use any colors you like. Try to think of you dad’s favorite color combinations.

Father's Day Craft - Holiday History & CraftWhen all the craft sticks are painted, left them dry really well. (I left mine overnight.)

 

 

 

 

Father's Day Craft - Holiday History & CraftDecide on your type of glue and prepare to assemble your pencil / pen holder. Lay out the wax paper. Use two table knives to help hold your can in place to reduce its rolling tendency. (See photo) Now begin gluing the painted craft sticks onto the can. Be careful not to extend the stick over the bottom edge because then it won’t stand evenly; cheat any extra to the top.

Make a pattern if you have multiple colors. **If you’re using a glue gun, be VERY careful – I actually burned myself during this project, and it HURTS**

Father's Day Craft - Holiday History & CraftContinue gluing the craft sticks around the can until they meet or over lap. Next, take the rubber bands and place them around the can and sticks; this is especially important if you are using regular glue. Let it dry well, then remove rubber bands.

 

 

 

 

Father's Day Craft - Holiday History & CraftAdd some sharpened pencils or Dad’s favorite pens. Your Father’s Day gift is ready!

 

 

May 2015: Holiday History & Craft

Mother's Day Craft - "Stained Glass" Candle Holder Did you ever wonder how Mother’s Day became a holiday? Or are you wondering what to make your mom for this special day? Well, here’s an answer and a gift idea!

(This is the fifth post in the monthly series “Holiday History & Crafts” which is written and designed for younger children.)

Holiday History

Contrary to some popular beliefs, Mother’s Day as we celebrate it here in the United States doesn’t have any historical roots in ancient pagan cultures. I suppose we could say it has ancient origins based on God’s command to “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land…” (Exodus 20:12). Which brings me to this point: we should honor and bless our moms every day, not just on the official holiday. And, no, your mom did not pay me to say that. 🙂

Over 100 years ago –  in 1908 –  a lady named Anna Jarvis held a special ceremony to remember her mother. Anna’s mother had died a few years before, and Anna wanted to honor her by establishing an official day to celebrate mom’s and their care role in their children’s lives. West Virginia was the first state to make the celebration of Mother’s Day official, and, in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day a United States’ holiday.

President Woodrow Wilson

President Woodrow Wilson

President Wilson proclaimed that Mother’s Day would always be on the 2nd Sunday of May. I think that’s a great time for the holiday because so many flowers are blooming and it’s easy to make pretty bouquets to decorate the house or bring to Mom!

A few years later Anna Jarvis became very upset and said that people weren’t celebrating the holiday properly. You see, Anna wanted to people to express gratitude (that’s a big word for “being thankful”) to their moms by making them something special or doing something to show how much they loved their mothers. Anna didn’t like that the stores were convincing people it was okay to buy cards and little gifts; she wanted the presents to be from the heart – in other words, something that we take time to create or plan to make special.

It’s certainly okay to buy a card or little gift for your mom, but it’s lots of fun to make them too! I think Anna Jarvis would approve of this gift you can make for your mom…and don’t forget to make a pretty card too. (You might need to get your dad, grandma, or older sibling to help you.)

 Craft – “Stained Glass” Candle Holder

Adult supervision recommended

Mother's Day Craft - "Stained Glass" Candle Holder You will need:

Waxpaper

Colored tissue paper (Pick your mom’s favorite colors!)

Foam paint brush

Small disposable cup

Glue

Water

Scissors

Glass Jar (I used a Mason Jar; a small to medium size will work best)

Tea light candles

Directions:

Place waxpaper on the table to protect the table from any messy glue.

Make sure the jar is clean and dry. Remove the lid; you won’t need it.

Mother's Day Craft - "Stained Glass" Candle Holder Cut the tissue paper into medium size shapes. (I made circles.) *Be careful – scissors are SHARP*

Squeeze some glue into the cup and mix with a little water to thin it down. Use the foam brush and paint the glue/water mixture on the jar, starting at the top. Don’t paint the whole jar at one time, just the section you’re working on.

Place the cut tissue paper on the glue and smooth the edges down. You can use a little of glue to help the edges stick. Make sure to overlap the paper edges. Work all the way around the jar. Some tissue paper colors may “bleed” if they get excess glue on them; it will probably be okay.

Mother's Day Craft - "Stained Glass" Candle Holder When you get to the bottom of the jar, turn it upside down. Fold the extra tissue paper to the underside and plaster firmly in place with the glue mixture.

Allow to dry thoroughly. (My jar took about 4 hours.)

Tea light candles (the ones in a little holder) are best in the candle holder because the wax won’t stick to the bottom. *Always be careful when using candles and fire*

 

 

Find some tea light candles to include with your “Stained Glass” Candle Holder. Wrap and make a card. Mother’s Day gift is complete!Mother's Day Craft - "Stained Glass" Candle Holder

 

April 2015: Holiday History & Craft

If you’re reading this shortly after it posted, you’re probably thinking “it’s not April, Miss Sarah.” I know. But if I waited until the first Monday of the month this year, the holiday would have already passed and I didn’t think you’d like that.

This is our fourth craft of the year and the information and project shared here are written for young children. Happy crafting.

Holiday History and Craft April 2015

I’m so happy it’s spring. The trees are getting green leaves, the daffodils are blooming, and even the roses in the garden blossoming. (I live in California, where do you live? Are the flowers in your area blooming yet?)

Well, in the spring, there’s a very special holiday. You might call it Easter, but in my family, we call it Resurrection Day. Why? Because it’s the day we remember that Jesus rose from the dead. Let me tell you about it.

History

Almost 2,000 years ago God sent His Son, Jesus, to earth. (Do you remember hearing about Baby Jesus at Christmas time?) Jesus grew up and He lived a sinless life – that means he never did anything bad. He was perfect. Jesus taught people about God, healed sick people, and blessed the children.

On the day we remember and call Good Friday, Jesus died on a cross to pay for the sins of all who will repent and believe He is the only way to God. He died and was buried in a tomb. Do you know what a tomb is? It’s like a big cave. But I’m so happy to tell you that’s not the end of the story.

Let’s read from the Bible and see what happened next:

Women at the Tomb, Jesus's ResurrectionNow on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’ ” And they remembered His words. Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven [apostles] and the rest. Luke 24:1-9, NKJV

Jesus wasn’t there. He was alive!

Christians – people who believe and obey Jesus –  started celebrating his resurrection with worship and fellowship. Through the years the holiday changed and now many people have added other traditions.

Resurrection Sunday (Easter) is when we celebrate and remember that Jesus is alive and we have hope and joy through His sacrifice on the cross and resurrection.

Craft

Butterflies are beautiful creatures. We usually see them in the spring and they are often a symbol of new life. Maybe you would like to add a Scripture verse to your page. (I wrote “Rejoice” – that word means “return to your source of joy.”)

We’re going to make a butterfly using a mosaic technique. The ancient Roman era was during Jesus’s lifetime and the Romans made beautiful mosaics on the floors and walls of their homes. So we’ll combine an ancient art form from Jesus’s era and some modern supplies to make our craft today.

What You’ll Need:

Holiday History and Craft April 2015

Cardstock

About an 1/8 to a 1/4 cup of pre-cut paper pieces (Cut a variety of colored papers into small squares, approximately 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch)

Butterfly design Available for Free Download Here

Crayons

Pen (optional)

Glue

Table cover

Directions:

Begin by opening the file with the Butterfly design available from Gazette665. Print this PDF document on your sheet of cardstock.

Lay out your protective table covering (we’re getting out the glue in a minute).

Color the butterfly’s body – black, brown, or gray. I chose black.

Holiday History and Craft April 2015

Next put a little bit of glue on about half of a wing section. Kind of swirl it as you go. A little glue goes a long way on this project.

Holiday History and Craft April 2015

Stick the colored paper on the glue. If the paper overlaps a little, that’s fine. Try not to have any big open white spaces on your butterfly wings. Be creative. Make patterns or be random with the colors. Continue putting glue and paper on the wings until they are nicely covered.

Let the project dry.

Holiday History and Craft April 2015

If you like, use a colored pen and write a word, phrase, or scripture verse on your page.

Happy Resurrection Day!

Holiday History and Craft April 2015

 

 

 

 

March 2015: Holiday History & Craft

March 2015 Holiday History and Craft Gazette6659It’s time to “march” on over to Ireland for our third Holiday History & Craft this year! (This article and craft is designed for younger children and is written accordingly).

Can you think of a holiday in this month? How about a day to wear green (or orange)?

That’s right. St. Patrick’s Day is in March. So what is St. Patrick’s Day? I can remember asking my mom the same question when I was younger. 🙂

Let’s explore a little of the history surrounding the holiday and the Emerald Isle (that’s a fancy name for Ireland) and then we’ll do a craft.

History

Who was this guy called St. Patrick? Is he the funny looking little man with red hair and a green costume? No, that’s a leprechaun, a mischievous and legendary little character. St. Patrick was a missionary to Ireland. He lived during the 5th Century A.D. (That’s about 1600 years ago, and so long ago that historians are still debated when he was actually born!) Patrick originally lived in England, but he got captured and taken to Ireland when he was young man; he eventually escaped and returned to his family. But Patrick was concerned about the people of Ireland. He wanted to tell them about the Christian faith, so when he was older he returned to Ireland. He is often called the patron saint of Ireland and some churches have a specially celebration for him on March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day).

St. Patrick Stained Glass (Photo by Andreas F. Borchert, Wikipedia)

St. Patrick Stained Glass (Photo by Andreas F. Borchert, Wikipedia)

There are many legends about St. Patrick. One claims that he drove all the snakes off the island and into the sea where they were drowned! Another says he used the Irish shamrock plant to explain the Christian belief of the Trinity to his converts.

Maybe you don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in your church? (I don’t…) So why’s the day important? Well, a lot people do crazy things on the holiday, but I think it’s a nice time to remember the country of Ireland, it’s fascinating history, and the Irish people who came to America.

For example, did you know that potatoes were a main food source for the Irish people? Sadly, in the 1840’s (about 170 years ago) a bad plant disease ruined the potato crops for many years. The Irish people were hungry. Some of them came to America to escape the famine and they became an important part of American society. Did you know that some Irishmen helped lay the railroad tracks for the first trans-continental railroad in America?

You can find for fun-facts and information on Gazette665 Facebook page between March 15th and 21st. (Parental supervision recommend.) I will also share a short list of some of my favorite books about Ireland on Tuesday, March 10 – you’ll be able to find it on the Holiday History and Craft Page.

Craft

To remember the Irish and St. Patrick, let’s make a celebration sign. You’ll use potatoes to make stamps – remember that the potato famine brought many Irish to America, looking for work and food.

*Warning: Knives are sharp – please be careful – adult supervision/help is STRONGLY recommended*

March 2015 Holiday History and Craft Gazette665

What You’ll Need:

A large piece of white paper (I used an oversize sheet of construction paper)

Some sort of table protector (I found a good use for the sports section of the newspaper)

Orange, Green, and Yellow Paint – the washable type is my favorite 🙂

A paper plate

Paint brushes

Pencil

Measuring spoon

Large Potatoes

Paper Towels

Sharp Knife (and an adult’s help!)

Markers or colored pencils (optional)

Lay out your table cover and let’s begin. Start by writing out HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY on your paper. Write in pencil. Then either use the orange paint and paint on the lines or use the markers or colored pencils.

March 2015 Holiday History and Craft Gazette6652

Now, make the potato stamps. *Remember, knives are sharp – be careful* Cut the potato in half, NOT length wise!

March 2015 Holiday History and Craft Gazette665

You’ll make the diamond stamp first. Take your pencil and draw a square (which will be a diamond when turned) in the white part of the potato.

March 2015 Holiday History and Craft Gazette665

Use the knife to cut away the extra potato on the sides, leaving the square standing up about a half-inch from the rest of the potato. (See the photograph).

March 2015 Holiday History and Craft Gazette665

Next, if you’re brave, prepare the cut the shamrock stamp. Start by lightly pressing the measuring spoon into the potato, move it and press two more times, making the interlocking circles and the outer lines should start to look like a shamrock. (See photograph.) Leave enough room to make a straight stem.

March 2015 Holiday History and Craft Gazette665

Now, trace with a pencil to finalize your impressions; remember to only trace the outer part. Use the knife to carefully cut away the outer part of the shamrock, leaving the design standing up about a half-inch from the rest of the potato. I found that cutting small pieces helped to preserve the design better.

March 2015 Holiday History and Craft Gazette665

Dry the diamond and shamrock stamps lightly with a paper towel.

Put some paint on the paper plate. Use a paint brush to apply a generous coating of paint to the raised surface of the stamps. Test on scrap paper if you like. Press the stamp firmly against the page; don’t allow it to slip or slide around. Pick it straight up off the page. Use the paint brush to fix any open spaces in the design – Do Not try to “reprint” a stamp, it doesn’t work well. (Trust me.)

March 2015 Holiday History and Craft Gazette665

Stamp green shamrocks and gold diamonds around your orange text. Have Fun! Do you remember why we used potatoes? Tell your dad, mom, grandma, or friend about what you learned!

March 2015 Holiday History and Craft Gazette6659