Crafts, Little Hands

Waiting for Jesus “Good Deeds” Manger

I am very excited to share my first guest post today!  And it is written by none other then my lovely mom, Christine Wolzl.  She brings a wealth of knowledge in kids activities and education after spending a good part of her life in the classroom teaching grade one.  She is now retired, which means we get to benefit from all the lovely cards and paper creations she enjoys crafting in her spare time.  I can’t wait to see what she has come up with for our Christmas cards this year!

StrawMangerActivity_Title

We are one week away from Christmas!  The week before Christmas can be a tough time for little ones, often leading to tears and other less desirable behavior.  It is also a tough time for moms, busy getting ready for the big day, and needing help from their children, or time to do the extra things needed to prepare for Christmas.  It becomes the perfect time to make the “Good Deeds” Manger!  This project was inspired by the Straw For the Manger Christmas Story and Activity found on the blog small fine print.

The creation of the manger brings children back to the main reason for Christmas – the birth of Christ and focuses on what each child can do to welcome Jesus to the world.  With every good deed the child does, they place a piece of straw (yarn) in the manger.  They can see the fruits of all their good deeds in the growing soft straw placed in the manger.  The manger filled with soft straw becomes their gift to the Christ child.  A good place for the manger could be under the Christmas tree, easy for them to add their good deeds into!

The supplies needed are very simple and economical – a ball of yellow (or straw coloured) yarn and 1/2 of a sheet of brown card stock, construction paper or thin cardboard.
StrawMangerActivity_Supplies

Use the link for the pdf pattern to make the manger: StrawMangerActivity_PrintableTemplate

StrawMangerActivity_PrintableTemplate

The bed of the manger is 5 1/2 inches (the width of 1/2 sheet of the card stock) by 5 inches.  Score at 2 1/2 inches and fold.

StrawMangerActivity_Template

With the manger bed folded, cut a slit 1 3/4 inches long, 1 inch in from the edges – on both sides.
Cut out the two manger supports.

StrawMangerActivity_CutOut

Slide the supports into the manger bed and open the bed wide.

Snip little pieces of the yarn (about 2 inches long) for the straw.

StrawMangerActivity_FInal

Take time to share the story of the birth of Jesus and teach your children how their good deeds – helping others, being kind, sharing etc – are the gifts they can give.  For a super poem (and printout!) and a story that tells about the Good Deeds Manger go to: http://smallfineprint.com/straw-for-the-manger/

I wish you a peaceful week leading up to Christmas, and a joyous Christmas Day!

Thank you again for sharing, mom! 

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