Monday, December 13, 2010

Decorating for Christmas

In some churches, decorating the church building with pine boughs and wreaths is an annual tradition called the “hanging of the greens.” Decorating your classroom for the season doesn’t have to be an expensive or elaborate proposition. Here are a few money-saving ways to involve parents, friends, and your little ones in sprucing up your classroom for Christmas:
  •   Spice up a small tree with the wonderful smell of cinnamon sticks. For each ornament, tie three or four cinnamon sticks together with ribbon. Glue a cluster of three cranberries to the sticks for a festive touch.
  •   Cut doves, angels, stars, manger scenes, and other items from old Christmas cards. Punch a hole in the top of each card, add a ribbon hanger, and hang from the tree.
  •  Tie colorful ribbons onto your Christmas tree. See how many bows, large and small, you can create.
 •   Let each child glue three craft sticks together to form a snowflake shape. Spread glue on the sticks and sprinkle with glitter. Add a sticker in the middle of the snowflake (one sticker on each side). Use these Jesus Dazzle Stickers or others you have on  hand. Tie a yarn hanger to each ornament.
 •   Decorate plain glass ball ornaments with glitter glue. Let each child use a paintbrush to create a personalized and unique family treasure. Make sure each person initials and dates the ornaments he or she creates.
  •  String beads and jingle bells onto chenille wire or ribbon. Twist lengths of wire together to form long garlands or twist the ends of one wire together to form a “bracelet” to hang with ribbon from the ceiling.
  •  Cut colorful paper into 8-inch strips and link the strips to form a paper chain. Make several, and hang the paper chains in your windows and doorway.
  •  Have older children make paper chains to take home. Let them print a Scripture verse on each chain link before gluing them together. Encourage them to read one verse to their families each day between now and Christmas. Choose verses that tell the Christmas story from Luke or Matthew.
  •  Fold white paper into a small triangle. Then cut a variety of shapes from the triangle. Unfold it to form a snowflake. Sprinkle it with silver or gold glitter glue, if you wish. Tie a string or piece of thread to the snowflake so it can hang from your ceiling or in a window.
  •  Collect pinecones (and fir cones). Spread glue on the cone and let the children add glitter. Wrap a wire around each cone, nearest its large end. Bring the wire up at the back of the cone and twist it into a loop for hanging. Tie a colorful ribbon into a bow around the wire at the base of the cone.
  •  Place a plastic or wooden creche (nativity scene) under the tree to help the children focus on the real meaning of Christmas—Jesus! Make sure your nativity figures are not breakable. As the children play with the figures, talk about the Christmas story and how Jesus was born and died for our sins (the wrong things we say and do). Explain that Jesus came alive again and now lives in heaven with God. Let the children retell the Christmas story as they play.

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