Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?

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Confession: I have never seen Frozen. Gasp. My kids have, and they, unlike everyoneelseintheworld, were not impressed. Thus, no exposure for mommy. I do sing “Let it Go” whenever they bicker with each other, which is mommygenius because it forces them to instantly team up in an all-out mutual effort to silence me. Heh. Heh. Heh.

But that is beside the point. Despite the fact that I’ve seriously neglected this blog all year long, I’m gonna post a fun DIY to keep on file for next year’s Christmas shenanigans. Ready?

Felt. Snowman. Wall.
Easy as 1-2-3, and makes for hours of creative, mess-free, wintry FUN. Did I mention the no mess part? No paint, glitter, sprinkles or cookie crumbs to sweep/wipe/scrub off the floor. Those activities are glorious, of course. But THIS project is one where you can send your precious little mess-makers whilst you detox the house from the aforementioned explosively-festive crafts.

First: buy some felt. It’s cheap, folks. Buy a couple yards of your background material – I chose red – don’t use white! You could use black, grey, brown, blue…whatever floats your boat, but not a color you plan to use a lot in the foreground. Because a snowman in a blizzard just doesn’t have the same appeal. Buy several other colors as well – white, green, yellow, brown, orange, black, red, etc. You can get half-yards at the cutting counter or those little sheets of felt they sell in crafting supplies.

Pop in It’s a Wonderful Life or While You Were Sleeping, and start snipping: cut out your building pieces. Fabric scissors are best here. Cut big white blobs (snowman body parts), stick pieces (arms), little black blobs (coal), – or multicolored buttons if you’re really up for a challenge! – orange triangles, mittens, boots, hats, scarves, etc. You can cut out big green trees and geometric shapes for presents, or brown geometric pieces to build gingerbread houses…the possibilities are endless! I added lots of white strips and geometric shapes to build giant snowflakes. My kids requested a felt nativity set to put on their wall, but by then Mama’s hands were stiff from all the cutting. Next year, kiddos.

Adhere your backing piece to the wall. We have a big blank wall in my kids’ room that worked perfectly. It ended up being about 5 feet high, 6 feet wide. Next year I hope that wall will be filled with shelves, frames, etc. so we will have to find a new spot. If you have to go over any outlets or switches, measure where they are and cut them out from the backing piece, so they aren’t covered up all season long.

You can stick the felt backing on with painter’s tape (I used green! So festive!), but the bigger it is, the more reinforcement it will need. I busted out the stapler and punched a few staples in where my wall was saggy. If you can’t do that, you could always make tape loops and put them all over your wall prior to sticking/smoothing the felt.

Find a basket or bin to store the building pieces, and let the kids go to town. My kids played with it day after day for hours! Since we used a whole wall, they could both build simultaneously without disturbing each other’s creations. It makes for a fun room decoration when it’s all up, too! Next year, besides cutting a Nativity, I might cut out pieces for them to play felt tic tac toe or other games on their wall.

What would you make for your kids to build? I’d love more ideas!

In His joy,
Monique

 

 

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Bible craft: David & Mephibosheth, 2 Samuel 9-10

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My goodness, I’ve been a bad blogger. So many crafts, cakes, DIYs, homeschool activities…so little time to blog about them! Better late than never, right?

This weekend the kids’ ministry at our church was to study 2 Samuel 9-10. In this passage we find the beautiful story of King David’s kindness to Mephibosheth, the crippled son of his deceased best friend, Jonathan. I love this story. If only all of us took the opportunity to lavish kindness and love on one another, especially those who deal with lifelong hardship! I am so thankful to be part of a church body that teaches children beyond the favorite Bible stories that you find in a children’s picture Bible. The story of David and Mephibosheth is a hidden gem that can stir little children’s hearts to show love and kindness, especially to those who might look different. Think of the bullying, name-calling, and harshness our little ones are exposed to every day. This little lesson on compassion could make such a positive impact on their character!

For the lesson, my fantastic teaching partner, Aaron, brought his two older kiddos to perform the story as a skit. 24 preschoolers sat motionless as the play unfolded. It was simple, but illustrated the love of David for his friend’s son, despite differences and family hostility. The children were left with the truth that “God can help me show kindness to others.”

I wanted to send the children home with a memento of the lesson, so I came up with a simple craft. They colored a picture of a boy, added crutches and bandages to show Mephibosheth’s condition, and then added a table and food to show how David provided for him. Easy, check! Fun, check! Inexpensive, check check! Below are the materials and steps to complete the craft. Let me know if you have any ideas to improve it…Maybe older children could include David at the table with his crown.

Enjoy!

2 Samuel 9-10 Craft

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Materials:
Mephibosheth Coloring Sheet (below)
Crayons
Scissors
Craft sticks
Gauze/white fabric
Liquid glue
Brown paper
Food magazines/coupon books/etc

2 Samuel 9-10

Teacher prep: Cut the brown paper into strips. I cut the strips lengthwise, about 1/2 inch, and then cut a short end off and split it lengthwise for two table legs. Cut your gauze/fabric into small squares (two per child). Cut out plenty of food images from magazines, catalogs, and coupon books. Kids love picking out their favorite foods for the table!

In class: Children color the picture first, then glue on the crutches and bandages (in our 3s class, teachers apply glue to avoid waste, and so everyone finishes in a timely fashion). Add more glue for the table, and finally the food. Done! Such a simple craft, but each one comes out unique, and they all convey such an important message of love and kindness. If you’re looking for a way to illustrate 2 Samuel 9-10, I hope this craft will help you!

In His love,
Monique