Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Stories and Advent

It’s nearly that time again. The run up to Christmas is an exciting time for children.  We always had an Advent calender for our three when they were small – usually the type that showed images of the Christmas story inside the little doors. But we did the hidden chocolate versions some years too.
In some ways you could say Christmas is about story. It’s the celebration of something that happened, was recorded and passed down through the ages. Children are natural embracers of this lovely, hope-filled story. Just watch them taking part in their Nativity plays or concerts or enjoying Christmas themed story books. I love the idea of making the run-up to Christmas a story-themed time. You can use children’s favourite Christmassy stories to create crafts and decorations. It's a great way to get children to engage with stories and be creative, imaginative and occupied all at the same time. Here are nine ideas to get you started. The books shown or mentioned are just suggestions. The idea is to share a story together first and then get creating.

1 Ginger Bread Christmas by Jan Brett
Make ginger bread characters
2 Make a card game – drawing and colouring story characters or scenes and photocopying them so you have enough of each to make your own simple card games.
3 The Story of Christmas by Mary Packard and Carolyn Croll
 Decorations: draw, cut out and colour stars and use thread to join them together. They can be hung on your Christmas tree.
4 Any Christmassy themed story, especially those about the Nativity.
Trace and colour pictures to make home-made Christmas cards for your child to give to their friends.
5  A Christmas Advent Story by Hannah Tolson and Ivy Snow

Use the lid of an old shoe box or similar to make a snow scene with cotton wool, twigs for trees etc
6  The Christmas Elf  by Kate Smeltzer and Connie Christianson

Make Elf ears out of paper or card. Use elastic or string to attach or read Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer by Barbara Shook Hazen and Richard Scarry and make Rudolf’s nose from one section of the base of a cardboard egg box. Paint or colour red, attach elastic or string to make your own Rudolph nose.

7   The Christmas Pudding Who Nobody Loved by  Chris Waddington and Steve Dasguptarts.  Draw a Christmas pudding shape on card, cut it out and decorate by gluing small scrunched up pieces of brown tissue paper. Cut out a white shape and holly leaves for the top. Here’s ours!

8 One Cosy Christmas by M Christina Butler and Tina Macnaughton
Draw a hedgehog shape on card and cut it out. Attach straws for the spikes or make a hedgehog out of plastercine.
Santa to the Rescue! by Barry Timms and Ag Jatkowska 
Make a Santa with moving arms and legs
Draw and cut out a Santa, making the arms and legs separate pieces. Attach the parts using split pins. Attach a string or cord to each limb and let it hang down at the base of your Santa. When you pull the cord the arms and legs will move. Here’s ours!

If you don’t have enough Christmassy themed stories at home find more in the library and there are free stories on line too:

Some of my favourites, including titles by sassies:

Happy Advent - happy story sharing!

Hilary Hawkes