Such a great session to end the term at culture for kids, christmas crafts!
This was one of my favourite things about christmas as a child, and now it was one of my favourite things to read about now! Snowmen appeared on some of the first postcards and starred in some early silent movies. They were the subject of some of the earliest photos dating back to the 1800s.
In the Middle Ages snowmen were built with great skill and thought. It was a popular activity for couples to stroll through town to view the temporary works of art. Famous artists, including a 19-year-old Michelangelo, built snowmen. In 1494 Michelangelo was commissioned by the ruler of Florence, Italy, to sculpt a snowman in his mansion’s courtyard.
In Switzerland, it is tradition every year since 1818, for the people of Zurich to celebrate the beginning of spring by blowing up a snowman. A cotton snowman called the Böögg is stuffed with dynamite and paraded through town by bakers, blacksmiths, and other tradesmen who throw bread and sausages to the crowds. The parade ends with the Böögg being placed on a 40-foot pile of scrap wood. After the bells of the Church of St. Peter have chimed six times, representing the passing of winter, the pile is lit. When the snowman explodes, winter is considered officially over.
Traditionally, the Christmas tree decorated with edibles such as apples, nuts, or other foods. In the 18th century, it began to be illuminated by candles which were replaced by christmas lights. Today, there is a wide variety of ornaments, such as garlands, tinsel, and candy canes. An angel or star might be placed at the top of the tree to represent the archangel Gabriel or the star of Bethlehem from the Nativity.
Green and red are the traditional colours for Christmas decorations.
Green – represents the continuance of life
Red – Symbolises the blood of Christ
We created star decorations with lollipop sticks, pipe cleaners and lots and lots of glitter 🙂
Long before the advent of Christianity, plants and trees that remained green all year had a special meaning for people in the winter. Just as people today decorate their homes during the festive season with pine, spruce, and fir trees, ancient peoples hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows. In many countries it was believed that evergreens would keep away witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness.
Many ancient people believed that the sun was a god and that winter came every year because the sun god had become sick and weak. They celebrated the solstice because it meant that at last the sun god would begin to get well. Evergreen boughs reminded them of all the green plants that would grow again when the sun god was strong and summer would return.
Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition as we now know it in the 16th century when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. Some built Christmas pyramids of wood and decorated them with evergreens and candles if wood was scarce.
Our mini explorers were finding the nativity characters hidden in the ball pool and creating their own nativity scene at culture for kids 🙂 We also created beautiful baby jesus cradles with stars.
This is Jades million-eyed reindeer! ha! We created handprint, and some babies created foot print reindeers, with a big red pom pom nose, googly eyes and a smart bow tie.
Some interesting facts about reindeers!
§ Reindeer live in the Northern parts of North America including Canada and Alaska also in Europe, Russia and Greenland. Lets us not forget with Santa at the North Pole.
§ They eat moss, grass and plants.
§ A reindeer has brown soft fur with white fur on their neck and parts of their back.
§ Reindeer are usually 4-5 ft tall not including their antlers. Their antlers are 3ft tall!
§ Did you know that reindeer are the only deer in which both male and females grow antlers. They shed their antlers in the winter.
§ Like a human’s fingerprint no two reindeer antlers are exactly the same.
§ Their hooves are used to dig for food in the snow. The outer edges of their hooves are sharp while help them walk on ice and rocks.
§ Did you know that reindeer can run 50 miles per hour!
§ A male reindeer is called a Buck.
§ A female reindeer is called a Doe
§ A baby reindeer is called a Fawn
This week we had lovely gold sparkly playdoh, best recipe yet! I’ve tried so many different ones but never felt it was the right playdoh texture, so I made my own recipe using the best bits of the different recipes I have read!
- Two cups flour
- One cup salt
- five spoons of vegetable oil
- two spoons of vinegar
- couple of good doses of glycerine
- one and a half cups of water
- food colouring, just add until the desired colour is achieved
- Glitter (optional)
Put all ingredients in a large pan and mix until most of the lumps are gone, you can never get rid of all of them though! And then place over a low heat, keep stirring until it molds into a lump. This time I was a bit braver and left the dough in the pan a little longer so it wasn’t so sticky when it came out. Once it’s out the pad, need the dough a little 🙂
Thank you to everyone for your support this term, looking forward to more exploring in 2016!
Thanks for reading! Please follow culture for kids 🙂