Monday, December 10, 2007

Week 5: Repentance (color: purple, December 16th, 2007)

"Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of God, and saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the Gospel.'" Mark 1:14-15

As always, I suggest purchasing the book I mentioned in my previous post. It contains evening readings for the Sundays in Advent, suggested hymns to sing, special prayers and discussion topics pertinent to the readings.

For the Little Ones: The Candy Cane looks like the staff that the shepherd uses to bring his sheep back into the flock. Jesus is our Good Shepherd who brings us back to God. The white stripe reminds us of Jesus' innocence. The red stripe reminds us of the blood he shed for us. John 10:11: "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep."

Candy canes are a very appropriate craft theme for this week. They remind us of our Good Shepherd who calls us to repentance and grants us life through the blood he shed. Another plus: they are very 'Christmas-y' and there are tons of activities/crafts you can do with them. Here are a few ideas for starters:

1. Tell your kids the story of the candy cane and color this page.
2. Clay/Play dough candy canes (perfect for toddlers)--Moms: roll out red and white play dough into long strips. Show your child how to wrap the strips around to make a candy cane pattern. Continue wrapping until the play dough is used up. Have your child shape it into a candy cane shape and leave out to dry. When dry, tie a ribbon around it and hang it up, or hang it on your Christmas tree. (you can do a similar thing with cookie dough).
3. Get a white candle and have your kids glue candy canes around for a candy cane candle to light on Christmas day.
4. For toddlers, draw a candy cane shape unto a piece of white paper and have your child draw on the stripes. Then have your child count how many stripes he/she drew (red or white). That's simply for math practice. (:
5. Candy Cane Balance (for multiple children): Supply each child with a candy cane. Ask them to balance it on their head. Then have the children race (you'll pick the course). Whoever makes it to the finishing line first without dropping their cane wins (when cane falls, they return to the beginning!).

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