Nature-Themed Advent Calendar 16th December

Today’s Reading

Luke 1:61-64 ESV

And they said to Elizabeth, “None of your relatives is called by this name.” And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all wondered. And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God.

Today’s Activity

Take a winter walk with your child today and look for interesting rocks to bring home.

Hint: We shall be using them soon 🙂

Enjoy their shapes, colours, and textures. Talk with your child about how rocks are made from much smaller pieces, known as ‘grains’. Each one of those grains was once part of another rock before being broken down, and reformed as part of the rock you picked up today.

Here is an interesting identification tool on the OU site: What Rock Is That?

See you tomorrow for more advent fun.

Nature-Themed Advent Calendar 15th December

Today’s Reading

Luke 1:59 ESV

And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, but his mother answered, “No; he shall be called John.”

Today’s Activity

Have fun in the kitchen today and cook up your favourite Christmas treats. One of our family favourites is Peppermint Bark. We have our own family ‘recipe’, although, as it is so simple to make, it would be better described as a method. You can find a similar recipe here.

Make a double portion and take the opportunity to share with a neighbour; perhaps an elderly person who cannot get out and about as much as they would like, and would appreciate some company, or a harried new mother, who will have little time for home-made treats this year.

Just remember; the goal is not to bake the perfect sweet treat, but to have fun with your family and to share with others.

See you tomorrow for more advent fun.

Nature-Themed Advent Calendar 14th December

Today’s Reading

Luke 1:58 ESV

And Elizabeth’s neighbours and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.

Today’s Activity

Head out to your special nature spot and have fun making a natural collage right there on the floor with found items such as twigs, seed pods, rocks and stones, feathers, and any other natural items you find. Leave your work of art in place for other walkers to enjoy. Perhaps leave a ‘Happy Christmas’ message too?

See you tomorrow for more advent fun.

Nature-Themed Advent Calendar 13th December

Today’s Reading

Luke 1:57 ESV

Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son.

Today’s Activity

Today we will be making Christmas cards using the rubbings we made yesterday.

This a super-easy craft, that results is beautiful cards.

  • Take the rubbings you made yesterday and cut out simple Christmas shapes. Here are some printable patterns, but the shapes are so simple, it would be possible to draw them free-hand.
  • Glue a single shape onto the centre of a blank greeting card.
  • Outline the shape with a metallic marker for a extra-special, festive touch.

Enjoy the afternoon writing your Christmas cards, and praying for each recipient, as you sip a hot chocolate.

See you tomorrow for more advent fun.

Winter Bird Week: Exploring Nature With Children

Winter Bird Week.jpg

This week in Exploring Nature With Children is ‘Winter Birds Week’.

Here are some helpful links to get you going:

Happy exploring!

Nature-Themed Advent Calendar 11th December

Today’s Reading

Luke 1:46-55 ESV

Mary’s Song of Praise: The Magnificat

And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,

   and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.

    For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

for he who is mighty has done great things for me,

    and holy is his name.

And his mercy is for those who fear him

    from generation to generation.

He has shown strength with his arm;

    he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;

he has brought down the mighty from their thrones

    and exalted those of humble estate;

he has filled the hungry with good things,

    and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has helped his servant Israel,

    in remembrance of his mercy,

as he spoke to our fathers,

    to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

Today’s Activity

Let’s make play dough 🙂

Play dough is great for your child to play with whilst you read aloud, allowing them to create the characters you read about, or just to enjoy it’s lovely texture. It may also help to keep them busy while you get on with Christmas preparations for a little while (not guaranteed!)

  • 300g salt
  • 360g plain flour
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 250ml warm water

Method:

  • Mix together all the dry ingredients
  • Add the oil.
  • Gradually add the water until you reach a good dough texture.
  • Knead for a few moments to improve the texture.

For fun you can add different ingredients;

  • Cinnamon & ground ginger (1 tsp each) for a gingerbread playdough
  • Peppermint essence (a few drops) and red food colour for candy cane play dough
  • GLITTER! and food colour of your child’s choice for Christmas magic (You can buy biodegradable glitter here)

See you tomorrow for more advent fun.

Calendar of Firsts: Week 49

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Christmas trees count as nature study, yes?

We also enjoyed our first snow this week!

An Observant Child…

WINTER An observant child

An observant child should be put in the way of things worth observing

Charlotte Mason

Nature-Themed Advent Calendar 7th December

Today’s Reading

Matthew 1:18-21 ESV 

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

Today’s Activity

Today let’s make Christmas wrapping paper:

  • Take a potato, and cut in half.
  • Take a cookie cutter in a pleasing shape and push through the cut side of the potato. Remove any excess potato. This will leave you with a nice, crisp edge to print with.
  • Pat the potato dry with kitchen paper.
  • Put your chosen paint colours out in little dishes onto a newspaper-covered surface.
  • Take large sheets of plain paper; I like to use brown wrapping paper, lining paper is another option, and simply dip the potato shape lightly into the paint (too much will blur the design) and print down randomly on the paper.
  • Repeat until your child is satisfied with their design.
  • Allow to dry.

Enjoy listening to Christmas carols as you get on with wrapping some Christmas gifts together 🙂

See you tomorrow for more advent fun.

Nature-Themed Advent Calendar 5th December

Today’s Reading

Luke 1:32-35 ESV

The angel continued “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.

Today’s Activity

Today, use the last of your woodland gatherings to make a wreath for your home.

Simply take your garden wire and form a rough circle shape, two or three times, entwining the wire as you go.

Once you have your basic wreath shape, simply tuck in short sprigs of evergreen, such as holly, pine, yew, box and so forth. Attach them well with lengths of twine. Also add in berries, fir cones, seed pods, rose hips, ivy, or whatever else takes your fancy!

This will be a truly special decoration for your home, made with love, and representative of your family’s own special nature spot.

Display with pride!

Have you made a few entries into your mother’s advent journal? This is a treasure in the making.

See you tomorrow for more advent fun.