Thursday, November 20, 2014

Advent Manger project- get 'er done!

Have some time off around Thanksgiving with your kids? Here's a something to do with the cold weather and wind outside that involves being warm inside.
Back on my post of 15 Simple Advent Traditions I listed making a manger or creche for Jesus with your kids to fill with "straw" by doing good deeds. The idea is each day your kids place a piece of straw or crinkled piece of construction paper straw, or yellow yarn into the manger. By the end of Advent, you have a manger full of fluffy hay for baby Jesus to lay in Christmas Eve.
    This is the tutorial on how to make this simple popsicle stick manger. You will need 16 popsicle sticks, I used the normal sized ones, not the jumbo ones. You can find them all at Walmart in the craft section, or Hobby Lobby.


16 popsicle sticks (colored brown with magic marker optional)
glue- we just used regular Tacky Glue, or try a hot glue gun to be fast!
Glue Dots- these will support your legs at an awkward angle while you run glue down the sides (it makes sense once you see the photo) But trust me you will want them.
And Baby Jesus. (I found them at the Goodwill with Christmas decor, I found a glow in the dark one Brenden can't quit carrying around and kissing at Sacred Heart Gifts for $.60 and also at Sacred Heart this beautiful one for around $7.) Also try Autom's website- they have little baby Jesus for sale perfect for this project.

Now one to building a creche.

After they color their popsicle sticks brown (we used out Dot Markers)

Glue the legs together- make X's

Glue 5 popsicles sticks together for each side.

 Cut your two single popsicle sticks in half (at the top of this photo below)

Glue the halves as support pieces onto the sides.

Glue dot the legs to the side now. The glue dots keep the legs in place while you run a line of glue down the edges. Then you don't need to worry about propping up the legs with something with support while they dry. The glue dots keep the legs upright themselves.

See the glue dot in the above picture? Now stick those legs to you creche sides. And run glue down the edges. Don't forget to have something hold the whole thing on the table so it doesn't fall on the floor in case it is unbalanced. The legs will support themselves though with the glue dots while your line of glue dries.

Glue your other side the same way.

Fill the creche with a piece of straw for each good dead. You could use yellow yarn too or strips of kinked yellow paper. Use your Sacrifice Beads to help them count their good deeds throughout the day so during Jesse Tree time they can place their straw in the creche.  In the end motivate your children to make a nice soft bed for Jesus by Christmas Eve where He can lay His sleepy head. 

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