Book of the week
Posy and Pip: The Christmas Tree by Camilla Reid and Alex Scheffler.
It's Christmas time and Pip and Posy are busy decorating the tree with tasty candy sticks, and beautiful biscuits, and a delicious-looking sugar star. But the strange thing is that every time Posy goes out of the room, when she returns, there's one less decoration on the tree. Eventually, there are NO decorations left AT ALL . . . Oh, dear!
All young readers will enjoy the moment when Posy finds Pip lying on the sofa, feeling sick, but will they guess how she decides to tackle Pip?
We started by discussing the time of year, what changes occur during the Winter months and what happens to the plants, trees and animals. We also talked about how different religeons and countries celebrate Christmas.
Our activity this week was making Christmas wreaths that the children could take home and hang up. The resources we needed were: thick, pliable wire; wire cutters; florists wire; branches from a fir tree; cinnamon sticks or star anise; ribbon; beads; minature bells; pine cones; dried orange slices; scissors and finally, secateurs. We took a length of the thicker wire and asked the children to use the wire cutters to cut it to size. They bent the wire into a circle shape and we twisted it around itself to hold it together. They used the secateurs cut small lengths off the fir branches and started to wrap them around the wire, eventually covering all the wire and creating a ring of the fir branches. We asked them how they would like to decorate their wreaths and most used pine cones, beads threaded onto florists wire, ribbon, minature bells and either cinnamon sticks or star anise.
A short history of Christmas wreaths...
It is believed that Advent wreaths may have been first used by Lutherans in Germany in the 16th century. The first record of this custom, however, is from 1833, when a Lutheran clergyman lit a candle in a wreath every Sunday and told the nativity story. This custom spread to homes and churches and continues today.
During the 19th century wreaths were made to hang on the front door. These wreaths were also known as ‘welcome rings’ and usually consisted of holly, ivy, pine cones and ribbons.
Aims and Objectives
Explore natural materials
Explore and respond to different natural phenomena in their setting
Develop hand-eye co-ordination
Develop manipulation and control
Discuss Christmas religion and traditions
If you would like to make a Christmas wreath at home with your child, click the link to find some lovely alternatives that use leaves instead of fir branches from the mothernatured.com website. Don't forget to upload your home made leaf wreaths onto Tapestry!