Here’s how to make a homemade Advent wreath, for a candle-lit countdown to Christmas.
QUICK RESOURCE >> Download your ready-made Nativity Unit here
Homemade Advent wreath
Advent marks the four weeks leading up to the celebration of Christmas. It can be such a busy time for families, with lots of shopping and events taking place.
I think the tradition of an Advent wreath is a lovely way to catch your breath and take a pause in all the busyness.
There are five candles on an Advent ring, and the tradition is to light each one in turn on the Sundays that run up to Christmas, lighting the central fifth one on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day itself.
The lighting of the candles can be a time to gather the family round and to have a homemade ceremony of some kind.
You might pray, share a Bible reading or sing a carol.
You might have a quiet dinner together, or sit and craft awhile, making some homemade gifts.
You might simply snuggle up together, under a warm blanket, and read a Christmas story book.
Religious or not, the Advent wreath can be a great focus for some calm in this busy season.
Here’s how to make one:
We used a salt dough recipe to make our candle holders.
Similar to our Christmas play dough recipe, you just need to take a large bowl and in it mix: two cups flour two cups salt and one cup water.
Then you can mould the dough into any shape you like ~ the dough makes great Christmas tree decorations.
To make these candle holders, my daughter formed the dough into small rounds, and used a tea light holder to push the right candle-sized shape in the top. She made the candle holder for the centre taller than the others.
Then you need to place the candle holders on a baking tray and bake at Gas 1/2, 120C, 250F for about 3 hours.
Exactly how long it take to bake will depend on how big you make your candle holders.
The idea is to dry them out, so you might want to turn them over half-way through to allow them to bake underneath too.
While you’re waiting for the candle holders to bake, you can make the Advent wreath.
We took red, white and brown card and cut out lots and lots of circles.
We used a large and small cookie cutter to draw round, to get our circles.
Then we glues our circles down on a piece of thick card, to give us a decorative base for our Advent wreath.
Once the salt dough candle holders are baked, and you’ve given them time to cool, you can paint them.
We used red acrylic paint, and sprinkled on a dusting of red glitter while the paint was still wet.
You can add a layer of protective varnish, but we just used two coats of paint.
Then you’re ready to assemble your Advent wreath, placing four candles around the Advent ring, with the final one in the centre.
Advent begins on Sunday 1st December this year, when we’ll light our first candle at dinner.
We’re gathering a basket of Christmas stories and plan to read one each day, so we’ll read the first by candle-light.
Download your ready-made Nativity Unit
Download the Play Academy’s ready-made Nativity Unit and you’ll have everything you need to lead a set of activities to introduce your children to the Nativity story.
This Unit includes artist-drawn puppets/colour-in nativity scene characters and printable Bible verse cards, that your children can use year after year.
In this Nativity teaching unit your children can:
:: learn about the Nativity and create their own Nativity book or small world scene using colour-in puppet / nativity scene characters
:: learn about Mary and Joseph’s journey, and explore junk modelling
:: learn about the shepherds role, and explore loose parts
:: learn about Jesus’ birth
:: learn about the three wise men, and complete their book / re-tell the story in their small world
Bonus Nativity thematic unit printables
The Play Academy’s thematic units come with practical printables that make the lessons more engaging for your children and easier for you to teach.
No need to go searching for printables to accompany your lessons, they’re all included when you download your chosen unit.
In this Nativity Unit you’ll receive these bonus printables:
:: My Nativity Story book to write, colour and complete to tell the Nativity story
:: a set of artist-drawn My Nativity Puppets to colour, cut out and use to re-cap and act out the Nativity story
:: Nativity Vocabulary Cards to recap and consolidate learning
:: Nativity Bible Verse Cards to read, narrate your own acting out of the story, and perhaps to memorise
How to download this Nativity thematic unit
You can download this unit along with over 50 more from NurtureStore’s Play Academy.
If you are already of the Play Academy, you can download this unit straight away from our Library here.
If you are not yet a member, find out more and choose your first unit here. Your teaching is about to get a whole lot easier!