crafting with kids

ABCs of Love: Creating Something Beautiful Together

I know I’m not the only one, when I say that I’ve had a lot of mixed emotions the last few days. My heart is breaking for those who have lost so suddenly, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude for this family the Lord has given me.

But in the wake of a tragic event, especially during the Christmas season, it suddenly seems so much more important to DO something. To teach our kids to be a light in the darkness.

In a recent conversation with some other blogging friends, someone pointed out that her son noticed that there were 26 lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary – the same as the number of letters in the alphabet. Out of this came the idea to act in love and kindness, in remembrance of these 26 individuals.

We brainstormed 26 acts of kindness corresponding to letters of the alphabet:

Each of us then chose a letter and are blogging today about what we did with that letter.

I chose the letter C – create something beautiful. The desire to create is something inherent inside me, whether it’s through fabric, paint, food, words… but I wanted to go beyond that and let my kids really learn to express their creativity while working together. And in a way that would be special and out of the ordinary.

So I took a large canvas that I had and gave them some special, new paints [that I had purchased with those crazy snow days in mind - but it felt appropriate to use them for this!]. I gave them brushes and told them to paint a picture together.

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Now I’ll admit, in my head, this was very idyllic. Christmas music playing in the background, they would create this amazing painting, and as they painted they would laugh and smile….

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Well, it may not have happened exactly that way… there may have been arguing over who gets to use which paint color. But it really was the perfect opportunity to teach them how to create cooperatively. Working together on a project is so much different than working on your own. It requires kindness, compassion, forgiveness, patience – just to name a few. All things I want these littles to carry with them out into the world.

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But in the end, they were in awe of what they had created. And I hung it on our kitchen wall right away. To anyone else, it might not be a beautiful piece of art, but watching my children paint it together makes it beyond beautiful to me.

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And for them, having their art up on the wall on a canvas, not just a piece of paper, makes the experience a lot more memorable. And hopefully they’ll remember how they worked together to create it.

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If you feel so inclined, would you choose a letter and join us? Be the good. Spread kindness and love and compassion. And if you do, please leave a link in the comments so I can see how you and your family have chosen to demonstrate the ABCs of Love.

Stop by the other blogs that are participating today, and see what they’re doing:

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Sewing Mama RaeAnna
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Truth in the Tinsel: an Advent Celebration!

Last year, my kids and I went through Truth in the Tinsel – an Advent calendar that spends the month of December preparing for the birth of Christ. Each day provides a short lesson and a craft to do together.

We had so much fun doing this together as a family! I’m not going to lie – I don’t do a lot of crafts with my kids. [as a former elementary teacher, this is pretty shameful, I realize] But my kids absolutely adore crafting. I just never spend the time thinking of activities for them to do. This Advent calendar is perfect for me – all the planning is done, I just pull out our supplies and get crafting with the kids. And all the while, the littles are learning about the true meaning of Christmas – the birth of Jesus.

Last year, I made this simple Advent calendar to go along with our activities:

You can find the tutorial for the calendar here.

The calendar was perfect – it didn’t cost anything [I used materials we already had at home] and it was large enough for my kiddos to see, even if it was too high for little hands to touch all the time. One day I’ll have a beautifully sewn heirloom quality Advent calendar [I hope...], but this works for now.

I’m so excited to prepare for Advent with my little ones again using Truth in the Tinsel! This year will be even more fun, with two of my boys able to participate and craft together.

Click here to view more details

This year, Amanda [the super amazing creator of Truth in the Tinsel!] has added a Spanish versionprintable ornaments, and a church curriculum! So basically, something for everyone.

And guess what… the ornaments are free with your Truth in the Tinsel purchase on Black Friday! [But don't add them to your cart... as long as you order on Friday, a link to download the ornaments will be sent to you with your purchase. If you put them in your cart, you'll get charged for them.]

Do you and your family celebrate Advent? Do you have a calendar you use?

disclaimer: this post uses affiliate links, so i’ll receive a small bit of money from your purchase. but really i tell you about it because i think it’s super awesome. no lie.