Lammas Celebration Children's Activities
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Corn Husk Doll
Materials: Corn husks, Corn silk, String, Crayons, markers, or
paints, Glue, And a couple of nuts
When you prepare corn on the cob, save some of the husks and silk. Soak the
husks in warm water for 5-10 minutes, or until pliable. Tie three of them together
in the middle with a piece of string or a strip of husk. Position the tied part
over the top of an acorn or walnut. Pull the husk down so that they cover the
nut, and tie at the bottom, to make a head. There should be lots of excess husk.
Next, make the arms by rolling two husks together. (Roll around a pipe cleaner
if you want arms to pose) Tie at the "wrists". Place the arms between
the husks under the head, and tie again at the waist. Another larger nut than
the head will create a torso effect. Take 6-10 more corn husks and lay around
the doll. Covering up the body. Tie all together at the waist again, then fold
the tops down. This makes the skirt, or if you want pants, tie the husks into
two bundles. Allow to dry overnight. Then glue the corn silk on for hair, and
draw or paint the face. Tell stories of the Corn Goddess and the Grain God.
Harvest Seeds of Art
Materials: Piece of corrugated cardboard, (side of a box) or a piece of thin
plywood, Pencil, White glue, Paintbrush, Assortment of dried beans and peas
Although you use dried beans and peas, if your child helped harvest some of
the vegetables in the garden this year, they will be able to associate these
seeds of art with the ones that they picked. Have your child draw a design on
the cardboard (plywood) with a pencil. Use the paintbrush to cover a portion
of the drawing with a thick coat of white glue. Have the child arrange the beans
and peas on top of the glued area, filling in the different shapes and designs.
Continue applying glue and beans and peas until the entire area is filled. Allow
to dry before standing up or placing on wall. ** Adding macaroni shells or different
shaped pasta allows for variety. Explain that grain seeds are used to make the
Nature Hike Cane
Materials: A fallen branch (dried, not green) from a hardwood
tree (maple, ash, oak, hickory, elm) Acrylic paints, String or shoe laces, Beads,
Bells, Feathers, Pinecones, or anything else desired.
When looking for the stick, find one that is comfortable for the child to grip.
It should be a little higher than their waist, standing from the ground, up.
Peel away the bark. If it is still rough, smooth it with some sandpaper. Let
the child paint bold colors and designs all over the stick. Use string or laces
to attach the ornaments to the top of the stick. Let the child make up their
own story of walking through nature and what they see along the way.
Enough For All Feeders
Materials: 4-5 Corn cobs, Vegetable shortening or bacon grease,
1 pound package wild bird seed, Wire hangers
After eating the kernels away from the cobs, take a knife (adults only, please)
and scrape away the excess membrane from the cobs, but not to where the cob
is smooth. Take a large nail or screwdriver and poke 1" holes in each end
of the cob. Heat up the shortening or grease enough to cover the cobs. Roll
the cobs quickly in the "natural glue" and then roll them on a plate
covered with the wild birdseed. As the child rolls the cobs back and forth through
the birdseed, cut a section out of the straight bottom of the hangers. Make
the cut out section about 2" shorter than the length of the corn cobs.
Allow the cobs covered with wild bird seed to dry for a hour or so. Place
the cob in the cut out section of the hanger, poking the ends of the hanger
into the holes on each end of the cob. Grab the child's walking stick and go
out to the backyard, to a park, or to the woods to hang the feeders. Tell stories
of how the bounty of the Harvest becomes even more special when shared with
others, especially the wild birds and animals.
Corn Print Place Mats
Materials: A couple ears of corn, Kitchen knife, Plastic corn
cob holders, Fabric paints, Paper plates, Cloth place mats
Break or cut (adults only, please) an uncooked ear of corn into 2-1/2 inch lengths.
Firmly attach the corn cob holders at the ends. Pour a couple colors of fabric
paint onto the paper plates. Roll the corn cob through the paint, then across
the place mat. You may want to practice on some newspaper first. Repeat with
different colors and designs. Heat set the painted mats per the manufacturer's
instructions. ** For a little variety, lightly brush leaves with paint and "stamp"
the mats a couple of times with a leaf design. Explain how, though we are all
different, it takes all of us together to make such a beautiful world. (I use
mine for the center cloth on my alter during fall rituals)
After Ritual Sprout Necklace
Materials: Small screw eye or a piece of wire, Small plastic jar
with cap (spice, vitamins, cake decorations), 3 1-yard long lengths of colored
string or yarn, 3 cotton balls, 3-4 seeds from the fruits or vegetables used
in the Lammas Ritual or 3-4 dried beans
Carefully twist the screw eye into the center of the jar lid (hole can be started
with a pushpin or needle). Have the child braid the colored string, thread it
through the screw eye, and tie ends. If using wire, create 2 holes in the center
of the lid, thread ends of through the holes, twist together in underside of
cap, and thread string through loop left on top side. Make sure the string easily
fits over and off from child's head. Moisten cotton balls until they are wet,
but not dripping. Place them at bottom of jar. Press the seeds or beans down
between the jar and the cotton balls, so that they a visible from the outside.
Screw on the cap. Wear the necklace during the day, avoiding direct sunlight
and overheating. Store in a warm place at night. Sprouts should appear in about
5 days. When jar becomes crowded, transplant seedlings to a flowerpot, and start
again, if desired. Check cotton occasionally for dryness. Add water if necessary.
Walnut Wish Boats
Materials: Boxed birthday candles, Halved walnut shells, Pond
or large bowl of water, matches
This is where the children can join into the Lammas Ritual. After you have gotten
to the part when you count your blessings by taking bites of the cornbread (memories),
have the children symbolize the on-going circle, both by being present and by
casting the wishes of prosperity at the next planting and the harvest yet to
come. Adults, cut the birthday candles in half and melt the bottoms of each
candle with a lit match. Place in the center inside the halved walnut shell.
Allow the child to verbalize wishes of good 2nd harvest, prosperity, and fruitful
planting next spring. While the child is doing this, take a couple seeds from
the fruits, vegetables, and grain adorning the alter, and hand to the child
to put around the candle inside the walnut shell. Light the candle, and let
the child set the walnut shell in the water to float like a boat. Once all the
little boats are floating, everybody hold hands and make a wish. Have the child
blow out all the candles, for their smoke will carry the wishes to the God/dess.
Shrunken Apple Dolls
Materials: An apple, Colored yarn, An empty 16oz plastic bottle,
Fabric scraps, A rubber band, A piece of lace, A bottle cork, Colored markers,
This is for the older child who can handle a potato peeler. Remember that the
finished head will be about 2/3 the original size of the fresh apple, so start
big. Peel and core, (adults only, please) apple. Show the child how to carve
a face on one side, using potato peeler for deep set eyes and a paring knife
for smile or frown. Nose can be made by incising a triangle that extends from
between the eyes to above the mouth. Additional facial features can be created
by various cuts. Store the carved apple head in a dry place for about 2 weeks
until it dries. A food dehydrator can quicken this process. Once the apple is
dry, the face can be accented with colored markers and water-based paints. Apple
dollies have bad hair days, every day. Have child cut 10 strands of yarn, twice
the desired end length plus 2". Gather the strands together, fold in half,
and tie with another strand of yarn 1" away from fold, to make a loop to
stuff into the top of the head. Let the child braid or trim the wig as desired.
Cut the round base off the 16oz bottle with scissors. Plug the top with a cork
(available at most craft stores) to make the neck. Cut a 10"x16" rectangle
of cloth to wrap around bottle for clothes. Wrap around the bottle, with 2½"
excess at both top and bottom. Use a rubber band to secure the fabric around
the bottle neck, then fold the material down over the rubber band. Tie or glue
on a piece of lace for a collar. Tuck excess cloth at bottom into the bottle.
For a shawl, cut a 3"x12" strip of different designed fabric and wrap
loosely around the neck. Gently push dried apple head down on cork for finished
Shrunken Apple Doll. The seeds from the apple can be used for making the Sprout
Necklace, and this aids in explaining to the children about the birth, death,
and rebirth cycle.
Copyright remains with the original author of the work.