“God Jul” to everyone! There is nothing cuter than a child saying Merry Christmas in another language. Christmas is one of the most celebrated holidays in the world. Although Christmas has a Christian origin, many of today’s traditions include secular practices. As your kiddo is waiting for Christmas to arrive, teach him about how other countries celebrate this holiday. Begin with creative crafting that includes Swedish customs to adorn your home and teach multiculturalism to your little ones.
Saint Lucia (Girl Crown)
On December 13th, the feast of Saint Lucia, the “Queen of Light” begins. The oldest daughter in every family dresses in a long white gown with a red sash. She also wears a crown of candles. To make the crown for girls, cut green poster board in a circle and cut out the center to fit the child’s head, like a hat brim. Make five candles by rolling heavy white paper into tubes. Overlap the ends of each tube and tape them shut. Cut slits at the base of each candle and bend outward. Tape these bases onto the green circle hat. Push a wad of yellow tissue paper into the opening of each candle for the flame. You can make green construction paper leaves and glue them to the circular hat to resemble a wreath.
Saint Lucia (Boy Hat)
The boys in a Swedish family wear white shirts and star hats. Make a hat from blue construction paper. Start with a full sheet of paper and twist it into a cone until it fits the top of the child’s head. Tape the edges together. Trace and cut yellow stars from paper and glue these onto the hat. Add elastic cording for a chin strap.
Scandinavian Straw Wreath
The Swedish people decorate their holiday tree with gilded pine cones, paper mache apples, snowflakes, birds and wreaths. Straw ornaments are particularly popular. Take strands of raffia (found in craft stores) and tie three (or six) strands together at one end. Braid the entire length using single or double strands and then form this braid into a wreath. Secure the ends with a twist tie or string. Tie a red bow to cover the ends and add color. Insert grain heads or draw and cut some from yellow paper to place in between the bow.
Swedish Santa Puppet
Jultomten is Sweden’s version of Santa Claus. He is an elf-like gnome with a long white beard and wears a red tasseled cap. He rides around on a goat called Julbock. Draw this creature on poster board and cut it out. Color his pants brown and shirt green. Leave his beard white and color his cap red. Attach this whimsical Santa to a craft stick so your preschooler can use this puppet when asking the family if they have been good boys and girls. Jultomten leaves gifts just like our traditional Santa.
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