This post was sent in by Cathy at NurtureStore, she originally sent it to me before Christmas but when I got so many guest posts sent in I ear marked it for the new year. Making wishes is a great way to introduce children to resolutions and goals for the new year in a gentle and generous way. I love this craft and know you all will too!
Here’s my idea for a wishing tree I made today with my children aged 3 and 6. It’s a simple craft activity which creates a beautiful centerpiece and also encourages children to think of others by making wishes for them – perfect for this time of year. As the tree uses star symbols it’s suitable for Christian or Jewish celebrations.
You’ll need: paint, card, glitter, a star shaped cookie cutter, scissors, hole punch, glue – and a tree!
1. Pour some glue into a shallow dish and dip in the cookie cutter.
2. Press the cookie cutter, paint side down, on to some card. (You can give the cutter a little wiggle if you want a thicker outline)
3. Carefully lift off the cookie cutter to leave a star-shaped outline.
4. While the paint is still wet, sprinkle the star with glitter. My daughter says the more sparkles you use, the more the wish comes true. Leave the star to dry and then gently shake off any excess glitter.
5. Cut around the star with some scissors.
6. Punch a hole in the star and thread on a ribbon. Write ‘I wish…’ on the glitter side.
Then for the magical part - ask each child to think of a wish they could make to bring someone else some joy. It’s easy for children to see this time of year as all about them getting presents so this is a way for them to do some giving too. They might like to wish something for a special person – perhaps for a sick relative to get better – or something more general. You might be surprised how thoughtful or creative your children are. My daughter wished for angels to appear in the sky for everyone to see.
7. Once you’ve helped them to write their wish on their star you can hang the wishes on your special wishing tree. We use some twisted branches in vase for our tree, but a Christmas tree or one growing in your garden (or even your community) would work just as well. You might like to make some extra stars so family and friends can add their wishes over the season too.
Then wait and see which ones come true.