Pagan Parenting: Imbolc Crafts And Activities For Children

Looking for some great Imbolc crafts and activities for your kids this season? Liven up the Feast of Waxing Light with some of these ideas.

MAKE A ST. BRIGID'S CROSS

St. Brigid of Ireland was based on the ancient Goddess Brigit, who, as Goddess of the hearth and home, was honored at this time of year. This holiday is often known to Celtic Pagans as Bride, or Brigid, in Her honor. Even young children can make this simple cross using nothing but pipe cleaners. Traditionally it is made out of straw or dried branches, but pipe cleaners are particularly easy for little ones to handle.

You will need a dozen pipe cleaners for this craft. St. Brigid's crosses are usually brown (because they are made of dried plants), so brown or tan pipe cleaners will do nicely. However, if you would like to use red (traditional color of Imbolc), or the child would like to make a multi-colored cross, there is no reason to limit creativity.

Take the pipe cleaners and bend them in half so that they will resemble large hair pins. Take the first one and hold it horizontally. Hook the next pipe cleaner through the first in a vertical position (points down), letting them meet at the bends. The next pipe cleaner should be horizontal, but held facing the opposite direction of the first horizontal one. Slide it in to link with the vertical one. Then add another vertical one, this time points up, weaving it through from the bottom going up. This will give you the base of the cross, with the four bends meeting and hooking around each other in the center. Continue to add more pipe cleaners, one at a time, in the same order (horizontal, vertical, horizontal, vertical), until you have woven them all together. When you're finished, give the tips a little twist to keep them in place. Hang your St. Brigid's cross over the family hearth (or stove, the modern-day hearth) for blessings throughout the year.



HANG PAPER SNOWFLAKES

During the Feast of Waxing Light, the Mother Earth still slumbers beneath Her blanket of white. Paper snowflakes make a lovely decoration for this winter holiday.

To cut a really good, round snowflake, make sure that the paper is round before you begin. Use a compass or a dinner plate to trace a circle on white paper, then cut out the circle. Fold it in half, then in quarters, and, if you've got a good scissor, in eighths, Begin snipping little circles, diamonds, heart-shapes, slits and stars into the paper. When you unfold it, you will have beautiful snow flakes.

Use the low setting of an iron to remove the folded creases. Then, place the paper snow flake in a disposable paper dish or aluminum pie plate. Spray the snowflake with hair spray or spray glue, and throw a handful of fine glitter onto it to make it sparkle. Thread some string through it and hang it approximately 6" from the ceiling with a piece of tape or thumb tack. You can make and put up dozens, making your home will look like a winter wonderland.

HAVE SOME CUSTARD

The word Imbolc is a derivative of Oimelc, or "ewe's milk." The winters were harsh for our Norther European Pagan ancestors, and by this time many families found themselves starving, or very near to it. But this was the season of calving, which brought a new food supply to the table- milk. Because of this, dairy products are a traditional food for Imbolc feasts.

For your holiday spread, include many dairy based recipes: sour cream dips, puddings and custard, and soft cheese spreads. Pile desserts with luxurious whipped cream. Drink hot milk toddies or warm cocoa. You may even wish to use pure milk for your ritual drink.

MAKE SOME SNOW CANDLES

Combine the two prevalent symbols of the season- snow and fire- to make some beautiful candles. Go to your local craft store for a block of paraffin wax and candle wicks. Send the children out with large containers to gather snow. Pack it well into the container. Keep the containers outside until the wax is all melted and ready for use.

Grate the paraffin and set it into an old pot you don't plan to use for cooking, or a coffee can. Set that into a larger pot with a couple of inches of water on the bottom. Set on the stove, simmer the water, and stir until the wax melts. If you like, add some candle dyes or fragrance oils.

Cut a piece of wick about 8" to 12" long. Wrap one end around a pencil or dowel. Make a small hole in the snow, and poke the end of the wick into it, suspending it by the pencil or dowel. Carefully bring the pot of wax to the container and pour it into the hole, making sure you don't splash. Wait until it cools. Remove the pencil and pull your snow candle out. Each candle will have an unusual and unique shape, based on how the snow melted around it before solidifying the wax.

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