Saturday, January 30, 2016

Imbolc Activities for Pagan Families

This is a reprint from my Detroit Paganism Examiner column from 2015.  Enjoy. 

Hello all you Pagan Homeschool folks, it's time to celebrate Imbolc. Because there is so much emphasis on the adult celebrations in our communities, sometimes the fun for home and families can get lost. So for those who do not have a young one who has reached the age where handcrafts are "mo-o-m, I am too old for that", here is a fun set of activities.

Draw a candle spiral with birthday candles, colored sidewalk chalk, and a table top. Put thirteen candles on the spiral, to represent the lunar year, and place a sun cake in the center. Using bright reds, yellows, and oranges, this is a fun activity that would go well with a telling of Brigid the Goddess's relationship to fire and smiths.

Construct a child friendly version of the lighted crown with chenille sticks. A simple girl's head band is a good base to wrap the sticks around. They are flexible enough to bend the tips into flames, or cotton felt fire tips can be hot glued (with adult supervision) to the tops.

Make a forge at home. Using cookie dough, shape cookies into horseshoes, swords, or any thing that you feel a smith would make. Then bake them in the forge (oven). Frost with colors inspired by a red palette.

Have a kiddie poetry jam. Let each child make a simple poem about Brigid's day. Then have them read them out loud and hang them around the house for the celebration. After all, "Imbolc was dedicated to the Celtic goddess Brigit, who was associated with learning, poetry, crafts and healing."

Create a Birch log out of fudge. You probably have made a Yule log. Well, make a Birch log by using white fudge, chocolate syrup, and coconut shavings. "... Birch wood has a strong association with Brighid...". You can add a healthy touch by adding blackberries to the side of the log.

A time tested and beloved activity using seeds is the sunflower bowl. Using a margarine tub, mix a bag of sunflower seeds (in the shells) with white school glue. With a wooden craft stick, press the seeds all along the bottom and inner walls of the plastic tub, making sure that there are no gaps and that it is smooth. Let dry a couple of days undisturbed until no longer sticky. Then carefully remove the seed form from the bowl, using a skewer if necessary to loosen. And there you have it, a seed bowl.

A wonderful way to incorporate audio learning into this holiday is to access "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud (Daffodils)" by William Wordsworth atStorynory. Free downloadable mp3's are there for you to explore. Industrious parents can easily build an audio library supplement to their cache of resources. And do not forget, if able, it is always good to donate to their site to ensure that we pay it forward.

Little ones can have great fun making lambs. Using glue, construction paper, and cotton balls, they can fill the craft area with their fluffy creations. They can even make mobiles out of them with hangers and string with help from mom and dad.

To represent the Goddess of springs, use blue gelatin to create a punch bowl spring filled with candy fish. Candied sugar can cover the top, and marshmallow "stones" can dot the sides. A story about Brigid and streams would be appropriate here. Happy faces with blue tongues will thank you.

Now of course, what Imbolc would be worth its flame without the making of the Brigid's Cross? Grab your fibers and flex your fingers as you weave the craft together. Hanging them up around the house completes the festive feel of the weekend. Do not forget to leave them outside on the night of January 31st for Her blessing. Then they will bring good into the home for the rest of the year.

And last, but not in any way least, do not forget the what this author likes to call the "Pagan Mommy's Friend", Pooka Pages. One of the best parent and child friendly web based periodicals out here for Pagan Parents, it is the go-to resource for fun learning. Freely downloadable, with loads of good information, it is sure to become a favorite in your home if it is not there by now.

Be blessed and fruitful. Be industrious and kind. And never forget, you are shaping young minds. Have a great holiday.

Original article can be found at "Pagan homeschool activity for Imbolc" on Examiner.com

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