Celebration Small Children Activities
Imbolc is the Sabbat that honors the re-union of the Goddess and the God as new, vital, and purified lovers. At Imbolc, the Goddess appears in the Maiden aspect and her consort the God appears as the virile Lord of the Forest. This is their wedding night, and the God lovingly approaches her as she lays waiting upon her Bride's Bed. It is the mid-point of the dark half of the year and their union casts a brilliant light upon the frozen land.
1-peice Wooden Clothespin, Red, Yellow, or Brown Yarn, 1 White Pipe Cleaner, Several Scraps of White Material, Black and Red Markers, Scissors, Glue, Gold Glitter.
Children will enjoy making these little Bride images that can be used later as an alter decoration. Take a scrap of white material, (silk, satin, cotton, etc.), and cut out a 6" circle. In the center of the circle cut a hole large enough to poke the "head" of the clothespin through. Fold the circle in half and cut along the fold from both perimeters to the center hole, leaving approx. 1/8 inch between each slit and center hole. Dab "neck" of clothespin with a very small amount of glue, and push clothespin "head" up through the center hole in the material. Cut appropriate length of pipe cleaner to make arms and slide up through the slit in the clothespin until it is pushed up to the end of the slits on both sides of the material. Gather the material tight around the clothespin just under the arms, and tie off with a small piece of string or yarn. Glue a couple of short pieces of yarn to the clothespin head and make eyes and mouth with markers. Finish with dabs of glue and gold glitter around the white wedding dress. A bridal veil glued to the yarn hair is optional. Explain to the children how the Goddess is a sacred bride, pure and renewed, waiting to be re-united with her consort the God.
A Box, Colored Construction Paper, White, Yellow, Green, and Red Tissue Paper, White Flowers or Cotton Balls, Glue, Paint Brush, Crayons, Scissors, Glitter.
This is a great little activity for the smaller children in the household, and they two can boast of helping with your alter decor. Paint one side of the box at a time with a bit of glue, not too thick, just enough to adhere green tissue paper. Cover the entire outside of the box with the green tissue paper. Cut a 2" wide strip of colored construction paper the length of the sheet (11"/14"). Let the child draw symbols and pictures that reminds them of Spring, the Goddess, brides, and weddings on the strip. Cut the white and yellow tissue paper into 2" diameter circles. While you are doing this, allow the child to draw pictures and symbols on the box with glue, and sprinkle with glitter. Place finger in the middle of a tissue square and draw up tissue around finger. Give a slight twist to crinkle paper into a flower shape. Remove finger and adhere to box and decorated construction paper strip with a dab of glue. Remember to leave about 1-1/2 inches on each end of strip. Attach these ends to the inside of the box with some glue. Let dry. Fill with white flowers or cotton balls. Tell story to children of how the Maiden is a Bride and that the Earth is her Bride's Bed.
Small Tree Branch, Acorn, Thin Brown String or Thread, Yellow, Green, and Gold 1/4" Ribbon, Small Gold/Silver Jingle Bells.
Children will love the sound of this magical wand as they walk about pointing and shaking it at plants and trees, invoking them to wake up from Winter's sleep to witness the union of the Bride and the Lord of the Forest. Select a small branch about 1/2" to 3/4" in diameter. Cut top end flat. Approx. 1/2" below top score a groove (parents only) with a sharp knife. Take 1' long piece of string/thread and tie in groove. Take another 1' piece of thread and tie in groove on opposite side of branch. Place acorn at top of branch (flat end) and adhere with some glue. Now pull the string up over the cap and wind once around acorn. Repeat with all 3 other pieces of string. Pull strings back down to the groove in the branch and tie off. This will hold the acorn in place. Decorate the branch by wrapping it with the ribbons, leaving enough length at top for streamers. Tie gold/silver jingle bells to the ends of the ribbons. For smaller children, thread the bells onto the ribbon while wrapping the branch. Tell the children about how the acorn-wand is a symbol of the Lord of the Forest, and how this magical wand helps the sleeping plants and animals wake up and prepare for Spring.
Dried Wheat Stalks, Brown Thread.
These crosses were exchanged as symbols of protection. They are easy to make and not at all time consuming. Take eight stalks with sheaves still attached. Place four stalks on flat surface with two sheaves at the top and two sheaves at the bottom. Measure approx. 6" of stalk between the sets of sheaves and cut off excess. Tie all four stalks together with the brown thread, first under the top sheaves, then above the bottom sheaves. Cut off excess thread. Repeat this procedure with the other four stalks, shortening the length between the sheaves to 4". Carefully separate the first set of stalks (two in front and two in back) and slip the second set through approx. 1" from the bottom of the top sheaves. Tie some thread in a knot just under the arms of the cross. Take the excess ends and diagonally wrap the thread over the opposite corresponding arm and back to the knot. Tie off in back and cut off excess ends. Let the children hand these Brighid's Crosses out to guests.
Bride's Bouquet Sachets
Imbolic Potpourri, 1 Yard White Netting Material, Yellow and Pink 1/8" width Ribbon, Scissors.
These sachets can be put in the children's clothing drawers or in rooms of the house that you'd like to smell of Imbolc even after the Sabbat is over. Potpourri is made with 1/2 cup dried basil, 1/2 cup dried chopped bay leaves, 1 cup dried Heather flowers, 1 cup dried Violets, 1 cup dried white or pink rose buds. Blend together in non-metal bowl. Cut netting material into 4"x4" squares. Lay out squares on a flat surface. Place 1 heaping tablespoon of potpourri in the middle of each square. Pull up all the corners to the middle of the potpourri and gather the excess material until potpourri is caught in a "bag". Give bag on twist to the right and tie off with yellow or pink ribbon. Use enough ribbon to make a small bow in the front of the sachet. Tell children how these sachets were exchanged as symbols of good luck and fertility.
Pentacle Candle Wheel (for the older kids)
Molding Clay, Pencil, Ruler, 13- 4" White Stick Candles (1/4" diameter), Paints (optional).
This Pentacle Candle Wheel is the perfect accessory to any Imbolc altar. Use enough clay to roll out flat with a rolling pin and cut out a circle 18" in diameter and 1/2" thick. Roll excess clay into rope, 1/4" in diameter and long enough to boarder the wheel base. Wet the clay rope enough to stick to base. This will contain any wax that drips from the burning candles. Score the image of the pentacle into the wheel base with the pencil, using the ruler to make straight lines. The Pentacle's points should be approx. 1/2" away from the border. Take one of the white candles and press bottom slightly (approx. 1/4" ) into each Pentacle point, each cross point (inner angles of the Pentacle) and three depressions in a pyramid shape in the top Pentacle triangle ray. Now allow the clay to dry and harden. The Pentacle Candle Wheel can be painted if desired after dried. Place candles in each of the depressions and place in the center of the Imbolc altar. Remember that the Candle Wheel is the symbol of the light that ensues from the union of the Bride and her consort, the Lord of the Forest.
Awake sleeping Maiden,
Thy consort is close,
He comes through the woods for thee.
I light your candles
and pierce the darkness
Your re-union for all to see.
We've made it to the mid-point
of the Winter dark and bleak.
From this day on the Sun
will climb and thaw the
ground and creeks.
Bless us now, oh Maiden fair,
and keep us in your loving care.
Showing signs of new life everywhere
as you awaken from your sleep.
Adapted by Akasha Ap Emrys
To share with all her friends and those who are of like mind.
Copyright © 1997-99 Akasha, Herne and The Celtic Connection www.wicca.com. All rights reserved.