[For the backstory on this event, please see Advent Workshop 2011 – The Advent Wreath (Part 1) and Advent Workshop 2011 – The Advent Wreath (Part II).]
The day finally arrived! I never sleep well when I’m heading up an event. I have nightmares of the children hating the event or the craft not working out the way it’s supposed to. And, this time I managed to begin a nasty cold the day of the event (which means I am VERY thankful for the many people who helped clean up and helped with the children!)
Prior to the event we prepared materials for 30 children – because I’ve taken bad notes in the past, it was just a guess. As of morning of the Big Day, 22 children (ages 5th grade and younger) had signed up to make a wreath. I think 19 children showed up to make a wreath (plus two parents, who made the wreaths for their very young children).
I believe we accounted well for the supplies, but I was disappointed in my explanation to the kids. It took longer than I hoped to get the children on track, which means the environment was not as prepared as I wanted. (Sometimes the thing we most need to leave out is the adults.)
Here’s a few things we would do differently:
- Each table needed a clear example of the goal to accomplish at that one station. Although we separated out the white, pink, and blue “candles” on different tables, it was very confusing to them at first. Most grabbed 4 candles of one size from the first bucket they came to; many didn’t realize the fifth Christ Candle was even there.
- I needed to specify more clearly that one adult would help glue the candles to the wreath base when they were finished. Several were frustrated trying to attach them with a glue stick.
- I think I would put ONE candle and ONE template to trace (on construction paper) on ONE table, and spread them out more in the room, so that there
would be no confusion.
- One parent suggested that we should have brought in the big Advent wreath from the church as a model. Oh, how I wished I had thought of this!
- She also suggested that we have music playing in the background. (We did plan for this, but my cord connecting the iPod to the sound system was shorting out. Fail.)
- I think the parents would appreciate not having to figure out the craft for the kids. They do like participating with their children, but not necessarily being knee-deep in glue and scissors. If we had just a few more volunteers and better instruction, the parents could have relaxed more and enjoyed the evening in community.
- The big hit of the evening, craftwise, seemed to be the velcro used to attach the battery lights to the candles. Power over velcro was a very big draw! Who knew?
That being said, once they grasped what to do, everyone seemed to have a good time. Everyone managed to get the candles in the right order with the right colors, and everyone seemed charmed with the battery lights that they could operate themselves.
I had planned to get a picture of every completed wreath, and I failed miserably. I was just not feeling well. Please know that every wreath was as individual and special as the children themselves are.