Our Custom Advent Calendar // Day 16

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. // Luke 2:15-18

A homemade jingle bell ornament represents the sixteenth day on our Advent calendar.

Not only are these jingle bell wreaths simple to make, they’re also inexpensive and all of the supplies can be purchased at your local craft store. Lilly really, really wanted to make her own “jingle bell circle”, just like momma’s, so I cut an additional length of wire, made a simple loop at one end, supplied her with some jingle bells and then let her get to work.

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Focusing intently, she began threading the jingle bells onto the wire and then taking them back off again, only to rethread them a moment later. This is really a wonderful threading exercise and perfect for working on both fine motor skills and the ability to concentrate. Other lacing activities have been hit or miss in our household thus far.

“The first essential for the child’s development is concentration. The child who concentrates is immensely happy.” // Maria Montessori

While listening to Elizabeth Mitchell’s holiday album (one of Lilly’s favorites), I quietly observed as she worked for close to an hour repeatedly threading the jingle bells. At 30 months, my daughter is learning to cope with a lot of big emotions and some days are a rollercoaster ride; a quiet activity such as this one really helped to calm both of our souls.

IMG_6753Once the bells are threaded onto the wire, you simply form a circular shape, thread the remaining wire through the loop and then wrap it securely. I added a simple knot made from ribbon in order to hang the ornament from our tree and then tied a bow at the top for a little extra adornment.

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In addition to tree ornaments, these jingle bell wreaths would also make a cute decorative accent when you’re wrapping gifts this holiday season — something I cannot wait to begin!

If you’re interested in making some of your own jingle bell ornaments, I followed this simple tutorial found at the Satori Design for Living blog.

I’m very glad we made these jingle wreath ornaments because these small, shiny objects definitely attracted the attention of our daughter and allowed her to work peacefully throughout the morning.

“One day some little spirit awakens; the ego of some child takes possession of some object; attention becomes fixed on the repetition of some one exercise; executive skill perfects itself; the irradiation of the child’s countenance indicates that its spirit is being born anew.” // Maria Montessori

I will be forever thankful for having discovered the Montessori method because it has shown me repeatedly that children are fully capable of teaching themselves if they are provided with a prepared environment under the care of a prepared adult who is willing to slow down and allow the child to wholly participate in all activities which spark an interest, gently and respectfully guiding the child as needed, and faithfully trusting the child’s inner nature knows exactly what it needs in each moment in time to develop and grow into an amazing human being.

Please always provide appropriate supervision when introducing small parts to young children as they pose a choking hazard. If your child is still likely to put things into their mouth, refrain from this activity until they are older.

 

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