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Fa-La-La-La-La Festival

Stained Sugar Glass

Age level: 10 to 12

Scripture: Psalm 29:2

Materials: Water, sugar, light corn syrup, food coloring, flavor extracts, wooden cooking spoons, a saucepan with a lid, access to a stovetop, an aluminum pie tin for each child, small bowls, cooking oil, paper towels, glass or ceramic liquid measuring cups, hot pads, toothpicks, and a large work area.

Alert: Have an adult cook the recipe and then distribute the liquid candy. Adult supervision is necessary for this activity, so consider recruiting extra volunteers to help kids.

Kids can create edible stained glass with this activity.

You'll need the following ingredients (makes enough candy for five pie tins).

1 cup water

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup light corn syrup

cooking oil

food coloring

flavor extracts

While an adult cooks the candy mixture, have kids oil the inside of their pie tins using a paper towel and cooking oil.

Have an adult bring the water to a boil. Add the sugar and syrup and return the mixture to a boil. Cover the saucepan with a lid, and allow it to boil for two minutes. Then remove the lid. Allow the mixture to continue boiling for about 10 to 15 minutes without stirring. While the mixture is boiling, fill a small bowl with cold water and set it near the stove. Test the mixture for the "hard crack" stage by dribbling a small amount of the mixture into the cold water. If the mixture makes long threads that crack in the water (test this with your fingers in the water), the candy has reached hard crack stage. Once the candy has reached this stage, remove it from the heat immediately.

Distribute the candy mixture into the glass or ceramic measuring cups. Add food coloring to each batch of candy until the desired color is reached. Add 1/4 teaspoon of the desired flavor extract to each batch, and stir until the color and flavor are thoroughly mixed. Have adults pour equal amounts of each color of candy into one part of kids' pie tins. The goal is to keep the colors as separate as possible (the candy will cool and will become much thicker). Once all the colors have been added to the pie tins, the candy thickness should be no more than 1/4-inch.

Have kids use toothpicks to blend and swirl the colors. Allow the candy to cool completely before kids take their stained-glass creations home. Kids can break the candy into shards or leave it as a complete work of candy art.

As the candy cools, read aloud the Scripture. Ask, "Where do we see lots of stained glass? Why do you think many churches have stained glass in their worship areas? Why do you think we like to make the places where we worship beautiful? What does 'splendor' mean in this verse? How do you think God wants us to worship him?"


Age level: 6 to 12

Scripture: Psalm 98:4-6

Materials: Paper plates, soft drink bottle tops, heavy thread, various sizes of empty tin cans with plastic lids, 12-inch wooden dowels, various sizes of empty glass jars, empty paper towel rolls, metal jar lids, waxed paper, rubber bands, staplers, masking tape, ice pick (for adult use only), water, large pompoms, 1/4-inch elastic, glue, hole punch, scissors, dried rice or beans, and large beads.

Create a joyful noise with these exciting musical instruments kids will have a blast making and playing as they celebrate their Savior's birth.

1. Noise Shaker-Have kids seal one end of an empty paper towel roll using a 4x4-inch piece of waxed paper and a rubber band. Fill the tube with 1/4 cup dried rice or beans, and then seal the open end of the tube with another 4x4-inch piece of waxed paper and rubber band. Cover each end with masking tape.

2. Twirling Drums-Have kids staple two facing paper plates together around the edges. Punch two holes along the edges on opposite sides of the plates. Tie a large bead to an 8-inch section of heavy duty thread, and tie the other end through one hole on each plate. Repeat this for the second hole. Tape a wooden dowel on the center edge of the plates below the two holes. Once the dowel is attached, kids will roll the dowel between their hands to twirl the drum and create a unique beat.

3. Crystal Bells-Fill various size glass jars with different amounts of water and line up the jars according to size. Have kids use wooden dowels to tap the jars and test their sounds. Adjust the sounds by adding or subtracting water from the jars.

4. Tambourines-Have kids staple two facing paper plates together around the edges. Using a hole punch, punch eight evenly spaced holes around the edges of the plates. Have an adult punch a hole in the center of 16 bottle tops using an ice pick. Kids can string two bottle tops on 3-inch pieces of heavy duty thread and then tie the thread through the holes in the edges of the plates. Keep the bottle tops on the same side of the plate, and tie them so that when the tambourine is shaken, the bottle tops will clang together.

5. Bongo Drums-Seal tin cans with their plastic lids. Have kids glue pompoms to the ends of wooden dowels and set them aside to dry. Once dry, kids can tap on the lid tops to create a great beat. Remember, bigger cans will make deeper sounds, while smaller cans will create higher sounds.

6. Castanets-Have an adult punch two holes in metal jar lids using an ice pick. Each child will need four lids to make a set of castanets. Have kids tie 3-inch sections of 1/4-inch elastic through the holes and cut off any extra. Kids will wear one castanet on each thumb and the other on their forefingers or middle fingers. Once the music starts, kids can click their fingers together to create the rat-a-tat-tat beat of the castanet.

Once kids have made their instruments of choice, have everyone practice playing them. You can recruit one child to "conduct," or just have kids march around the room playing their instruments as they praise God for his Son, Jesus.

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