Star Child published by NorthSouth Books
I remember in my childhood not understanding why my parents often did not give each other presents. They sat back and enjoyed watching us open the gifts they had given us during the holidays. Now as an adult and mother, I understand giving is so beautiful that often I find myself not wanting or needing presents during the holidays.
The holidays are a wonderful time to share with our children the incredible feeling behind giving and helping those in true need. This holiday season create a giving area in your home and help your children become Star Children.
The original Grimm story was called Star Talers, and shares the story of a little girl who has lost her father and mother and only has the clothes on her back and a small piece of bread to eat. Even as poor as she is, she gives it all away to those in need, clear down to her dress. The sky showers down upon her and creates a new dress of stars and fills her apron with star money, or talers. This is a wonderful starting story for your project with your children.
You can find this online or also in a beautiful new picture book of the Grimm Story, illustrated by Bernadette Watts, called The Star Child.
Once you have your project completed you will be giving your children the tools to create and give to those in need during the holidays, or any time of the year.
Star Children and Wood Star Taler Tokens
A taler was a silver coin that was used in Europe for almost 400 years. This project includes making a Star Child from a basic 2 3/8 inch wood peg doll, and making wood Star Taler Tokens for your children to create a giving project or to use in exchange for raising money.
Wood 2 3/8 inch unfinished peg dolls available from most craft stores
Choose the color of felt for the cape/hood. I liked using white or blue to represent the sky and stars. Cut out the cape, making sure to fold the felt. The following pattern can be adjusted up or down for different size wood peg dolls. For a basic 2 3/8 size doll, the following pattern with indicated size dimensions will work the best.
I find it easier to go ahead and do the star embroidery before you stitch the cape up. I did a basic four-stitch embroidery star. Be sure to stay clear of the neckline where you will do gather stitching. You only need to do one of the front flaps as they will overlap each other.
After the star embroidery is complete, hand stitch up the back of the hood and then down the front. I liked stitching on the inside of the hood up the back and then bringing the needle out along the top, stitching on the outside on the front of the hood.
After the hood is stitched you can place it on top of your wood peg doll. Do a simple gathering stitch along the neck and then overlap the flap and stitch a couple of small stitches to secure the front of the cape. Your Star Child is complete.
Wood Star Tokens
Wooden discs 1-1.5 inches in size, available from most craft stores
Star rubber stamp
Versa Craft wood ink or an archival waterproof ink pen
Optional alphabet stamps
Stamp the front of the wood tokens with the star stamp, using ink made especially for wood. I recommend Versa Craft ink- I love the results. You can then add phrases on the back like bake, knit, or other ideas for activities that your children can do for others. Maybe it is baking a loaf of bread for a neighbor or knitting a scarf for your postal carrier. You can create the phases that work for your family and your children’s abilities.
You can add the phrases either by stamping them individually or by using a waterproof archival pen and write them by hand.
After you have the desired number of Star Tokens, you may seal the tokens with a beeswax polish. This is available commercially or can be made by mixing 1 part melted beeswax with an oil such as jojoba. Wonderful for all your wood toys.
Now your children can draw a Star Token and have a giving activity to do for someone. Alternately you can write extra jobs that children can do around your home to earn money which can then be donated to a charity of their choice this hoiday.
Keep a dish of Wood Star Tokens, the Star Children and a jar to gather money to give at a special place in your home this holiday season. Enjoy helping your children become Star Children!
Chris Willow is a mother, crafter, storyteller and toymaker. She enjoys creating roots with mothers and children in her community. Her inspiration has always grown from her world she shares with her husband and two sons in the beautiful Midwest. She has a store on Etsy mamaroots and blogs at her site mamaroots where she shares the joy of natural living, toys and books.
Wood Candle Holder made by Prettydreamer