October 4 is St. Francis Day. St. Francis is known for his great love of animals and all of God’s creation. To celebrate the day, the Wee One and I read the book St. Francis and the Wolf the night before for bedtime reading. It is a lovely tale of how St. Francis was able to stop a ferocious wolf through the power of love, after might and brawn did not work.
Our church had a Blessing of the Animals service but since our cats are, shall we say, not the most agreeable car riders, we had to skip that. Instead, we started our morning by reading the page about St. Francis in our Saints and Angels book. Then we made a Creation Mobile.
This project is really easy and lots of fun. You start by cutting a spiral out of construction paper. Then you punch holes along the spiral, including one at the top for a hanger. Then, either stick animal stickers to construction paper and cut them out, punching a hole in the top of each one, or draw pictures for various animals and cut those out. We went with stickers because we have way too many stickers on hand.
(Yes, I know rainbows aren’t animals. How can a five year old pass up a sparkly rainbow sticker? He can’t, trust me.)
Then just use yarn or string to tie each one to a hole on the spiral and hang it up. Ta da! A mobile that celebrates animals. You can, of course, make this into a mobile that celebrates any theme.
There is also a lovely story about St. Francis preaching to the birds, so later in the week, after we got our hands on a pinecone, we made some bird treats (or should I say squirrel treats, since those wily beasties got to it before the birds). We made treats using a pinecone and some dried orange slices I made. Just spread a good dollop of peanut butter all over your pinecones or orange slices (save your good organic pb with honey for yourself and use the cheap stuff for the birds), then sprinkle things like oats, crushed nuts, or crushed croutons on top. The pb acts like glue and holds everything on. Leave your newly made treats outside and then take perch from a window to see who snags the goodies!
Rolling a canned good on top of your croutons or crackers is a good way to crush them up.
It was a lot of fun and we will definitely be making more this winter.