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Crafts: Around The Globe


These ideas will launch your kids into thinking about how their
world compares and contrasts to their brothers’ and sisters’ world
around the globe. Through games, crafts, and snacks, you can start
your kids on an adventure that teaches them about the depths of
God’s love for people of all nations.


The eight Hawaiian islands are dotted with large cities and small
towns, sandy beaches and steamy forests, and even a smoking
volcano. Right now, God is using rainfall to wear down the oldest
island and fire to build a brand-new one.


Hawaiian women are famous for sewing beautiful quilts. A Hawaiian
quilt has two colors-a background color and another cut-out-design
color sewn on top. The cut-out patterns are based on fruits and
flowers, and they’re cut in the same way we cut paper

Each Project Requires
*two sheets of construction paper in contrasting colors
*white glue in applicator- tip bottle
*a pencil
*an unruled sheet of plain paper


Fold the plain paper to form a wedge shape. (See the diagram at
left.) Use the pencil to draw any design. With the paper still
folded, cut along the design. Unfold the cutout and trace its
outline on a sheet of construction paper. Cut out the traced design
and glue it to the top of the contrasting paper.


Have children use their quilt designs as greeting cards. Read
aloud Philippians 2:3-4. Ask, “What does our Bible
say about being friendly to other people? How do you feel when
someone treats you kindly?”

Suggest that children write to friends who are sick at home or
first-time visitors to your children’s program.


Lead children in this discussion related to the Hawaiian tradition
of kapus.
Say, “The traditional Hawaiians had many kapus (KAH-pooz). These
were laws against certain kinds of behavior, such as against
walking on the king’s royal shadow. For a woman, eating a banana
was kapu.

“The missionaries thought the kapus were ridiculous, but the
missionaries had their odd kapus too. The missionaries had come
from places where the weather got cold. Even though the Islands are
very warm, the missionaries continued to cover themselves from head
to toe in heavy clothing. They told the Hawaiians that it was kapu
to come to church unless you were all covered up. The natives
thought this kapu was ridiculous.”

Form groups of four. Say, “In your group, answer these questions:
What kapus do you think we have today? What kapus do you think we
should have? What kapus — if any — does the Bible have?”

Have groups compare their answers.


India is both ancient and modern. It has towering, snowcapped
mountains and flat, dusty deserts. There are green rice fields and
forests bright with wild animals. While the caste system is
officially forbidden, most Indian people consider themselves
members of a particular caste-or a class that determines their
social position.


People from India create Mehndi (MEN-dee) with a dye called henna.
They paint these fancy designs on their hands and feet for special


*one sheet of flesh- colored construction paper
*fine-point markers in red, brown, or black
*a pencil


Using a pencil, trace the outline of your hand on the paper. Use
the sample as a guide to fill the paper hand with a swirly design,
or create your own design using the markers. Cut out the finished


Have the children tell all the things they can do with their
hands. Ask, “What are some things you can do with your hands that
will please God?”

Have the children keep their paper hands where they can be
reminders to use their hands to do beautiful things. Remind
children that the marks in Jesus’ hands were from the nails that
held him to the cross.


Lead your children in this fun game from India. Copy the diagram
to make a three-tiered box pattern on the ground. To avoid long
waits for turns, play separate games with no more than three

Each player needs a flat, smooth stone to toss and kick. Play
begins with the first player tossing his stone into the first
square. He hops on one foot into the first square and uses his
“hopping” foot to kick his stone into the second square. Hopping to
the second square, the same player tries to kick his stone in the
same way into the third square, hopping in that square and picking
up the stone.

The first player to successfully hop through the squares in
progression and pick up his stone in the third square is the
winner. If a player fails to toss or kick his stone all the way
into the correct square, uses his other foot to regain his balance,
or steps on a line, the turn passes to the next player. Each new
turn means a return to the first square.


Japan is a fascinating island nation whose ancient beginnings go
back hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus.


GYOTAKU (G-YO-TAH-KOO) was originally used to record the catch of
an unusually large or rare fish.


*a fresh, flat fish (many children can use one fish)
*straight pins
*paint and paintbrushes
*rice paper (available at art stores)

Wash and dry the fish. Lay the fish on a stack of newspapers and
use pins to fan the fins outward from the body. You’ll need to push
the pins all the way into the newspaper stack. Brush a coat of
paint on the fish, including fins but avoiding the eye. Carefully
lay the rice paper over the fish and press down gently until the
entire fish has been imprinted on the rice paper. Peel off the rice
paper and set it aside, face up. After the paint has dried, use
dark paint to add an eye to your fish. You may also use fabric
paint to print a gyotaku T-shirt.


Say, “The fish is a traditional Christian symbol. If you spell the
word ‘fish’ using Greek letters, each letter is the beginning
letter for the Greek word for ‘Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior.’
When people ask about your gyotaku, tell them about Jesus.”
Ask, “Where have you seen a Christian fish symbol? What do you
think when you see it? How could you use your gyotaku to share the
good news of God’s love?”


The Amazon rain forest stretches almost three million miles across
Brazil and reaches into eight of Brazil’s neighboring countries.
Two hundred forty thousand Amerindians share the forest with about
half the different kinds of plants and animals God has created for
our world.


Play this game in a field or gym. Designate lines to indicate a
safe area called home base for “lambs,” an open area called the
pasture, and an area called home base for the “Wolf.”
One player is the Wolf. He waits behind the line of his home base.
The other players are lambs. They wander around the pasture. From
time to time, a lamb asks, “Are you ready, Wolf?” The Wolf answers
either, “I’m getting ready” or “Here I come!”

If he answers, “Here I come!” the Wolf can run over the line into
the pasture and tag as many lambs as he can before they reach the
safety of their home base. Tagged lambs are out and must wait
behind the Wolf’s home-base line. The chase is repeated until only
one lamb is left. That person becomes the new Wolf and the game
begins again.


Australia is an interesting mixture of seeming contradictions.
Penguins live in the cold areas in the south, and it’s much warmer
in the north. Christmas comes in the “summer,” the “Outback” is on
the inside of the continent, and koala bears aren’t really bears at

For Aborigines, food gathered or hunted along the trail is called
bush tucker. It includes such munchies as snakes, lizards, and
bugs. To most Americans, these are unavailable and unappetizing. So
let’s just pretend.
Ingredients and Utensils
*gummy worms
*crispy chocolate cookies
*small, resealable plastic bags
*individual serving cups


Put the cookies into plastic bags and smash them into crumbs. Put
the gummy worms and cookie crumbs into the serving cups. Eat with
your fingers.


Mention to your children that there is a famous Bible person who
ate bugs. Help them look in a Bible concordance under the word
“locust” to discover who the person is.
After they read the Scripture (Matthew 3:4), ask, “What did John do for
Jesus? How does his ministry compare with today’s missionary work?
What missionary-
message could you deliver?”


Nigeria is the home of one of Africa’s richest and most ancient
kingdoms. Four hundred different tribes now share the savannas and
rain forests of this nation.


Kente (KEN-tay) cloth is woven in squares. The squares are
attached to make long strips, the strips are sewn together into
wide panels, and the panels are wrapped around the body to make
beautiful clothing. Each weaving pattern has a name, and one
pattern is so special it can be worn only by royalty.


*yarn in different colors (not multicolored skeins)
*a sheet of heavy cardboard
*a ruler
*a comb or plastic fork


Measure and cut a row of notches about 1/2-inch apart and 1/2-inch
deep into each edge of the cardboard. Wrap one color of yarn across
the front of the cardboard, looping it across the notches on two
opposite edges (see illustration). Using a variety of yarn colors,
weave over and under these threads across the cardboard in the
opposite direction of the first yarn. To keep the piece square,
loop the yarn through the notches on opposite edges. To push
threads together, use a comb or fork. When the pattern is
completed, tie off the yarn ends and remove the weaving from the
cardboard loom.


The thunder of charging horses, the sparkle of a jeweled dagger,
the spicy aroma of exotic food, and the mystery of a veiled face —
all these are part of the romance of the nomads. Along with the
romance goes the reality of the constant search for fresh grazing
land, the lure of city life, and government pressure to settle


Kanya (CAN-yah) is a popular candy treat sold by young street
Ingredients and Utensils
*peanut butter
*uncooked cream of rice cereal
*a pan
*a knife


Mix together equal amounts of peanut butter and sugar. Add an
equal amount of cereal to make a firm dough. Press this mixture
into a pan and chill. Cut into bars and serve.


Explain to your class that peanuts can be found in many African
dishes. An African-American scientist, George Washington Carver,
discovered many uses for the peanut. When asked the secret of his
great success, Carver quoted Proverbs 3:6. Have your class read
this verse and discuss how they


Mexico has sparkling beaches, smoking volcanoes, forests, ancient
ruins, and the biggest city in the world for its capital.


Just before the Christian season of Lent that leads to Easter,
many Central and South American countries have carnivals. Part of
the fun is making (and breaking) a cascarone (cass-kah-ROW-nay).
Friends smash these confetti-filled eggshells over each other’s
heads. Nobody gets mad, because they’re having too much fun.

Each Project Requires

*a clean, dry, empty eggshell for each child, with a hole about
the size of a nickel in the small end
*squares of tissue paper big enough to cover the holes in the
*white glue in applicator-tip bottle
*a bowl


Using scissors, gently tap and trim a nickel-size opening at the
small end of an uncooked egg. Drain the egg out of the shell into a
bowl and wash the shell. Let the shell dry thoroughly. Save the
eggs for cooking. Fill the egg with confetti. Glue a tissue paper
square onto the end of the egg to cover the opening.


To be fair, every child should make the same number of cascarones.
Have children chase each other and gently crush a cascarone on top
of the head of anybody they catch. Caution children not to throw
the cascarones or smash them into anyone’s face. When all the
cascarones are broken, everyone can help sweep up.


When Christopher Columbus reached the shores of the New World, he
believed he had landed on the east coast of India. That’s why he
called the people he met Indian Northwest


The tribes of the American Northwest are known for their beautiful
red and black blankets decorated with white shell buttons. These
blankets are still made and worn today, but only on special

Each Project Requires

* sheets of red and black construction paper
*small, white, round adhesive stickers from an office supply store
or white paper dots cut with a hole punch
*white glue in applicator-tip bottle
*a pencil


Use the black paper as the background. Draw a simple design on the
red paper, cut it out, and glue it to the center of the black
background. These designs are usually animals, but you can make any
design. Use the white dots or stickers to outline the design and
highlight any features such as eyes. Consider adding a red border
to the design to frame it.
Using Your Blanket Design

Say, “The Native Americans who create these designs are the same
cultural group that carve totem poles. A totem is an animal that
has special meaning for the people who include it in the design of
their blankets, jewelry, and other artwork. The writers of the
Bible used animals as.

llustrations of good character traits.”
Have children read Proverbs 6:6. Then have them choose an animal
that represents a good character trait, such as an ant for being a
hard worker.
If children want, they can make another blanket design for their


Native Americans knew about corn (maize) long before Columbus’
visit. Corn is so important to Native American culture that it’s
even part of their religious rituals. The Hurons of the Northeast
made popcorn by laying dried ears of corn on hot rocks around the
campfire. For an extra treat, they poured on maple syrup tapped
from trees.

* hot, popped popcorn
*maple syrup
*individual serving bowls
*napkins or baby wipes

Pour the hot popcorn into individual serving bowls. Dribble maple
syrup over the hot popcorn. Eat and don’t worry about sticky
fingers! Use wipes for easy hand-cleanup.


Ask your children to imagine the very first time anyone popped
Say, “Popcorn was probably an accident, but once someone tasted
the result, they decided it was worth repeating. Corn is important
to many Native American religious concepts just as bread is an
important food in the Bible. Look in a Bible concordance to see how
often ‘bread’ is mentioned.”

Have children work in groups to find the references to bread and
especially to find out what Jesus said about bread.

Jane Choun is the author of the new book Round-the-World
Crafts, Games & Activities (Group Publishing, Inc.).

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