Christmas Crafts around the World

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By Karen Hart

It’s Christmas craft time again! This year, try using your Christmas making days to cover lots of the Understanding the World criteria as well as the Expressive Arts and Design criteria by introducing Christmas crafts from across the globe. All activities here are suitable for children two years plus, are low on resources and lots of fun to make. I’ve also included suggestions for alternative areas of the EYFS criteria cover – Have fun!

Christmas crafts around the world

Caga Tió – Catalonia; Spain

Christmas crafts around the world - Christmas log

Also use to cover – Physical Development: Moving and Handling
Good for practising lots of fine motor movements and pincer grasp manipulation.

Among the many celebrations of Catalonia, is the wonderfully weird Christmas tradition of the Caga Tió, or ‘pooping log’. The tradition is thought to have begun in pagan times as part of winter solstice celebrations throughout rural villages in the Catalan region of Spain, and remains just as popular today – especially among children.

Brought out on the 8th December, this small wooden log painted with a broad smiling face and topped off with a traditional Catalan barretina hat, is placed by the fireside and well cared for until Christmas Eve, with children feeding him sweets and dried fruit and keeping him nice and warm with a little blanket. On Christmas Eve, after the main meal, children will hit their Caga Tió with sticks, hoping he will ‘poop out’ little gifts and sweets – traditionally turrón (nougat). In days gone by, the Caga Tió would eventually be thrown onto the open fire to help keep the family warm, but today he simply forms part of the Christmas festivities, with children traditionally getting their ‘big presents’ from the Three Wise Men rather than Santa. Read more about the tradition here.

It’s really easy to make your own little Caga Tió; You may want to leave out the bit about hitting with sticks, although I’m sure the pooping out sweets bit will go down a treat.

You will need:
(per Caga Tió)
  • A section of cardboard tube about 6cm in length
  • 1 brown pipe cleaner
  • Red paper card
  • Red tissue paper or little red pom-pom
  • Googly eyes
  • Coloured pens
  • Glue stick
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