Have Yourself a Patient Little Christmas (Ornament Tutorial)

Throughout life, patience is the virtue many people find most difficult to attain and practice. And in our fast food society, teaching this character quality to children can seem a daunting task.  

Here are some ideas that I have come up with to help instill patience in children:

  • Encourage your child to write old-fashioned, hand-written, snail-mailed letters rather than e-mails.
  • Plant seeds; a backyard plot, a windowsill garden, or simply sow a few seeds in a clay pot. Tend to the seeds together and as you check their progress, discuss the principle in James 5:7.
  • Rather than spending all of their money on frivolous purchases, help children choose a higher-priced item to save for.  Encourage them to meet their money-saving goal.
  • Incite your children to finish what they start, whether it is chores or fun projects.
  • Playing board games is a wonderful way to grow in patience.
  • Work a 1000-piece puzzle together.
  • Teach your child not to interrupt. We practice this at home by setting up training situations. As I talk with one child, the younger child will come to me, desiring my attention. Unless it is an emergency, they must take hold of my hand and patiently wait for me to excuse myself from my current conversation to give them my full attention.

Here is a fun project that helps to build patience in children: An old-fashioned, homemade, tin-punch Christmas ornament.

Items needed:

  • 1 lid from a frozen juice can
  • 6” thin ribbon or yarn
  • 6” raffia (optional)
  • Felt (for backing)
  • Nail
  • Hammer
  • Liquid glue
  • Scotch tape
  • Block of wood (to hammer on)
  • Pattern (download mine by clicking on the picture or use coloring book pictures or cookie cutters)

Trace around lid on the felt. Cut out felt circle and ornament pattern. Tape the pattern to the can lid.

Place the lid on the block of wood. Put the nail point on each pattern point, tapping a few times to make an indent (the nail doesn’t need to penetrate the metal).

Older children learn patience by helping their younger siblings.

 After all holes have been tapped, discard the pattern. Thread the ribbon through the top hole and tie. Thread raffia (if using) and tie into a bow. Glue the felt circle onto the back of the ornament.

Hang on the tree or give to a loved one. This ornament makes a great gift!

What creative ways have you discovered to help your children learn patience?

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    • says

      The simplest designs work best for younger children, as their hands get tired sooner. Toward the end, I held the nail for 6 yr old Destiny (I told her, “I must REALLY trust you!”) as she tapped away.

    • says

      Angela, a friend taught this craft our November 4-H meeting. All the children made these ornaments to give to the residents of a nursing home that we will be visiting (and caroling at) later this month. I love the old-fashioned look of them!

  1. julie says

    If we don’t buy juice in a can, and haven’t been stocking up, is there tin that we could buy? Does anyone know if Michaels sells anything like this. I can just see myself at the grocery store buying ten cans of juice. Cute idea, thanks so much.

    • says

      Julie; that’s exactly what we did; bought a bunch of apple juice! Then we enjoyed the juice after the ornament was made, as a special treat (we don’t normally buy juice in a can, either). You could probably use a regular can lid from a canned good (if you use those) ONLY if you have a side can opener like the one from Pampered Chef (which leaves no sharp edges).


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