Monday, December 19, 2016

DIY Christmas Nativity Board Game

This is not impressive by any means, I know… but it was fun, and we’ve been enjoying playing it together!

I got a wooden canvas from Walmart and painted it white. Then I used kid-friendly paint and a Sharpie paint pen to make the basics of our game, Follow That Star!

I made a short path (Husband’s patience for kid games only lasts so long) which leads from, you know, the east, up to a talented silhouette of Mary, Joseph, Jesus, and some genetically mutated animals.

I helped one of my kids make a yellow star, and then the other accent it with orange, before I made our path’s black outline. We ate lunch while it dried and then I used the Sharpie paint pen to write Matthew 2:10-11 in some of the white space. Once the kids were ready, I let A, who is 3 ½, paint his squares red. Then I helped B, who is almost 2, paint her squares green.

At this point, a fight broke out. B wanted to paint the entire board. I said no. She got all ticked off, which she is wont to do, and proceeded to shriek. A shouted at her to stop. She did not, so he began shriek himself. Both screeched a little longer, which woke the baby. I am nicht so gut with shouting, gets me all anxious and crazy. So I very maturely diffused the situation by shouting, “THAT’S IT! BOTH OF YOU GET OUT OF THIS KITCHEN! WE ARE NEVER DOING A FUN ADVENT ACTIVITY AGAIN!”

I apologized to both of them for shouting (but not for being a fool), encouraged them to apologize to me and each other, gave a nice boring lesson on how we are a family who loves each other and we need to practice kind words and voices, and then drew some hideous wise men.

At this point I got a little too into making the game look nice so I opted to color each game piece myself. Mom of the YEAR, y’all. I had them take turns picking which piece I’d color next and what color to make it. They were in good spirits about it, but still, I feel some momguilt.

I wipe this table down so many times a day. After three meals and 2-3 snacks. I don't even apologize for the grossness that got missed. In fact, YOU ARE WELCOME.
This is where a second fight broke out. One of them touched the other one slightly or something, I don’t know. I was still recovering emotionally from the first fight (overwhelmed easily, you know) so I miraculously maintained my composure and said, “Mommy can’t handle this fighting right now. You two need to go to your room and figure this out. Remember that you love each other and can talk nice even when you are angry.”
I took a deep breath, ate a secret piece of chocolate (#unhealthycopingmechanisms), and made the cards all by myself. I pulled out some nativity stickers so they could put them on the cards. They each got their own cards and their own sheet of stickers to prevent bickering, but fought over who I should help first. So I was again ultra mature and refused to help either of them until they apologized to me and each other for once again ruining the fun of our activity.

Sometimes we just stay put instead of moving back any spaces to keep the game shorter, or simply take those cards out. The cards read as follows: 
-Camels made great time today! Move ahead 3 spaces
-Stopped and interrogated by census officials. Stay put
-No room at this inn! Move back 1 space to find an inn you can sleep in for the night.
-Rain slowed you down today. Move ahead 1 space.
-Take a shortcut to avoid Herod’s men! Move ahead 3 spaces
-Camel sick! Move back 2 spaces to find a vet.
-Dreamt about the new baby king, overslept! Move ahead 1 space.
-Dropped your jar of frankincense! Move back 3 spaces to make some money and replace it.
-Run into an old friend, lose track of time talking. Move ahead 1 space.
-Make camp with shepherds who keep you up laughing all night! Move ahead 1 space.
-You’re not tired so you keep moving after dinnertime. Draw again!
-Catch a cold, take a day to rest! Stay put.
-Stop for lunch, tell the locals all about the Christ Child. Move ahead 1 space.
-Stub your toe and move slowly. Move ahead 1 space.
-Left your purse in the last inn! Go back 3 spaces to get it.
-Animals are sluggish today. Move ahead 1 space.
-Overhear locals talking about a less crowded road. Take it! Move ahead 3 spaces.

On the one hand, we were jerks to each other while making this. On the other hand, we have all enjoyed playing the game as a family and when we play they tell their daddy, “WE MADE THIS!!!” and “ME DOOD IT!” as opposed to, “MOM YELLED AT US AND CRUSHED OUR SPIRITS AND HAS EMOTIONALLY DAMAGED US SO THAT WE’LL NEVER REALLY ENJOY CHRISTMAS EVEN AS ADULTS!” so I think it turned out okay. Plus, on an awkward third hand I should really get looked at, now you have a great craft idea for ruining your own family’s Christmas. Enjoy!

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