So I have had a more than a few people ask me about my recent Church Activity and how I was able to pull it off. I had A LOT of help from my only committee member as well as my Home teacher and his family. I assigned each Auxilary head their own booth and they had a bare minimum of setting up a table, table cloth & an awning/overhang. The Auxiliary's stopped by periodically throughout the week to set up anywhere from 20 min to 40 min. I however was there, along with my committee member, everyday twice a day for at least a couple hours.
I found the basis for my Activity here. I envisioned a cross between every Old Testament painting I have ever seen and the Disney movie Aladdin. From this point on it was go big or go home... on a very tight shoe string church budget.
I used rolls of brown packing paper to cover the walls and painted a stone wall, palm trees as well as a couple landscapes. We used a pop up canopy for the manger scene and used brown packing paper to draw animals with chalk. We strung twine from screws that are in the upper molding around the cultural center and draped light long lengths of fabric to create a dropped ceiling effect and open air market feeling. Above the fabric we tented christmas lights to look like stars.
Our city gate was made out of moving boxes & chalk boards covered in brown packing paper and painted with rock wall facade. We also stapled a grey fabric that was sponge painted to look like stone to the moving boxes and the corkboard side of the chalk boards to cover the feet & wheels of the chalk boards. Our city Well was a couple of orange drink coolers covered in ... more brown packing paper which we drew stones on and placed them in front of a large fabric backdrop that was sewn together creating a manger scene.
Majority of the store front over hangs were created out of fallen timbers with table cloths draped over top to create a canopy. Christmas lights were strung underneath to create unintrusive lighting since the lights in the gym were off, except for the Christmas lights that were hung from the ceiling to mimic stars. The Inns were made by draping sheets over two pop up canopies Lights were again strung underneath for added lighting. Small round tables and chairs were placed for seating so those who couldnt sit on the floor had a place to comfortably sit. Families were encouraged to bring their own blankets so they had a place to sit and eat in the center of the market.
Signs for each store front were made from poster board, crinkled matte gold tissue paper and letters cut out with a cricket machine. The Census was made from a poster board with a scroll already printed on it and currency was made from decorative glass rocks for vases. I sprayed them with a matte gold spray paint and placed 6 of them in a small resealable plastic jewelry bag.
After approximatively 20 hours of setting up and many many more of planning and getting things ready my final ward activity is done. After nearly three years of planning church parties I couldn't have asked for a better way to go out!
Our Christmas Ward Activity this year was a time period themed party based around the birth of Christ... Called A Night In Bethlehem. It was the first time I had ever hosted a party that wasnt 100% my own vision... instead I had heard about and researched it from this web sitehere. I thought doing it this way would decrease the amount of work on my behalf because I was wanting to reduce the stress this time around for the holidays... yeah I was wrong... VERY WRONG! I have NEVER put this much effort into an activity before. I was there everyday the week of setting up, sometimes twice a day. I dragged my poor kiddos to over half of those set up times. After all of the hard work and planning it turned out great! Here are a few pictures of the evening.