White doves, usually portrayed with an olive branch in their mouths, symbolise peace, based on the biblical account in Genesis of Noah and the ark, in which a dove returns to the ark to let Noah know that the floods had stopped. Today, peace doves are often seen around the holidays, particularly in churches. There are myriad craft projects that kids can undertake to make their own peace doves, which can be given as a gift, or used as Christmas tree ornament.
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A hanging peace dove looks nice in a home or church hallway. For this craft from Enchanted Learning, you'll need to trace the profile of a dove onto a piece of white construction paper and have kids cut it out. They can then add eyes with black construction paper, a marker or glue on googly eyes. Cut out two, 4-by-4-inch pieces of construction paper and have children fold them accordion-style, similar to the paper fans children make. Fold the bottom end of each paper "fan" so that you have a lip to staple to the bird and staple the wings in place. Near the dove's back, use a hole punch to make a hole, then tie a piece of fishing line through it and hang from the ceiling.
These dove crafts will make nice ornaments for a Christmas. You'll need to cut out two simple dove shapes from white felt. Lay the two shapes on top of each other, then punch holes along the edges of each, making sure the holes on each piece line up (because kids will be sewing them together). Using embroidery thread, have the kids hand sew their dove pieces together, starting at the back and working toward the front. They'll need to leave an opening at the front so they can stuff their birds with a small amount of quilt batting. When they're done, they can finish sewing the doves shut. Hot glue a small piece of ribbon in the shape of a loop on the dove's back so that children can hang it from the tree.
Hand-print crafts, including this one, are good for children who enjoy using their hands. You'll need to instruct them to trace the outline of their hands with their fingers close together and thumbs extending, then cut it out. Next, have them cut out a triangle and glue it to the back of the dove for a tail with the point glued to the back of the dove. Have them stretch out three or four cotton balls and glue those onto the body and wings of the dove. If they want, they could also glue a small green stem with leaves to the dove's mouth, then draw on some eyes. They may glue their doves to a piece of blue construction paper, or you could use their doves to decorate a bulletin board.
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