Our Homeschool Co-op has adopted elderly pen pals that live in assisted living apartments in a nearby town. Many of these ladies do not have a lot of family around, several do not even leave their apartments, and some are unable to write. We thought it would make a great ministry project for our children while practicing a practical skill. Instead of our normal monthly co-op, the plan for this month was to go and meet our pen pals. We planned to bring them brunch, home-made Christmas ornaments, and sing some Christmas Carols. One of the songs the children were going to sing was Jingle Bells so we made Jingle Bell door knockers for the children to ring while they sang and then leave behind for the ladies to hang on their doors. They were very quick and easy to make and even Anthony could do it without any help.
Supplies-pipe cleaner, beads of different colors (we used red, green, and white) and bells (1 large or several small per knocker. You can find the bells in the craft department at Walmart.)
Slide the beads onto the pipe cleaner folding up one end to prevent the beads from sliding off. About halfway add your bell and finish off with beads. Twist into a circle and wind the ends around each other to close.
Unfortunately, sick children and a case of pinkeye (The pink-eye was mine. Can you believe it? Never had it as a kid but get it at 30 years old.) prevented us from going on this outing. Chelsea was one of the healthy ones and got to go. The ladies were so happy that our group did this for them and that they got to meet their pen pals. Chelsea's pen pal is a 92 year old lady and had made up a gift basket to give to her. The children sang their songs, Chelsea played her Clarinet, they ate, and gave their ornaments. They had a wonderful time and we will be going again in February for a Valentine's party.