Fun with Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of children,
sailors, and the city of Amsterdam the capital of The
Netherlands ... among others. Sinterklaas or Sint
a traditional figure based on St. Nicholas, and the most popular holiday in The
Netherlands. Sinterklaas is also one of the sources for the
Christmas icon Santa Claus.
St. Nicholas was a 4th century saint and
Greek Bishop of Myra (which is part of modern day
Turkey). He had a reputation for secret gift-giving, and
became the model for Santa Claus, this modern name comes from the
Dutch Sinterklaas. His feastday is December 6th [O.S.
19 December for Eastern churches].
Information and resources
> a traditional Winter holiday in the Low Countries, and
in the territories of the former Dutch Empire. Celebrated on
the eve of St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 5th) or on the morning of Dec. 6th.
in Belgium, Luxembourg, and Northern France.
Sinterklaas and St.
Nicholas' Eve is mainly a gift-giving occasion. The
celebration varies in the countries mentioned. In The
Netherlands,, before going to bed, children, leave their shoes with
a carrot or some hay in it and a bowl of water nearby "for
Sinterklaas' horse", and the children sing a Sinterklaas song.
The next day they find some traditional candy or a small present in
Activity > St. Nicholas Craft or Sinterklaas
Printing and assembly options:
Option 1: Print color template version and choose blank
beard or calendar template version, cut out, and assemble (add other
decorations -cotton balls, etc.). Discuss
colors on the templates.
Option 2: Print black and white templates. Children can
color or paint, cut out and proceed
Craft Assembly Procedure
(after pieces are colored in and cut out)
Show the small image of the craft (featured in the template) to help the children see how the finished
craft looks and to aid them in positioning the pieces.
1. Color pieces that apply in template #1b.
2. Glue hat [miter or mitre*] to head
*A miter is a bishop's hat, it is pointed for the Western church or
round with a cross on top for the Eastern Church.
3. Glue eyes close to the edge of the hat.
4. Glue circle nose
very close to eyes.
5. Glue mouth (oval in horizontal position) as indicated on
6. Glue mustache with about half of mouth showing.
7. Glue this assembled piece on
the face under the nose.
Paste divided cotton balls to the beard, mustache, (one standard
cotton ball can be divided into two to three portions) - approximate
total cotton balls needed: 10 to 14. Tip: For mustache, take one cotton ball and stretch it slowly and measure over the
templates and paste. Tape an envelope next to the craft
with cotton ball portions and a glue stick ready for each day.
Assemble the craft and children can paste a cotton ball on each
day as Christmas approaches.
Below are some
examples of 2-3 word activities that can be written in the calendar version.
bake cookies, call Grandma/pa, wrap presents, skating or skiing day, snowman fun, make paper snowflakes,
sing Xmas songs, play group day, show & tell day, Xmas video
night, read ___(Title of a book),Bible passage information, etc.
Use the St. Nicholas calendar to keep a winter learning / reading log. Write
the title of a holiday or winter themed book read and discussed, online story/activity, poems,
songs, recipe (fun in the kitchen). Suggested themes: religious
or traditional holiday stories, winter theme (weather conditions- snow,
Read a Biblical passage and activity every day leading to Christmas
Day, and combine with the activity of an Advent
Other crafty ideas:
1. Use the craft to decorate plain gift bags, or as a large gift
tag for a large gift.
2. Instead of gluing cotton balls place a Post-it Note pad or
photograph on the beard for a note holder or photo frame.
Print 1C, 2
St. Nicholas - Sinterklaas
Calendar 1-25 days
Print 1C, 2CL
Print 1C, 2AD