Hello! I hope you enjoyed reading my post about the life of St. Basil and the book, “The Lucky Cake.” Today, I’m going to share with you a fun activity I did with my kids. We made our own Vasilopita out of paper plates! They loved this game and want to play it over and over.
Supplies: 2 white paper plates, pencil, ruler, metal brad (paper fastener), glass or clear plastic cup, gold colored sticker gem or 1 sequence or a yellow marker
- Find the center of one paper plate. The easiest way for me was to lightly fold the paper plate in half and then fold it in half the other direction. Where the two folds meet is the center. Put a dot there with a pencil.
- Now you are going to draw lines on the plate. Draw them on the convex side of the plate. You will want to follow the fold lines you did in step 1 to make sure your first two lines divide the plate equally. Well, as close to equal as you can make it. 🙂 I made mine so that there are 8 “pieces” of Vasilopita.
- Take the glass and set it on the center of the plate. Using a clear up will help you be able to see the dot you drew for the center of your plate. Try to make the cup perfectly centered around the dot. Trace the bottom of the cup.
- Cut the lines and stop the cut at the circle you drew. You want to be sure to cut to the right and left of each line, so that there is a little bit of a gap. Otherwise, the triangles will stick together when you lift the pieces of Vasilopita.
- I had to go back and trim just a little bit off some of the triangles because the edges were sticking to each other. I found that the pieces may stick at the perimiter of the plate, so I made sure to leave a little gap there. I didn’t want a huge gap all the way up the piece because you don’t want the little ones to see the “coin” that we are going to put on there.
- Fold the flaps you just cut up & down to make a crease. Try to keep the crease as close to the circle you drew.
- Place the sticker gem or glue the sequence on the interior circle of the plate that you have not cut. I put it inside the smooth inner circle to help it stay hidden. After playing the game for a bit the pieces may raise a little near the edges so it helps if you keep the “coin” away from the edges. I also wrote a number on each piece of the Vasiloptia.
- Take the plate that you cut and poke a hole through the center of the plate that you marked in step 1 with a needle or pencil. Turn the plate over. Put the two plates together, one on top of each other. You will want the top plate to be concave. Poke a hole through the center of both plates. My example is terrible! I had to fold and refold to make the center line, so please excuse my messy work. 🙂
- Take the brad or metal paper fastener and poke it through the hole. Make sure that when you fasten it you do so loosely. If the plates are fastened together too tightly it will not spin easily.
To to play the game, have the children take turns selecting a piece of the Vasilopita. They will lift the flap. If the coin is under the one they selected, they win.
To move the gem, turn the Vasilopita upside down and twist the two plates to move the gem to a new piece of “bread.”
For older children, you can make your Vasilopita to have only 6 pieces and have the children role a dice. Whichever number they roll is the piece of cake that they get to look under.
Another variation would be using a deck of cards. Pick out all the number cards for each piece of cake that you have. So, my bread has 8 pieces so I’d pick out all the cards 1-8. Each person picks a card and is able to lift the flap of the number on the card.
This is also a fun prop for the kids to have when they play on their own. My kids like to play “house” and they pretend to cook. It is so much fun for them to do the Vasilopita with their dolls!
With everything that is fun, it is equally important to stress the purpose of the Vasilopita. That St. Basil helped the people get their valuables back by using the bread. And he did this through prayer. He was a very holy man and did a lot of writings for the early church.
If you do this activity with your kids or classroom, please let me know how it goes and share some pictures on our Facebook page!! http://www.facebook.com/RaisingOrthodoxChristians