Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 306

Frankincense and Myrrh


Hello Everyone



l bet when you saw the title of this week’s blog post, lt reminded you of a very famous story, and so for this week my subject is very topical.


lt is said that when the three wise kings, (also known as the Magi) went to visit Jesus after he was born, they brought with them presents of gold, frankincense and myrrh.


You must know what gold is, but do you know about the other two presents?


Have you ever wondered what they were and are they still available in the shops today?


Well, the answer is they are scented gum resin, and yes, you can still get them.


The gum resin is made from tree sap.  Frankincense is a milky, white resin taken from a group of trees belonging to a tree family called Boswellia.  These grow in cool, dry areas of the Arabian Peninsula, East Africa and lndia.


The trees grow to about 5 metres and have papery bark and white flowers.


Myrrh is a tree resin that is reddish in colour.  This tree family is called Commiphora and these are found in rocky soils of northeast Africa.  The trees have spiny branches and sparse leaves and grow up to about 3 metres high.


The gum is collected by slicing a long cut into the bark of the trees and letting the sap slowly ooze out and drip down the tree.  After two weeks the droplets of sap have hardened and are picked off as a harvest to then be sold.  These drops are called tears and some women thread them like beads to decorate themselves.


The trees are tapped like this two or three times a year and these harvests have been traded for more than 5,000 years and transported as precious cargo by camel trains.


Once they were taken to China, the Chinese found a use for them in their traditional medicines.


The resin can be heated up and will smoke – this smoke has a wonderful smell.


Frankincense is used in the perfume and skincare industry and also as an essential oil in aromatherapy.  An essential oil is very strong, so strong that it should not be put on the skin or sniffed before it is mixed with other less potent oils.  These are called carrier oils.  Almond oil is an example of a carrier oil.


Some people even use Frankincense in medicines for digestion and it tones skin and makes it look young and healthy.  You can eat it because it is edible. 


lt helps anxiety because it calms your nerves when you are stressed. 


lt is also used to relieve scorpion stings!


A scientific study in 2008 showed that the smell helps to cheer people up and scientific studies continue to try and find out what other health benefits Frankincense could offer.


Myrrh has also been used through history as perfume, incense and medicine to help wounds heal for people and horses.  lt is also used in mouthwashes and toothpaste.  lt will help mouth ulcers and sore throats.  lt also helps cure coughs and colds.


lt can help cure cold sores, acne, athlete’s foot, eczema and chapped skin.


The ancient Egyptians used it in their embalming processes of mummies.


Scientists are carrying out studies to see what illnesses myrrh can cure too.


A lot of Christian churches also use frankincense and myrrh to scent the air in their holy buildings.


Both these resins have always had sacred values and were highly prized in religious ceremonies, which is why they were precious gifts for the Magi to give.


lf you would like to know how either of these two products smell, you can get hold of them online in oil or resin form quite easily.  But if you want to put them in a burner, please make sure you do it under adult supervision.



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Thank you!


And see you again next Fun Friday!


Love and kisses



Salty Sam





Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke


Bob:  Why do trees love the lnternet?


Bill:  l don’t know.  Why do trees love the lnternet?


Bob:  Because they find it so easy to log in!



Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

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Picture Gallery



(photo by Snotch)


A myrrh tree









This week, Emily went to the birthday party of one of her friends from her class and they spent quite a lot of the afternoon making jewellery.  They thought they might make some presents but in the end they liked what they had made so much; they decided to keep their creations for themselves!



The girls sat around the table and did a lot of chatting and giggling but in the end made some lovely jewellery to take home with them.

Her friend’s mum had to pick quite a lot of beads up of the floor afterwards – but never mind, everyone had a fun time.

They discovered the quickest way to make a necklace ever!

Just take one large bead, string it onto a length of yarn, tie a knot and pull the knot into the bead.  You have to make sure that you can get the necklace over your head before you tie the knot tightly of course!



And then they had a real treat – green hot chocolate!


Yes, really!



To make it you just need to gently warm up a cup of milk with 30g of white chocolate in it in a saucepan.

You could use chocolate from a bar broken up or milk buttons or white hot chocolate powder and keep stirring.

You do not want the milk to boil over.

Then add ½ teaspoon of peppermint extract and ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract.

Pour the milk into a cup and add a few drops of green food colouring as you stir it.



Happy Christmas to all my readers!!!









Quick Quiz


The word currency means money.

The word currency come from the Middle English (English used in mediaeval times) word ‘curraunt’ which meant to be in circulation.

Do you know which countries these currencies come from?

Their values compared to other currencies change through time – sometimes even from day to day.


  1. Yen
  2. Yuan
  3. Krona
  4. Krone
  5. Peso
  6. Rupe
  7. Real
  8. Rand
  9. Ruble
  10. Sterling (GBP)




lt’s the Weekend!




This box is very pretty.  It is made in white yellow and red but of course you can choose three colours that match your bedroom and then keep it on your shelf or tucked away in a drawer.  

This box are the colours of gold, frankincense and myrrh, of course.

You could use more than three colours.

The coins and notes you collect can be pushed into the slot at the top and you can just lift off the lid to get to your money.

If you are lucky enough to get some present money today, you will have somewhere to keep it before you spend it or put it into your savings account.



If you wanted to make this box as a present for someone, you could fill it with foil-covered chocolate coins for an extra surprise inside.



You will need 2 sheets of 7 mesh 10.5 by 13.5 inches/26.7 by 34.3cm


The stitch used around the sides of the lid has never been used in the blog before.  It is called Rhodes Stitch, Half Drop.


You work it over 7 holes.


First work a background of white stitches.


You start working the decoration that looks like twists by bringing your needle up in the top left hand corner and pushing it down into the bottom right hand corner.  Then you work to the right at the top and the left at the bottom.

The stitch in the centre will be vertical.

*Try not to use a colour for the lid top around the slot that is too light because the money you push into the slot might make it get grubby quite quickly.


First cut the panels to size:-


Outer top of lid                        25 x 25 holes        1 piece

Outer lid sides                         25 x 10 holes         4 pieces


Inner top of lid                         23 x 23 holes        1 piece

Inner lid sides                          23 x 9 holes          4 pieces


Outer bottom of box                23 x 23 holes        1 piece

Outer sides of box                   34 x 23 holes        4 pieces


Inner bottom of box                 21 x 21 holes          1 piece

Inner sides of box                    33 x 21 holes         4 pieces


You will also need to cut a slot in the top of the lid for your money.  This will be a hole 3 holes by 11 holes and you will need to cut a hole in the outer and inner panels.  Mark the slot out with a spare piece of yarn before you cut it out.  Count the holes out to the edge to make sure that you have your hole exactly in the middle of the panel.

Work white stitches over 4 holes each side of the sides of the lid.



Work red Rhodes stitches over the top working from left to right at the top and right to left at the bottom.

Run a line of yellow and white tent stitches to the top and bottom.



Run lines of tent stitch up the sides of the box panels in your three colours.



The lines are random and uneven like the colours you might find on a deck chair.  You can do all four panels the same or do them differently.


The back side of the panels


Finish the stripes off neatly at the back.

Run a line of white tent stitches around the edge of the base panel and then a line of yellow inside that.  Fill in the rest of the panel with red tent stitches.

Do the same with the top but work a line of white and yellow stitches around the slot as well.




  1. Sew the sides of the outer lid to the outer lid top with red yarn, then sew up the corners with red yarn
  2. Sew the sides of the outer base to the bottom of the outer base with yellow yarn, then sew up the corners with red yarn on two opposite corners and yellow on the other two opposite corners
  3. Sew the inner lid to the outer lid with red yarn along the rim – sew just into the outer skin for just 1 hole at each end because you have 2 more holes on the outer panel than the inner
  4. Sew around the slot with red yarn sewing through the outer and inner skins as you go
  5. Sew the inner box to the outer box using red yarn along the rim – sew just into the outer skin for just 1 hole at each end because you have 2 more holes on the outer panel than the inner


Look at the photographs to see the pattern of stitches.


They are:-




The front side of the panels




Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand



Quick Quiz Answers


  1. Yen – Japan
  2. Yuan – China
  3. Krona – Sweden
  4. Krone – Norway
  5. Peso – Mexico
  6. Rupe – lndia
  7. Real – Brazil
  8. Rand – South Africa
  9. Ruble – Russia
  10. Sterling (GBP) – Britain (the pound used to be worth a pound [weight] of gold – but it isn’t any more)






See you next year!