Easy Advent Calendar Ideas for Kids

By , December 2, 2009 4:02 pm

advent-wreathWe’re celebrating Advent for the first time with Bubba and Zeke this year. I can imagine that each night, the family will gather around the advent wreath and solemnly read a few scriptures before lighting the advent candles. The boys will reverently listen as the Bible is read and quietly wait for the candles to be lit. Hmmm… I’m sure our Advent celebration will look a little more like me balancing a squirming one-year-old, Bubba asking for the fifteenth time if it’s time to light the candles yet, and Hubby catching the end of the chaos usually before he can take his coat off from a late work night. I’m realizing the older the boys get that our family traditions may not look like Hallmark cards, but they will always interesting.

I did some research and decided there were some easy ways we could incorporate Advent into our Christmas season. I would love to say we will complete a craft and bible reading with our kiddos every night with the candle lighting, but I made something a little more realistic. I know I’m a little late putting this out as Advent starts the 4th Sunday before Christmas, but better late than never I guess! Here is what we are doing each night as a family to celebrate:

December

(Light the 1st purple candle this week.  This week’s theme is HOPE.)
1- Introduce the Advent Candles and the meaning of Advent (Here’s a great website with Advent Information)
2- Make an Advent Chain (red and green paper chain) to count down to Christmas
3- Read Matthew 1:18-24 (Angel appears to Joseph)
4- Talk about all of the things we hope for and decorate cookies with the letters H.O.P.E.
5- Read Luke 1: 26-38 (Angel appears to Mary)

(Light the 1st and 2nd purple candles this week. This week’s theme is PEACE.)
6- Talk about other places in the world at war and make cards for Grandpa serving in Iraq
7- Read Luke 1:57-66 (Introduce John the Baptist)
8- Sing Christmas Carols with hand motions (We’re using this Christmas site for the motions)
9- Make a Donkey puppet (We’re using this template.  The donkey is a symbol of peace and humbleness.)
10- Read Luke 2:1-7 (Discuss Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem)
11- Watch “Charlie Brown’s Christmas” and talk about the true meaning of Christmas
12- Make cookies to give out to our neighbors

(Light the 1st and 2nd purple candles and the pink candle.  This week’s theme is JOY.)
13- Deliver cookies to our neighbors
14- “Sing Joy to the World” and “I have the Joy Down in my Heart”
15- Read Matthew 2:1-12 (Discuss the wise men’s joy)
16- Wrap gifts for Papa and Nana’s visit
17- Read Luke 2:8-20 (Introduction of the Shepherds and Angels)
18- Make spoon angels (We’re using this template.)
19- Watch “The Polar Express” and talk about joyful giving

(Light all three purple candles and the pink candle. This week’s theme is LOVE.)
20- Decorate heart cookies
21- Memorize John 3:16
22- Say a prayer for the families that sent us Christmas cards
23- Sing Christmas carols with hand motions for Papa and Nana
24- Act out Luke 2 with the entire family (Light ALL FIVE candles!)
25- Birthday cake celebration for Jesus’ Birthday!

So, if you didn’t guess already, I love cookies!  I added cookies (and probably Christmas weight) to every week of our advent celebration.  We may not be able to do everything, but I’m excited to see how much Bubba and Zeke learn about Christmas with our Advent plans.  If you are looking for other wonderful ways to celebrate Christmas this year (that don’t include spending tons of money and buying into all of the awful commercials), check out my friend Amy’s website, Just Mothering Through. She’s doing 25 Days of Giving with her kiddos this Christmas.  Wishing you a blessed Advent season!

© 2009, FROM MILITARY TO MOM. All rights reserved.

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2 Responses to “Easy Advent Calendar Ideas for Kids”

  1. Paula says:

    Alyssa, If you like cookies, you should try this advent activity! Make a big batch of sugar cookie dough. Each December evening after dinner, read a verse about a name of Jesus and let each person shape some dough into something that reminds them of that name. (I have a list of verses around here somewhere…) For example, make a crown when you read a verse about Jesus as King. You don’t all have to make the same symbol; everyone comes up with their own ideas. Bake the cookies while you finish discussing the verse and praying; then have dessert! A few years back, we did this with our kids and were perplexed at the four-year-old’s cookie. “What shape is that?” we asked. “A raindrop,” she said. Perplexed, her dad politely asked how that reminded her of Jesus’ kingship. “Well,” she said, “the verse said that He will rain forever and ever.”

  2. Alyssa says:

    What a good idea! Bubba and I love making sugar cookies, but I’ve never tried having him shape it himself. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks and merry Christmas to you and yours!

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