Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Advent Plans 2011

I am so excited to begin celebrating Christmas as a family this year! I have been working for several weeks coming up with ideas for our advent calendar. I basically have two parts to our plans:

Family Devotions

I searched and searched for ideas on what to do as a family to focus on the meaning of Christmas. We’ve done several different things in the past from advent chains with a Scripture and activity each day, Christmas symbols, What God wants for Christmas, and Hubbard’s Cupboards Christmas plan. I originally planned to do the Jesse Tree as a family this year, but never felt quite like that was what we should do this year. Finally, I came across Truth in the Tinsel and knew it would be just right for us!

Truth in the Tinsel is an e-book Activity guide for families with young cLinkhildren. Each day from December 1-24, there is a clue provided, a Scripture reading, discussion ideas, and an ornament to make that goes with the lesson. It also provides “extra” ideas each day! I am so excited to begin this experience as a family, and I pray that my children will know Jesus more fully through it!

Our Book Advent

Just for fun, each day we will unwrap a Christmas book from underneath the tree. I have collected 24 Christmas books from home and the library. Some of these books are spiritual and others just focus on other fun aspects of Christmas such as snowmen or gingerbread Smile Along with opening and reading a new book each day, we will do a craft or activity to go with it. Here are the books and activities that I have planned:

1. Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner – Make Handprint Snowmen Ornaments

2. Mooseltoe by Margie Palantini – Mooseltoe Creatioins

3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss – Make Green Grinch Smoothies and watch movie

4. Mr. WIllowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry – Sugar Cone Christmas Trees

5. Christmas Night Fair and Bright by Julie Stiegemeyer – Printable Nativity make into magnets for play

6. Saint Nicholas – The Real Story of the Christmas Legend by Jule Stiegemeyer – St. Nicholas Day Celebration! We will talk about who St. Nicholas was, what he did, and how the legend of “Santa” came to be. The kids will wake up to new slippers filled with goodies, a gift to share (playmobil nativity set) and their new ornament for the year. As a family we will leave a basketful of surprises on a neighbors’ doorstep, ring the doorbell and runaway. We will leave a copy of The Story of St. Nicholas on their doorstep and challenge them to bless a family, too! I found many ideas for celebrating St. Nicholas Day here!

7. The Crippled Lam by Liz Bonham – Watch Crippled Lamb DVD

8. Fancy Nancy’s Splendiferous Christmas by Jane O’Connor – Make Fancy Christmas cookies and have a Christmas tea

9. Dream Snow by Eric Carle – Make a paper snowflake chain to decorate with

10. Frosty the Snowman by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins – Jingle Bell Snowmen and Movie

11. The Little Drummer Boy by Ezra Jack Keats – Watch DVD

12. A Wish to be a Christmas Tree by Colleen Monroe

13. The Christmas Baby by Marion Done Bauer – Make Christmas Cards

14. Christmas in the Big Woods from My First Little House Books – Make Christmas Pancakes like in the book and watch the Christmas Little House episode from season 1

15. The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie de Paola – paper poinsettia

16. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg – When the children go to bed they will find a ticket for the Mini Van Express on their pillow. We will bundle up and have Hot Chocolate and snacks in the van as we drive around to see Christmas lights. During the day we will make a graham cracker/candy train.

17. Josie’s Gift by Kathleen Long Bostrom – Using wooden dolls from a craft store, we will make our own nativity

18. The Christmas Story – Christmas Play at Church!

19. Memories of the Manger by Michelle Medlock – Manger Craft

20. The Pine Tree Parable – Watch the Parable of the Three Trees

21. J is for Jesus by Crystal Bowman – Candy Cane Craft and print off candy cane poems to give with candy cane to friends

22. The Gingerbread Man – Holiday Baking!

23. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer – Reindeer Treats

24. The Real Night Before Christmas – Activity Book

25. My First Story of Christmas by Tim Dowley – It has been our tradition to read this book before opening gifts as a family

That’s It! I can’t wait to get started and look forward to making many memories this Christmas season. I’d love to hear your advent plans!

To see what others are up to with their preschoolers and kindergarteners, check out Preschool Corner!

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