Monday, December 13, 2010

Preschool Advent

I wanted to blog about the daily advent activity we've been doing for the month of December. In looking for advent activities that would be appropriate for the preschool age, I was actually kind of frustrated by what I found online - most of it was songs, games, coloring pages or elaborate craft ideas that would need a lot of prep (not gonna happen around here!) and aren't really focused on Jesus or the Christmas Story.

Thankfully, my friend Phyllis always has wonderful advent activities planned for her three kids and she always puts them on her blog. I remember reading about this idea on her blog several years ago and was so excited to start the tradition with my own kids. I don't know if we'll do this every year (but Phyllis has other ideas too!), but I'm really enjoying having a daily count down that reminds us of the reason for the season. At first, I was worried that having a daily activity for the whole month of December would be overwhelming, but it only takes about 5-10 minutes each day and has really just become "what we do" after dinner.

The Concept: I made this easy advent calendar with the 1-25 numbers. On the back of each card is the name of a small gift and then a bible reading that corresponds to the gift. For example: The second day the gift is "grape candy" and the card says, "Grape Candy--Grapes make jelly and juice, raisins and wine. But Jesus didn't need grapes to perform His first miracle. Read: John 2:1-10" Of course, the reading is about Jesus turning the water into wine. Most of the "gifts" are things you can find around the house - a quarter, soap, goldfish crackers, etc.

The set-up: this year, we just did cards hung on ribbon with a gift bag underneath, but I found all sorts of other creative crafty ways to make your own advent calendar using painted toilet paper tubes, Christmas socks, snowflakes cut out - yea google on that one! (Note: Phyllis uses the same "gifts" and readings, but each night she hides a gift bag for the kids to find.)

The Content: The specifics came from this post on (you have to scroll down to the section that starts with the words "A quarter" to see all 25 gifts and the corresponding verses we are reading.)

The Routine: In our house, we grab the card of the ribbon and the gift out of the little bag. then, we all sit under the Christmas tree and read the card and verse while munching on Christmas cookies. You can do whatever routine works for you - light candles, say a prayer, sing a hymn, or go our route and follow the reading with some guitar carols and a dance party.

12 more days until Jesus' Birthday... Happy Advent!


Cailean said...

What a cute and fun idea!!! We didn't do any advent calendar this year...I just haven't found the right thing for our family! Maybe we'll do this next year!

Colleen said...

This sounds neat! We do something pretty similar, following the stories of Jesus' life in the scriptures. Glad you've found such a great idea that works so well!

Carmen Goetschius said...

Happy Advent! Love this special ritual!