Can kids find more than candy in their advent calendar this year? Is it possible to spend advent turning them away from the world, and steering them toward the Word?
I came across this awesome, creative scripture-based advent calendar DIY on Pinterest, and would love to share it with you, along with a twist to make it even more interactive for the littles in your life!
This idea came from Sweeter Than Sweets in 2011- here is the link http://howsweeteritis.blogspot.com/2011/11/advent-calendar-teach-true-story-of.html
I followed most of her directions to make the calendar itself, but I took it a step further to make it into a daily “treasure hunt” for the kids. Here’s what I did…
I bought a decorate-your-own paper mache advent box from Hobby Lobby with a 50% coupon, which means I paid about $8 for it. I used scrapbook paper from my own stash to cover the box fronts, and printed off the numbers using Microsoft Word.
I downloaded the scripture document she included for free on her site, and cut each verse apart. I made or collected the items she suggested from my own craft supplies, and I hit up Hobby Lobby and Michael’s for some of the more random things I didn't have on hand (tiny plastic babies from the baby shower aisle, for example). I customized this awesome idea a bit to fit more with my kids’ interest level and needs at this point.
Each day I place an envelope at the kids’ places at the breakfast table. One envelope contains the slip of paper with the day’s scripture printed on it- that child is responsible for getting the Bible and helping me look up and read the verses. The other envelope contains a clue to help that child find the object of the day. For example, the scripture the author of Sweeter Than Sweet included for Day 1 was Luke 1:26-28, 31...
“In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you… You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.’”
The object she suggested for use to represent this scripture reference was a craft store pair of angel’s wings. So I took my set of angel wings and taped them behind the kids’ toothbrush holder in their bathroom. The clue I left for my son that day said:
“Joey, God sent an angel to tell Mary she would have a baby…check for a sign where we make our smiles shine…”
So then his job was to go find the object, and both kids placed their stuff in the Day 1 box to look at again later. There are other great ideas for hands-on advent calendar activities that get kids away from the Santa and candy obsession and into the Word…in ways that don’t seem corny or forced. Check Pinterest- my Christmas board has a few I found, but there are tons of ideas out there…I’d love for you to share what you’re doing this season to get your kids’ (and YOUR) eyes fixed on Jesus in the midst of the wish lists and elf frenzies!