December 01, 2010

Advent Calendar Ideas - Week One

We chose our church because of their pre-school program.  Prior, we were going to a church that we loved, but the kids just went into a nursery with no specific scripture-based curriculum.  We knew this didn't work for us, our kids really love memorizing scripture and we wanted a church family that would help us to support that.

Since we've become active in the church, our desire to join grew much larger than just the pre-school program (the preaching, our Adult Bible Fellowship, Teen MOPS, MOPS, etc.), but that specific program was what drew us in.  The church's pre-school director is passionate about creating Christ-centered traditions in a child's life.  She has passed along great ideas, and given me permission to share with you!

So, every Wednesday in Advent, be on the look-out for that week's suggested ideas.  Here's this week's!

Dec. 1 - Begin the month by reading the Christmas Story from your favorite children's Bible (we like this one and this one).  Get out the nativity for them to play with. (we have the Fisher Price one, among others.  Funny story for this year?  All three of our nativities are missing Joseph.  Huh?)
Dec. 2 - Purchase a toy to donate to a child in need.  Jesus is God's gift to us!
Dec. 3 - Read a book about farm animals, visit a farm or play with farm animals (I found a great book you can download for free in the Christmas Tot School Pack or this is a favorite of ours).  Talk about the conditions of the stable where Jesus was born.
Dec. 4 - Count the people in your neighborhood, playgroup or family.  Explain that Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem to be counted.
Dec. 5 - Bake cookies together and take them to someone who might otherwise be forgotten.
Dec. 6 - Play Christmas music that tells of Jesus' birth during dinner.  Sing them together during bathtime.
Dec. 7 - Share baby pictures of your child.  Remind them that Jesus was born as a baby just like them.
Dec. 8 - Lambs were probably in the stable when Jesus was born.  Make a lamb using paper and gluing cotton balls.  (I found a free download here)

In our family we're coupling these calendar ideas with the Tot School and Preschool Christmas packs that you can find here.  I downloaded and printed the free printables on cardstock then took them to be laminated.  This will keep me from numerous printings, the kids can just use dry erase markers then wipe clean.)  We also do a nightly Jesse Tree reading and put the ornaments on the tree.

As the boys get older I'm enjoying watching them really soak in the traditions of holidays.  I hope that these memories will follow them and help them remember the awe-inspiring events of Christmas!


Midlife Army Wife said...

Awesome! Thanks for sharing. If you don't mind I'll post a link to your post on my blog. Also I'm sure it is on the list, but if not, don't forget to read The Story of Three Trees, especially if your family is participating in the church's event!

Confessions Of A Homeschooler said...

Great ideas,thanks for sharing! I love your blog btw :o)