Sunday, November 30, 2008

Advent Calendar

Finished the planned advent calendar, just in time!!

I did decide to re-create something different to last year, which I discussed previously.

Thinking about how to make the one I use more fun for the kids, with things to open, etc, I decided on a box creation. A store in Central Markets has all these cute little noodle shaped boxes, and in lots of colours, so it was easy to set up. I just stuck a number on each.

The more important thing was deciding what to actually do with the calendar. In the end, I made up my own, using the one by Kent and Barbara Hughes, in Disciplines of a Godly Family, as a base.

I have changed a number of the readings, questions and prayers, but the general format stayed the same.

So, I have now created a booklet with all 25 days in it, each containing bible verses (NIrV), a special verse, questions, a prayer and an idea of what to draw in a picture. We will draw a picture each day, and put it up on the wall near the boxes.

I felt there was a challenge to make it appealing to 2 levels of children, one who is reading well  (5) and another who has not even started yet (age 3).

In the end, I selected a 'special verse' as the Hughes did for each day for Mr 5, and then summarised it into a phrase or short sentence for Miss 3.

A print out of each is in the box, as well as a treat of some kind (balloons, bubbles, and a whole lot of Christian knick-knack things from Koorong - stickers, bouncy balls, erasers, etc)

I have had fun doing it, and since I really only started on Saturday, it has not taken long at all.

In theory, I am happy to share the booklet with others, however, I am concerned about breaching some sort of copyright with regard to the Hughes' calendar. I have acknowledged them as the main source on it, but I want to be careful.

I am looking forward to doing this with the kids, especially as we are getting more and more Santa-drivel from school!


They looked cute stacked too, until they all fell down!


Anonymous said...

Looks great. Boxes look like fun.

Unknown said...

Dear Wendy
A great idea for Advent! Something you might like to add to this little activity each day is using a nativity set. Have the shepherds and star set up as Bethlemhem, somewhere central in your lounge room. Have Mary & Joseph & donkey 'travelling' from a distance so they are further away from Bethlehem just now. Each day they are moved a little closer to their destination. The Wise Men are quite a way behind them and they move a little each day as well. Ours are in a different room at present!

Wendy said...

Thanks Jennifer, I like that idea too. We have a Fisher Price nativity, which is great for our children's current ages - it's no problem if the baby Jesus gets thrown around the room! They are now travelling daily around the room, getting closer the 'Bethlehem' under the tree. A friend also once said to me that they don't get the baby Jesus out at all before Christmas, but they wrap him up as a present and he is the first gift they open - because he is the best gift we can ever receive. I thought that was clever too!

Mel said...

Hi. I really like your new Advent calendar set-up. I'm just starting to think about creating one to use with my kids (ages 4, 2, and 1 week) this Christmas. Would it be possible to get a copy of the booklet you've made? Obviously with a newborn I'm a bit short on time to start totally from scratch myself.

Wendy said...

Mel, happy to share - just give me a few weeks if that's OK? I am working on a new one this year, so I will have two finished shortly - one called 'From Genesis to Jesus' a sort of biblical theology up to Christmas (that is the one that I have referred to here, but I am editing it a bit again). And another one called 'The birth of Jesus' - taking all the readings of Jesus birth in order in 25 readings.

Let me finalise them all (which has to be done in about 3 weeks because I have to present them somewhere! then I will forward them to you, if that's OK. If you think you will do one, you can at think about the boxes/tree etc, whatever you want to use to make each day fun! I presume I could email them to you at the address listed on your blog??


Mel said...

Thanks for your willingness to share. Yes, the email address on my blog is where you can email it to. I look forward to using them this year.

Deborah said...

Hi Wendy. Thanks for your ideas about advent calendars, I have enjoyed reading them. Would you mind sharing your booklets of readings with me? I am an overseas worker and can't get hold of any of the books with readings set out in them over here. I really like the idea of the verse written out differently for each of the kids - my boys are 6 and 2 so at very different stages but I would like for both of them to be involved and enjoy it. Thanks

Wendy said...
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