In search of Advent activities for your family? I know, how is this possible?! It feels as though we were just writing about getting back into the swing of the school year. But, here we are. Thanksgiving’s a recent memory. And now, Christmas is just around the corner. We’re getting pretty excited over here at ICM. So, we’ve put together a list of Advent activities to prepare you and your family for the wondrous mystery of Christmas.
Advent Activities For the Whole Family
Bake a Loaf of Stollen: This traditional Christmas bread, with a line down the middle or side, symbolizes the infant Jesus wrapped up snug in swaddling cloths. Make a loaf with your children using this fantastic recipe. Even better, share loaves with friends and neighbors! No time to bake? Swing by a local bakery to pick one up. Explain the symbolism to your kids over a yummy, warm beverage.
Create a Birth Story Picture Book: Invite your children to create a picture book of their own that tells the birth story of Jesus. Use a children’s Bible or a Gospel account to help them remember all the parts to include. Then, use their picture book to encourage their own retelling of Jesus’ birth story. Additionally, try telling them their birth story as a way of relating it to their own life.
Read Jesus’ Birth Narrative: At bedtime, read the Christmas story with your children. There are lots of ways to do this. For example, each of the Gospels contains a different account. Additionally, if you have a children’s Bible or two, include those in the mix. Looking for one? Try the Children of God Storybook Bible. We recently reviewed it here, if you’ve never heard of it! And invite your children to tell the story a few nights in their own words using their Birth Story Picture Book.
Create Wrapping Paper: First, using blue and purple (the liturgical colors of Advent), create wrapping paper with symbols of the Advent season. Advent symbols could include the Jesse Tree, Advent wreath, Advent candles, Advent calendar, Mary and Joseph, Mary’s donkey, the star over Bethlehem, the Magi, the Magi’s camels, the angel Gabriel who visits Mary. Then, wrap gifts with your artistic creation.
Share Together During Devotionals: Still looking for a family Advent devotional? Never done a family Advent devotional? Check out what we just released here. An Illustrated Advent for Families is one way to slow down, ask questions, have fun, be intentional about how you spend your time and try new things. There are coloring pages for your children, but we’ve often found that parents enjoy coloring them as much (if not more…) as their children enjoy the coloring. There are simple but meaningful devotions for families to do throughout Advent, an Advent Wreath activity, and our Advent Calendar.
Make a Family Advent Wreath: Discuss the symbolism (and maybe even learn more of it yourself) as you work together to create an Advent wreath. Keep the wreath on your table throughout the season. Learn how to make one together with our Advent devotionals.
Light the Advent Wreath: At mealtime or before bed, join together in lighting the Advent wreath together. Explore this together using our Advent activities and devotionals for families.
Make a Kindness Advent Calendar: Cut 6 pieces of construction paper into 22 strips, each strip measuring 2.25″ x 12″. (This is a piece of construction paper cut in fourths along the long edge.) Write on each strip a kind act. Brainstorm ideas with the kids. Once all 22 strips have an act of kindness written upon it, staple the first one into a circle. From there, loop the next piece of paper around the last loop and staple it to create a chain. Each day of Advent, tear off one ring and read it together. Later, if there’s been an opportunity to do the act of kindness, discuss with the kids what it was like.