The beginning of the Advent season is just a few short days away, and I have been thrilled to hear that so many of you are planning to use my Advent reading “Tracing Glory: The Christmas Story Through the Bible” (to get a link to this FREE resource, see the previous blog post). I am praying God uses this resource to draw hearts to Him and lead us to worship!
I wanted to share a few quick tips for using “Tracing Glory” with kiddos. I have found with my own kids that visuals are necessary for them to better grasp what we are reading together. Also, visuals make the Advent reading more fun! For this reason, I made (or bought) an ornament to correspond with each day’s reading. I have provided pictures of each of my ornaments at the end of the Advent resource (several have asked for written instructions for making the ornaments, but I have not had a chance to pull that together this year). If you do not have the time or supplies to make your own set of ornaments, one easy way to provide visuals for kids is to cut out the pictures I provided. You can glue the pictures on 3×5 index cards (I cut the cards in half), punch a hole, and add ribbon. Voila! You have an ornament. I added a short Christ connection on the two examples below.
If you are planning to use ornaments, putting them in an Advent calendar or wrapping them separately for your kids to open each day adds some suspense and excitement (my kids love unwrapping, and our ornaments don’t fit in our Advent calendar this year :)). You can see in the the picture below how I have wrapped and labeled ornaments for the first two days of December. Another option is to gather supplies and make an ornament with your child/children each day. That option is a lot of work, but creative kids love it!
Another way to make the Advent celebration exciting is to have a little sweet treat for your kiddos to find in the Advent calendar each day (if you don’t have an Advent Calendar, just give it to them before or after the reading). We usually do our Advent reading after dinner, so I try to have a small Christmas cookie, candy cane or some other special treat for the boys. On the first day of Advent, we usually do Christmas PEZ and dispensers.
Finally, Christ Connection cards are another easy visual you can make to help kids remember the main point of each particular day’s reading. They don’t need to be anything fancy! I made these using index cards and a sharpie. I didn’t write out the entire Christ connection from the end of each day’s reading—-just came up with a shorter version of it.
I hope these tips are helpful as you plan for a special Advent celebration! The goal is to figure out what works best for your family depending on the ages of your children. Be flexible and willing to change things up as you go if something isn’t working! As I’ve come up with visuals for my kids, I’ve had my oldest child (7) in mind. Remember, this is a resource for very young children to grow into.
Praying for a blessed Advent season for all as we reflect on the first coming of Christ and anxiously await His glorious return!