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DIY Advent Activity Kits
DIY: Advent Activity Kits using the Jesus Storybook Bible
Advent Activity Kits Instructions using the Jesus Storybook Bible Advent Reading Plan
The idea of this is to create an Advent Activity Kit for each day in December leading up to Christmas, beginning December 1st (Day 1). Put the materials needed for the day’s activities in a brown or white paper lunch bag (kit) along with the coordinating printable activity card (one for each day- 24 kits in all). Fold the bag closed and label with the Day #. You can leave all of the bags out and ready at once, or as I prefer, just set one out before the child gets up each morning. It is a fun little ‘surprise’ for them to look forward to each day.
The daily reading is from the Jesus Storybook Bible so you will need this to do this curriculum (although the coordinating scripture verses are listed on the daily activity cards if you want to try to do it without.)
I found the Advent Reading Plan to go with the Jesus Storybook Bible here:
I loved it but I wanted more than just a reading plan so I created this activity kit system to go with it. Most advent calendars/ideas I have seen focus so much on candy and gifts. I didn’t want that. I wanted experiences. I wanted to create memories. Feel free to use, share, and adapt as desired. Please do not sell it, though.
BE SURE TO GET THE PRINTABLE ADVENT ACTIVITY KIT CARDS. Link at bottom. You will need these since that is where you will find the reading selection for each day.
Day 1- make a bookmark
- red or green construction paper cut into a bookmark sized strip
- copy of nativity scene below.
1. Cut out and color nativity scene.
2. Glue scene onto bookmark.
3. Decorate bookmark with stickers, markers, ribbon, glitter….
4. Use to keep your place in the Jesus Storybook Bible for the rest of the Advent activities.
Day 2- make gingerbread houses.
- graham crackers
- a variety of candies (gum drops, m&ms, smarties….)
(Alternative-use waffle cone bowls instead of graham crackers for younger children. All they have to do is decorate, not build)
Assemble and decorate houses as you choose. Use icing to hold candies onto houses. Use icing to hold graham crackers together.
God created and provided the perfect home for Adam and Eve. Now you can create a home of your own.
Day 3- make snow clay
- 2 Cups of Baking Soda
- 1 Cup of Corn Starch
- 1& 1/2 Cups of Cold Water (don’t put in kit. leave aside for when you are ready)
- a few drops of Peppermint Extract (don’t put in kit. leave aside)
- iridescent glitter
1. Combine all ingredients in a large pot except for the glitter. Place on medium to high heat on the stove and stir constantly. It does not take long for the clay to form. First the ingredients will begin to bubble, and then the liquid will begin to turn into more of a clay-like consistency. Continue to stir until you have the consistency of mashed potatoes.
2. Remove the pot from the stove and spoon the clay mixture into a large bowl. Place a damp cloth over the clay until cool.
3. Once cool, add iridescent glitter and knead it into the clay until you have reached the desired sparkle. As the dough is kneaded it will become smooth and pliable.
4. Use to make a snake like in the story of Adam and Eve, then play with. You can also use to make ornaments.
For ornaments, form into desired shape, make a hole for string, then leave on wax paper until dry (about 24 hours).
Day 4- make a bird seed ornament
- 3/4 cup birdseed
- 1/4 cup water (don’t put in kit. leave aside for when you are ready)
- 1 small envelope of knox gelatine
- twine or string
- cookie cutters, molds or mason jar lids
- wax paper (you can put in kit or leave aside)
1. Mix together the envelope of gelatine with 1/4 cup of water and bring to a simmer while stirring. Continue stirring until the gelatine is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool for a minute.
2. Stir in the 3/4 cup birdseed, adding a little more if there is liquid still in the bottom of the pan.
3. Lay your cookie cutters out on wax paper and fill half way with the birdseed mixture.
4. Cut twine, knot the end, and push the knot down into your birdseed.
5. Continue filling with birdseed, covering the end of your twine and knot.
6. Push the birdseed evenly into the cookie cutter or mold until it's full.
7. Allow to dry overnight, turning over every now and then.
8. Remove from the cookie cutters and hang them in your trees outside to feed some of God’s creatures that He took care of on the ark.
Day 5- learn about Christmas around the world and make make a poinsettia
- sponges cut into football (or petal) shape
- red, green, and yellow tempera paint (you can put in kit or leave out for when you are ready)
1. Use sponges to make some green leaves on paper. Let dry.
2. Use sponges to make red petals in shape of poinsettia. Let dry.
3. Use fingers to make yellow dots in the center of the flower. Let dry.
After the tower, God separated the nations. We read the book called Children Around the World Celebrate Christmas! by Susan Titus Osborn to learn about how children celebrate Christmas in different nations around the world. You can get a book from the library or research it on the internet if you do not have this book. Note: Poinsettias are from Mexico.
Day 6- make marshmallow stars and go stargazing
- small/mini star shaped cookie cutter
- regular sizes or flat square marshmallows
1. Squish marshmallow if using regular kind.
2. Use cookie cutter to cut out star shapes.
3. Eat or put in hot cocoa
Later in the evening, go out stargazing and try to count the stars. God told Abraham that He would give him so many children and grandchildren that he couldn’t even count them, just like the stars.
Day 7- give a gift to someone
- wrapping paper
This is where the child can be creative. It doesn’t really matter what they give. It can be a drawing, a craft, a piece of candy, a toy they want to give, or they can shop for something. They can give it to whoever you/they choose.
God has given us so many gifts including the best gift of all, Jesus.
Day 8- make a Christmas lights card and look at Christmas lights
- white cardstock paper
- poster paint in variety of bright colors
- black felt tip marker or sharpie
1. Fold paper in half like a card.
2. Use thumb or finger to make prints in a shape of a string of lights. Let dry.
3. Use felt tip pen to draw in string.
4. Write message inside that says, “I pray that Jesus brightens up your day.”
5. Give it to someone who needs encouraged and say a prayer for them.
Later that evening go driving around to look at different Christmas lights.
Leah was sad and didn’t feel wanted until God brightened her day. Use this card to brighten someone’s day today.
Source: (adapted from) http://campslop.blogspot.com/2011/12/christmas-canvases.html
Day 9- decorate sugar cookies and share them with someone
- premade or store bought sugar cookies (or ingredients to bake them with your child)
- sprinkles (optional)
1. Decorate cookies
2. Share them just like Joseph shared food with his brothers.
Day 10- learn about Passover and taste matzo bread
- matzo bread
- book or website about Passover (you can put in kit or leave out for when you are ready)
I know it seems to be the wrong time of year for this but it does fit right in.
We found a funny video on youtube here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xiBvZQuKZY
Or you can get library books or find other websites about Passover.
Passover is also known as the feast of unleavened bread. God’s people left Egypt quickly and didn’t have time for their bread to rise (or leaven).
Optional activity: watch all or part of The Prince of Egypt.
Day 11- make a jingle bell instrument and listen to Christmas music
- pipe cleaners
- jingle bells
- Christmas music (you can put in kit or leave out for when you are ready)
1. String bells on pipe cleaner.
2. Form pipe cleaner into a circle or a horseshoe shape with a handle and secure ends together.
3. Shake to play music while listening to Christmas music of your choice.
Our favorite is a CD called Acoustic Christmas.
Moses and his sister and God’s people danced and sang and made music, praising God for His protection. You can make music to God, too.
Day 12- eat “manna” while watching a Christmas movie
- manna (frosted flakes)
- Chrismas movie of choice (you can buy a new movie and put in the kit or just pick one you already have when you are ready to watch it)
We like A Charlie Brown Christmas.
God provided for His people and He provides for us, too.
Day 13- make a horn and eat bugles while watching Josh and the Big Wall .
- bugles snacks
- Veggie Tales movie Josh and the Big Wall (you can buy it or get it from the library. No need to put in kit if you already own it. Just save it for later)
- scissors (you can put in kit or keep out for when you are ready)
- "Gold" (Yellow) construction paper
1. Allow the kids to decorate their trumpet any which way they choose to
2. Roll up into a cone shape and place a piece of tape on the bottom part to hold it together. Also tape around the mouth.
Children can march around the house blowing their horns just like God’s people did in Jericho.
Later eat bugles while watching Veggie Tales Josh and the Big Wall
Day 14- have an indoor snowball fight and make snow.
- 2 boxes cornstarch
- 1 can shaving cream
- Large bowl (don’t put in kit. Leave out to use when ready)
Mix together cornstarch and shaving cream. Then have fun with it. Mold it into snowman, snowballs….
Use cotton balls for indoor snowball fight.
David was just a child when he was chosen as king. Let ‘s have some childlike fun with ‘snow’ today.
Day 15- make a cross with stones
- natural colored aquarium gravel
- cardstock or cardboard cut into cross shape (size can vary, smaller if you want to add string and make into an ornament. Bigger if you just want to hang on the wall.)
1. Glue gravel (stones) around edge of cross then fill in cross with stones as desired. Use lots of glue. Let dry.
2. Glue string to back of cross. Let dry and hang on wall or Christmas tree.
David used smooth stones to defeat the giant. Make this cross to remind us that God is with us like He was with David.
Day 16- go on a candy cane hunt
- candy canes
Jesus is the Good Shepherd and shepherds use a shepherd staff shaped like a candy cane. Take turns hiding candy canes around the house and find them (similar to an Easter egg hunt). Eat as desired.
Day 17- forgiveness fizz
- large clear glass or clear jug of water (don’t put in kit. Leave out for when you are ready)
- effervescent tablets (like Alka Seltzer)
1. Break tablets into quarters, so they're not so big).
2. Encourage the children to think of someone they need to forgive. Talk about how when we are hurt and angry it hurts us too, but we can ask God to help us to let go of these feelings.
3. Put the tablet in the water and get the children to imagine asking God to help them forgive. As the bubbles start to come off the tablets, imagine giving the hurt feelings to God.
The tablets take a while to dissolve, which also illustrates that sometimes it takes a long time to forgive. The water might also have changed color, which illustrates that it's not as if the thing that hurt you had never happened, it's just been changed by God.
Source: (adapted from) http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.com/2012/01/forgiveness-fizz.html
Day 18- make ‘teardrop’ ornaments
- empty mason jars or clean food jars
- boiling water (do not put in kit)
- white pipe cleaners
- popsicle sticks
- string or yarn
1. Create shapes with pipe cleaners (hearts, a snowflake, corkscrew…).
2. Attach each pipe cleaner shape onto a popsicle stick with some yarn. This is how your shapes will hang into the borax solution.
3. Fill your jars with hot boiling water and add about 1/3 cup of borax. Stir to dissolve. (Add food coloring if desired to create colored crystals.)
4. Place hanging shapes in the jar solutions and let set overnight. In the morning, crystals will have formed all around your pipe cleaners, and on the bottom of the jar.
5. Remove and place on paper towels to dry.
6. Cut each shape off of the popsicle stick and trim off the excess yarn. Add a pretty ribbon bow at the top of each shape.
God dries our tears just like He did for his people. When tears dry the water evaporates but it leave behind all of the minerals. Today’s craft sort of works the same way. The minerals will collect on the pipe cleaners forming a beautiful pattern.
Day 19- God’s protection lesson
- a bowl
- a teensy amount of dishsoap
1. Fill a bowl with water
2. Add lots of pepper, the more pepper the more dramatic the effect. Pepper represents our troubles, problems, etc.
3. Dip your finder in the water. Notice how the ‘troubles’ stick to you. They cover us. (clean off finger with water or papertowel)
4. Now Dab your finger in some dish soap, you don't need a lot. Dish soap represents God’s protection through our trials and troubles
5. Dip your finger lightly in the water. Watch as the pepper magically floats away!
Notice that our ‘troubles’ are still there but with God’s protection our troubles aren’t covering us and overwhelming us. Just like God protected Daniel in the lions den.
Day 20- make Jonah in the whale balloons also eat goldfish while watching Jonah
- goldfish crackers
- a copy of Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie
- long balloons used for twisting
- small bouncy ball to represent Jonah
- balloon pump (optional)
1. insert “Jonah” bouncy ball into balloon
2. pump or blow up balloon leaving small portion unblown
3. tie balloon
4. twist balloon into fish shape as shown below
This balloon reminds us what could happen when we don’t obey God.
Later eat goldfish crackers and watch Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie
Note: I was torn with this one so I actually made two different activities for this one. You can choose which one you want to do. Second option below.
Day 20- play with fishing game and eat goldfish crackers while watching Jonah.
- plastic transparency sheets (variety of bright colors) cut into fish shapes
- paper clips
Note: Kit will contain finished product.
1. Use plastic transparency and cut out several small fish shapes.
2. Poke small hole near mouth and attach small paperclip to fish.
3. Attach magnet to end of string.
4. Store in old Altoids tin or in small tubberware container
God used a big fish to get Jonah’s attention. Remember how important it is to obey God while you play with the fishing game.
Later eat goldfish crackers and watch Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie
Day 21- have a party
- party hats
- party horns
- cupcakes or ingredients to make cupcakes
- (optional-small fun board game)
1. Write on streamers about all that God has done for you and your family and hang them around the room.
2. Make or decorate cupcakes.
3. Play a fun board game or make up party games together.
Day 22- magnetic nativity
- magnetic nativity (We bought ours on Amazon. It is the Kurt Adler The Story of Christmas Interactive Magnetic Advent Book.) Here is the link: http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B004UPA0QU/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER
or you could make one with these directions:
Or you could just do a nativity craft. There are several on pinterest to choose from.
Children can recreate the nativity story using the magnets.
Day 23- decorate a candle
- pillar candle
- colored sharpies
- tissue paper
- copy paper
- wax paper (optional)
1. Tape a piece of tissue paper, about the size of the candle, to a piece of copy paper
2. Write “Jesus is the LIGHT of the world” on the tissue paper with sharpie then use sharpies to decorate tissue paper.
3. Remove copy paper and cut excess tissue paper
4. Pull tissue paper tight around your candle and use hairdryer to melt your design into the candle using a back and forth motion for about 30-40 seconds. If not don’t just repeat. You can hold wax paper over design if desired but works best without it.
Jesus IS the light of the world. You can burn this candle as a reminder or give it to someone to show them the light of Jesus.
Day 24- make a star of David
- 6 Popsicle sticks
- paint (blue, yellow, silver, gray, or whatever color you choose)
- silver or gold glitter (or whatever color your choose)
(or just use glitter glue and save the trouble of glue plus glitter)
- paint brush
- copy of Veggietals: The Star of Christmas
1. Paint 6 popsicle sticks blue, gray, yellow, or silver (or whatever color you chose). Let dry.
2. Glue 3 of popsicle sticks together in the shape of a triangle.
3. Do it again with the 3 remaining popsicle sticks.Let dry.
4. Glue the 2 triangle-shapes together, forming a Star of David. Let dry.
5. Spread glue all over their Star of David and then sprinkle glitter all over it. (or use glitter glue to decorate it) Let dry.
Jesus is the star of Christmas. The star of David is a symbol that the Jewish people use to represent how God protected David. God was David’s shield
Watch Veggietals: The Star of Christmas
Michelle Hortenberry November 6, 2014
Printable Advent Activity Kit cards
- Printable Cards for Advent Activity Kits using the Jesus Storybook Bible Advent Reading Plan
Click here to get Printable Cards to go with the Advent Activity Kits. These cards include the reading selection for the day.