It isn’t quite time for Christmas – but if you want to get a head start on advent this is a ‘make your own advent calendar’. One symbol for each day with a Bible reference to read as a family.
Print the symbols onto card and cut out. Place each one in an envelope with the number on the outside, add small treats to the envelope too. Put up some string or ribbon and use pegs or paper clips to attach the symbol each day during advent.You can leave the symbols black and white or colour them each day. There are Bible verses to read each day – when our children were small we’d have eaten the chocolate either at breakfast or straight after school and read the Bible verses at bedtime.
Free printable is here Christmas 3-shapes 3 ( verses) Christmas 3-shapes 2 ( verses) Christmas 3-shapes 1 ( verses)
Bible story – from Luke 1:26-38.
(Include actions in the story if you can – ask the children and adults to join in)
One day Mary was at home. It was just an ordinary day. Mary was cleaning the house (some actions here – maybe dusting or sweeping).
But then something extraordinary happened! An angel came to see her! Now angels are not like fairies. Angels are big and strong! (actions here too). The angel that came to see Mary was called Gabriel (ask everyone to repeat the name). He had a message from God.
‘You are going to have a very special baby,’ he said to Mary. ‘This baby will be God’s Son and he will be King forever.’
Who was this baby? This baby, that the angel talked about, was Jesus.
Mary listened. (everyone touch their ears). She knew that this promised baby would be very, very special and important.
Jesus is very, very special and important.
Craft Ideas – make angels
Square paper plate angel – cut out the wings and use tissue paper to create a stained glass effect.
Paper cup/ice cream pot angel
Story bag ideas – a doll to represent Mary or Early Learning Centre Nativity Set. You could add a duster and a dustpan and brush and your angel craft to represent Gabriel.
‘In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.’
Christmas tree biscuits
This is a very easy recipe called 1-2-3 biscuits from ‘Cakes and Cake Decorating’ by Rosemary Wadey.
1oz/25g caster sugar
3oz/75g plain flour
Cream butter and sugar together and then gradually add the flour. Knead till smooth. I made this in my mixer but it is easily done by hand.
Chill the biscuit dough for at least an hour. If you miss this it will be very difficult to roll out and cut into biscuit shapes.
Once chilled roll out on a floured surface. Cut into shapes. I used a christmas tree shaped cutter. Bake at 150C /300F /Gas 2 for about 25 minutes (less if you have a fan oven. Check often anyway). They should be lightly browned. I have a gas oven that has a mind of it’s own so please don’t take my timings as exact!
Once cooked allow to cool and then decorate using icing (icing sugar and water mixed- add water little by little). I added green colouring jell. Decorate any way you like. Eat!
‘For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’
A song to enjoy
Something to make – twinkly Christmas star
all you need
- 2 pipe cleaners (large) cut in half and twisted together in the centre to make a star
- beads to thread on to the pipe cleaners. Once done fold the end of each pipe cleaner
- fold one pipe cleaner into a hook at it’s end so you can hang it on the tree.
edited – found a spelling mistake!
I so wanted to make something like this last year but just ran out of time. So this year I was determined to make a craft focusing on Christingle. This is not necessarily instead of making the real thing. This craft could be done as an extra activity or used for very young children that you would rather didn’t have a candle.
The basic shape is drawn on a paper plate (this needs to be sturdy) and then I used paint. I would have used red ribbon but it was being elusive! The ‘sweets’ are beads on pipe cleaners. Do this for young children or alongside them as the beads are small. I attached these with cellotape.
Have a look at The Children’s Society website for more about the history of the Christingle.
Luke 2:1 ‘In those days a decree went out from Casear Augustus that all the world should be registered’
Craft Idea – make some Christmas Tree decorations with Hama beads
There are lots of ideas for hama bead creations at this Pinterest page. You can follow patterns or just make up colour combinations. We made stars and hearts and then threaded some cotton through the top bead and hung on the Christmas tree. This is a good activity for children who are 7 years plus – adults need to be in charge of ironing the beads. To do that you need to place greeseproof paper over the beads and then iron till the beads are fused together. If you buy a hama bead kit the waxed/greeseproof paper will come with it and can be reused.
I found this decoration idea on Pinterest. Take a look at the original by Happy Hooligans here. It is so simple and easy to make but also looks great. There is no need for glue or paint either!
All you need are some glittery pipe cleaners, beads – I used circular and star shaped and a pencil to wrap the pipe cleaner around to make the spiral shape.
Make a ‘knot’ at the bottom of the spiral by twisting the pipe cleaner around a few times so that the beads don’t fall off.
Thread the beads on. I chose to leave spaces between groups of three. At the end of the pipe cleaner make a hook shape so it will hang from the Christmas tree.
I loved making this craft. It is so simple but looks fabulous! It is only suitable for children over 5 years old as the beads are a chocking hazard.