Monday, December 9, 2013

Advent 2013

Yesterday was the second Sunday of Advent, so I thought it was about time that I posted some of the things that we are using for Advent this year.  This time of year is a favorite of mine and I love getting advent things ready for us. It is such a special time as we ponder and prepare our hearts for Christmas.

Wooden Nativity Blocks. Hannah and Ethan love that they can touch and play with this set.  I love that they keep their hands off of my set (one that is much more fragile).  I made these using the paper nativity set that you can find here.  I think it's super important for them to be able to play and manipulate the pieces as they tell and retell the story of Jesus' birth.  

Felt Advent Candles.  I obviously don't let Hannah and Ethan play with candles and matches, so I made them this felt set a couple of years ago.  We light real candles each Sunday as we approach Christmas.  Here is an explanation about the candles and about how I made them.

Hannah and Ethan also enjoy playing with this felt nativity set.  I only wish the board was bigger so that the pieces fit on better.  As you can see it often gets a little crowded at the stable.  

We have used this set for the last 2 years and we all love it.  Each night we read one of the little books that tells just a piece of the story leading up to the birth of Jesus.  

To go along with it I made an ornament that goes with each book that Hannah and Ethan can add to the tree each night.  They take this very seriously.  Most of all it makes me smile that this is what Hannah remembers about Christmas.  

This year we have also been reading the book "24 Christmas Stories for Little Ones." Each day it tells the story of a legend or a tradition surrounding Christmas.  Many of them are things done in other countries so it has been fun learning about what others do.

Just for fun I got Hannah and Ethan their own copies of the "Holy Heroes Coloring Book: The Childhood of Jesus".  They haven't shown a lot of interest in this yet.  

I snapped up this book for $1 dollar at the thrift store in PERFECT condition, "The Little Drummer Boy Paperback by Ezra Jack Keats".  It is a beautiful book (like all Ezra Jack Keats' books).  Last year we taught Hannah and Ethan the words to "Joy to the World".  This year we are doing the "Little Drummer Boy." Using the book makes it so much more fun.

Our collection of Christmas story books, which I scoured thrift stores for in the off season when nobody else was interested.  I like buying brand new books for almost nothing.

I would be remiss if I didn't share where I get a lot of my inspiration.  I love the blog "Shower of Roses".  Here advent preparations are awesome.  Check some of these links out if your interested here and here.

Next year I would love to give "Wisemen Adventures" a try.  It is similar to the Elf on the Shelf stuff lots of families have fun doing.  The difference is that the focus is on the wise men looking for baby Jesus.  Have a look here for an explanation and some pictures.

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