This post is for letter “A” in the 2016 ABCs of Homeschooling Through the Holidays. To see a full list of posts, click here.
Can you believe it's so close to the holidays? Seems like we were just at the beach beginning our summer break. And now we are gearing up for the holidays. There are so many preparations and, frankly, not much time. It goes so fast!
One of the traditions we have during the holidays is an Advent Calendar. We like to make our own each year. We make it between Thanksgiving and Christmas, or earlier in November if we need to, and have it ready for Advent.
Have you ever made your own Advent Calendar? If you haven't, you really should try it out. It isn't as difficult as it sounds and can be such a great family bonding activity.
If you are looking for a fun Advent Calendar to make as a family, this one is perfect for you!
The Advent Chain Link
One of the best Advent calendars we have made is a construction paper Advent chain. It's REALLY easy to make and a great option if you have younger children. Here's what you need:
- Construction Paper (Any color will do.Of course, green and red are traditional for the Christmas season; but it is totally up to your family.)
- Bible Verses for Advent or list of Christmas books and movies
Cut the construction paper lengthwise into wide strips. You will want a total of 24 or 25 strips, depending upon whether you do 24 days of Advent or add on for a beginning or ending statement, verse or prayer.
After you have all your construction paper strips. Choose a Scripture verse to write on each strip. You can write a verse itself or the Bible verse reference to look up. Whatever you think would be good for your family. We write the Bible verse reference and then look it up as a family and read it. It's also less time consuming to simply write the Bible reference.
HINT: The first year we did this all our kids were pretty young. I actually typed up the Bible verse references on slips of paper and cut them out and then let the kids glue them on with glue sticks. It saved time and every kid loves glue sticks!
One year we just numbered the chain and then had a reference chart of the Bible verses printed out and we read the corresponding Bible verse. It really doesn't have to be difficult. Just make it fun and easy to fit your family's time schedule and ability. The idea is to have fun making it.
After you have the Bible verses, on the strips of paper then make your first link. Remember, Day 1 will be made first and you will make a circle and then tape or glue it together for a chain link. You can start with whichever color you prefer.
Next thread a strip of paper for Day 2 through Day 1 and then secure it with tape or glue. You now have 2 circles linked together.
Continue through all 24 days of Advent. This is the part your kids will love. They can take turns putting on links. It's fun and you can talk about it while you are doing it.
After you have your chain, hang it on the tree or tack it to the wall somewhere where it is easily accessible. Each day you will remove one day, read the corresponding Bible verse as a family and have one less link on the chain. Soon your kids can look at the chain and count how many days until Christmas. My kids love the visual. I, of course, see it and realize how little time I have left to get the shopping done, but, hey, you can't win them all, right?
It's a really fun way to count the days through Advent.
If you aren't big on Bible verses, another way to do it is to put a book title or just number them and have a list of corresponding Christmas books or movies on them and read and/or watch your way through the Advent chain.
Whatever you decide to put on your Advent Chain, creating a family Advent calendar is a great tradition for the whole family.
Do you make your own Advent Calendar? What do you do? I would love to hear about it!
Visit our 2016 Homeschooling Through the Holidays sponsors: