I was looking on line for devotional ideas for advent and came across this which I would thoroughly recommend. It’s sitehttp://christmasadventurebox.blogspot.co.uk/. I have adapted their ideas to use with my children for Advent
DAY 1 – advent calenders
For the first day I introduced the box unwrapped and looking quite plain (mostly because I forgot to buy Christmas paper). I said to the kids that Jesus the king of the world chose not to come as a mighty king or warrior born in a palace. He chose to come as an ordinary baby. This box looks a bit ordinary and boring with no fancy paper but inside is something very exciting. Just like we need to look inside the box to see what’s inside we need to be like Jesus’ friends who a few years later said “come and see” Jesus the messiah. We then opened the box and gave out advent calenders.
Day 2 – John 3:16
We read John 3:16 from the adventure bible. I then read the verse out replacing “the world” with my name (i.e “for God so loved Davina…”) in the verse and got the kids to do the same. Lovely and very special moments.
Day 3 – Luke 1:5-25 – The birth of John the Baptist foretold.
Talked with the kids about prophecy and how God spoke to Zechariah telling him what his plan was for the future. We got some pens and paper and tried to guess how many pressies we would get for Christmas. I explained there is a big difference between guessing and prophecy. Only God knows what will happen in the future.
Day 4 Luke 1:26-38 – Nothing is impossible with God
I read the verses from Luke and emphasised “Nothing is impossible for God”. I then asked them if they thought I could cut this paper and climb through it. Of course they said that I couldn’t. A few snips and cuts later I made a hole big enough to climb through. They then took it in turns to say the verse “nothing is impossible for God” and climbed through as well. See link on Pinterest for instructions.
Day 5 Luke 1:39 -45 Mary visits Elizabeth
We read the verses and watched the story of Mary and Elizabeth from “the gospel project” App for families.
I asked the kids to tell me how many impossible things happened in this one part of the story (Mary becomes pregnant through the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth pregnant in old age and Joseph’s heart is mended)
Day 6 Luke 1:46 – 56 Mary’s song
We read Mary’s song of praise and I explained that although she may have been scared she chose to praise and trusted in God. We had a dance and sing to a praise song by the Rizers.
Day 7 Luke 1:57-80 – The birth of John the Baptist and Zechariah’s prophecy
John the Baptist was a prophet and prepared the way for Jesus. Explained that his arrival and mission was also prophecied in Isaiah 40:3
“A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God”
One of the things the Bible says about John the baptist was that he lived in the dessert and ate locusts and wild honey. We weren’t quite brave enough to eat insects but made a locust from marzipan and chocolate sticks.
Day 8 Luke 2:1-5 census M & Ms
We read the verse and I explained that the evil emperor Ceaser was so vain he wanted to count the people to record how important he was. In the middle of all the chaos God chose to send His son the true King of heaven and Earth. For us! I explained a census was the way people were counted by being put into family groups. I handed out a packet of M & Ms’ each (which was the cause if much celebration at the breakfast table!) and got them to split up into colour groups. They were then allowed to eat the colour with the highest number.
Day 9 Luke 2:1-7 the birth of Jesus baby craft
We read the verses and made a small nativity scene using biscuits, jelly babies, icing and sprinkles.
Day 10 Luke 2:8- 20 Angels announce the birth of Jesus
We had great fun with this one. I explained to the kids that sometimes Angels can be described as being a bit like fairies but in reality they are mighty warriors who make up the Armies of Heaven. I got the kids to dress up as angel warriors, found some baddy looking toys and used nerf guns for a bit of target practice.
Day 11 Luke 2:15-20 Shepherds
Explained to the kids how amazing it was that God chose Sheperds who were seen as the lowest in society to be the first to hear that Jesus was born.
I used an idea from the book “Bake through the Bible” by Suzie Bentley-Taylor and Bekah Moore, to make star shaped mince and jam pies.
Day 12 Luke 2:21-24 Jesus presented at temple
Bit of a stretch to fit the Theme here but made the kids invites to a film night showing the “Nativity” at a local Community Church. Great night where we thoroughly enjoyed being with Gods people in His house.
Day 13 Luke 2:25- 40 Prophecy of Simeon and Anna
We read out the verses then we each thought of something we wanted to thank God for and said a prayer of thanks.
Day 14 Matthew 2:1-12 Visitors from the East
We made some gifts for the teachers. Link to instructions from Pinterest below.
Day 15 Matthew 2:13-18 The escape to Egypt
We read the verses and played a Hide and seek game and spoke about how God had protected Mary, Joseph and Jesus from evil plans to destroy him.
Day 16 Matthew 2:19- the return to Nazareth
We read the verses and then talked about how Joseph had been obedient to Gods instructions. We had a quick game of Simon Says.
Day 17 Luke 2:41-51 Jesus speaks to teachers
Mary and Joseph were worried they couldn’t find Jesus but he explained He was safe in His Fathers house. We used a couple of toys and took it in turns to hide them in the living room and the others had to find them. Message really was that although we don’t always know where thing are or how things are going to work out – God is in control as our loving Father.
Day 18 Luke 3:1-20 John the baptist prepares the way
John had lots of followers and perched the good news of a messiah coming to save the world. We are also to be witnesses for Jesus and spread the Good news.
We went to the local shopping centre with the church and sang some Christmas Carols.
Day 19 Luke 3:21-22 Jesus is baptised.
I explained that this was the start of Jesus ministry. He would then go into the wilderness to pray for 40 days and nights where he would be tempted by the Devil. He used the Word of God to overcome these temptations. We can also do this in our lives.
Day 20 Luke 3:23-38 Ancestry of Jesus
We talked about how David was Jesus’ great great great….. Grandad and how we call this list of people a genealogy. I had uploaded an app to make your own family tree and we had fun filling in everyone’s names. Details of the Family tree website below.
DAY 21 John 1:1-13 in the beginning was the word
We made Christingles and talked about Jesus being light if the world. Instructions for making Christingles below.
Day 22 John 1:14- 18 word became flesh – Immanuel (God with us – WOW)
We chatted how Jesus was both fully man and fully God and how amazing it was that he left the glories of heaven to live with us as one of us so that He could save us. He must love us so much.
We made some heart shaped biscuits and we read Psalm 89:1-4
Day 23 John 1:29-34 Isaiah 53
Jesus the lamb – I know this will sound strange but I managed to find some Easter Eggs in the cupboard (still in date) and gave them each one explaining this was reason Jesus was born – to die and take away the sins of the world so that we could have a relationship with God.
Day 24 Christmas Eve.
I wrapped up a nativity scene and let the kids play with the characters. we read the story of “the tale of the three trees”. You can watch a clips if the story on YouTube using this link;