Monday, December 3, 2007

Advent Activities

This season we began Advent with a family celebration to kick it off yesterday which, of course, included our annual tree cutting. We decorated the tree and sang carols and started to reveal our Advent calendar pockets. Our calendar was painstakingly and lovingly made by my mother-in-law and is a treasured favorite for our children. This year they've been doing the math, right down to labeled diagrams, of who will reveal what on which day. It is a fun calendar that packs a lot of meaning since as you draw closer to Christmas, you build more and more into the story of Jesus' birth.

Each day we'll read some Christmas themed books and we'll try to do several activities per week depending on our schedule. We are actually heading into this season fairly low key and it doesn't show signs of changing a whole lot. I have some crafty lessons planned which I'm sure will be fun for all.

This is a list of the books that are in our home library. We've been collecting them over the years. I added several to the library this year to make this collection.

If you Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff
The Night before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, Illustrated by Bruce Whatley
The Usborne Christmas Story Jigsaw Book by Brian Voakes
Clifford's Glow in the Dark Christmas by Scholastic
Henry and Mudge in the Sparkle Days by Cynthia Rylant
Arthur's Perfect Christmas by Marc Brown
Bear Stays Up by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman
The Stable Where Jesus Was Born by Rhona Gowler Greene
Come and See by Monica Mayper
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
This is the Star by Joyce Dunbar
A Blue's Clues Holiday by Angela Santomero
Little Porcupine's Christmas by Joseph Slate
It's Present Day by Alice Wilder
Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett
The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado
The Baby Jesus- board book
The First Christmas- board book
The Legend of the Candy Cane
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson (added this year)
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski (added this year)

Christmas Craft and Activity Books:

Angelina Ballerina's Christmas Crafts
Usborne's You and Your Child Christmas
Things to Make and Do for Christmas from Usborne
Family Countdown to Christmas by Debbie Trafton O'Neal
Family Fun Homemade Holidays edited by Deanna Cook
Family Fun Crafts edited by Deanna Cook
Family Fun Boredom Busters edited by Deanna Cook
The Toddler's Busy Book
The Preschooler's Busy Book
The Children's Busy Book - all Busy books by Trish Kuffner
Easy to Make Bible Story Puppets by Valerie Bendt

Library Books we have on hand for read alouds or silent reading:

Silent Night: The Song and its Story by Margaret Hodges
Terrier in the Tinsel by Ben M. Baglio (a chapter book series Animal Ark)
A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles Schultz
The Baker's Dozen A Saint Nicholas Tale retold by Aaron Shepard
Amish Christmas by Richard Ammon
Gus and Grandpa and the Christmas Cookies by Claudia Mills
Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters by Patricia and Frederick McKissack
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (as retold in a graphic form by Marcia Williams

A note about What God Wants for Christmas...

At the MOPS convention in September Family Life left with the field leaders a free Ultimate Christmas Party tin. I plan to use it with our children and perhaps a few of the neighbor's kids- if I'm feeling brave (and if I'm not I bet Dan will!). The kit comes with nativity cookie cutters and allows kids to make the characters of the nativity and a cracker/pretzel stable.

They have a corresponding interactive nativity set that allows you to open gifts over many days revealing that what God wants for Christmas is YOU!

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