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Friday, November 26, 2010

How to Make Your Own (reusable) Advent Calendar

Here's a fun Advent activity for your younger children-- an activity they can all be a part of! We used this for many years, and it was a wonderful tradition!

Supplies Needed:

1 colorful poster board (Walmart, Dollar Store, Drug Store)
Ruler
Scissors with a pointy tip.
Colorful fat felt pens(like Mr. Sketch)
squares of cardstock paper for writing in numbers 1-31 (the dates for the month)
31 paper clips - one for each date
a Mary/Joseph/donkey picture (as big as one calendar square)
a Baby Jesus in Manger picture (as big as one calendar square)

Use a printed calendar as a guide to draw a grid - 6 rows and 7 columns. Leave room for the word "December" at the top of your calendar.

Have your young children practice their letters and numbers by printing in the name of the month at the top, the days of the week across row 1, and the dates- one number per square.

Add paper clip to each square, by cutting a tiny slit near the bottom of each calendar square and inserting the clip, so it becomes a holder for each number.

Here's how the advent calendar works: Draw or print out a picture of Mary on the donkey, and Joseph leading her. This little picture should be the size of one of the calendar squares. Color it and laminate it or cover both sides with heavy clear packing tape. Draw or print out another picture of Baby Jesus in a manger. Color it, cut it out, and laminate or cover with clear packing tape. Clip it to the December 25th space on the calendar.

Each day, as you do Advent readings, have your children take turns moving Mary and Joseph one day closer to December 25th. Each day, count how many days are left to go. This is a simple way for families to anticipate the birth of Jesus, and at the same time learn counting skills!

P.S. If you don't want to be able to use the calendar each year, just write the dates in each square instead of on cardstock papers, and sticky tack Mary and Joseph to each box as you move along.

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