These advent family activities are a wonderful way to focus on the Savior during this Christmas season. With two options for advent chains, your family can count down to Christmas.
I want to have my December game-plan before December hits. I want to create some intentional, meaningful memories this Christmas Season. I want to pass on to my children what I believe the true meaning of Christmas is—celebrating the Savior’s birth. I want to help combat the “gimmees” and “I wants” by instilling the desire to serve others and giving them opportunities to do so.
I have two different sets of printable advent chains. Print, cut, staple and hang! You can flip flop between the advent chains each year. I love how Advent Chains have become a December tradition in my household. They can be in yours too!
Advent Paper Chain: An Easy Christmas Craft
One Christmas craft that my family has done in the past was to create a paper chain to keep track of the days until Christmas. The paper train had 25 links and each day the children removed one link.
My friend Cassie sent me a link to Jim Elzerman’s version of the paper chains. He turned the paper chains into an Advent devotional:
“The links are numbered 1-25 and on each link is a different theme and scripture reference. Hang the chain with 25th link at the top and remove one link each day during December leading up to Christmas, using the scripture for family devotions and the theme as a focus for prayer. It’s a handy way to count off the days until Christmas and learn more about the real meaning of the holiday.”~ Jim Elzerman
The printable on the original site is not working, so Cassie made a new printable based on the scriptures listed by Mr. Elzerman (scroll to the bottom of the post for the link). I was going to make them, but she beat me to it. Cassie planned and designed the chain way better than I would have–and used cool numbers from digital designer, Anna Aspnes. Cassie is using this craft with a group of children, so she set up the file to save ink and paper.
Follow her directions if printing for more than one child. If you want to print just one set for your family, you will follow the color directions listed but just print one of each page. On several of the pages you’ll have some extras–just put in your scrap pile ;).
First print out the strips on the colors indicated in the file. Cassie mentioned that one way to really dress up the paper train would be to print on double-sided scrapbook paper that has a pattern on one side.
Now I decided to get all fancy with the star. Since I will probably be using this idea each year, I wanted a more durable star. I had a clear cd in my recycle bin that I thought would work perfectly. If you don’t have a clear one, use any old cd.
First tie a piece of ribbon through the center of the cd to the top. This strip will be the hanger. Next tie another piece of ribbon through the center of the cd toward the bottom. This will be where the paper chain will attach.
Cut out two of the yellow stars. Use a strong adhesive on the stars. I used double-sided Super Tape by Thermoweb. Make sure the top hanger has the knot at the top and the bottom hanger has the knot toward the center. Place one star on one side to hold the ribbons in place. Place another star on the opposite side.
If you use a plain cd, cut 2 circles of Christmas paper or cardstock just slightly smaller in diameter than the CD. I like to have a little bit of the shiny metal showing. Tape the ribbons in place on the cd so they don’t move. Then cover the paper circles with adhesive–spray adhesive, Super Tape by Thermoweb or the Xyron 900 work best. Cover both sides of the cd with the paper circles. It should look like a big circle ornament with a ribbon at the top and ribbon at the bottom. Next add the cut-out stars and any other embellishments. Basically it is a version of an altered CD.
We have a whole stash of old cd’s that my children love to decorate with Permapaque Opaque Paint Markers by Sakura. These markers work on cd’s ceramics, wood, metal, glass plastic and more. My older daughter did the cd decorating for this craft.
Then start assembling the paper train. The number 25 will be attached to the star. We stapled all our links because that goes faster, but you can glue them or use other adhesives.
What a great way to keep track of the days and focus on the real meaning of Christmas.
Names of Jesus Advent Chain Christmas Craft
I have wanted to go over the Names of Jesus with my kids as a study for awhile. This year I thought it would be appropriate to do during the Christmas season.
Since purple is usually a color associated with royalty, I decided to make our paper chain purple and silver. I printed out the template on shimmer cardstock by Core’dinations. I was worried that the ink would rub off right away, but it didn’t. I did need to let it dry for a few minutes before cutting. If the ink gives you problems, you can set the ink with Kryon Preserve It! by lightly spraying the paper before cutting.
I made the hanger for the chain out of a white, sparkly pipe cleaner, ribbon, and snowflake garland. We will hang this up on December 1st and remove a chain each day until Christmas.
More Ideas and Prompts to Help You Plan Advent Family Activities
How do you plan your holiday? Do you plan your holiday? Any tips, tricks, helpful hints to make the holiday season go smoothly?
Advent Books and Music:
Do you have any special books or music that have become a part of your Christmas tradition? How do you use them to make the season meaningful? Do you do any special Christmas units?
Any crafts that help teach about the Savior’s birth?
Good memories are often made around food. What are some of your best holiday recipes?
Gifts/Acts of Service for the Advent Season:
Any creative gift ideas? How do you combat all the commercialism? How do you share the meaning of Christmas with others?
Fun Resources for Your Christmas Homeschool
The Ultimate Guide to Lovely Christmas Activities for Your Homeschool – Art, nature and more! This guide to lovely Christmas activities for your homeschool is designed to be filled with ideas to simplify and enjoy the season. So, fix a steamy cup of hot chocolate and settle into your favorite chair by the twinkling holiday lights.
Jotham’s Journey Advent Stories – Do you know about the Jotham’s Journey advent stories? I definitely wanted to be sure you knew about a series of read alouds we always enjoy during the Christmas season. And because this fantastic series blesses us each and every year!
Ishtar’s Odyssey: A Storybook for Advent – The weeks before Christmas are a wonderful time of anticipation. The Advent series by Arnold Ytreeide help us built special family devotion time each evening – from shortly after Thanksgiving until Christmas morning!
Advent Morning Time – Once Thanksgiving has come and gone, we enter the rush toward Christmas. With family, church, and homeschooling obligations it can seem like we are always a little bit behind during the month of December. Why not consciously plan ahead and choose to create a little margin? Homeschooling offers us that kind of flexibility. In our homeschool, we will be setting aside the bulk of our studies in favor of an extended Advent Morning Time.
Draw Your Way Through The Story of Christmas – Add these Advent art activities to your Christmas Homeschool plans! You can draw your way through the story of Christmas from the angels announcing Messiah’s birth to the manger scene.
You can still learn through the holidays, but use the time to pivot and educate from a place of peace, enjoy your family, and experience life together through the season.
Let us know if you enjoy these family advent activities! Tag @hogepodgemom on Instagram and use the #yourbesthomeschool hashtag.
Maureen helps Christian mompreneurs operate their business from a place of joy, purpose, and excellence because they are clear on how their business is serving their family and others. As a homeschool mom, she believes success at home AND business without the mom-guilt, stress and burn-out is possible! Outside of work, she loves having good conversations over a hot chai or GT Gingerberry kombucha and spending time with her husband and seven children. Visit her at MaureenSpell.com