Don't have an Advent calendar in your stash? No problem! A few items from your arts + craft stash, and you can make your own. This is a perfect craft for little one ages 2-6 to help teach them physically about the counting down until Christmas Day. We've added this countdown to our family traditions of observances that I noted yesterday.
I always made a chain until Christmas when I was little, but we used the liturgical colors of Advent: purple and pink instead to keep our focus on Advent rather than on Christmas. Christmas Day is signified with a white loop for the last day. Church tradition uses these colors to signify the following:
Purple: a color of penance and fasting as well as a royal color to welcome in the King
Pink: used to signify that we rejoice in that the penitential season is almost over
White: is sometimes used to represent purity and the end of penitence; for instance, in an Advent wreath, sometimes there is a white Christ candle lit in the center on Christmas Day
To make this simple countdown, you will need:
Construction paper (2-3 purple, 1 pink, 1 white)
Paper trimmer/cutter (optional)
Verse printed or handwritten on paper
:: Instructions ::
Print out or write bible verse onto paper (plain ol' white is fine). You want end result to be about 2" x 3". We used Isaiah 9:6, but there are many other great verses referencing Christ's birth.
Using paper trimmer or scissors, cut 1" strips width wise (8.5" long when cut) from construction paper. You will need 1 white strip, 7 pink strips, and 16 purple strips (can vary depending on year).
Draw a star on the remaining white construction paper. Either have your child cut out the traced shape, or cut it out for them. Glue bible verse to the middle of the star.
Staple the white strip of paper to the bottom of the star creating a loop. This will be your first part of the chain. From here, you will create your chain to represent December 24th backwards. For 2012, this means you want 2 purple, 7 pink, and then 14 more purple. Use glue stick and a strip of paper to make each loop.
And TaDa! Hang somewhere prominent that your child will see and remember to remove a link each day. We are going to try and memorize our verse at the top by reciting it each day before removing that day's chain. Another lesson that can be taught from this: as we get closer to the coming of the Christ child, we remove the chains. The chains are like our sin and our ties to this earth. In His coming to be with us, Christ freed us from that bondage!
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