Our kids have been in Awana for since our oldest was a Cubbie! And now we have the distinction of having one kid in each of the youngest levels of Awana. We have a Puggle, a Cubbie, a Spark, and a TNT!! All the leaders for the Awana program we go to demonstrate a dedication and love for these kids and the Lord every week. We are so thankful for them!
A few years ago we put together some sweet Awana leader Christmas gifts. I got to thinking about them the other day (because it is that time of year) and I looked back at this blog post and updated it. Here it is with recipe and printable gift bag toppers.
Some of my favorite memories as a kid involved decorating our house for the holidays. Popcorn strings for the tree, oranges spiked with cloves for the dining room table, Christmas countdown chains! There must have been a latent homemaker in my little kid heart from the beginning. And now our girls are loving the process of getting ready for the holidays with decorations and activities leading up to the big day!
We do a number of things to try to get our house and our hearts ready to celebrate Christmas. It has been such fun to create traditions with our girls. One of our favorite things is our Christmas book basket. I put it out on December 1st for the kids to dig into all month. And every few days, I try to come up with an activity that goes with one of the books in the basket.
The holidays are such a fun time to decorate the house with reminders of the season. I had so much fun this year with the girls, telling them the story of Jesus as we put out the decorations. We talked about all sorts of things to keep them focused on the true reason for the season. And the season came and went so quickly this year! Today, I was pretty ready to have the house cleared up as we get ready to get back to our routines in the new year. So, it was time to do another of my favorite traditions with the girls: a scavenger hunt!
My girls LOVE a scavenger hunt! And I love a clean house. So I combined both of our loves and turned a chore into a fun activity for the girls. The excitement my girls exhibit when searching high and low for the items on a list is contagious. And I love the skills that a scavenger hunt reinforce.
Last year we started a new tradition for reading a Christmas book a day as a countdown to Christmas. At the end of the season, I tried to store away all the Christmas books; but there were some that the girls liked so much, they found their way into the everyday reading routine throughout the year. One of those books is J is for Jesus by Crystal Bowman. It is a sweet little book that tells the story of the candy cane and the birth of Jesus. It was my hope to make crafts or activities to go along with each of the books we read this year in our Advent books. So, I came up with a simple sticky candy cane craft for our girls (ages 2 and 3) to do. Continue Reading
I love to teach our little ones the real reason we celebrate Christmas. We don’t do Santa (nothing against him, we just don’t focus on that part of Christmas). Instead, we talk about Jesus all season. Last year we started a new family tradition of working on decorating a Jesse Tree.
My husband and I “designed” our tree and cut it out of paper grocery bags. We stuck it up on our sliding glass door that leads to the back yard. This year we are planning on doing something a little bit different – using a tree from the store. We will likely learn new things each season that will inform our decisions for the next year. Each year, we will probably change-up the tree a little bit for variety. I was thinking it would be great to find a long branch to hang the ornaments from in a future year. Continue Reading
We love reading around here! And we love Christmas books. I saw the idea of reading a book-a-day in preparation for Advent last year, but we didn’t have enough books to make it work. But this year, we have lots of good Christmas books and plan to add a few more. I think we are going to try to do a simple activity to go along with each of the books this year in preparation for Christmas. The girls love reading these books so much that I have to hide them really well in order to make it a surprise each day. They will seek out the books and already be familiar with them before their place in the Advent calendar.
Here are the books we are including in our book-a-day Advent. Most of the titles are preschool to early elementary age books. Continue Reading