Advent is Here ~ Our Coming Activities

This is our church year calendar used in my son's Sunday School class.   Our church uses a wonderful program, Godly Play, that has such a beautiful way of teaching the children Biblical stories and principles in a tactile and vivid way.  Godly Play teaches our children to WONDER.   It teaches them to ponder and be silent.   

Last week the arrow was pointing to the Sunday before Advent.   Today marks the first Sunday in Advent.   After four additional blue Sundays we will celebrate Christmas.   This is how our church tells time and I love it.  

The special white blocks are for Easter and Christmas.  

Blue blocks are used to mark Sundays in Advent, while purple blocks signify Lent.  The red blocks are for Pentecost and Reformation.  The colors of the blocks always match the colors on our altar.  It all ties together.   

 Don't you love the visual?   As an adult, it helped me to tell this story to the children... I think it should be told to all adults. If you're really interested, you can read it yourself here.  

After the story, the children were invited to put the calendar together themselves, or participate in a paper plate craft making their own church calendar.   

Of course I've been pondering what we will do throughout December to celebrate Advent.   In my effort to impart so many wonderful things to my children I sometimes go overboard, so I've decided to keep it VERY simple this year.

I have chosen four activities that will supplement our normal academics during the month of December.   

We are reading Dickens' A Christmas Carol aloud each evening. (I love the Kindle version because we can look up hard words as we go!) We started yesterday... I had forgotten how much I love this book, and while it's a lofty read for my youngest, I think he's going to love it, too! 

 Another read aloud I've reserved from the library is The Twenty Four Days Before Christmas by Madeleine L'Engle. 

I also LOVE this Names of Jesus Advent Chain from Maureen at Spell Out Loud.   We will be counting down to Christmas with this beautiful purple and silver chain.  

I ordered this book of carols which was recommended at the Homeschool Share blog... it arrived yesterday and I love it! 

Finally, I am going to join in with my friend Nicole for some of her Christmas books and activities.   She even posts reminders for you (which supplies you'll need, etc...) which is great!  She's done all the planning for you!   

Do you have special plans for Advent?  What traditions or activities will you take part in with your children in the coming weeks?