Christmas: Advent Calendar

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fullsizerenderJesus is the Reason for the Season

Preparation

  • Print the pictures and the date cards. (Use seven sheets of white cardstock for the pictures and seven sheets of color cardstock for the date cards. You can use Christmas paper for the date cards if desired.)  Number the back of the pictures 1 through 25. (For example: Isaiah would be #1, Nephi would be #2,  the star and moon would be #3, and so forth.) Cut out the pictures and date cards. (A paper-cutter makes the job go faster.)
  • Attach the sign “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” to the top of a poster board or display board and attach the date cards underneath the sign with sticky tack (or purchase a pocket chart and place each date card in a pocket). Walmart has a jewelry pocket holder that would work with this smaller version of the activity.

  •  For little ones, slip the matching pictures behind its date card in the pocket chart, or attach the scripture’s matching picture to the back of the date card before attaching it to the poster board.
  •  See here for a list of the scriptures.

Instructions:

Each day, starting on the first day of December, take a date card off the chart (going in numerical order) and read the scripture together as a family. Older children can find the matching picture that goes with the scripture and replace the date card with the picture, or if you have little ones have them turn the card around so the picture is showing and then put the card back in its spot if using a poster board, or, if using a pocket chart, take out the date card to display the picture behind it.

(The pictures and idea came from the Friend December 1985.)

Activity Cards and Inserts

The below activity cards have an activity related to each day’s scripture, and they also have an item related to the scripture that you can put into the pocket chart or into lunch bags. Click on each page, save, print saved file, and cut out the cards. Put the cards in the correct pockets of the chart, or staple one on each of the lunch bags. Read through the activity list below to make sure you have all the supplies needed, then fill the pockets or bag with those items. (The Christmas squares paper is from Freepik.com)

Day 1: Isaiah Card and Mobile: (Print and cut out the two pages of the “Prophets Foretold Jesus Christ’s Birth Mobile.” Follow the remaining preparation instructions on the activity.) The first few days of the advent calendar are about the prophecies of Jesus Christ’s birth, so on each of the first five days, tie a prophet card on the mobile and read the scripture of that prophet’s words. Day one is Isaiah. Explain that a virgin is a pure woman and Immanuel means “God with Us” meaning Jesus’ birth into mortality.

Day 2: Nephi Card and Coloring Page: (Print a copy of the coloring page for each person who will be coloring. Include crayons in the sack or pocket.) Have a child tie the Nephi card onto the mobile and then have family members color in the figures of Nephi and Isaiah on the coloring page. Ask the  children what the scripture tells about Jesus’ birth.

Day 3: Samuel the Lamanite Card, Video, and Song: Tie the Samuel the Lamanite card onto the mobile. Color in his picture on the coloring page. Watch the video about Samuel the Lamanite and then sing along with the “Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus” Video.

Day 4: Micah Card and Song: Tie the Micah card on the mobile, and color the Micah figure on the coloring page. Explain that this scripture tells of where Jesus would be born. Sing along with a YouTube video of “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”

Day 5: Adam Card and Retell: Tie the Adam card onto the mobile. There is no Adam figure on the coloring page. Explain that other prophets also foretold of Jesus’ birth. Have them color in the last prophet on the page, and then have them retell about the prophets and what each foretold about Jesus’ birth.

Day 6: Video: Watch the video “Chapter One: Elisabeth and Zacharias” from the New Testament Stories DVD or LDS Media Library. I included the DVD in this bag. You could have popcorn in the bag instead of the DVD if you are watching it on LDS Media.

Day 7: Video and Mary and Angel Figures: Place Mary and the Angel on a wall if using the cutouts from LDS Media Library or on a table if using a child friendly nativity set. Watch Mary and the Angel Gabriel (video). (See more Cutouts below.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 8: Video and Joseph Figure: Watch the video “Chapter Four: Joseph and the Angel” from the New Testament Stories DVD or LDS Media Library. Place Joseph on a table (or on a wall if using cutouts from LDS Media Library).

Day 9: Chocolate Coins: Using chocolate coins, discuss what taxes could be used for—roads, schools, etc. Set aside the tax coins and put them in bag or pocket #10 to enjoy tomorrow. (Chocolate coins can be purchased at party stores or in the party supply section at Walmart.)

Day 10: Chocolate Coin Taxes: Distribute and eat the chocolate coin taxes. Optional: Look up an online map of Israel from Jesus’ time period and point out all the cities people may have gone to be taxed.

Day 11: Maze Coloring Page: (Print a maze for each child.) Using a crayon, find the path to Bethlehem through the maze for Mary and Joseph.

Day 12: Stable and Video:  Watch half the video “Chapter Five: Jesus Christ is Born” from the New Testament Stories DVD or LDS Media library. Watch to the point where a stable is mentioned (pt. 37) then have a child place the stable on a table—or on the wall if using cutouts from LDS Media–and then put the figures of Mary and Joseph in the stable. (Click on the following image of a stable, save, and then print it the full size of the paper for the cutouts.)  

 

 

 

Day 13: Baby Jesus Figure and Song: Put the baby Jesus and manager in the stable (or on the wall) Sing the song “Away in a Manger.”  Sing along with a YouTube video or a Children’s Songbook recording.

Day 14: Window Picture: Print the picture of the earth and the picture of Jesus. Attach the front of the picture of Jesus to the back of the picture of the earth, or put both in a single page protector. Have the children hold the picture up to the light of a window or lamp. Explain that Jesus created the earth but was born humbly in a lowly stable.

Day 15: Shepherd Figures: Place the shepherds and sheep figures on the table or wall–but not in the manger.

Day 16: Angel Figure and Song: Place the angel on the table or wall near the shepherds. Watch and sing along with a YouTube video of “Stars were Gleaming.” (Verse One)

Day 17: Candy Canes: Place the shepherds and sheep in the stable. Candy Canes: Explain that shepherds carried hooked staffs in order to get sheep who had wandered off or needed help. Candy canes remind us of caring shepherds and of Jesus who is the Good Shepherd. Watch the second half of the video “Jesus Christ is Born.” (From pt. 47 to the end)(Children’s Songbook)

Day 18 Map and Wisemen Sticker: (Print the below map and the Wisemen sticker page.  Put the map in a page protector if planning to use it again. Cut out the Wisemen and make them into stickers or put tape of the back of them. Put one of the stickers in this bag.) Show the map to the children and explain that it is a map of the land of Israel where Jesus was born. Have a child decide where the East is on the map and then stick the Wisemen sticker onto that part of the map. (The map is from the LDS Book of Mormon Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students Unit 7)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 19: Wisemen Sticker and Marker: Have a child put the Wisemen sticker on the first place the Wisemen went looking for baby Jesus. Draw a dotted line between the two stickers with a marker or dry erase marker. Look at this painting of Jerusalem by James Tisset and discuss reasons the Wisemen thought the King of the Jews might be in Jerusalem.

Day 20: Scroll Activity: (Cut a a piece of paper in half lengthwise. Cut each piece in half again lengthwise. Cut all the pieces in half widthwise. You should end up with 8 pieces of paper 5.5 inches by 2.25 inches. Write in the middle of one of the papers the word “Bethlehem.” Roll the papers into small scrolls–one per family member–and tie them with string or jute.)  Explain that Herod’s chief priests and scribes would have read the prophecies of Jesus’ birth on records made on scrolls. Have each family member choose a scroll from the bag or pocket. The person who finds the word “Bethlehem” will read it during the next day’s activity and place the next sticker. You may want to mention that when King Herod heard of the birth of a new king of the Jews,” he became alarmed because it threatened his rule as king.

Day 21: Wisemen Sticker: Have the family member read the scroll and then draw a dotted line from Jerusalem to Bethlehem and put the Wisemen sticker near Bethlehem.

Day 22: Star Activity: Decorate star cookies or decorate a star craft item such as these popsicle sticks stars or the below string threading activity, then hang the decorated star or star cutout over the manager scene.

 

 

 

 

Day 23: Wisemen Figures: Put the Wisemen figures in the nativity scene (or on the wall if using the cutouts from LDS Media Library).

Day 24: Retell the Story of Jesus’ Birth: If needed, review the story of Jesus’ birth by reading a storybook or watching “The Nativity” video. Then, using the Nativity figures or cutouts, have family members retell or act out the story of Jesus’ birth. Optional: Give a candy kiss or hug after each person’s response and input.

Day 25: Picture of Jesus and Song: Print an image of Jesus as an adult. See LDS Media Library or use the cutout. Show the picture and post it near the nativity. Optional: Sing along with a YouTube video of “Joy to the World.”

 

*Send me the pictures of the advent calendars you make so I can share the different ways it can be done.


Jesus Christ’s Birth: Prophets Foretold the Birth of Jesus Christ

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Prophets Foretold the Birth of Jesus

HANGER MOBILE

Mobile Instructions:

  • Click on the above mobile item pictures and then print and cut them out.
  • Cut two pieces of string each 17 inches long and three pieces of string each 10 inches long.
  • Punch a hole in the top of each of the circle pictures and put the long strings through the holes on the Isaiah, Samuel, and Adam cards. Put the short strings through the holes in the Nephi and Micah cards.
  • Use tape to attach the title card to the top of the hanger. Tie each card onto the hanger rod after reading the scriptures. Tape the string to the rod so they don’t move around. (Alternate: Holes could be punched into the bottom of the title card instead of using a hanger.)

 

COLORING PAGE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mobile images are from: Isaiah Writes of Christ’s Birth, Nephi’s Vision of the Virgin Mary, 


Sabbath Day: Activity

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   Calendar Activity

Open and download this file. Click on and drag each image to one of the calendar days. Put the things that fulfill the purposes of the Sabbath on the Sunday squares and put the other things on one of the weekday squares. Before deciding where a picture goes, ask the following question:

Does it bring me closer to Heavenly Father,

increase my spiritual strength,

or rest my body?

As you do the activity, pay attention to all the days on the calendar that the family has to do their work, sports, and recreation, and notice that there is only one day a week that we are to set aside as a holy day of worship. 

 



Creation: Game

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Preparation

  • Open the game here.
  • Either print a copy of the game and cut out the game pieces, or download and open the game in Microsoft Word. If opened in Microsoft Word, the game pieces can be moved by clicking on the center of the image or label and then dragging it to where it should go on the chart.

Game Instructions

Place the correct picture and label on the chart according to which “day” it took place in the creation (one square will get two pictures). Check your answers in Genesis 1:1-27, and move pieces to their correct position as needed.

Team Instructions

  • This game can be played individually or as a group. If played as a group, divide group members into teams. (More copies of the game board and creation pictures will be needed if playing with teams, one set per team.)
  • Give each team a game board and a set of creation pictures and labels.
  • Have each team place the correct picture and label on their chart according to which “day” it took place in the creation (one square will get two pictures). After they are done, have them look in Genesis 1:1-27 to check their answers.

 

Resource Reference


Sabbath Day: Lesson Item 8

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Sabbath Preparation

 Scripture Story Activity

“The Israelites Prepared Ahead for the Sabbath”

Preparation

  • Items needed: Bible for each family member, one piece of heavy paper, exacto knife, glue,
  • Print and cut out the PDF or Word illustrations. Fold back the tabs on the basket. With an exacto knife, cut slits on the family picture along the side edges of A and C.  Line up the bottom edge of the basket to the bottom edge of B on the family picture, and then tape tab B down (the tab should be inside the basket, not facing outward). Insert the A and C basket tabs into the A and C side slits. Tape those tabs to the back of the picture. The top of the basket should bow out like a basket. Fold the tabs back on the bottom of the Israelite family picture. Tape the tabs to the top of a heavy piece of paper. The family figure should be standing up on the heavy paper, but you should be able to fold it down to store the picture.
  •  Cut out the scripture references (and the two numbers), and glue one to the back of each manna piece. (Israelite family and manna images are from the Friend Nov. 2004 pg. 390

Presentation

Display the picture of the Israelite family on the table or floor so that the family figure is standing up.  Put the manna pieces in front of the family figure.

Tell the family that after Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt, the Israelites had to travel through the wilderness to reach the Promised Land. They did not have enough food to make such a long journey, so the Lord provided manna from heaven for them to eat.

Activity Instructions:

Tell the family they are going do an activity that will teach them more about the story of the manna from heaven.

Have each family member take turns choosing pieces of manna until they are all gone. Have them look up the scripture references that are on the back of their manna pieces. (A couple of pieces will have numbers instead of scriptures on them. Those will be used later in the activity.)

Going in numerical order read the following questions to the family. After a question is read, ask the family if anyone has the answer to it. Have the person tell what the answer is. (Optional: Also have them read the scripture) After they tell the family the answer, have them put that piece of manna into the basket.

Questions:

  1. Why did the children of Israel murmur against Moses and Aaron?  (murmur means to complain or rebel) Exodus 16:2-3
  1. Why would the murmuring against Moses and Aaron really be murmuring against the Lord? Exodus 16:6,8
  1. What food did the Lord provide for the Israelites in the mornings, and what food did the Lord provide in the evenings? Also describe how the food arrived. Exodus 16:11-15
  1. Describe the manna’s characteristics such as what it looked like, and what it tasted like. Exodus 16: 14, 21, 31
  1. How much manna did the Lord command the Israelites to gather each day? Exodus 16:16-18
  1. What happened the next day to the manna when more was gathered than was needed? Exodus 16:19-20
  1. What did the Lord instruct the Israelites to do differently in regards to the manna on the day before the Sabbath? Exodus 16: 22-23
  1. How were the Israelites blessed by preparing ahead for the Sabbath? Exodus 16: 24, 29
  1. What happened when some of the people did not prepare ahead and expected to gather manna on the Sabbath? Exodus 16:27
  1. What did the Israelite people do on the Sabbath? Exodus 16:30
  1. How long did the Lord provide food for the Israelites? Exodus 16:35

* Have the family members with the numbered manna pieces answer the following questions.

  1. What did the Israelites learn about the Sabbath? (That they should not work on the Sabbath. They should prepare ahead for the Sabbath so they can rest on the Sabbath day because it is a holy day.)
  1. The Israelites prepared for the Sabbath by gathering twice as much food the day before. Name three things we could do to prepare ahead so that our Sabbaths can be peaceful, restful, and holy?

Sabbath Day: Lesson Item 7

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Story

“Sunday Morning Problem”

Friend March 1998 pg. 31

Written by Adrianne Pearson Coleman

Illustrated by Julie F. Young

Preparation

  • Download this PowerPoint presentation of the story. Read the story out loud, or listen to it being read by clicking on the audio icon on each slide.
  • Or print the story pages. Cut the pictures and the words apart at the dotted lines. Glue each page of words onto the back of its coinciding picture.
  • Items needed: Paper and a pen or marker

Presentation

  • Have you ever felt like Sunday mornings are chaotic and stressful instead of peaceful and holy?

As you listen to this story see if you can think of some ways to help make Sunday the holy day it should be. (Going in numerical order, show the pictures and read the back story captions to the family.)

After Story Discussion:

  •  Why was Kelly’s mom unhappy at the beginning of the story?
  •  Has anyone in the family ever felt the same way Kelly’s mom felt on Sunday mornings?
  • What do you think Heavenly Father and Jesus want our Sunday mornings to be like?
  • What did Kelly do to help Sundays be a happy, peaceful day?
  • How can you help make Sunday a happy, peaceful, holy day? (Make a list of things the family members mention. Post the list in a place where the family members will see it and be reminded to do the things on it.)