I’m always searching for faith-nurturing ideas that busy families can actually do and I'm thrilled at the way in which the two ideas below tick that do-able box. Got rocks or blocks? Then you’re ready to roll.
1. Simple Stone Advent Calendar Nativity Scene
This Simple Stone Advent Calendar Nativity Scene from Rhythms of Play provides a handsome and faith-nurturing Advent display for your home. It’s also a hands-on way to build anticipation about the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Some additional ideas for using it:
No popsicle sticks? No problem. Make a stable with building blocks or LEGO™, or cut off the top of a tissue box and stand the box on its long edge.
Use paint or permanent markers to number the stones.
Stick with the biblical timeline by placing shepherds at the end of the path (not wise men as suggested in the instructions — they came later).
Download a free set of Jesse Tree: God's Big Advent Story ornaments. Place a different story symbol ornament under each stone along the path. Remove one stone each day to reveal the story of the day. By Christmas you’ll have a path of stories which lead to Jesus!
2. Wooden Blocks Advent Nativity Display
If I had a Do-ability Award for Advent I’d give it to the Advent Family Devotional Guide (see attached PDF) from our friends at the United Methodist Church. Other than revising the dates (it was written in 2017) all you need are nine wooden blocks and some colored markers. The display is simple and the activities are joyful and even more importantly for busy families, peaceful!
I don’t know where these great ideas were when my kids were little. Back then I was feverishly sewing a Jesse Tree wall hanging into the wee hours of the first day of Advent (and then spending the rest of the month settling disputes over who got to hang which ornament on it). But I’m so glad that ideas like these are here now. Pass them on!