One of the best ways to teach kids about the anticipation of Christ’s birth and return is through the celebration of Advent. Many times we think of Advent as something that is only to be done in “big church” where the adults are. We picture the quiet and reverent setting and think, “Definitely not for kids!” This statement is far from true. Kids love learning about Advent!
The season of Advent lasts the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. This simply means that some years it starts in November and some years it starts in December; check your calendar and see!
Truth in the Tinsel: An Advent Experience for Little Hands by Amanda White is a great resource not only for your children’s ministry, but also for parents. On her website (www.truthinthetinsel.com), you can purchase curriculum to use on Sunday mornings and even a downloadable family Advent book that parents and families can use at home.
Since Advent lasts several weeks, it has the opportunity to be meaningful and memorable.
- Teach them the meaning of the word “Advent”. The word simply means “coming”. Encourage children to memorize the meaning and provide incentives they can earn just like they would if they were to memorize scripture or the Bible truth.
- Have your own advent wreath for your children’s ministry! You can purchase an advent wreath from a craft store, Christian bookstore, or even make your own by placing four pillar candles on a decorative plate or tray. The traditional Advent wreath is made up of four candles; three of them are purple and one is pink. One candle is lit per Sunday during the season of Advent. Allow children to assist you in lighting the candle. This can be a special privilege; doing this will also highlight the sacredness of your lesson and what you are teaching. If you feel uncomfortable using real fire in the classroom, use flameless candles. Light the candles in the following order:
- Week One (Purple): Hope
- Week Two (Purple): Peace
- Week Three (Pink): Joy
- Week Four (Purple): Love
- Have children to create their own Advent wreath and take it home with them. This will generate good conversation outside of church and will be something special families can enjoy together.
- Allow them to trace their hand multiple times onto green construction paper and glue them together in a circle shape to form a “wreath”. Simply attach four painted or colored towel tubes on the wreath as candles. You can even use yellow and orange tissue paper to create the flame on top of each.