Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Truth in the Tinsel Advent: Preparations and Day 1

About mid-Novemeber my Mom asked if I had thought about getting Winston an Advent calendar.  Up until that point I really had not given it much mind.  I knew that I had pinned a few Advent type things to do with him when he was old enough but hadn't done back to look at what I saved.  

I did some research and rediscovered the Truth in the Tinsel: An Advent Experience for Little Hands. I looked at blogs of others who had done it, watched the videos on the website, and did a quick hashtag search on Instagram.  I liked that each day Winston and I would have a craft to do together that told the wonderful story of Christmas!  Each day we would read Scripture, make an ornament and talk about what we were making and why.  I shared what I had found with Benjamin and we agreed that he was at the right age to start this tradition.  

I purchased the ebook, did a quick scan through all of the days and realized that there were a few of the activities that were a little outside of Winston's skill level.  During one of Winston's naps, I printed out all of the pages and started making notes on what we could do unchanged and what I would need to find alternative ideas for.  Knowing that Winston's favorite craft activities are painting and gluing, I intentionally looks for solutions to include both of those things.  As I went through each page, I wrote down what supplies we would need to make the craft a success.  Then I took inventory of what I already had and created a new list of items to get at our local craft store.  All of the items I needed to purchase I got at Michaels.  

Knowing that its easier to have everything already together when we sit down to make the craft and because I want Winston to get the most out of our time together, I put together bags for each day that contained the items we would need.  There are a few days where the Truth in the Tinsel curriculum provides templates for a few of the ornaments.  Cutting out the templates ahead of time guarantees that Winston won't get bored or loose interest in what we are to focus on for that day.

What really excites me about the Truth in Tinsel is that it is specifically geared for intentional conversations with toddlers about the birth of Jesus and all of the wonderful events that accompany it!  I also love how the crafts given are guidelines and that you could adapt as needed to make it age appropriate!

First Day of Advent
I was quite thrilled when first day of Advent rolled around.  I was ready and so excited to start sharing the Christmas Story with Winston!  All three of us went to the craft room for craft time.  Benjamin opened the Bible and started reading the first set of Scripture for that day.
This picture warms my heart for so many reasons.  The first passage was a longer one to read but Winston did a good job listening.  Then we let him open his bag.  He was so excited to see what was inside!
He was eager to help tear the tissue paper into little pieces and even more pumped to use the glue stick!  He was very specific in where he wanted each color to go.  After he was done, we turned off the lights in the room and Winston said, "Dark in here!"  We explained that how a world and life without Jesus was dark, like the room.  Then we took a flashlight and shown it through the ornament he had just made.  Winston said, "I see!!"  We explained how Jesus is the Light of the World and later in the evening when we asked who the Light of the World was, he answered, "Jesus!"
This is an example of the bag and what was inside for Winston to make!  I was thrilled that Day 1 was a success!  My prayer through this holiday season and trying to be intentional with Truth in the Tinsel that that Winston's heart would be tender and soft to hearing the wondrous story that is the gift of Jesus' birth.  That he would start learning truths about the character of God and the Goodness that He gives, about the greatest gift that He gave us in His Son.  My prayer is that I would be sensitive to Winston's understanding of the Story and make this a meaningful yet fun activity each day.  

My plan is to share our ornaments, the ones that we did by the book {like the first day!} or the ones that I have modified for a two year old!  

What traditions do you have with your little ones?  I'd love to hear!

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