There are lots of wonderful ideas for celebrating Advent and Christmas with your children. Here are some ideas that we’ve found– but don’t try to do it all. Find what works for your family and create meaningful traditions that will help you and your family treasure Christ more this season.
See also our recommended Christmas picture books!
Advent Activities & Traditions
Bake a Birthday Cake For Jesus!— this site has an idea for a simple three-layer cake which helps to retell the gospel.
The Story of Christmas Advent Wall Calendar — displays 24 board books telling the story leading up to Jesus’ birth.
Online Advent Calendar— this is a free online tool that helps organize devotionals and activity ideas for families.
Advent Coloring Pages— print out some free advent coloring pages for your children.
12 Symbols of Christmas– free coloring pages and devotional guide explaining the true meaning behind common Christmas symbols.
What God Wants for Christmas— This is a resource from FamilyLife Ministries. It’s an interactive nativity set that you open over seven days and use with your children to retell the Christmas story.
Adornaments— These are out-of-print, but can sometimes be found used through Amazon or ebay. There are 12 different ornaments and each one teaches about a name of Jesus. A companion book provides a devotional for each ornament. If you can’t find this, try this Names of Jesus Advent Chain.
Truth in the Tinsel— this is a PDF ebook that is perfect for younger children (toddlers/preschoolers). It has 24 days of activities which help retell the Christmas story. Each day you read part of the Christmas story with your child and you make a homemade ornament to help you remember the story.
Hubbard’s Cupboard is a Christian website with ideas for celebrating the true meaning of Christmas with your preschooler or lower elementary-aged child.
The Jesse Tree is a tradition in which you trace the lineage of Christ and the promises of God in the Old Testament throughout the season of Advent. Each day you read a passage with your family and make or hang an ornament on your tree.
Free Jesse Tree devotionals and ornaments can be downloaded from the blog Reformed Church in America.
If you are looking to purchase a Jesse Tree, Christian Book Distributors has an Jesse Tree Activity Kit.