Fun Ways to Introduce Advent to Toddlers

I love Christmas & everything about it.  The Hallmark movies.  The lights.  Even the crowded checkout lines - I'm weird like that.  And I want to help my 2 year old love it all as much as I do - and it's not hard to really with all the music, presents, & reindeer everywhere we turn.  

But I want to be sure I am introducing the real reason for Christmas in an age appropriate way.  I've searched the internet high & low and decided on three different methods to start in the coming weeks to help keep our eyes & hearts focused on our Savior this season.

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First up is the advent calendar from Sugar House Shop on Etsy that I introduced a few weeks back.  I've barely started constructing my nativity themed magnetic ornament advent calendar, but I know the last minute push will be worth it!  I loved opening the boxes in the single-use chocolate containing ones we begged for as kids - and hopefully this will help build up some excitement without the sugar rush!

Next is Truth in The Tinsel by Amanda White.  The blogger ohamanda developed this curriculum a few years ago & released an e-book full of coordinating scriptures, crafts, and even printable ornaments to decorate that you can adjust based on the age & interests of your kids.  I've tweaked her plan from a daily advent activity to something will keep the attention span of my little one can tolerate just a few times each week. I'll share my adjustments & activity ideas for a non-scissor using kiddo later this week - be on the lookout!

I'm pretty sure that our new Shepherd on the Search from Dayspring though is going to my daughter's favorite.  Clearly the 'Elf on the Shelf' idea has been a hit since it hit it big years ago. There are girl versions, boy versions, outfits to dress them in, and Pinterest pages full of creative things for him to do.  But you know what I don't want?  A kid who thinks a troublemaking elf is fun.  Or that she should copy his antics.  Nor do I want to scare my child into good behavior.

Maybe I'm taking it too seriously, but my daughter doesn't miss anything.  And I don't want her to start dragging toilet paper through the house because an elf did.  The story that goes along with Dayspring's 'The Shepherd on The Search' is that the angels tell the shepherd of Jesus' birth & he sets off to find baby Jesus in the manger.  He can move around every day letting the kids find him - giving us the opportunity as parents to discuss where he's heading & why it matters after we find his hiding spot each day.  Then on Christmas morning, he wakes up in the manger scene that comes inside the box.

I love that this involves so little effort & planning each day...... plus there's no mom punishment if we forget to move the shepherd one day!  

Shepherd on the Search is $29.99 on Dayspring's website, and until 12/31 you can use the code SHINEHISLIGHT for $20 off of a $60 purchase  - and there are a ton of other amazing gift ideas to wrap up your shopping in one fell swoop! (Plus shipping is free over $50!).

There are a number of activities & resources Dayspring developed to go along with your advent celebration that you can find on their website here.   

From one busy mom to another - I hope at least one of these ideas is something you feel like you can try out with your own family this Christmas season!

* Some affiliate links are included in this post to help you head straight to the resources I've shared - I get a small fee for sharing these, but know I'm only sharing things I use & love!