When my own children were young, I used to make a calendar of Advent activities to do with them each year. Sometimes I’d write each day’s activity on a strip or purple or pink paper, then make a paper chain. We’d pull off a link each day, and the children were always eager to find out what was in store as we prepared for the birth of our Lord!
This is how we began decorating during Advent. On the first Sunday of Advent, we’d set out the empty manger scene, hang the evergreen swag and dangle the paper chain off one end. The chain was particularly helpful when my children were very little, as they had a visual reminder of how many days remained until Christmas Day. This chain (from 2006) is probably the last one we made; after that, I started filling in the activities on a calendar and hanging it on the fridge.
Here at CatholicMom.com, our Sunday Gospel Activities team has been hard at work behind the scenes to help you and your family get all set for Advent! It’s a short season this year, but that doesn’t mean we’re short on materials! In fact, this year we have a printable Advent calendar that’s packed with simple ideas for celebrating the season of Advent day by day. Created by our own Elyse A., a student who loves her faith and writing and who creates our Sunday Mass worksheets, this calendar is filled with prayer ideas, some simple crafts and things to do — Pinterest abilities not required.
(If you want to make a paper chain like the one above, just cut the calendar into boxes, then glue each day’s calendar box to one of the links of the chain! Easy peasy!)
We also have a wide variety of printables for each Sunday of the year. If you haven’t tried these with your children yet, Advent is a great time to start! You’ll find the following every week on our Gospel Activities page:
- link to the Sunday readings at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website
- printable coloring page for each Sunday
- Sunday lesson plan from our own Laura Grace, who hosts these at The Catholic Toolbox
- printable Sunday Mass worksheets
- printable word search and crossword puzzle (plus solutions), created by our own Margaret Dwyer, a catechist and mom of four
Our printables are always free and are available for use at home or in Catholic-school or religious-education classrooms. Take a moment to visit our Sunday Gospel Resources page and see all our activities for children of all ages. Please share the page with a friend, as well!
All of us at CatholicMom.com wish you and your loved ones many blessings this Advent.
Copyright 2017 Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS