Nature-Themed Advent Calendar 16th December

Today’s Reading

Luke 1:61-64 ESV

And they said to Elizabeth, “None of your relatives is called by this name.” And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all wondered. And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God.

Today’s Activity

Take a winter walk with your child today and look for interesting rocks to bring home.

Hint: We shall be using them soon 🙂

Enjoy their shapes, colours, and textures. Talk with your child about how rocks are made from much smaller pieces, known as ‘grains’. Each one of those grains was once part of another rock before being broken down, and reformed as part of the rock you picked up today.

Here is an interesting identification tool on the OU site: What Rock Is That?

See you tomorrow for more advent fun.

Nature-Themed Advent Calendar 15th December

Today’s Reading

Luke 1:59 ESV

And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, but his mother answered, “No; he shall be called John.”

Today’s Activity

Have fun in the kitchen today and cook up your favourite Christmas treats. One of our family favourites is Peppermint Bark. We have our own family ‘recipe’, although, as it is so simple to make, it would be better described as a method. You can find a similar recipe here.

Make a double portion and take the opportunity to share with a neighbour; perhaps an elderly person who cannot get out and about as much as they would like, and would appreciate some company, or a harried new mother, who will have little time for home-made treats this year.

Just remember; the goal is not to bake the perfect sweet treat, but to have fun with your family and to share with others.

See you tomorrow for more advent fun.

Nature-Themed Advent Calendar 14th December

Today’s Reading

Luke 1:58 ESV

And Elizabeth’s neighbours and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.

Today’s Activity

Head out to your special nature spot and have fun making a natural collage right there on the floor with found items such as twigs, seed pods, rocks and stones, feathers, and any other natural items you find. Leave your work of art in place for other walkers to enjoy. Perhaps leave a ‘Happy Christmas’ message too?

See you tomorrow for more advent fun.

Nature-Themed Advent Calendar 13th December

Today’s Reading

Luke 1:57 ESV

Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son.

Today’s Activity

Today we will be making Christmas cards using the rubbings we made yesterday.

This a super-easy craft, that results is beautiful cards.

  • Take the rubbings you made yesterday and cut out simple Christmas shapes. Here are some printable patterns, but the shapes are so simple, it would be possible to draw them free-hand.
  • Glue a single shape onto the centre of a blank greeting card.
  • Outline the shape with a metallic marker for a extra-special, festive touch.

Enjoy the afternoon writing your Christmas cards, and praying for each recipient, as you sip a hot chocolate.

See you tomorrow for more advent fun.

Nature-Themed Advent Calendar 12th December

Today’s Reading

Luke 1:56 ESV

And Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months and returned to her home.

Today’s Activity

Today, take your child for a textures walk; explain that you are going to hunt for different textures of all kinds in the natural world. Some examples would be:

  • Tree bark ~ rough
  • Pine needles ~ prickly
  • Stone ~ rough or smooth
  • fallen leaves ~ dry or slimy

Have younger children describe the textures they find, which are rough? Smooth? Slimy?

With each suitable texture you find, take a rubbing with the flat side of a dark-coloured crayon onto white paper. Keep these rubbings safe; we shall be using them tomorrow.

See you tomorrow for more advent fun.

Nature-Themed Advent Calendar 10th December

Today’s Reading

Luke 1:39-45 ESV

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

Today’s Activity

This week is bird week in Exploring Nature With Children. Today, check that your bird feeders are nice and full, and that the birds visiting your garden have a place to drink, then spend some time watching to see how many different birds visit your feeder.

Keep a log in your nature journal, and perhaps sketch and read up on some of the different birds that you see.

See you tomorrow for more advent fun.

Nature-Themed Advent Calendar 9th December

Today’s Reading

Matthew 1:24-25 ESV

When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

Today’s Activity

Today, grab lots of pillows and blankets, light some candles, and enjoy an afternoon of drinking hot chocolate and reading Christmas books.

Some of our favourite nature-themed Christmas stories:

See you tomorrow for more advent fun.

Nature-Themed Advent Calendar 8th December

Today’s Reading

Matthew 1:22-23 ESV

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

    and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us).

Today’s Activity

Go for an ‘I Spy’ nature walk with your child. Enjoy this peaceful time in nature as the world around you is getting busier as Christmas approaches.

This is also a great nature game to play from a window at home if the weather is very bad.

See you tomorrow for more advent fun.

Nature-Themed Advent Calendar 6th December

Today’s Reading

Luke 1: 36-38 ESV

 The angel continued “And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Today’s Activity

Make time today to sketch the sunset. Observe the glowing colours in the western sky; sunsets tend to be slightly warmer and more intense than sunrises, which, generally speaking are softer, paler, and less intense. So crack out your paints, crayons, or coloured pencils in warm, bold oranges, pinks, yellows, and purples, and paint what you see, being sure to sketch along with your child!

See you tomorrow for more advent fun.

Nature-Themed Advent Calendar 5th December

Today’s Reading

Luke 1:32-35 ESV

The angel continued “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.

Today’s Activity

Today, use the last of your woodland gatherings to make a wreath for your home.

Simply take your garden wire and form a rough circle shape, two or three times, entwining the wire as you go.

Once you have your basic wreath shape, simply tuck in short sprigs of evergreen, such as holly, pine, yew, box and so forth. Attach them well with lengths of twine. Also add in berries, fir cones, seed pods, rose hips, ivy, or whatever else takes your fancy!

This will be a truly special decoration for your home, made with love, and representative of your family’s own special nature spot.

Display with pride!

Have you made a few entries into your mother’s advent journal? This is a treasure in the making.

See you tomorrow for more advent fun.