Below you will find a list of ideas for activities your family can do together during Advent. Most of them have been grouped together based on the week of the Advent Guide that they might best reinforce or complement. Really, they can be done at any time. This list may seem overwhelming. They are just suggestions. Remember, they are only suggestions. Pick the ones that will work best for your family.
Make a promise to your child(ren) but do not keep it immediately. Use their waiting as a reminder that many waited for the promised Savior.
Over dinner, talk about promises that you have made to people and promises people have made to you. Talk about the promises God has made to His children and why we can trust Him.
Fulfill the promise that you made during week 1 and talk about God’s faithfulness to keep His promise and send a Savior.
Decorate your Christmas tree with lights. Talk about how Jesus is the light that God promised in Isaiah 9:2. Turn off all the lights. Talk about how it must have felt to wait for the promised Savior. Turn the Christmas lights on and thank God for Jesus who is the Light of the world (John 1:5).
Act out the Christmas narrative.
1st night: Read and act out Luke 2:1-7
2nd night: Read and act out Luke 2:8-20
3rd night: Read and act out Matthew 2:1-12
Visit your local fire station and meet the men and women who help save people from danger. Afterward, talk about how God delivers and saves His children from His wrath.
Play hide and seek and talk about how Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Spend time in prayer thanking God for sending Jesus.
Bake cookies together. As you wait, talk about what it means to wait for Jesus’ return. What does it look like to wait with eagerness and diligence?
Give your child(ren) the task of cleaning their room. Before you do, read John 14:1-3 together. What do you think the rooms being prepared by Jesus will be like?
Art time! Together, read 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 and draw what you think it will look like when Jesus comes back.
Over dinner talk about the best day you have ever had. What made it so great? Talk about a better day and the day that Jesus will return. Talk about why this day is the best day for believers. How does the Bible tell us to prepare for that day?
As you prepare to travel for the holidays, talk about how you are diligently preparing for your Christmas vacation with your family. Talk about how we can diligently prepare for Christ’s coming.
Go on a grocery store scavenger hunt for all the ingredients for dinner. Give each child a list of things to look for in the store. As you prepare dinner together, talk about the fact that many people throughout your community and the world will go without food that day. How can we love and care for them while we await Jesus’ return?
Make place mats for your Christmas meals. On one side, write or draw something that reminds you of God’s faithfulness to His promise of sending a Savior. On the other side, write or draw something that reminds you of God’s promise that Jesus will return.
Read the Christmas narrative over the next three weeks and set up the nativity scene as you read through the story of Jesus being born.
Week 1: Set up the manger with Jesus, the animals, Mary and Joseph (Read Luke 2:1-7).
Week 2: Add the shepherds and angels to the nativity scene (Read Luke 2:8-20).
Week 3: Remove the manger and animals. Add the Magi to the scene (Read Matthew 2:1-12).
Make ornaments and put an attribute of God on each ornament. Hang the ornaments on your Christmas tree so that your tree can remind you and others of who God is.
Make a paper chain counting down the days until Christmas. As you cut a piece of the chain off each day and your excitement grows, talk about how excited we should be in thinking about the day Jesus comes back.
Look for opportunities to serve as a family during the season of Advent. Here are a few ideas:
Prepare a meal and take it to a friend or neighbor in need.
Adopt an angel from a giving tree and shop together for their Christmas gifts.
Create homemade Christmas cards and take them with you as you visit a nearby nursing home.
Serve a meal together at a homeless assistance center or shelter.
Send a care package to a missionary (Contact your Missions pastor for specific opportunities.) Buy a gift for a family in a foreign country using the Samaritan's Purse Gift Catalog.
Some activities adapted from Advent Guide 2009 The Village Church, TX