Creative Ideas for Advent and Christmas

80 seasonal activities for use with children

Jane Tibbs

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Creative Ideas for Advent & Christmas contains a wealth of inspirational easy-to-do ideas for the busy weeks in the lead-up to Christmas. All the ideas use readily available materials and have instant appeal. Many can be slotted in to any situation, used to illustrate the story of Christmas, or just done for pure enjoyment as part of the exciting 'getting ready' time. Some use seasonal objects that are easy to find in the shops, such as paper chains, or things that many people will have in their Christmas box, such as last year's Christmas cards.

The activities are ideal for children aged 4-11, but will be enjoyed equally by people of all ages. There are 80 ideas in total, many of which could become part of traditional family, church and community celebrations each year.

Ideas include:

  • Community events
  • Recipes for easy Christmas cooking
  • Counting down the days to Christmas
  • Creative ways to pray
  • Christmas card crafts
  • Simple decorations
  • Fun-filled games
  • Opportunities for celebrating the season at home

Download templates and other material linked to the book

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Author info

A former head teacher, and current school governor and SIAS inspector, Jane Tibbs is now Children's Adviser for the Diocese of Bath and Wells, Jane has contributed to education courses for clergy and ministers in training, runs a variety of workshops in churches and schools and plans and leads festivals and large events. She has compiled a number of resources for churches and schools to support the church's year, contributes to ROOTS magazine and produces Young Church Mag, the weekly puzzle sheet for children.


From The Good Bookstall - October 2011

This is without doubt the best collection of children's advent and Christmas resources that I have come across. How refreshing it is to have such a good mix of old favourites and interesting new ideas. With 80 activities to choose from, it will be a book that I will use year after year.

Whether you are a parent, church leader, teacher or children's worker; this book is the only resource you will need to give some inspiration to your advent preparations this year. I have found myself thinking 'Ooh!', 'Wow!' And 'Brilliant!' whilst turning the pages of this book.

I could list some of the ideas but then you might not bother reading the book, which would be a shame. Categories for ideas include those for your community, crafts, prayers, party games, worship at home, decorations, ideas for counting down, cooking and special saints. There are also a number of sample liturgies for advent services and a good collection of useful templates for stars, angels, holly leaves and the like.

If you would like to start a posada or lead a Christingle service, if you want to hold a Christmas tree or nativity scene festival, if you need prayerful ideas to help you and your family prepare for advent, if you are looking for advent themed party game ideas or if you could do with some craft or cooking inspiration then look no further.

This is a comprehensive advent manual for children and families and I recommend it wholeheartedly!

Reviewed by Kathy Bland

Review from The Diocese of Oxford (Children's Work) website - October 2011

As the title implies this book is stuffed full of ideas for local community events, Christmas cooking, counting down to Christmas, creative prayers, uses for Christmas cards, making decorations, party games, worship at home, special Saints (Nicholas & Lucia) plus sample liturgies and loads of templates. It's probably not physically possible to squeeze anything more into a book of this size and since you couldn't possibly use all the ideas this year it will prove an invaluable resource for years to come.

Reviewed by Yvonne Morris

From The Church Times - November 2011

Jane Tibbs has been involved in teaching for many years, and more recently in training clergy and others in children's work. Creative Ideas for Advent and Christmas provides 80 ideas for people to do for the church, home, or community: things to make or cook, party games, local festivals, and so on. Many of these ideas are not too specifically Christian, of course, but a very valuable way in to talking about the season, and a good way of passing on customs, traditions, and skills that can be all too easily lost.

Reviewed by Peter McGeary

Reviewed by Christian Marketplace - October 2011

Also from BRF is something for the family to engage in together during Advent. Creative Ideas for Advent and Christmas by Jane Tibbs comes from the Barnabas for Children imprint and contains '80 Seasonal Activities for use with Children'. In the introduction Tibbs says that Advent is, 'the time of year to try and engage and inspire children to focus their attention on the fact that Christmas is about God sending his Son, Jesus, as a tiny baby, into the world to be its saviour'. Amen to that I say and there is plenty in here to draw the attention away from Christmas present lists.

There are large-scale activities such as a village nativity (images of The Vicar of Dibley Christmas Special come to mind here!) and a Christingle Service. But there are also small-scale activities such as the Family Christmas quiz, various party games requiring minimal resources, and alternative Christmas decoration ideas such as egg-box baubles and creative ideas for using old Christmas cards. Well worth a look this one I think.

From Child in the Midst - October 2011

Jane Tibbs' book is like unwrapping a Pass the Parcel. There are layer after layer of ideas to help families and churches celebrate Advent and Easter. Seasonal food treats, Advent countdowns, creative prayers and Crib and Posada service outlines are just some of the delights you'll find between the pages. Particularly welcome are the ideas to help families to live Advent at home in creative ways which are about more than chocolate calendars!

Book details

  • ISBN: 9781841018560
  • Published: 23 September 2011
  • Status:
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 128
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