I had the privileged to review an Advent e-book called Truth in the Tinsel (don't you just love the name and cover) created by Amanda White from Impress Your Kids. This wonderful Advent e-book was inspired by a 4 yr olds request to make ornaments again so they could teach her little brother the Christmas story.
I was so excited when a Facebook friend shared the Truth in the Tinsel Facebook page because we didn't actually have a family Advent calendar yet, we normally just do the Christmas chocolate countdown from the dollar store. One of my favorite memories growing up was our family's Advent calendar, which was a felt tree with various felt ornaments. My parents also did a wonderful job of telling us about the birth of Jesus. We did the Advent every year even when I was a teenager (and the only one still at home) so I really wanted to start an Advent tradition with my kids. Since this is our first year homeschooling I really wanted to do something special this year to begin teaching the kids the REAL reason we celebrate Christmas. I was searching for something that would help me accomplish my goal and not overwhelm me or the kids and Truth in the Tinsel was just what I needed. I am so happy I was blessed with a review copy.
I love Truth in the Tinsel because it is so much more than an Advent! Truth in the Tinsel provides an opportunity for families to spend quality time together while teaching and discussing the Christmas story. It also gives children a way to express their creativity everyday and create something that will remind them of the REAL meaning of Christmas. At the beginning of the e-book there are easy to follow instructions and a supply list. This e-book is great for preschool- early elementary age children but I am sure older children would enjoy it just as much. If you have a busy December and don't think you can do all 24 days there are even alternate schedules in the back (just covering the basics, characters, books of the bible, prophecies). Each day is broken up into the following 5 sections.
1) First there is the clue. These are all ready for you and all you need to do is print them and either place them into your fill-able Advent calendar or if you don't have a fill-able Advent calendar yet you can use the paper chain option. Since we didn't have an Advent calendar yet I decided to make one. At first I was clueless until Amanda sent me a link with some ideas. All I need is a bit of inspiration and then my brain wakes up and starts working so here is what I came up with using scrapbook paper, ribbon, buttons and my Cricut. This Advent is re-usable so now my family can have a family Advent tradition just like I did when I was a kid!
|Top left is a close up of the clue card that is in each pocket, bottom left is a picture of the back pocket where the cards after taking them out of the pockets. And the right picture is the full Advent calendar.|
3) Next is the craft. These are easy to make ornaments so not only do the kids get to be creative and create a wonderful craft that goes along with the scripture they also get to decorate the tree! I don't know about you but I have tons of art and craft supplies so almost all of the items on the supply list I have on hand. But there may be some things you will need to purchase or you can always improvise. Some of the crafts include things like a crown, angel, Mary, Joseph, stable and Jesus in the manger. If you not crafty no need to worry there are very simple instructions and even templates provided.
4) As you are making the ornaments you are encouraged to use the "talk about it together" section. I sort of freaked out about this because I have so many other things to plan and prepare for with homeschool how on earth was I going to have time to come up with some discussion questions.....but I had no need to worry Amanda has some great discussion questions already typed up for you.
5) The first 4 steps should take you no more than 30 minutes to complete (unless your kids take forever with craft projects like mine do). But if you would like to extend the activity Amanda has included some extras for you like links to additional scriptures, songs to download, DVD's to find and watch, family activities, etc (she really has thought of everything).
As you know Advent calendars start December 1st so be sure to get your e-book tomorrow (Black Friday) so you can take advantage of the special offer and start preparing. The Truth in the Tinsel e-book will be released tomorrow and will be on sale for $2.99 the regular price is $4.99 (which is still a great deal).
Moms if you want to have more fun there will be a challenge on Impress Your Kids to "give" your kids the first 24 days of December by doing the book together & joining the Tinsel in the Truth Facebook page. We will be encouraging each other every day during the Advent (by posting pics of the crafts we did, funny things the kids said while doing the activity, etc.). I will be participating in the challenge and would love to see you do so as well! If your on twitter you can also join Impress Your Kids there as well. Be sure to use the hashtag #TruthTinsel if you post something on twitter.
The little Baby is no longer in the manger but alive and sitting on a thone-waiting to have a relationship with you and your children. Help your children get to know Him this Christmas! Amanda White
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will join in the Truth in the Tinsel fun! Be sure to check back I will be doing a follow up post with some pictures of the crafts we created and our decorated tree!
Disclaimer - Amanda White generously provided me with a copy of Truth in the Tinsel in return for my honest review.Many of the links found on my my side bars and in my blog posts are affiliate links. As a result, I might get paid money and I will most likely spend the money on homeschool supplies.