December 12, 2013

Giveaway: Advent Activity Mats


We love advent. Most of you probably know that already. After moving to the Pacific Northwest from Texas just a little over two months ago, we are a bit more behind on preparing for Christmas than I'd like to be. By a bit more, I mean my Christmas decorations are still sitting in tubs in the middle of my living room.


Yet, the Christmas story reminds me that Jesus entered this world in the meekest of manners. Not after the ornaments were hanging on the tree. Or once the stockings were fastened on the mantle. Or after the Willow Tree nativity scene was perfectly stationed the first time, only to be re-arranged and maybe even dropped and chipped by curious, clumsy hands...

Even though most of you are more than likely almost halfway through your journey through advent, we have an activity to share with your family that we've been working on:







Over the years, we've tried various ways to engage our children during this season. Involving toddlers can be challenging. Through trial and much error, we've learned it's best to keep it simple. Having some who are more mature and engaged plus toddlers that we'd like to involve, presents different challenges.



We created something that is working quite well for us. When we set out to create these, originally, we were just going to make play-dough mats. I mean, no matter your age, who doesn't love to fiddle with play-dough? 



It occurred to us that, our older kids, who really love to draw, may like the option to doodle with dry-erase markers. (You know, incase 'play-dough' was too 'baby-ish'.) Thankfully, they're not too cool for play-dough yet; they've enjoyed using both with these mats and have often used a combination while working on them. 



As they've listened along to the Christmas story (this pack comes with a script, if you aren't the kind that likes to wing it) from the accounts of Matthew and Luke, they've been busy working, really listening, thinking about the story and dialoguing with us.



To be honest, Charlie and I have been surprised at how much we've enjoyed these, too. Whether it's a collaborative effort with our kids.. (I won't admit which wise-man's face I drew above, and which my five year old did!) Or whether we've wanted our 'own' mat.



These can be used in multiple ways with the little people in your life:
  •  gradually re-tell the coming of Jesus in several days or one mat/day on twelve different days.
  • given as a gift paired with play-dough and/or dry-erase markers.
  • in your Sunday School or Preschool classroom.
  • as you gather together with loved ones on Christmas, share these with young and old alike, for a complete re-telling of the Christmas story that will allow the whole family to take part in an activity together.

For the first week, (until 11:59 p.m. PST, December 18th) we'll be offering the pdf file for $4. (After that, they'll go up to $6!) Here's what's included in the 16 page pdf download:



  •  4 scripted pages telling the Christmas story from the gospel accounts of Matthew and Luke that coordinate with each activity mat. 

  • 12 Colorful activity mats: to be used with play-dough and/or dry-erase markers

All images are high quality. They are ready to print, re-tell and play!


Purchase the pdf of our “Advent Activity Mats” here. You will be emailed a link to download the file immediately after purchase.

How to Use:
  1. Print each page in color.
  2. Laminate for strength and durability. (Or put into page protectors.) 
  3. Decorate the mats with play-dough, dry-erase markers or both as you re-tell the Christmas story! Then, re-use over and over.
(If you purchase this pdf for gifts or classroom use, please do not directly share the pdf in an email. It is intended for you to save on your computer, print off and use in your home, classroom, or given as hard copies to your loved ones.)
Giveaway Details

We're also going to give some away! We'll announce 5 winners next Thursday morning, December 19th. The giveaway closes at 11:59 p.m. PST on Wednesday, December 18thWatch the countdown on the widget to see how long you have left to enter!  

To enter this giveaway simply leave a comment below. For additional entries follow the directions on the entry submission form.  If you can’t wait and decide to purchase the download before the giveaway is over, we will reimburse you if you are selected as the winner!

May your family be drawn, in the simplest of ways, to fall on your knees in worship before our Emmanuel.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

37 comments:

Laura Stiller said...

Ya'll are amazing! (I've so missed you blogging!). Enter me in the giveaway! (Or I'll just buy it next week!)

Anonymous said...

What a blessing!!! Bringing practical advent activities to parents everywhere, one home at a time. ;) One mat at a time hahah LOVE YALL

Erin Bennett Lane

Kali said...

these look awesome!!!

Jennifer :) said...

These are cute! I would love to do Advent activities, but I don't really know where to start with small kiddos. Thank you for the opportunity, and glad to see you blogging again! :)

Rachel said...

These are adorable! I went ahead and bought them to use right away. Thanks for sharing them!

The Lopases said...

These look great!!

Stephanie P said...

My kids would love these!

Anonymous said...

Awesome friends!!! Such a great idea. My girls would love these!
Judy D.

abbyjoy said...

I love these! Makes me excited to think about Owen as an almost 2.5 year old by Christmas time next year!

chelsea said...

Love these! :)

The Lourceys said...

Awesome! These would make great gifts!

Catherine said...

Great idea!

Ben and Amy said...

If I don't win, I'll buy one! Or a few to give. This is the most precious thing. Love y'all. -Amy G

Alex West said...

love this idea!! just saw this blog from a friend posting on Facebook and I love it!

Liz said...

Thank you so much for sharing this!!! I am going to pass it along to all my friends!

Avril Nunes said...

Great Idea! My kids would love these!

Claire said...

I love this. how creative and I love that yall created this together!

Stephanie Miertschin said...

Brilliant! Heard about it from Liz & am buying them now!

Karolena said...

Play doh activity mats are a great idea!

Amy M. said...

Shared this with my MOPS group today! Love it!

Another Texas Family said...

You're so talented! These look great!

Drew and Hannah said...

Love this idea!! Enter me in the give away!!

Jacob McCarley said...

What a wonderful idea to keep our kids involved in advent!

Amy said...

What a great idea!

Kristin Sellars said...

Love these! What a great idea! We are trying to be intentional about keeping Christmas all about Jesus too.

JustJess said...

Found these from the domestic doozie and LOVE them!! So great!!

thefelderfam said...

I LOVE these!! Purchasing them asap if the giveaway doesn't go in my favor :)

Matthews Family said...

This is such a wonderful idea. Domestic Doozie recommend it! Fingers crossed!

cryste said...

Kirby, I love this! Even if children are familiar with the Christmas story, this ignites more thought about characters of the story as well as the story line as the kiddos craft facial expressions, cloth baby Jesus, decorate the tree! Excellent!

The Smith's said...

GREAT idea!

Amy Borden said...

Great interactive way to share the birth of Jesus with our little ones!

Ashley S said...

I love this new fun way to talk about the story of Christ's birth!

stephanie said...

My girls love crafts and what a great way to explain the meaning of Christmas! My girls have activity notebooks that these would be perfect for! Thanks for the giveaway!

Terri said...

Love this! We are always trying to think of fun advent activities and our kids love play doh!

Them Howells said...

These look great, and I want to download them but I'm having major issues. We are missionaries in Brazil and Paypal is being a stinker about confirming the purchase. We have used paypal before, but since we don't have the US phone number on file anymore, it won't send us a verification text… and thus won't let us download it. I know I can purchase things through etsy, so if you posted it there, that would be great. Just let me know. My kids would love this.

The Miles said...

I love that they can be reused. I've never tried anything like this before! Fun giveaway! Thanks!

Amber said...

this is such a great idea! I have been looking for activities to do with the kids at our family Christmas party to keep them from running all around the house and also to bring in more of the Christmas story. This sort of thing would be great for the various ages of the kids that will be there.