Advent Ideas for Catholic Kids

Rip art advent wreath
As we prepare for Christmas and the coming of Jesus, I wanted to put all of my Advent ideas and resources for Catholic kids in one place. A one-stop shop for all the ideas you need this Advent season!!

The world will tell us how to spend this season - rushing and shopping and stressed!! I'm learning we have to be very intentional with how we spend our Advent season with our kids and what activities we do (and don't do) to keep the focus on Jesus. Otherwise, we get swept up in the busyness of the season too!

I'm hoping these Advent ideas are helpful in your homes, classrooms and churches! 

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Catholic Advent Lapbook

Catholic Advent Lapbook
I love lapbooks because they help keep information organized for students and they become hands on resource tools. My Advent lapbook focuses on the saints who have feast days during Advent (St. Francis Xavier, St. Nicholas, St. Ambrose, St. Juan Diego, Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Lucy), the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, an Advent wreath, the O Antiphons and the Nativity story.

There are different versions included so that older students can research and add their own words and facts to the lapbooks. There are also versions for younger students where they just have to color and assemble and the words are already there for them. 

Find out more about my Advent Lapbook HERE.

Catholic Spanish Advent Lapbook

I also have this lapbook available in Spanish. It is the exact same, everything on the lapbook is just in Spanish as are the step by step directions.

Buy the Spanish Advent Lapbook HERE

Catholic Advent Lapbook Bundle in Spanish and English
I also created a bundle with the English and Spanish lapbook available together for a discounted price. I heard from many teachers that wanted the exact same resource available in both languages to reach all of their students and families.

Buy the Advent Lapbook Bundle Here

Catholic Advent Calendars

Free Catholic Advent Calendar

This is an Advent Calendar that I created that helps keep the focus on Jesus. There are a variety of activities to pick from that you can do throughout Advent. The Catholic version includes things like reading from the Bible, making a cross ornament, singing a Christmas song, donating old clothes, drive around looking for Nativity scenes, etc. 

Find out all the details on how to set up this calendar by clicking the link below.

Get my FREE Catholic Advent Calendar HERE

Free Advent Calendar
This Advent Calendar is similar to my Catholic version, but this is a more secular version. It includes winter activities for the kids to do - play outside, watch a Christmas movie, read a book about a reindeer, decorate a gingerbread house, etc. You could use these two calendars separately or mix and match the idea cards to make it work for your situation. 

Find out all the details on how to set up this calendar by clicking the link below.

Get my FREE Advent Calendar HERE

Catholic Advent Bingo

Catholic Advent Bingo
Catholic Advent Bingo is a fun way to learn about and review the season of Advent while still playing a game and having fun. In this game, I've included 30 different boards (color and black and white included) so you can just print and play. I've also included a little cheat sheet for teachers/parents that includes the different symbols and saints represented in the game and a little background information about them. 

Purchase Catholic Advent Bingo HERE

Catholic Advent Crafts

I've created a few Advent wreath crafts. These are fun to help students countdown the weeks without real fire. They also make great decorations for the classroom or your house. 

Rip Art Advent Wreath

Rip Art Advent Wreath Craft
This is one of my favorite Advent Wreaths to make with kids. I used this when I taught religious ed and have used it with my own daughters. My suggestion is to do rip art on the template provided. Not only is it great for fine motor practice, but it makes such a fun texture to the picture. The template is free, and you can absolutely color it or paint it if you don't have time for rip art.

Get my Advent Wreath Template HERE

Handprint Advent Wreath

Advent Wreath Handprint Craft
This is another Advent wreath craft that I love. This one uses handprints as the green wreath. I love using handprints in crafts. It makes such a good keepsake to look back on how little those hands once were. For this one you will need some green paint and some purple, pink and yellow colored paper.

Drawing Closer to God - A Catholic Art Show

This is a new one for us this year. There is a new art show, Drawing Closer to God: A Catholic Art Show for Kids that is available on FORMED or the Augustine Institute's YouTube channel. As soon as I saw the email about it, I knew my girls would want to try it. It is a new six-episode series that teaches children how to draw different scenes from the Christmas story. As kids follow along and learn new art skills, they also learn to see the connections between the big picture of God's story and their place within it.
Drawing Closer to God

My girls tried out the first episode and loved it. And it was accessible for all of them - my 11-year-old, 10-year-old and her friend and my five-year-old all did it together. The 3yr old was sleeping, but had she been up, I would have given her one of the printable pictures that they have available so she could color what the big girls were drawing.

Catholic Advent Traditions

These are a few traditions we've added to our house over the past few years. I've tried so many different things and always land on less is more. Otherwise we get overwhelmed or behind and that just leads to stress. Instead we've tried to implement things that don't involve a ton of time and things my kids can kind of run on their own.

The Giving Manger

The Giving Manger

The Giving Manger has a sweet book all about acts of kindness. It comes with a small manger, straw and a Baby Jesus. We put it on our dining room table in the center of our Advent wreath. As we catch the girls showing kindness to others, we ask them to add a straw to the manger. Then on Christmas Eve we put the Baby Jesus in the manger with the reminders of the kindness we spread throughout Advent.

Mary on the Mantel

Mary on the Mantel

Mary on the Mantel by Be a Heart was my answer to Elf on a Shelf. I just couldn't get behind the elf and my kids kept asking for one. Mary on the Mantel is similar in that you move her around, but I like the messaging behind it so much more. I can't say it took away their want for an elf, but they get so excited to get Mary out each year, and now the older two move her around for the younger two. 

We have the full set that includes a book describing what Mary will be going through during Advent, the doll including the baby bump, swaddle and baby Jesus and the kit that comes with a map, ideas for moving her and little notes that go in her messenger bag. The notes give the kids a "challenge" for the day that shows kindness in some way. 

Heirloom Catholic Advent Calendar

Heirloom Catholic Advent Calendar

Last year, I bought Brickhouse in the City's Heirloom Catholic Advent Calendar. On her site or email there was a little prayer/explanation for each day. I printed those and tucked them in the pockets. As we move the star to a new pocket, we read about the day as a family at dinner time. We talk about it, answer questions, learn about feast days, saints, O Antiphons and more. We got a little crazy and missed some of the days toward the end, so hopefully this year we can stay on track.

Advent Ideas for Catholic Kids

I hope some of these ideas can help you in your Catholic home or classroom to make Advent a meaningful time for the kids in your life.