I’ve been following a blog called Impress Your Kids (now renamed and moved to OhAmanda) for some time now, and have admired the creative ways the author Amanda uses to teach her kids about God and Scripture. When she announced she had written an e-book called Truth and Tinsel, and was looking for bloggers to review it, I nearly lunged out of my chair in an attempt to send her an email. I just finished browsing through the book, and I can tell you, I am not disappointed. Not one bit.
In her introduction, she shares the history of the book, which goes like this:
When my daughter was just a year old, I bought her an Advent Calendar book. Each day, she’d open a tiny flap in the back and then we’d read the corresponding page in the book. The first day the book instructed us to make a Christmas ornament to go along with the story. We did (I think it was made out of construction paper and had some stickers slapped on it) and my daughter was in love! Every single day of December she wanted to make an ornament. However, the book didn’t continue with ornaments each day, so we made some up ourselves! They were mainly made from paper, glue, markers and maybe a ribbon if I could scrounge one up.
We had so much fun making a little craft together during that Christmas season. What was even more fun is that my little bitty girl started understanding the Christmas story. She’d talk (or babble) about Mary, Joseph, and Jesus.
Amanda goes on to tell how she tried a few new things over the next few years, but she and her daughter always returned to the Christmas ornaments, because of their story value. My daughter is just about to turn two, so I am especially interested in ways to make Christmas meaningful for her this year.
Won’t Break the Bank!
As I opened up Truth in Tinsel, I was so impressed with all the super cute and easy ideas. I especially love that most people will already have most of the supplies on hand already. Even if you had to go out and buy things, the cost for making everything in this book would probably be under $10 and you would have some truly wonderful memories.
Up for a Challenge?
We’re really into crafting right now (I have another girl that comes to my house for child care). I’m always browsing around on Pinterest trying to gather up ideas. With Amanda’s book, I now have 24 simple crafts that all tie into the Christmas story and I couldn’t be more excited about it! She also issued a challenge to “give” December to your kids by participating in the crafts and Scripture every day. I’ll take the challenge! Stay tuned for more posts and pictures of all the fun. Check out the list of days at the bottom of this post!
Good for Kidmin Too!
Another great way to use this book is in your Children’s Ministry during the down time of the Christmas play practice. If you’re in kidmin, you know this problem all too well. What do you do with the kids who aren’t actively practicing? Or with guests for that matter? You want something that’s going to be engaging, but isn’t going to suck up too much man-power, or require a ton of set-up or clean-up. Truth in Tinsel is a perfect solution! kids will be engaging in the Christmas story, but will also be readily available to practice when their part comes up. Fabulous.
My Favorite Parts
Okay, want to hear my favorite parts about the book? I’ll tell you a few, but I don’t want to give it all away! Of course, I love the fact that each craft has a corresponding Scripture passage or story. I also love the “do more together” feature. This is perfect if you’ve a few extra minutes one day and want to make a really good memory with your kids. I also love that the crafts are designed for the younger set, and there are parts of each ornament that even a toddler can participate in.
Some of my favorite crafts?
- Mary and Elizabeth who have pop-dots for their pregnant bellies!
- The city of Bethlehem made out of an egg carton.
- The temple made out of an old Christmas card
- The scented ornament made out of homemade dough.