It seems such a long time since I lasted posted but the reality of ministry leading up to Christmas is a bit crazy!
I was lucky enough to be given a copy of Illustrated Children's Ministry's 'An Illustrated Advent for Families' and some of our families have been working their way through it in the last few weeks. Although, so close to Christmas, it seems the wrong time to be reviewing an Advent product, I wanted to make sure that we had given it a good go!
There is so much to recommend about this product and, though it may be too late this year to start using it, I am entirely sure that next year's version will be just as amazing!
For a single family to purchase a digital copy of the pack costs $10 or about £7.50 and there are options for churches to buy a licence to send it to multiple families for a really reduced price, which is a great bargain. What is helpful is that a downloadable sample is available so you can get a taste and see if this would be useful to your family or not before you buy.
The pack comprises:
- Simple to use family devotions for each week of Advent (including songs and lectionary based readings)
- Colouring sheets based on the devotional theme of the week
- an illustrated Advent wreath to colour and make
- A colour in Advent calendar linked to daily acts and prayers which draw out the themes of hope, peace, joy and love
This is definitely a 'pick up and go' resource. Minimal preparation is needed and the colouring sheets are of an extremely high quality. There is nothing sweet and saccharine here! This is a really intergenerational resource and is intended to be done 'with' not 'for' children.The colouring sheets, in particular are appealing to all ages and I got just as much from spending some time focussing on the words and images as the children did. The Advent wreath craft was especially popular and helps children to tie in what they are doing at home with the candles that many churches light for each week of Advent. I particularly loved the 'actions' Advent calendar and know that one of our young families got a lot out of trying to bring some hope and joy to others over the last few weeks.
There are so many ways to use the material, so it's suitable to give to families on the fringe of church who might not want to engage with the more devotional material but could easily use the Advent wreath and Advent calendar actions.
Check out the Illustrated Children's Ministry site for many more resources and look out for their packs for Lent which will be coming very soon!