At the moment, commercially produced advent calendars are prominent on the shelves in all the stores. But this special festive celebration is so commercial and mass-produced, and I was really looking for something that was a little different, more creative- a home-style advent calendar. Once I started looking, I found so many great ideas that I found it hard to choose which ideas had the greatest impact and appeal. Check out the following selection and see what you think. Click on each image for the link to the source and instructions with printables, where possible. Please let me know if you've come across any other great ideas that should be included.
If you regularly find yourself singing the VeggieTales theme song in the produce aisle, or even if you’ve never heard of VeggieTales, you and your kids will enjoy the VeggieTales Spotisode Collection app. This free app features high-quality colour animations with clips from VegieTales movies, Silly Songs and gameplay. Through object recognition games kids develop valuable skills and learn life’s important lessons while having fun . Find it here..
The people from VeggieTales have also produced a digital interactive book, 'The Surprising Knight- a lesson in loving others'. This app is also available.. see here.
But they have now released a new game app in conjunction with their latest movie, 'The League of Incredible Vegetables'. The game app puts the player into this interactive movie world as they choose from different VeggieTales characters and try to defeat fear and save Bumblyberg. The movie and the app present a lesson in handling fear; will the Veggies remember to turn to the One who is bigger than all their fears before the whole town ends up on ice?
The app includes 28 different play levels and features simple touch-based controls and entertainment for kids 4-years and up. Courage points are earned as they progress through the games to buy super powers. See the promotion clip below.
Sports practice, school concerts, end-of-year
events, appointments…keeping track of all the family’s commitments is always a
headache but at this time of year, it’s almost impossible.
The award-winning Cozi is a FREE family organiser and mobile app that
helps you organise your busy life- Family Life.. Simplified. It’s well worth
checking out, especially as the mobile app is now available for Australian
A calendar for the whole family is easy to set up along with reminders for everyone assigned (txt or email) and a weekly emailed list of the upcoming events for the week. Recurring events like school schedules can easily be included. And, it syncs with other calendars.
TO DO LISTS
Use the To-Do feature and receive timely reminders. Assign tasks for kids, too, and print off a chore list for each child. Use a premade planning check list for any upcoming event from the lists of household cleaning, party needs, birthday party checklists, pantry needs, school supplies and more.
Plan meals with the drag and drop recipes feature to create your weekly dinner plan. Add recipes and ideas to the online recipe box and add ingredients to your shopping list. Your shopping list is available on your app or can be emailed so that it’s always available.
Easily add family memories and milestones to the family journal/blog and share family news via email, on a private family website or on Facebook. The Cozi homepage also includes regular, helpful family articles and ideas. Find Cozi HERE...
Cozi wins awards year after year and you’ll find it invaluable as a family organiser. There are other apps available from Cozi, too, that you might like to check out: Cozi Password Vault and Cozi Kids Colouring.
Check out the Cozi clip below for a comprehensive overview of the Cozi organiser- specially designed for busy families.
While we all recognise the need to keep up-to-date with media reviews and great ideas to enrich our family life and deepen our faith, we all find it difficult to find time to find quality content. And, the cost of such material can be an issue.
Here are some helpful sources.. content that is free and is readily available to download in-app to your iPad or Smartphone. Check them out:
Thriving Family (Focus on the Family) provides a free magazine download with content covering family stages, media reviews, ideas for including family faith into your busy life, devotions, family living articles and more. Read it yourself and encourage other families to download and read these informative family articles and features, too. (iPad app)
HomeFront (David C. Cook) is another free downloadable magazine app that you may like to consider. Download and read the magazine as a digital magazine or look through the listed resources- Environment, God's Word, Food and Fun, Traditions, Storytelling and more. Then choose 2 or 3 ideas to incorporate into your family times during the week. You'll find conversation starters, recipes and activities for different age groups.
And.. all these articles, ideas and resources are ready-to-hand on your iPad or Smartphone.
Every family is unique; but all families are made up of individuals with the same need to connect, to interact and share with others.