How To Do Truth in the Tinsel Even If You’re Scared of Crafts

  How To Do Truth in the Tinsel Even If You're Scared of Crafts

Do you know how many people I have told about Truth in the Tinsel and they’ve shaken their heads and said, “No way. I’m not making a craft with my kid every day during December. Can’t do it.” (These are my friends, people!)

I really don’t get my feelings hurt. Honest.

I get it. The idea of sitting down with your kids every single day for 24 days in a row DURING the Christmas season AND making a craft AND having a spiritual discussion? It’s downright intimidating!

But guess what?

Truth in the Tinsel isn’t scary. In fact, it’s the opposite. I’ll even suggest that it’s empowering!

This little ebook may look like Just Another Thing to add to your never-ending, never-gets-done Christmas to-do list but it’s not! It’s something that will actually help ground the rest of your must-do’s this season!

Let me give you a few reasons why Truth in the Tinsel is so easy, so fun and so not scary. Ready? Let’s go…

1. Supply Lists

Included in the book are two supply lists. One is divided by day–you can see every single item you’ll need for each day’s craft.  The second list is divided by kind—the supplies you’ll find around your house, in your school supply pouch and even the few items you may need to pick up at a craft store. But I promise, you’ll be able to mark off a ton of the supplies before you even hit the craft store!

2. Hyperlinks

All the Bible verses you need to read each day are hyperlinked to BibleGateway.com. You can read it all off your phone or tablet! (I do think reading it out of your very own paper-and-ink Bible is a good idea, but so not mandatory!)

3. Easy Peasy Tutorials

The ornaments crafts you’ll be making each day only include 3-5 steps. This is because the point of the ornament is not a perfect ornament. The point is time for your kids to meditate and think about the story from God’s Word. So, placing the ribbon at exactly 1/4 inch below the top? NOT EVEN A THING.

 How To Do Truth in the Tinsel Even If You're Scared of Crafts

4. Templates

Some of the crafts include printable templates so all you have to do is print, cut and add the extras!

5. Alternate Schedules

In the back of the book there are 4 different schedules which include anywhere from 6-10 selected days and activities from the ebook. So, if you want to ease into this experience, these shortened schedules make it easy!

6. Printable Clues

My very favorite part of the Truth in the Tinsel ebook is the clues. Each day your kids pick a clue from their advent calendar or from the printable paper chain included in the book. This gets them excited about what they are about to learn and it frees you up from having to come up with 24 gifts to shove into that Advent Calendar!

How To Do Truth in the Tinsel Even If You're Scared of Crafts

My son holding a printable clue while wearing his Spiderman mask. #typical

7. And the very best thing included in the book?

Grace. You don’t have to do the ebook just like everyone else. You don’t have to sit down and have an hour long conversation, perfect craft and happy kids for 24 days! All you have to do is use the ebook to help you lay a foundation of Jesus-is-the-best-thing-we-do-all-December. All you have to do is facilitate fun, time and conversation around the greatest story every told.

If you don’t have all the supplies mentioned in the book–just substitute what you do have. If you don’t do any of the extra “do more together” sections, that’s ok! If you just do one craft a week or simply color the printable ornaments during breakfast, you’ve succeeded. I’ve said it before, there’s no wrong way to do Truth in the Tinsel. It is simply a tool to help you lead your kids to Jesus, help them understand what the gift of His life really means and to lead them in meditating on His Word.

I pray you’ll jump into Truth in the Tinsel with both feet and do your very best to lead your kids in the way the book is laid out (because I think it’s really good and thorough) but the thing I want even more is for you to make Jesus great and famous this Christmas season! Let your kids know He really is the best present of all!

Buy your own copy of Truth in the Tinsel now! See a Sample Page and our FAQ here!

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photography by Jamie Worley

 

It’s Not Too Late!

I think I told you the first week of December is crazy around here. Everyone is on a high of I’m-totally-making-Christmas-count-this-year and emails are flying, pictures are being posted and everyone is loving Truth in the Tinsel.

Then the 12th or 13th day rolls around and you’ve got glitter on your floor, glue sticks under your kitchen table, Christmas parties to plan and just not enough time to do everything.

Or maybe you just got your head out of Thanksgiving and school to realize ACK! Christmas is just NINE days away! What am I going to do? I have to make Christmas count this year!

It's not too late to make Christmas count! truthinthetinsel.com

Are you ready for my advice?

It’s some sage wisdom.

Get ready.

Here it is:

Relax.

Seriously. It’s OK. You don’t have to do all 24 days of the Truth in the Tinsel ornaments. You don’t. And if you’ve just realized Christmas is around the corner and you haven’t mentioned Jesus’ birth once, it’s OK.

Guess what? A Christmas that counts? It can happen in one conversation, one snuggle on the couch or one small act of service. Christmas is not about DOING ALL THE THINGS. Christmas is about worship. (I think I may have been on this soapbox once already?!)

So, if you’re behind on your Truth in the Tinsel ornaments or want to start right now, here’s some tips:

1. Buy the Truth in the Tinsel ebook. (Just checking!)

2. Buy the Printable Ornaments. (They are only $3.99 and it will make your cray-cray days just a little bit easier!)

3. Look at the alternate schedules on page 33 of your ebook. There are 4 different schedules to choose from–one for the basic characters, one of each book of the Bible, one for the prophecies and one for the basics. Don’t even LOOK at the other ornaments and days you’re skipping over. Just do the alternate schedule and enjoy.

OR

3b. Look through the book and pick 5-6 ornaments you have the supplies for, like the message or just think are cute. Do those days and NOTHING ELSE!

4. ENJOY. Just enjoy the time to sit with your children and lead them to Jesus.

 

A Real Mom Adapts Truth in the Tinsel For Little Kids

This is a guest post by my friend, Lindsey. We found each other via blogs and connected over Children’s Ministry and Truth in the Tinsel. You know I want Truth in the Tinsel to be easy and empowering. Not hard and overwhelming. Lindsey shares today about how she’s adapted  Truth in the Tinsel for the very littlest kids…

using Truth in the Tinsel with the littlest of kiddos // truthinthetinsel.com

When I first spotted Amanda’s amazing resource, Truth in Tinsel, I was eager to try it. Even though my daughter was only 2 at the time, I wanted to begin to help her understand the Christmas story. My son was only one, but often wanted to be “part of the experience”, so I tried my best to adapt Amanda’s brilliant suggestions for my kids tiny hands and short attention spans. If you’re in the same boat, read on to gather up some ideas for your own family (not every day is listed). It’s never too early to share the good news of Christmas in a hands-on way!

As for the Scripture, I generally found a matching story from a Children’s Bible such as the Read and Share Bible, The Jesus Storybook Bible, or the Preschooler’s Bible. If I couldn’t find an exact match up, we simply read through the Christmas story in general.

For the coordinating Scripture, discussion questions and more, pick up your own copy of Truth in Tinsel. There’s still time to make some wonderful Christmas memories with your kids!

Day 1: Candle Ornament (Light of the World)

For this ornament, we still used the candle template, but substituted construction paper for tissue paper. It was much easier for the kids to handle, though the light didn’t shine through quite as nicely. Another idea is to just use the candle in the front and a solid black circle as the background. Kids could easily cover the back and not have to worry about pieces falling through all the little holes.

Coordinating Coloring Pages At:

Coordinating Book: The Light of the World: The Life of Jesus for Children

Day 2: Crown Ornament

This simple crown ornament is perfect for almost any age. At our day care Christmas party, we had kids aged 18 months all the way to 2nd grade participating, and everyone loved it. We did have the youngest kids use glitter instead of jewels.

Truth in Tinsel

Coordinating Coloring Pages:

Day 4: Angel Ornament

For this super fun ornament, we simply substituted construction paper for the suggested wrapping paper to make it more sturdy.

angel

Coordinating Coloring Pages:

Day 5 & Day 6: Mary & Elizabeth

Since Mary and Elizabeth were both included on the day six template, we just combined these projects and skipped making a separate Mary. One day five we painted and constructed the ladies, and then on day six, we role played using our new characters (I put them on Popsicle sticks for easy handling). It was so fun hearing the kids retell the story with the puppets. I love the idea of the pop-dot. What a good idea!

Mary and Elizabeth

Day 7: Mary’s Song

For these CD ornaments, we used stickers to decorate the CD’s. Kids loved it and it’s terrific fine motor practice. Of course, we had Christmas songs playing as we worked. 🙂

Truth in Tinsel

Day 8: Jesus is like the Rising Sun

For this project, we simply painted a paper plate yellow like the sun. Use finger paints if you’re brave! If you look closely, you can see the Bible reference across the bottom. I also wrote “Jesus is like the Rising Sun” across the top after I took this picture. If I were to do it again, I would write the Scripture and title more to the inside and then cut triangles along the outside to make the plate look more a shining sun. This project is a little abstract young kids, but we did talk about how Jesus was the light of the world (again) and read through the book The Light of the World . If you’re using the Jesus Storybook Bible, pages 184 and 190 are great for this lesson.

Sun

Day 9: Joseph

For this one, we skipped trying to make a Joseph figure and used some Nativity “build-a-scene” stickers I had picked up from Oriental Trading recently. As can be expected, the stickers were pretty poor quality and my 18 month old kept ripping all the people to shreds before they made it to the paper. As a result, his Nativity scene looks a bit like a massacre!

Nativity Sticker Scene

There are also a ton of printable Nativity characters you can use for this too (to make a puppet like Mary and Elizabeth). Check My Little House, Making Friends, and Prepared Not Scared.

Day 10: Joseph’s Pillow

I appreciate the fact that making Joseph’s pillow is a no-sew project! However, even the pipe cleaner method seemed to be a bit too taxing for our crew. I had some scrap fabric in the craft drawer, so I had each kid pick out their material and then we cut it to about double the size of a pillow. I hot glued two edges (one was sealed by the fold) and then had the kids stuff cotton balls inside. Once the pillow was filled, I hot glued the remaining edge. Then we played out the scene from the Bible (again and again!). We also made a matching blanket to complete the scene. (We used a stick puppet from the printables I listed in Day 9)

Joseph's Pillow

Every time we finished, my 2 year old exclaimed, “Again! Let’s do it again!”. So again we would go! About 4-5 times into it though, Joseph started singing a different tune. Instead of getting up and listening to the angel — he would start saying “Go away, angel. I’m very sleepy.” Oops. That’s not how the story goes!

Day 11: Jesus Name Collage

For this day, we made a “Name Train” to help the kids recognize their own name as well as Jesus’ name. We talked about how everyone’s name is special and has a meaning. I told the kids why we picked their names as well as what Jesus’ name meant.

Name Train

Day 12: Mary, Joseph and the Census

The theme of this day is the census, so instead of making the jar ornament, we lined all our Little People figures and wooden peg people up and counted them as they were “on their way to Bethlehem”. If you want to get really official about it, use an abacus to do your counting!

Truth in Tinsel

Coordinating Coloring Pages:

Day 14: Stable Ornament

For this one, we made a stable out of craft sticks still, but glued it onto a piece of construction paper instead of making an ornament.

Craft Stick Christmas Manger

Coordinating Coloring Pages:

Day 16: Sleeping Jesus in Blanket

Today, we skipped the craft project and did some dramatic play with baby dolls instead. We practiced wrapping up our dolls and rocking them as Mary would have wrapped and rocked Jesus.

Coordinating Coloring Pages:

Day 17: Sheep Ornament

Nothing screams sheep like a heaping pile of cotton balls. For this, I had the kids glue cotton balls to a small paper plate and then I added little legs and a head when they were done.

Cotton Ball Sheep

Day 19: Shepherds

More dramatic play fun for this day. Instead of making shepherds, we acted out what it would be like to be “keeping watch over the flocks at night”. I pretended I was the angel and the kids fell down when I “appeared”. I told them not to be afraid and then encouraged them to run to another room to find the baby Jesus, wrapped up in swaddling clothes. The kids loved it!

Day 20: Star Ornament

For this one, I found a fun folding star trick to do with the kids. I would fold the paper and get it ready, and all they would have to do is make one straight line cut. We would unfold it to find a lovely star! You can find the full directions for the fold and cut star here.

Fold and Cut Star

 

Day 22: Wise Men

Tomorrow’s lesson focuses on the gifts the wise men brought, so for today, we got out the child-friendly nativity set and acted out the wise men’s journey to see the baby.

Day 24: Birthday Cake

Today, we made a birthday cake in anticipation for Jesus’ birthday tomorrow. It’s standard chocolate, and I’m thinking of letting the kids eat it for breakfast to demonstrate just what a wonderful day Christmas is!

Happy Birthday Jesus!

What About You?

Have have you made the Truth in Tinsel experience your own? I’d love to hear about it!

 

Lindsey Whitney is a mom of two, home day care provider, Children’s Ministry director and blogger over at Growing Kids Ministry. Growing Kids Ministry is a blog designed to help parents, teachers, and Children’s Ministry workers who want to help the kids they love grow in their faith. Lindsey loves books, coffee, springtime, and a really loud thunderstorm. You can connect with her via twitter or on facebook.

10 Simple Ways to Have Fun with Your Printable Ornaments

asa pout truth tinsel paper ornament pic

Each day of Truth in the Tinsel, you are making a ornament craft with your child. That’s 24 ornaments! One ornament every day. And I know (I KNOW!) how hard that is to get together.

That’s why we created the Printable Ornaments. For those days you just can’t get all the craft supplies out, or maybe you don’t have all the supplies on hand, or you’re traveling or you got home at 20 minutes before bedtime. Or you are just too tired!

With the printable ornaments you can still read the devotion from Truth in the Tinsel and then color that day’s ornament and call it a day!

But just because it’s a coloring sheet doesn’t mean they can’t be fun and creative! So, here’s my Top Ten Favorite (EASY) Ways To Add a Little Ooomph to Your Printable Ornaments!

1. Watercolors

watercolors printable ornament list

Yeah, I know. Paint! But honestly, watercolors aren’t very messy! They clean up well and if you get out of the lines it looks artistic and classy!

2. Colored Pencils

colored pencil printable ornament list

I love to do hashmarks with colored pencils. You just draw lines in one direction, then switch and do the other direction. It’s easy for kids who can’t color big areas and it looks really cool, too!

3. Fingerprints

fingerprint printable ornament list

My kids love making fingerprints! You can use an ink pad or even just color your finger with a marker. And how fun to see fingerprints from years past? *sniff*

4. Scrapbook

Look at this fabulous idea from Vintage Gwen!

5. Glitter Glue

glitter glue printable ornament list

OK. I know. This sounds horrible. But y’all, glitter glue is like magic! You squeeze the tube, it comes out quickly and you’ve got 3D sparkly paint! The kid love it and it’s super easy to use.

6. Stickers

stickers printable ornament list

I collect stickers. I’ve still got stickers from when I was in elementary school. (It might be a sickness.) My kids love sorting through them and they are perfect for decorating anything!

7. Construction Paper

construction paper printable ornament list

So, this is more about displaying than coloring, but just cut out a little circle and glue your ornament to it. Doesn’t it look lovely? Makes a marker-ed coloring sheet look like something a little fancy!

8. Scented Paint

scented paint printable ornaments list

Yes, scented paint. Just add a drop or two of peppermint, vanilla or your favorite extract to a small bottle of paint (or add dry kool-aid if you want something fruity) and your kids can paint a super scent-sational ornament! (This would be perfect for day 23!)

9. Laminate

Why didn’t I think of this before?! Laminate your ornaments! And even better, put them on a clip like Mama Jenn did. I love this.

10. And my very favorite idea–the one that inspired this whole list: SHRINKY DINKS!

shrinky dink printable ornament list

Did you know you can buy shrinky dink paper for your printer? Just print off the ornaments on the special paper, color with crayons or markers, cut, punch a hole in top and bake. VOILA!

How fun is that?! Of course, the whole point of the Printable Ornaments is to make it easy for you. They are just a supplement to the Truth in the Tinsel ebook–but, if you’ve done Truth in the Tinsel before and want to change things up or don’t have all the supplies for the ornaments included in the ebook, these ideas are fun!

Want to purchase your own Printable Ornaments? They are only $3.99!

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Merry Christmas, friends!

The 24th Day

christmas begins with a manger & ends with a cross

In just a few days we’ll be unwrapping gifts and wrapping up Truth in the Tinsel. The 24th and final ornament and activity is centered on the cross.

Why the cross?

Why introduce such a big and sometimes sad event to our kids on Christmas Eve? Why not focus on the happy, glowing baby Jesus?

Because Jesus came to die. Oh, friend. He didn’t hold onto his power and wealth in Heaven. He poured out His God-ness so he could be born as a little baby in a smelly stable.

He was born in the smelly stable to normal, human parents so he could grow up among people like you and me.

He grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.

Then He taught about the Kingdom of God, His Father’s love and plan.

Finally, he humbled himself. Humbled himself to death on the cross.

Jesus was born to die. Celebrating the cross at Christmas. #truthtinsel

He died for you and me. He died for your children.

But joy of joys! He came back to life! He’s at the right hand of the Father waiting on a relationship with us!

I pray as you’ve enjoyed Truth in the Tinsel this year, you and your children would recognize it was really just a path to bring you to an understanding of the huge love, the big sacrifice and the enormous plan God had in sending His Son Jesus to die for us.

If you don’t get to make the cross ornament on Christmas Eve, will you take time to do it after Christmas? Will you sit down and remind your kids that the whole month wasn’t just about a little baby–but about a plan to save us, about the God-man willing to give His life for us so we can spend forever with Him in Heaven!

If you’d like some more information about talking to your kids about salvation or Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, check out my Salvation series.

My Favorite Christmas Books

I’m kind of a sucker for a Christmas book. I just can’t get enough of them. Like all Christmas traditions, I think many of these books and illustrations will stick in kids’ hearts and memories forever. Some of these books tell more than just the facts of the story, they tell the heart of the story.

Favorite Christmas books to use with Truth in the Tinsel.

Here are some of my favorite Christmas books that I think showcase that heart and will enhance and supplement Truth in the Tinsel.

Ready? Let’s go…

1. The Wonder of Christmas by Dandi Daley Mackall

I. Love. This. Book. The pictures are of kids in a Christmas pageant. But the words are thoughts of a child, “I wonder what did Mary think…” and goes through each character. But the best part is the end when the words turn from questions to declarations like, “I will kneel like Mary, let my heart obey.” It is so powerful.

Perfect for Truth in the Tinsel days  4, 5, 9, 18, 19, 22

2. A Christmas Goodnight by Nola Buck

I bought this book because the illustrator is Sarah Jane, whom I have loved for years. The book is kind of a Goodnight Moon-type of book. A little boy says goodnight to the characters of the Christmas story. You discover halfway through that he’s actually playing with his nativity scene. It’s super sweet!

Perfect for Truth in the Tinsel days 5, 9, 14, 15, 18, 19, 21, 22

3. Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story

This book was written by Sally Lloyd Jones, author of The Jesus Storybook Bible. It’s such a gorgeous book filled with important phrases like “Might King”, “Prince of Peace”, “Bright and Morning Star”, “Good Shepherd”, “Light to light up the whole world”, “Rescuer” and Emmanuel.

Perfect for Truth in the Tinsel days 2 and 11.

4. Who Is Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate

The animals in the stable get ready for someone coming to their house. It perfectly displays the idea of making room for Jesus in your home and heart.

Perfect for Truth in the Tinsel day 14.

5. A Star for Jesus by Crystal Bowman

This is part of a series of board books that showcase symbols of Christmas (Christmas tree, candy cane, angels, stocking, gifts) and give them Jesus-centered meanings. This one focuses on the Wise Men and the star’s meaning. It’s perfect for the preschool crowd.

Perfect for Truth in the Tinsel day 21

6. The Tale of Three Trees by Angela Elwell Hunt

The Tale of Three Trees by Angela Hunt

This book is the only book I actually suggest reading in one of the “Do More Together” sections (day 15, the manger). I’ve read this one to the kids already this year and as usual, it made me cry. It’s the story of three trees with big dreams–one to become a treasure chest, one to be a king’s ship and the other to point to God. Their prayers are answered in different ways than they think–the first tree becomes the manger and holds the greatest treasure of all, the second tree becomes a fishing boat and carries the King of all Kings while the third becomes a cross that will always cause people to think of the living God.

 

What’s your favorite Christmas book?

Top Ten Questions, Tips & How-To’s for Your Truth in the Tinsel Experience


The last few weeks all I’ve been doing is answering emails and Facebook messages about Truth in the Tinsel. We do have a FAQ page that covers most of the technical, download-y kind of questions.

Today, I’m going to answer some more questions, give some tips, clarifications and even a short video of little old me walking you through the ebook!

Ready? Let’s begin…

1. What ages is Truth in the Tinsel for? Are my kids too old? young?

I wrote Truth in the Tinsel when my kids were 5 and 3. I began doing this same make-an-ornament activity with my daughter when she was almost 2 years old. Last year, kids up to 13 years old were enjoying Truth in the Tinsel!

So, to answer the question: ALL AGES!

2. Is the book the same as last year? Do we have to do the same crafts again?

Yes, the book is the same as last year. If you follow the book exactly, yes, you will do the same crafts again. However, kids like traditions. Do you make the same candy-cane-red-puffball-pipe-cleaner reindeer every year? Do your kids like it?

Also, from year to year, your supplies, your kids’ abilities and your creative spur-of-the-moment ideas will alter the crafts. Not to mention, if you missed a craft last year, you’ll probably get to it this year!

If you’re really wanting to switch it up, grab the printable ornaments!

Note: The book was updated on it’s 5th birthday with minimal changes.

3. My kids won’t sit still to listen to the Bible reading parts.

That’s ok! You know your kids best. If they can’t sit still, read while they are making the craft. Or read a few verses at breakfast, a few at lunch and the rest when you sit down to do the activity. {Check out my tips for teaching the Bible to little kids!}

Reading the Bible with your kids {using Truth in the Tinsel}

I do think it’s important to read the actual Scriptures from the Bible (and even from a Bible versus your computer) so, make an effort. But don’t get stressed out if it’s not the perfect scene you’ve imagined!

4. Does it take a lot of preparation?

If you are completely void of craft supplies, you’ll probably need to take a trip to the nearest craft store. But if you have some pipe-cleaners, beads, some fabric and a little string around your house, you’ll be ok. You can easily substitute materials and make up your own fun ideas. Check out the pictures on our Facebook page to be inspired!

5. Do I need a swanky advent calendar to go along with this?

Nope. There is a printable paper chain in the back you can use or you can make a simple one like the one we made at our Atlanta Swap Party!

6. What if my kids don’t want to do the craft?

I think a lot of this is about expectations and delivery. If you go into the craft with a smile on your face and we-can-do-it attitude, your kids will catch on. Don’t expect a beautiful craft project–let them make it themselves and let it look terrible if it has to!

tips for doing Truth in the Tinsel with your kids

The point of the ornaments is to let the kids use their hands to focus on an aspect of God’s Word.

7. Advent starts in November some years. When do we start Truth in the Tinsel?

There are 24 activities in the book to correspond with the 24 days between December 1st and Christmas Eve.

You can start on December 1st for ease of counting (that’s what I’m doing.) Or you can start when traditional advent begins. Or you can start a few days before so you have a few days of margin! (<–that is genius, right there!)

8. Am I too late?

No way! If you join the fun on December 19, you’ll still be able to participate! I have put in several additional schedules in the book so you can choose one that works for you. There are schedules to just cover the basics of the story, highlight the main characters or work through the prophesies.

9. What if I mess up?

You won’t. There is no wrong way to do Truth in the Tinsel. It’s simply a tool to help you focus, spotlight and lead your kids to Jesus. Don’t worry about doing it right, better than others or in a perfect way. Just enjoy this special time with your kids!

10. And now, I’ll walk you through the ebook…

If you haven’t bought your copy of Truth in the Tinsel—what are you waiting for?! Download it now! Only $7.99!

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Feliz Navidad!

Truth in the Tinsel ebook now available in Spanish!

It’s true! Truth in the Tinsel is now available in Spanish! Yipppeee! I’m so excited about this. My friend, Edurne translated the whole book for her friends last year and now she’s helped us make it available for everyone!

Truth in the Tinsel en Espanol

If you have a Spanish speaking friend, I’d love for you to let them know Truth in the Tinsel…er, should I say, El Verdad en el Oropel is ready and waiting!

Download Truth in the Tinsel {El Verdad en el Oropel} for $7.99! 

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Seven Tips to Teach Kids God’s Word {Especially If You Aren’t Familiar With the Bible Yourself}

Hi Amanda! I just ordered this to do with my own children, but got to thinking…My only hurdle may be trying to tell the Bible Scriptures in a way that they would understand. Do you have any helpful tips on how I could do this? I didn’t grow up going to church, so I’m not completely familiar with every scripture that is covered. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 🙂 Thank you!!

I got this question on our Facebook page this week and as I was responding, it became such a long answer, I decided to turn it into a blog post. So, here we go…

How To Teach Kids Scripture from Truth in the Tinsel.com

How To Teach Your Kids God’s Word {Especially If You Aren’t Familiar With The Bible Yourself}

(nice title, huh?)

1. Kid-Friendly Bible Version

Part of what I love about Truth in the Tinsel is reading the Christmas story directly from the Bible. I highly suggest the New International Reader’s Version because it is written on a 3rd grade reading level. It uses very short sentences so even young children can understand.

2. Read With Flair

When you are reading the Bible story, read with drama and style! A simple whisper, inflection of your voice or wide-eyes will add to your child’s understanding. I love Mem Fox’s suggestions for reading aloud.

3. Read It Alone

If you’ve never read the passage before make sure you read it to yourself before you read it to the kids. That will give you a chance to look up any unfamiliar words or read a few verses before and after to get some context.

4. Be OK With Their Understanding

Kids aren’t going to understand the whole story. I don’t even understand the whole story–what was Zechariah doing in the temple? How did the wise men know which star to follow? What are the sacrifices Mary and Joseph had to do at the temple? But that’s part of the fun of Truth in the Tinsel, exploring the story and Scriptures together. Let kids learn on their level. We’re just laying a foundation, a little here, a little there.

5. Know Your Kids

The rule of thumb is one minute of attention span for every year of age. That means your two year old will listen for about two minutes. (This doesn’t surprise you, does it?) Your ten year old might give you ten. When you’re reading or talking, don’t expect them to have big conversations or great listening after their attention span!

6.  Repetition

One of my favorite parts of Truth in the Tinsel is that you read the same passage of Scripture several times. Did you know that the first time you hear something you only remember 10%? The second time you remember 25%, the third 50% and the fourth 75%!

7. Living Word

God’s Word is living and active. When we deliver God’s Word to our kids–however bumbling it may seem, God does the work. We read it, we facilitate conversation and activity and God makes things happen. Trust Him and the promise of his living Word!

Truth in the Tinsel will be successful with your kids–not because of how well you lead it, read it or tell the stories, but because God’s Word is alive! Be faithful with bringing God’s Word to your kids and He will be faithful to make it come alive in their hearts!

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Printable Ornaments!

Printable Ornaments for Truth in the Tinsel

After Christmas last year, I started brainstorming about Truth in the Tinsel 2012. Should we add more to it? Do something different?

I was talking to my friend Vanessa, from Silly Eagle Books about some ideas I had. She said, “You know what would be really good? Some printable ornaments. Then on the days we don’t want to do a craft, we could just color it and hang it up.”

LIGHTBULB!

What a fabulous idea! It would work for so many ideas–if you were doing Truth in the Tinsel on vacation (like we did last year at Disney World!), at Grandma’s when all your relatives are there, for toddlers who don’t have the attention span for a long craft, when you don’t have the supplies or just don’t want to pull all the mess out!

I buzzed Jason at Buzzhive.net who designed the original Truth in the Tinsel to see if he could make some printable ornaments for us. And he did! He designed them to look like a traditional ball ornament and used our clues from the original book as a guide for the pictures.

Printable Ornaments for Truth in the Tinsel Printable Ornaments for Truth in the Tinsel

My husband and kids colored some tonight and had a great time. When my 4 year old son was finished coloring he said, “Mommy, look at my sheep. I gave him a space helmet.”

Hey, whatever works, right?

Truth in the Tinsel Printable Ornaments

These printable ornaments are not mandatory for using Truth in the Tinsel. They are an additional supplement for when you need a quick craft or a break from your normal activity. And check out our Printable Christmas Trees for even more fun!

Truth in the Tinsel Printable Ornaments

Download all 24 printable ornaments for $3.99 now!

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