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Advent Week 3 :: The Light of Animals

This post is a part of our Tiny Advent series. All of the posts are housed over on this page for your convenience. We hope you follow along and enjoy the series.

Welcome! Each week’s post contains the following:

// Family Discussion Points      // Poster       // Memory Verse      // Centerpiece Decorating
// Crafts      //Gift, Acvitity & Act of Kindness Ideas

To see our advent calendar tutorial and download our gift/experience/acts of kindness lists, head over here.


 

THE THIRD LIGHT OF ADVENT

The third light of Advent is the light of beasts– All await the birth from the hardest in the least.

DISCUSSION
As we light the third candle on our Advent centrepiece, and add feathers (What will you add? Share in the comments!), we will think of the light of animals. What light does this, the animal kingdom, offer up? How might the animals have participated in the journey of a father and mother with child?
They would have provided transport. They might have provided nourishment to the weary travellers. Perhaps they provided companionship, and warmth.

Brainstorm with your family. Some things we thought up:

// They would have provided transport.
// Provided companionship.
// May have provided warmth and protection through fur and leather.

 

PRINTABLE POSTER
Print out this free 8.5 x 11 Third Light of Advent Poster to rest on your mantle, piano, or hang on your wall, to remind you to think of these things this week. There are three more to add to your display over the coming weeks.
Tiny Advent Week 3 Poster
PRINTABLE MEMORY VERSE
Those who wish to add on some verses, you can download and print our Memory Verse Cards. Each week has one simple verse related to the week’s light. The verses were picked by the lovely Heather of heatherboersma.com, who is offering her own amazing Advent series for grown-ups called We Will Wait. Just cut out the cards, and work on the Week 3: Light of Animals card.
Tiny Advent Memory Verses Printable

 

CRAFTS, GIFTS & ACTIVITIES
Below are some of the ways that we will be exploring the animal kingdom in our home this week, in addition to some of the other Advent ideas mentioned in the first post in this series.

 

ADVENT CENTERPIECE
For this third week, we add feathers to our centrepiece, along with the shells, stones, and plants. We add the animals to our nativity scene!

 

ADVENT CRAFTS & ACTIVITIES – ANIMALS

1. Coconut Oil or Suet Bird Feeders
A treat for the birds, and a lot of fun to make, these little feeders are simple to whip up and only require a few ingredients. Get the full tutorial here.

coconut bird feeder star

2. Feather Ornaments

This craft is lovely, as it combines items that relate to week two of the series as well as this week – animals. We made these little ornaments and angels using pine cones, acorns (with caps), feathers, and hot glue. Some of the pine cones were painted or glittered, depending on the child! Sadly, we had to use purchased feathers, but you might have your own collection handy or be able to find some nearby.

TP feather ornaments 3

pine cone angel on tree copy

3. Bird Watching Checklists & Sketches
Over in the shop, we have free done-for-you bird-watching checklists ready to print and use! Take these on a nature walk or set them in a basket by the window with a bird watching book, some binoculars, a sketch book, a pencil and some colored pencils and you have a lovely observation and drawing “craft” set up that can stay in your home long after the holidays!

Read our post on bird-watching with kids here.

Free Printables Bird Photo

4. Felt Goodness! 
If you didn’t get to do it in week 1, felted stones are a great option for week 3 since wool roving comes from sheep! You can also try felted soap, or make a felted ball garland (in whatever colours you love for the holidays), felted balls glued inside tiny acorn caps and made into ornaments…

Tiny Advent Felted AcornsTiny Peasant Acorn Felt Ornamentsfelted stones finished felted soap tiny peasant felted garland hanging fi

ADVENT WEEK 3: GIFTS & ACTS of KINDNESS
These are the items that are in our sock advent calendar – so some items such as the first three will actually be in the socks. The others will be little notes that might lead the kids to find the supplies for the craft, or just telling them what we’ll be making for that day.

 

Gifts:
1. Bird seed (check with a local society to find out which seed is best for your area – here in Manitoba, we’ve heard that black sunflower seed is great).
2. Bird house (or feathers)
3. Bird watching checklist and a notebook or book (our favourite so far)
4. Wool Roving

 

Activities:
1. Make bird seed balls
2. Membership for a local bird society – so you can participate in citizen science programs like Feeder Watch or the Christmas Bird Count
3. (or) Make a feather craft

Acts of Kindness:
1. Volunteer at or donate to a local bird society
2. Knit a wool hat or scarf to donate to a local shelter – or donate one if you don’t knit.
3. Volunteer at an animal hospital or humane society.

Bonus:
Watch an Andy Goldsworthy video in which he uses sheep’s wool to create a beautiful work of art. Create your own wool or feather art, maybe as you think or pray about Advent. Note that Rivers and Tides features not only wool, but also stones, and plants, so I recommend showing just the parts that fit with each week of Advent. Definitely watch it as a whole as well, though. Truly a beautiful film that has been a family favourite for years.
This post is shared as a part of Thank Goodness It’s Monday at Nourishing Joy.