We began collecting the following ideas during the COVID pandemic when social-distancing restrictions severely impacted our usual Advent celebrations. What we came up with are also fresh ideas for ANY ADVENT!
The Advent Bible Story Trail
No doubt you've visited or taken part in a "Live Nativity," "Stations of the Cross," or some similar type of "walk-through" learning experience. The "Advent Bible Story Trail" is a similar type of "journey" through a story -- and one that seems like a particularly good fit for the social-distancing needs as we face concerns of Covid-19 surges and breakthrough variants.
The following idea for an "Advent Trail" was inspired by my local nature center. They were looking for ways to replace their in-person group storytimes. So they enlarged and laminated the pages of a children’s nature book and placed the laminated page along the side of a short trail near the center. Children and their families could now walk along the trail to read the story, and at the end of the trail receive a craft kit from the nature center.
Looking for Advent learning activities in the era of Covid protocols, and having experienced Bible walk-throughs before, creating an Advent Bible Story Trail just seems like a great way to teach the Advent story with social-distancing in mind, especially if you have some church property you can work with. It also works for any Advent where you want to create an experience that people can participate in on THEIR schedule.
The Trail could be set up for one evening or for a week, a day or night depending on your resources and preferences. It could be for your church family and would also be a great way to share the story with your community.
You could set this up on your church property or a member's, or around a neighborhood, or local walking trail (with permission).
Resources for a "self-guided" Advent Trail
- Images from Advent
- Some short captions and a question to ponder for each image
- Wood stakes or rebar to attach the images to
- An outdoor "trail" location
- Volunteers to set up and monitor the trail
- An "Advent kit" to give to walkers
Most churches have Bible storybooks that they could use for these purposes. Another option would be to tap the large set of FREE Christmas Bible Story images at https://www.freebibleimages.or...rch/?theme=Christmas
You could have volunteers hand-out activity bags at the end of the trail as a "reward" for walking the story, or before if you want to include items that help tell the story (like a flashlight as recommended in the Trail example posted below). Don't forget to include some ideas for at-home activities as well.
On a special time and day, you could have "actors" stage certain scenes like a "Live Nativity." You could add a "refreshment" station with live Christmas music at the end.
Weather should not be a problem if you live in the cold north as many people love bundling up for caroling and outdoor events this time of year (December).
Don't forget to make a sign saying your church "sponsored" the trail. You might even invite other churches to post a sign with their special services and events to "cross-promote" the Trail.
Lots of possibilities! Please add your inspirations below.
Check out the "Live Nativity" posts below for additional ideas that you can use for your Advent Trail.