Advent Tree

An overview of the Old Testament and introducing the birth of Jesus, for kids

2017 Edition, by Becky Laswell

Notes & Description:

This file is presented by Becky Laswell under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. (CC-BY-NC_SA 4.0)

Please link to the blog post (on to share this resource instead of linking to this file, or emailing this file directly. Thanks. :)

Verse List & Ornaments

I suggest working a week ahead so you’re not left scrambling for an ornament each day! I’m not afraid to pull out coloring pages, popsicle sticks, and tissue paper to improvise ornaments! Some of the objects aren’t explicitly stated in the Scripture, so we talk about the context. Many of the verses will require explanation, so if you’re not familiar with the context, read the chapter in your BIble. (The verses were chosen so they’d be simple enough for a child to pay attention to.)

  1. Genesis 1:1 - globe ornament (I purchased from World Market. Easy coloring project DIY.)
  2. Genesis 2:16-17 - wooden apple (I painted a shape from Hobby Lobby. DIY ball ornament or yarn-wrapping)
  3. Genesis 9:13 - rainbow (Last year, we drew one. This year, I might make one from ribbons.)
  4. Genesis 15:5 - Stars (So many purchased and DIY options.)
  5. Genesis 22:8 - sheep (I purchased from World Market. I like this DIY from cotton balls or batting.)
  6. Genesis 28:12 - ladder (I bought from miniature ornaments at Michael's.)
  7. Genesis 39:23b - Coat (I cut from felt.) -- this verse does not mention the coat
  8. Exodus 12:14 - Unleavened Bread (we’ll use a cracker with a string tied to it. You can poke a paperclip through a graham cracker fairly easily. I don’t know that a graham cracker is actually unleavened, but it works.)
  9. Exodus 20:2a&3 - Tablets (writing #s on square balsa wood pieces.)
  10. Psalm 105:40 - Quail & Manna. (Clear jar filled with coriander seeds to symbolize Manna.)
  11. Hebrews 11:31 - Red ribbon (ribbon garland) -- this verse does not mention the red ribbon
  12. Ruth 4:14 - Wheat (Cut something wheat-like from plants in yard) -- verse does not mention the wheat. Here I mention that Ruth and Boaz are the great-great-great-great(etc) grandparents of Jesus and that Boaz provided wheat for Ruth to make into bread.
  13. 1 Samuel 17:45 - Stone (Stone from yard) -- stone not mentioned in this verse
  14. Psalm 23:1 - Shepherd (Candy cane to represent a Shepherd's staff)
  15. Isaiah 60:19 - Sun (We happened to have a small sun object. Could easily make something from tissue paper.)
  16. 1 Kings 18:38-39 - Fire (We’ll do something from tissue paper.)
  17. Daniel 6:22a - Lion (Small object - many lion crafts out there.)
  18. Matthew 12:40 - Whale (also from World Market. Could easily use a fish.)
  19. Isaiah 9:6 - Child (Many purchased & DIY options available)
  20. Matthew 3:16-17 - Dove (easy to purchase or DIY from felt)
  21. Luke 2:1,3-4 - Census (I made something to look like a form from paper)
  22. Matthew 2:1 - Skyline of Bethlehem (Ornament from a thrift store -- last year we had a tissue paper version)
  23. Luke 2:6-7 - Manger or Nativity (Popsicle sticks. It’s not a preschool craft until there are popsicle sticks!)
  24. Matthew 2:1b-2 - Star (Another purchased ornament -- this has just one star unlike #4 above)
  25. Matthew 2:11 - Gifts (purchased ornament)

Printable Verses

Because I always feel compelled to indicate the version: * =NIV                 #=NIRV         ^=The Message

Genesis 1:1*                                               1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 2:16-17#                                               2

The Lord God gave the man a command. He said, “You may eat fruit from any tree in the garden. But you must not eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you do, you will certainly die.”

Genesis 9:13#                                               3

I have put my rainbow in the clouds. It will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.

Genesis 15:5#                                               4

The Lord took Abram outside and said, “Look up at the sky. Count the stars, if you can.” Then he said to him, “That’s how many children will be born into your family.”

Genesis 22:8#                                               5

Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them walked on together.

Genesis 28:12#                                               6

In a dream he saw a stairway standing on the earth. Its top reached to heaven. The angels of God were going up and coming down on it.

Genesis 39:23b#                                               7

That’s because the Lord was with Joseph. He gave Joseph success in everything he did.

Exodus 12:14#                                               8

“Always remember this day. You and your children after you must celebrate this day as a feast to honor the Lord. You must do this for all time to come. It is a law that will last forever.”

Exodus 20:2a&3*                                               9

“I am the Lord your God”  “You shall have no other gods before me.”

Psalm 105:40^                                               10

They prayed and he brought quail,  filled them with the bread of heaven.

Hebrews 11:31#                                               11

Rahab, the prostitute, had faith. So she welcomed the spies. That’s why she wasn’t killed with those who didn’t obey God.

Ruth 4:14#                                               12

“We praise the Lord. Today he has provided a family protector for you. May this child become famous all over Israel!”

1 Samuel 17:45#                                               13

David said to Goliath, “You are coming to fight against me with a sword, a spear and a javelin. But I’m coming against you in the name of the Lord who rules over all.

Psalm 23:1#                                               14

The Lord is my shepherd. He gives me everything I need.

Isaiah 60:19*                                               15

The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.

1 Kings 18:38-39#                                               16

The fire of the Lord came down. It burned up the sacrifice. It burned up the wood and the stones and the soil. It even dried up the water in the ditch. All the people saw it. Then they fell down flat with their faces toward the ground. They cried out, “The Lord is the one and only God! The Lord is the one and only God!”

Daniel 6:22a#                                               17

My God sent his angel. And his angel shut the mouths of the lions. They haven’t hurt me at all. That’s because I haven’t done anything wrong in God’s sight.

Matthew 12:40#                                               18

Jonah was in the belly of a huge fish for three days and three nights. Something like that will happen to the Son of Man. He will spend three days and three nights in the grave.

Isaiah 9:6#                                               19

A child will be born to us.     A son will be given to us.

    He will rule over us. And he will be called Wonderful Adviser and Mighty God. He will also be called Father Who Lives Forever and Prince Who Brings Peace.

Matthew 3:16-17#                                              20

As soon as Jesus was baptized, he came up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened. Jesus saw the Spirit of God coming down on him like a dove. A voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, and I love him. I am very pleased with him.”

Luke 2:1,3-4#                                               21

In those days, Caesar Augustus made a law. It required that a list be made of everyone in the whole Roman world. So Joseph went also. He went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea. That is where Bethlehem, the town of David, was. Joseph went there because he belonged to the family line of David.

Matthew 2:1#                                               22

Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea. This happened while Herod was king of Judea. After Jesus’ birth, Wise Men from the east came to Jerusalem.

Luke 2:6-7#                                               23

While Joseph and Mary were there, the time came for the child to be born. 7 She gave birth to her first baby. It was a boy. She wrapped him in large strips of cloth. Then she placed him in a manger. That’s because there was no guest room where they could stay.

Matthew 2:1b-2#                                               24

After Jesus’ birth, Wise Men from the east came to Jerusalem. They asked, “Where is the child who has been born to be king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose. Now we have come to worship him.”

Matthew 2:11#                                               25

The Wise Men went to the house. There they saw the child with his mother Mary. They bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures. They gave him gold, frankincense and myrrh.























unleavened bread



























Photo Credits & Info:

Unless indicated, all images were found via a public domain search on Flickr. Most images were cropped and resized to fit the space.

The following images are not public domain - credits:

Empty Gifts: torbakhopper via Flickr. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0).

Shepherd Girl: 43rd Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs

 Via Flickr. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Quail: Sid Mosdale via Flickr. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0).

Passover - Shalom: paurian via Flickr. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Sheep: David Martyn Hunt via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Raincoat: Quim Gil via Flickr. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Engraved Stone: William via Flickr. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Ribbon: Liz West via Flickr. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Nativity: Sputnik via Flickr. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Dove: Sammydavisdog via Flickr. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Coriander Seed: Shout It From the Rooftops via Flickr. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Scantron Form (used for a census): Brian Cantoni via Flickr. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Ladder to heave: fdecomite via Flickr. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

The Bethlehem image is a picture of a watercolor art piece we purchased from Jimmy A. It hangs in our living room year round. The wooden nativity scene belongs to me, and was a gift handmade by my Uncle Larry in the 1980’s.