I first heard about Star From Afar while listening to The Happy Hour Christmas Special. Jamie Ivey’s podcast is so fun…you need to check it out if you haven’t already. I love listening! Anyway, Star From Afar was part of her 2015 shopping guide. In the past I have done a felt Advent calendar with the boys. They have always loved it and so have I. But this year I had visions of Jake tearing it off the wall everyday and stealing the pieces and the big boys screaming in dismay and I just couldn’t do it. So when I heard Jamie and Jen (Jen Hatmaker is on the Christmas Special too!) talking about Star From Afar I knew it might be my answer for Advent this year.
I had a feeling that you guys would love Star From Afar too so I contacted Natalie Ard (the mom who created this meaningful Christmas game) to see if she would be interested in partnering with me and she said, “Yes!”.
Star From Afar is just as amazing as I expected. It comes with an activity book, a wooden Star, a full wooden nativity scene that matches the artwork of the book, and optional scripture to use throughout the month.
The wooden nativity is beautiful. I love it so much! I think we put some of the stable pieces on backwards because those little black words shouldn’t be showing. We like it that way though. 🙂
It is hard to find a nativity that the kids can play with and that is pretty to have sitting out. This definitely is both.
On the last day of November I read the book to the boys.
As I read, I introduced the pieces of the nativity. The pieces match the artwork of the book which I think is so great! At the end of the book it tells the children that every day the Star will be hidden in a new location and it is their job to find it. Once they find the star they are to move the Wise Men close to that location and wait for the Star to move again the next day. There is a page in the back of the activity book that explains everything.
The boys thought this game sounded awesome. They were really excited!
They set up the nativity in their room and have played with it a lot ever since.
I took the Star and told them that I would hide it and the next morning it would be their job to find it. I was really surprised that they both remembered right when they woke up the next day.
And then the fun part began. The star has been traveling all around our house ever since.
The boys love searching for it….minus a few tears that have been shed when they weren’t the first one to see it. But you have to have some tears with every Advent activity. Am I right?!
I love that this is not only meaningful but so easy too! I need easy these days. If I forget to hide the star the night before, I just tell the boys to close their eyes and hide it somewhere that morning.
The Star even has a hook on top so you can be creative and find places to hang it too.
On Christmas Eve I will place the Star on the stable roof above Baby Jesus. The boys will know exactly where to find the Star that morning!
I love that this game is fun and helps my boys focus on Jesus throughout the Christmas season. There is so much you can do with this game too…stick the daily Scriptures in your Advent calendar to read daily, work on memorizing a Christmas passage like Luke 2 each day as you find the Star, or incorporate this game with other traditions you already have established. Natalie dreamed of finding a way to bring a little more Jesus to Christmastime fun and I think Star From Afar does just that.
Make sure to check out the Star From Afar website for more details, videos, resources, and ordering information. I noticed right now they are offering free gift wrap and a hand written note using the code BESTGIFT. I think this would be such a fun gift to give to a family or to grandchildren. I would have loved receiving this!
Natalie is letting me give Star From Afar away to one of you over on Instagram! Head on over to my Instagram account (@jessmcclenahan) for all the details and to enter! Yay!