Dec. 2 Storytime Books

Mike RiessFamily Resources

The Sparkle Box  

Jill Hardie. Illustrated by Christine Kornacki.  Visit the SparkleBox page for more, and to hear the story!

Discuss the different kinds of needs there are in the world.

  • Talking about charities, service organizations and needs in your community is a great place to start.
  •  a great resource to explore together with your child. It lists over one million charities registered in the United States.
  • You may want to think about issues you want to educate your children about and use Network for Good and its accompanying links as a resource.
  • It's always a good idea to review information before sharing it with your child to make sure it's age-appropriate.

Explore issues or concerns that touch your child's heart.

  • Does your child have a heart for animals? God loves His creatures and there are many charities that help take care of them.
  • Is your child an avid recycler? Look for charities that protect the Earth God made.
  • Does your child worry about children who are abused? Teach them they can make a difference by supporting a child advocate charity.
  • Most children can relate to issues surrounding basic needs like food, clothing and shelter. If your child hasn't shown empathy for a specific cause, charities that support basic needs are a great place to start.

Encourage them to contribute their own money toward Jesus' gift.

  • Consider making a chore chart that lists special chores they can do to earn money they can use to buy a gift for Jesus.
  • Consider matching their contribution.
  • Some children like the feeling of buying a gift "all by themselves." Help them find things they can afford to buy. Like Sam in The Sparkle Box, they can purchase a pair of mittens.

Empower children with the message Jesus taught us: We can make a difference. As you discuss ideas with your child, reinforce the beautiful message that Jesus shared – we are the light of the world. We are meant to shine His love through the things we do for each other.

For children who are not able to read yet, you can help them glue or tape a picture that represents their gift to Jesus on a slip of paper and put it in The Sparkle Box. On Christmas morning, when the slips of paper are read to Jesus, they will be able to participate in sharing their gift!


Look:  A Child’s Guide To Advent 

Laura Alary.  Paraclete Press.  2017 

Look! A Child's Guide to Advent and Christmas, written by Laura Alary and illustrated by Ann Boyajian, is a nonfiction child's guide for the Advent Season.

Alary shows children that Advent is a time to look back, a time to look around, and a time to look ahead. Included are Bible stories, hands-on children's activities, and the encouragement of practical ways for children to reach out to those around them. This children's guide shows the beauty of the purple and the pink of the Advent Season. The muted illustrations by Ann Boyajian also add a complementary sweetness to the book.

Especially suited for children ages 7 -- 10 or so, this guide offers practical ideas for pastors and Sunday school teachers to implement throughout the Advent Season as well. Look! could be read in four sections, "looking back", "looking around", "looking ahead", and "Christmas" which would make a great basis for four children's lessons during this special season of the year.


  • If you were to include an Advent tradition from your family, what would you include in the book?
  • What idea intrigued your family so much that you are going to try it this year?