The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews
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The Christmas Star from Afar Review by Jennifer LadewigStar From Afar LLC
3000F Danville Blvd #175
Alamo, CA 94507
The Christmas Star from Afar is an engaging family-centered advent game that truly celebrates the meaning of Christmas. The boxed kit comes with four wooden pieces that are easily slipped together to build a stable along with eleven manger scene pieces which include Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus in a manger, a shepherd, an angel, the three wise men, two sheep, and a star. Also included is a hardcover storybook. The book includes daily scripture from December 1st through December 25th and instructions for “How to Use Your ‘Star from Afar’ Activity Book.” This finely crafted wooden set is definitely kid friendly. The cost is $34.99.
Unlike a well-known elf game that has become increasingly popular, this game truly reinforces the true meaning of Christmas. On December first, you read the story Star from Afar to your children. After you have read the story, parents then help their children set up the nativity scene and discuss each character piece. Every day, you will hide the star in a new location for your children to find. Each day you will also read the corresponding scripture located at the end of the book to your children. When your child finds the star each day, they will then place the Magi (wise men) in that spot. Each day the star will be hidden in a different spot and found, and the wise men will then move to that spot. Essentially, the wise men are following the star. On Christmas Eve, you will place the star above the nativity roof and the wise men by the stable. When your children wake up on Christmas morning, your children will find the nativity complete.
This product is perfect for children of all ages. In our modern, materialistic society, it is important to make sure that Christ and Christmas always stay the focus. By spending time each day focusing on Christ’s birth and scripture, your child will be certain to learn that Christ’s birth is the ultimate Christmas gift.
The star has a ribbon loop on the top so that you can hang the star in fun, unique places throughout the house. You could write the daily scripture on a piece of paper and attach it to the star so that after your child finds the star the daily scripture can be read. Maybe you want to have your child locate the scripture passage in their Bible. Fun daily crafts or projects that incorporate the daily scripture would be a great enrichment activity. For example, on December 2nd, the scripture is“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”For the younger child, you might make a light bulb out of yellow construction paper and write the scripture in the bulb. You could go into a dimly lit room and shine a flashlight along a path that you have created with the scripture written on it to reinforce that Christ is the light. On December 13th, the scripture from 2 Corinthians 9:15 says, “Thanks be to God for his indescribably gift.”This would be the perfect opportunity to share with your child how salvation can only be found in Christ. Maybe engage your child by baking some cookies or sweet bread and then delivering the baked goods in festivewrapped packages with a scripture tag to some neighbors. Make each day a new adventure as they eagerly anticipate Christmas. The possibilities are endless. More importantly, it keeps the focus on Christ.
I absolutely love the idea behind The Christmas Star from Afar. I cannot wait to share this fun new tradition with my children come December. I like to think of this as a fun daily reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. The traditions and values that we teach our children build a foundation for a lifetime. Every year as the focus of Christmas gets lost in commercialism you can be assured that your child’s focus remains where it needs to be. What a better gift than the gift of Christ. Follow the Star this Christmas when you purchaseThe Christmas Star from Afar for the child in your life.
-Product review by Jennifer Ladewig, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2017