The Christmas holiday is upon us and one of my favorite traditions is putting together an Advent Calendar for my family to count down the days until Christmas so I’m sharing the Advent Calendar ideas. It helps the kids have a timetable (so maybe I don’t have to answer every day how many days are left), and it gives them something to look forward to each day. We decorate our kitchen and hearth room in Gingerbread for the kids, so I love our Gingerbread Advent House that has 24 little doors to help count down to our favorite holiday. Wondering where to start, or needing fresh ideas or activities? I’ve included a free printable below to give you 32 ready-made activities that you can print, cut, and decide which activities work best for your family.
When deciding the activities we will do, I take a look at our local city calendar for festive activities that we could do together. Activities like the local parades, tree lightings, light displays, Santa events, and symphony and Nutcracker performances, etc. I put those dates on the calendar and then I fill in the rest with fun, easy activities like Polar Express night, making a craft, making holiday treats, etc. I then add the dates to my cards and print off and stuff in the numbered boxes so the kids have a surprise fun activity each day…and they love the suspense!
We also like to build on the Christmas Story by reading a Bible verse or two each day. So I print these verses on the backside of the activity sheets so each card they open each day has both a verse and a fun activity. This helps the month of December go by quickly for the kids, while teaching them a little of the Christmas Story each day. Now that my oldest kids can read, they enjoy reading the verses and activities out loud to their siblings. This really is such a highlight of our holiday, and something I always plan to do for them.
If you don’t have time to plan activities by date, no worries! Just print off this free printable, cut them up, and you’ll be ready to go! For the crafts, baking goods, etc., I like to make one shopping trip to my local craft store and stock up on everything I need for the advent calendar at one time. So for example, for the cookie decoration night, I purchased the sprinkles and icing at the same time. I pull all the items together so I’ll be prepared for each day when the time comes! For my ornament making day, I purchased a few pre-assembled ornament crafts so I’ll be able to simply open that package and we’ll have everything we need for everyone to make an ornament! A side note, if you love homemade ornaments from your kids like I do, I’ve learned that not every child will have the opportunity at school to make an ornament, so I like to make at least one per year so each child has made an ornament we can hang on their tree.
Hope you all have a wonderful start to the most wonderful time of the year!