Activity Advent Calendar 2019
If you want to do activities with your children this Christmas in place of having a bought advent calendar, here are some ideas (actually, there are 55):
- Make your own Christmas calendar. Find 24 small containers, decorate them and put them together in a formation that pleases you, using glue or sticky tape. The simplest shape for an advent calendar would be a rectangle, of 6 boxes long by 4 boxes high or 8 boxes by 3. Add small knobs or buttons for handles.
- If you don’t want a regular shape, create several small “presents”, number them and use them to create Santa’s sleigh.
- Another kind of wooden advent calendar would be to use those little trucks you get in toy train sets and number those from 1 to 24 with labels.
- If your containers are all the same size and rectangular shape, you could paint them green and build them into the shape of a Christmas tree, for instance. A Christmas tree shape can be made by placing 3 rectangular containers side by side as the base, then adding a layer of 6 boxes on top of that, then a layer of 5 boxes on top of that, then 4, then 3 then 2, making a triangular shape, then topping the tree with the final box, making 24 boxes in all.
- You could be adventurous and try creating a 3D wooden advent calendar, with 24 separate boxes. Create the bottom layer as a rectangle of 3 boxes wide by one box deep. That uses 8 boxes. Add two more identical layers on top of that to make a house shape using all 24 boxes. Now create and decorate a roof from cardboard or wooden popsicle sticks to fit over it.
- Alternatively, make and color Christmas shapes like stockings, stars, trees and hearts and hang them on a line with small pegs. Add a code on the back of each one and hide the coded “gifts” or activities somewhere. Or you could make bags or shapes from material and hang those on the line.
- Another possibility for a Christmas advent calendar is to make one using a large sheet of card, then sticking cutouts from old Christmas cards on the front as flaps to open. Again,you can write a code inside if you don’t want little fingers opening the doors ahead of time to see what is coming up.
- Whichever kind of advent calendar you make, number the boxes or shapes from 1 to 24 and put an activity in each container in random order (except for those that MUST occur on a particular day, such as a visit to the pantomime). Activities you could put in the box could be:
- Add a new Christmas decoration for hanging on the tree.
- A packet of pot pourri flowers or smell and some pine cones or wooden balls or shavings for making your own bowl of pot pourri.
- Pantomime tickets – even if you were going to go anyway, it makes it seem even more special to have the tickets appear from the advent calendar.
- Write or create Christmas cards for local friends or relations. (Don’t leave that one too late for cards that need to be posted.)
- Visit a theme park.
- Go to your local leisure centre and go swimming or try an activity you don’t do normally.
- Pick the Christmas tree.
- Make decorations for the Christmas tree.
- Decorate the Christmas tree.
- Visit someone who lives alone or in an old people’s home (check first that it is OK).
- Consider inviting a lonely neighbor or friend to join you for Christmas Dinner and create an invitation card for them.
- Make a small basket of goodies and leave them at a neighbor’s door with an anonymous message of goodwill.
- Make Christmas biscuits or mince pies and decorate them.
- Make a present for someone.
- Draw up your list for Santa.
- Declutter an old toy or book ready for new toys coming at Christmas.
- Pick out a good toy or book you could donate to a local charity.
- Visit the charity shop to donate.
- Visit Santa or Santa’s grotto.
- Go and see the Christmas lights being turned on, or take an evening walk to view the Christmas lights in the dark.
- Go out and collect pine cones for a display.
- Paint or decorate the pine cones with gold or silver paint. Stick them on sticks and put them in a vase as a display.
- Use a Christmas oil on the pine cones to make it smell Christmassy.
- Join a Christmas carol service or put on some Christmassy (or favorite) music and dance around the house.
- Buy a toy with small pieces (not for toddlers under 3 years of age) such as Lego or Playmobile and put different pieces in different advent boxes, so it builds up into a set over a few days.
- The twelve crafts of Christmas. Make something Christmassy on each of these days.
- The twelve kindnesses of Christmas. Visit someone on each day and take one of the Christmas crafts to give to them. It could be an elderly or disabled neighbor, a relative, someone in a senior citizens home, etc
- Look for a charity craft fair in your area and pay a visit. Make a donation even if you don’t buy anything.
- Write a letter to Santa and find the address to send it to, to receive a reply.
- Make it a “Giving” advent. Each day of advent, add a tin or packet of food to a box to hand into your local foodbank for a family that won’t have much at Christmas. Make sure you hand it in early enough for distribution in time for Christmas.
- Create or buy a present for a child who won’t have much this Christmas. Find a local charity that distributes these kinds of gifts.
- Visit your nearest library to choose Christmas books.
- Make salt dough and create Christmas shapes for hanging on the tree.
- See if a local park or facility is creating a Christmas wonderland or adventure for walking through or visiting.
- Get together a family date night pack with hot chocolate, popcorn and snuggly blankets and watch a Christmas film.
- Visit a Christmas market.
- Go for an evening walk around your neighborhood and count how many Christmas trees are lit and on display.
- Plan a Christmas Eve Box and make that item 24 on your calendar.
- Make reindeer food.
- Bake Christmas Pies for Santa
- Track Santa’s sleigh with Norad and watch it get closer to your house.
- Add a Christmas coloring page and pencils or crayons to the Advent calendar.
- Rock Painting with a Christmas Theme. You can make a small pile of Christmas themed rocks at your doorway. Try using glow in the dark paint.
- Wear family Ugly Christmas Sweaters.
- Make a “Santa Stop Here” sign.
- Print out the “Night Before Christmas” poem and read it together.
- Get a new board game for Christmas and play it.