Advent calendar activities for kids

A few days ago I posted pictures of our festive holiday decor–mainly homemade crafts I did with Ryan–and one of them was an advent calendar. Instead of candy, each day of December until Christmas offers a new activity to do as a family.

I used red foam board and cut it in half (or close to it) with an x-acto knife. That left one edge a little raw looking so I glued a fuzzy red ribbon around all 4 edges to help hide the bad edge (and to make it look cute!).

Then I cut out square pieces from different holiday-colored scrapbook paper. I wrote my 25 activities on the back and semi-randomly pinned them to the foam board with red, green, and white thumb tacks. HINT: these tacks will stick right out the back of the foam board, which could be dangerous for your kids or could scrape your walls if you hang it. I suggest adding the other half of the foam board that you didn’t use to the back of this one to make it thick enough to conceal the tacks. (Or, if you insert the tacks straight down into the foam, they won’t come out the back.)

Then I added some cute snowman ribbon I had at home to the bottom border of the board and I bought a couple different bags of holiday-themed foam sticky cutouts at Michaels and stuck those on some of the scrapbook squares for added cuteness. There were snowflakes, trees, Santas, presents, etc.

And finally, I used self-adhesive foam board in green and white to cut out the letters to spell Merry Christmas at the top. I knowwww they sell pre-made letters that I could have bought, but those were way more expensive! And I added ribbon at the top to hang the board.

Now, I’ve had a few people ask what in the world are my 25 activities?! I agree, they can be hard to come up with. I thought of things we’d be doing anyway this holiday season and then I spent some time on google looking up other ideas. Here’s MY list (in no particular order):

1. Decorate the Christmas tree
2. Make a paper chain to countdown to Christmas
3. Make paper snowflakes to hang around the house
4. Drink some hot chocolate with marshmallows and snuggle by the fireplace for story time
5. Bake holiday cookies
6. Paint a handprint Christmas tree craft
7. Go for a night drive to look at Christmas lights
8. Do a random act of kindness for a stranger
9. Make Christmas themed play-doh (red and green with glitter)
10. Drink eggnog (or make eggnog cupcakes)
11.  Mail Christmas cards
12. Build a snowman
13. Decorate the house with Christmas decor
14. Make ornaments
15. Donate food, hats, mittens, etc to a shelter
16. Sing Christmas carols
17. Write a letter to Santa
18. Pick out a gift for daddy
19. Go sledding
20. Wrap presents
21. Watch a Christmas movie
22. Go through old toys and decide what to donate to those in need
23. Go visit Santa
24. Read “The Night Before Christmas” & put out cookies for Santa
25. Celebrate with family

Some things may need to be adjusted based on age of your child and some things needs to planned ahead of time. Try to figure out when Santa will be at a local shop or mall or make sure you have ingredients on hand for Christmas cookies and play-doh. Some activities might need to be switched around last minute, too–you can’t build a snowman or go sledding if there’s no snow outside, for example.

There are so many more things you could do!

PLEASE share your ideas below! I would love to incorporate them next year 🙂

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