Small Hands in the Big World

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Filling the Advent Calendar

"Baby William" four years ago, his second Christmas
Two advent calendars grace our home. One is filled with treats from elves that come every night and tuck goodies inside the doors (the elves know better than to trust that our 3 and 5 year olds would leave the numbers unopened until the appropriate day).  The other calendar is made of felt and has lovely little pockets where I place daily holiday activities.

A friend suggested this a few years ago and it’s been a wonderful way to help stay focused on all the fun, friendship, and love this season inspires. Here is my list so far (I know it’s more than 25 needed for the month but it’s good to have lots of choices) and a preview of what we’ll be up to in the coming weeks:

Make a “Grateful Garland” using paper stars, mittens or stocking shapes (kids pick)

Create paper snowflakes and tape them to the windows

Make hot cocoa with candy cane stirrers

Forage for evergreen boughs and decorate inside

Create colorful paper stars

String cranberries and popcorn

Gather unused toys to share with others

Make edible decorations for the birds and squirrels

Read 5 Christmas stories beside the fire

Sing Christmas carols beside the fire

Make salt dough ornaments

Make a card (or two) and send it to someone special

Poach pears

Roll beeswax candles

Stay up late and sing Christmas songs by the tree

Hang decorations on a tree outside!

Light a candle in honor of Hanukkah and talk about various faiths and celebrations

Make Christmas cards for friends and family

Mail Christmas greetings to family and friends

Paint Christmas ornaments together

Make gift tags

Decorate the Christmas tree together

Make & bake Christmas cookies

Decorate Christmas cookies

Deliver Christmas cookies to a neighbor

Paint everybody's toenails in Christmas colors

Purchase a present to give to charity

Picnic lunch by the Christmas tree

Go out after dark to look at Christmas lights

Write a special letter to Santa

Make gifts for teachers

Festive family disco night!

Go out somewhere special for dinner

Ice cream sundaes for dessert

Make popcorn & watch a Christmas movie

Make a special bookmark for your favorite storybook then read it together

Give your favorite pet a Christmas present

Write a love note and put it under Daddy’s pillow

Build snowmen in front of the Senior Center

Create holiday art/craft bags for kids in hospital

Make Snow Angels

Make snow ice cream (snow + sugar + vanilla + milk)

Sleep under the Christmas tree

Attend a program at library or local nature center

Shop for an adopted family in need

Christmas Crafts! Make paper chains, pom-pom garlands, noodle garlands & more

Plant paperwhites (early for blooms at Christmas)

Make tasty treats for the birds

Family game night

Fondue night

Chocolate Fondue night

Attend a holiday concert or play

Tell a friend at school you think they’re really cool

Recycle some toys to share with others

Read a Christmas book together

Take food to a local food bank

Go see Santa!

Sit by the fire & drink hot cocoa

Roast marshmallows in the fireplace

Make thank you notes before they are needed

Make a list of 10 things we are thankful for. Share with your Grandma!

Hot chocolate & cookies by the fire

Learn a Christmas song and Skype it or call to sing it for someone

Breakfast for dinner while wearing Holiday pajamas!

Christmas cookie play date

Gingerbread house-making party!

Make popcorn garlands for the tree

See a Christmas show

Go for a family hike to find signs of winter

Face painting

Build and decorate a gingerbread house

Make our own wrapping paper (dip cookie cutters in paint)

Wrap presents

Eat dinner by candlelight (celebrate Solstice!)

Take a drive in the dark to look at Christmas lights

Sprinkle Reindeer food (oats + glitter) outside

Put out treats for Santa (and the reindeer)
Let me know if you're interested in a printable version complete with fun little graphics--I'd be happy to pass it along and spread the cheer! Pin It

1 comment:

  1. Great ideas! We have an Advent calendar I made with a card holder and envelopes. Each envelope has a number on it and an activity similar to this.
    I love that you have elves putting treats into your advent calendar----too much pressure. (I read the next post too) My daughter wakes up (not at 5:30) and first thing.....grabs the envelope!

    Good news!!!! Liz, you are the winner of my Make and Takes Book for Kids Crafts. Please give me your snail mail and I will have it sent to you! My email is on my profile page.


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