Thursday, December 1, 2016

Activity Advent Calendar That Builds Memories

This is how we celebrate the days leading up to Christmas, it's not an elf, or a piece of candy everyday, it's a simple way to share goodness with our family and friends... It's became one of the things we cherish and remember year to year.

I have wanted to do an advent calendar before I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, The idea of counting down the days till Christmas was always something I wanted to do with my kids, so 7 years later we are still doing this advent calendar. For the past week all I heard from my DD (darling daughter) was I can't wait till December 1st I can't wait to do a fun activity ever day, why cant we do this every day of the year? (she's right, why don't we?)  So here is my advent calendar, I will be completely honest, when I made this calendar, I didn't put much thought into the durability of the materials, luckily it's lasted longer than I thought it would.

I designed it to be able to move each box individually, which helps when you are counting down, Each little match box has a small activity on a piece of paper (which I will list at the end of this post.)

I bought some small match boxes from the dollar store, Menards also have them.

Wrap some Christmas scrap book paper (cut to size) around the match box, make sure your seam is at the bottom so you don't see it. You will want at least 6 different 12x12 sheets, you wont use up all the sheets, but I think a variety of patterned Christmas paper works well for this project.

I made up my numbers When I do this project again, I will find a paper pack that has the 25 numbers on it, (that was the most time consuming part, was designing/cutting  those darn numbers. Do your self a favor and use printed numbers that comes with the Christmas paper pack. Glue each number to the wrapped box.

For the activities, I have to be very strategic, for example, we have some activities that we do every year, on a Saturday, and Sunday for example,  the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional is always a set day, or our big family Christmas party for our Grandmother, we know a year in advance when the date will be. Then I add the fun traditions that we like to do, A family picture, make treats, the things we do to make Christmas a bit brighter for everyone. I add the small activities that we would do anyways to those busy nights.

Here is my list: (very doable not super artsy.)

See Santa at the Blank Park Zoo
See a Christmas Concert (usually a school Christmas concert the kids are in!)
Bake and decorate cookies (I do a baking day and a decorating day)
Sing Christmas Songs
Christmas Dance Party,( with party lights)
Family Christmas Party 12/12
Visit Santa 12/6
Read Christmas Books with just Christmas lights on
Camp out by the Christmas Tree
Make Treats (the kid kind that take like 2 ingredients)
Give treats to friends and family
Look at Christmas lights around Town
Decorate Christmas Ornaments
Make Thumbprint Christmas art (tree, wreath, candy cane)
Make Gift Tags (Glitter with glue then cut out with dies)
write a letter to Santa
act out nativity/read and watch a video about Christmas or Christ's birth
Watch Christmas Devotional  12/6
Make ginger bread house at the library 12/7
make Chocolate Dipped pretzels
Watch a Christmas movie with popcorn
Pizza Party
Make a gift to give to someone special
Christmas Pancake Breakfast
Go shopping  for family members and get a treat

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