Although this is Blossom’s third Christmas this is actually the first year that she can really enjoy the anticipation of Christmas and understand the meaning of it.
We decided to use an activity advent calendar alongside Truth in the Tinsel to help us to savour the season, spread out the fun and ensure that the true meaning of the season did not get over shadowed.
We found our calendar on Amazon for a bargain price and then simply wrote the activities onto gift tags purchased from Paperchase, which can be used again year after year and even swapped around throughout the month if necessary!
So here’s what we did for our activity advent calendar.
1st: Make Christmas cards
A fun and obvious craft to kick start the advent season and easily adjusted for all ages and abilities. This year we simply used up the craft materials we had in stock and this is what happened.
2nd: Feed the birds
We try to enjoy nature all year round so when I found this idea for simple bird feeders via Pinterest I knew we must give it a go. It actually worked really well and Blossom was able to get really hands on.
3rd: Christmas sensory fun!
We do love our sensory boxes and the more natural they are the better. It’s a great way to engage the senses and an activity that can then be used throughout the season. I later added cranberries, pine cones and holly leaves once I found some and got my inspiration for this from here.
4th: Christmas play dough
I like to make my own play dough and use a recipe from The Imagination Tree. This batch is a green peppermint smelling dough that I make especially for Christmas. I was aiming for Christmas tree green, but apparently three bottles of green food colouring only gets you ninja turtle green!
5th: A winters walk to see the lights
A fun little outing, either on foot or by car to see the Christmas lights in your own neighbourhood.
6th: Celebrate St Nicholas Day
St Nicholas Day is on the 6th of December each year and observing it can be a fun part of your advent season. Simply leave out some boots the night before and fill them with some edible treats for the kiddies to find in the morning. Combine it with lots of stories about St Nick and it’s a an easy day to pull off.
7th: Make paper chains
Another simple craft to pull off. Paper chains like bunting just ooze celebration. Our colours aren’t particularly festive, but that is because I was a nice Mummy and let Blossom choose them!
8th: Deliver a Tree of Joy gift
The last few years we have supported the Rotary Tree of Joy which is a lovely way to give a gift to a child on the island who needs one. Blossom really enjoyed helping me wrap and deliver the gift for distribution. There may be similar initiatives where you are, or perhaps you could deliver a bag of food to a local foodbank or fill a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child?
9th: Decorate for Christmas
Turn on some Christmas tunes and open the box of decorations. Blossom found this incredibly exciting, there were lots of ooohs and wows and girly squeals! We decked the halls but saved decorating the Christmas tree for later in advent, we like putting that up a little closer to Christmas.
10th: Do some Christmas crafts
I kept this activity pretty vague so that it can change year on year and depending on what craft supplies I have in my cupboard. This year we made Christmas wreaths which Blossom adored! There are plenty of quick and easy craft ideas to be found on Pinterest that even the uncraftiest of parents will be able to do.
11th: Read some Christmas stories
We have a growing pile of Christmas and winter stories that I simply wait get out as an advent activity! So simple but it really works great. These books then stay out for the rest of the holiday season and get well used.
12th: Have a festive brunch with friends
This could also be a special breakfast or afternoon tea but for my gal pals and I the Christmas brunch is now a few years in the making. Most of us now have little ones too and even they seem to love it! Always puts me in the Christmas spirit.
13th: Go to a Nativity service
This could be a church nativity service or a schools one, either way it is a Christmas must and an easy advent activity to tick off each year. This year we all took part in the DIY nativity service at our church. Daddy was a shepherd and Blossom his little lamb and Mummy and Bubbles were wise (wo)men.
14th: Do some Christmas puzzles
Another easy activity to pull off year after year and update with new puzzles as time goes on. I actually found it quite hard to find wintery puzzles for little ones that weren’t Disney character based, but managed to find these rather sweet ones here on Amazon.
15th: Buy Some Christmas decorations
Each year we like to go shopping as a family for a few more decorations to add to the Christmas tree. It’s a lovely outing that requires very little effort – perfect for an advent activity! Just looking at the displays was exciting enough for my girls. We did find some lovely new baubles for the tree and then in a soppy Mummy moment I let Blossom bring home this baby penguin she was adorably cradling.
16th: Decorate the Christmas tree
A pretty obvious advent activity! You may want to do this one earlier in the month we only like our tree up for a couple of weeks and down on January 1st.
17th: Wrap Christmas presents
You may not want the kids helping with all the wrapping but letting them wrap just the gifts they’re giving to siblings or friends can be a fun activity. Remember to have lots of bows, ribbons and stickers for them to choose from!
18th: Have some chocolate fondue
A fun family food activity to bring out for advent. Our girls were a little confused by the concept of melted chocolate, however Bubbles finally got into it after a few tears! Perhaps more fun for school aged kiddos, you could even have festive treats like gingerbread cookies and cranberries for dipping.
19th: Bake some Christmas goodies
Blossom loved getting hands on with this simple ‘baking’ of chocolate cornflake cakes and she particularly enjoyed licking the spoon! A great opportunity to make some homemade gifts for friends and neighbours.
20th: Watch a Christmas movie
There may be lots of Christmas movies you and your kids want to watch but perhaps make a real treat of one and have a proper movie night or afternoon. For our eldest, Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas was actually her first screen time and move watching ever so it was a huge treat.
21st: Surprise Daddy with treats at work
Another fun way to get the kids thinking about blessing others at Christmas time is to get them to deliver some surprise treats to Daddy (or Mummy) at work.
22nd: Deliver a surprise food hamper
Stock up on a few extra treats at your weekly shop and set them aside and surprise some friends with a mini hamper just in time for Christmas. We like to play secret squirrel and deliver this anonymously if possible, it makes delivering it all the more fun and opening it all the more fun too, I imagine!
23rd: Christmas cookie Baking with the Cousins
The aunts and cousins gathered together at Nan’s house for some cookie baking – gingerbread men, actually – and present swapping. Oh the excitement!!
24th: Bake Jesus a birthday cake
We do this activity every year on Christmas Eve and it’s the thing Blossom has been looking forward to most! It’s a really visual way of reminding children that Christmas is actually about a birth, the birth of a Saviour.
Well I hope you have enjoyed the advent season as much as we have. I would love for you to add your advent activity ideas to the comments below, maybe we can add them to our own repertoire next year!