We have been doing an advent activity calendar for years..we even created the advent calendar itself. The month begins with such anticipation, it’s one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. You may have already read my post full of great ideas for your activity advent calendar. We are trying some more advent activities for the whole family this year and I wanted to share some of them with you.
Acts of Kindness
I want to be an example of more giving than receiving, so this year I am including many giving activities in our advent calendar. We are going to be treating those people who help make our lives easier as well as giving to make things easier for others. Our activities will include:
Making an ornament or small gift for neighbors. We have made pipe cleaner trees, tea cup candles, cookies, Ed Emberley ornaments, mini milk carton houses and Chex party mix.
We always shop for(or make!)teacher gifts and include as many other school staff members as we can..the office staff, school nurse, etc.
I love the idea of giving a huge tip to a server at some point during the holidays. This is a win-win, because we get to go out to eat, too. It leaves us with such a great feeling that even crowded malls and long lines can’t take away.
This year we are going to decorate an outdoor tree that is along one of our favorite public walking paths. Its sure to bring a smile to folks out for a stroll in the woods.
Make a bird feeder to hang on our trees. We’ve strung cheerios, spread bird seed and lard on a bagel and dipped pine cones in peanut butter and seeds. It really is nice to think of our feathered friends this time of year.
The Holidays are a great excuse for me to get crafty with my kids–as if I need an excuse! I treasure projects from past years and love to get my kids in that industrious elf mood.
Make your own wrapping paper. We do this almost every year. I get a few roles of brown or white craft paper(find them by the packing supplies at any big box retail store) and the kids have at it. We usually stamp with ink or paints, using bubble wrap or toilet tubes.
Create masterpieces on mini blank canvases. We did this a few years ago and they turned out so cute. These make great gifts and can even hang on the tree.
Felt old wool sweaters and make a wool garland. (see picture at top.) We have been working on this for years. Finally, I think we have enough garland for the whole tree. Find the simple directions here.
Decorate your room for the holidays. This one is new for us this year. I plan to visit a few thrift stores to buy garland and lights for the boys to string around their rooms. The dollar store is a great place to go, too.
Decorate windows with tissue paper. This really has a beautiful result and can occupy even the littlest in your family. Just brush on pieces of tissue paper with watered down glue. To remove just spray with window cleaner and wipe!
Make ornaments for family and friends. Each year I find a great homemade ornament to create and give to family and friends. I love having the boys make gifts instead of buy them. We all have fun and it’s a great lesson in giving.
Cheap, free, and easy
We always sprinkle in several free, cheap or easy activities into the month for sanity(mine) sake. I think some of these are actually our favorites.
Give each other crazy hairstyles…then take a bubble bath to wash all the product out.
Sing Christmas Carols at dinner. We have a few CD’s to pop in. This one is a favorite.
Cook breakfast for dinner and then have a picnic by the tree.
Have hot cocoa and marshmallows. Get out the special mugs. We have made it from scratch, but the instant kind works perfectly.
Make christmas cards with stamps and don’t forget to decorate the envelopes. We cut shapes from carrots and potatoes and create some real keepsake cards.
Don’t forget yourself!! This year one of the activities is getting a baby sitter for a night –my kids LOVE this. And I love it too. It means a night for my husband and I to go out to eat or get some Christmas shopping done together.
Check out my Advent Activity Pinterest Board for loads of other ideas. Let me know what your family’s favorite advent activities are…I always love to get new ideas.