Now that the holiday season has arrived, the kids are probably so excited about Christmas that they are likely about to burst! One fun way to help build up the anticipation for Christmas day is through Advent calendars. An Advent calendar is a way to celebrate the days leading up to Christmas, and the kids can open up a new day on the calendar everyday during the month of December. There are commercially available Advent calendars, but why not create your own? Here are 5 easy to make advent calendars.
- Envelope Advent- Use colored A2 size envelopes for this project; you will need 24 of them. You will also need a roll of red or holiday ribbon, and mini clothespins (available at craft stores). Label the envelopes 1 to 24. Insert activities or a promised goodie inside each envelope. Use the clothespins to secure each envelope onto the ribbon and hang the ribbon along a wall in the kitchen where everyone will see it every morning.
- Cardboard tube Advent- For this calendar you will need 24 toilet paper tubes, white paint, security envelopes, a snowflake punch, a stapler, cork board, a glue stick, mini clothespins, ribbons, fabric to cover the board, and number stamps or stickers. Staple the bottoms of 24 toilet paper tubes closed. Cover your work surface with newspaper and paint the tubes white, then let them dry. In the meantime: open up a couple of security envelopes and punch snowflakes out of them using the blue lining of the envelopes. Wrap the cork board with some fabric of your choosing and staple it to the back. Staple 4 pieces of ribbon across the cork board like mini clotheslines. Glue the snowflakes to the cardboard tubes. Stamp one number per tube according to the days left until Christmas. The first tube will have a 24 on it, the second 23 and so on until the last tube will have a 1 on it. Fill the tubes with little chocolates, notes, activities and so on. Use the mini clothespins to pin the tubes in order onto the ribbons on the cork board. Six tubes per ribbon will work out perfectly.
- Tree Advent- Gather a nice branch from your yard and spray paint it white. Using a coffee can and some plaster of Paris, stand the branch up in the can. Fill the can with plaster and allow it to harden. Cover the plaster with some green crinkle fill. Wrap up 24 small gifts and write 1 to 24 on the packages using a permanent black marker so you have one gift for each day of Advent. Hang the packages on the tree using Christmas tree hooks and some tape.
- Garland Advent- Gather up 24 paper sacks with handles. Using a stencil, cut out large numbers 1 through 24 to glue on each bag for the days of the Advent. Let the kids decorate the other side of the bag any way they like. String some cording across the room like a garland and pin the handles onto the cord to make a garland of bags with regular clothespins. Put light weight things in the bags so the garland doesn’t sag too much.
- Popsicle tree Advent- You will need 24 craft sticks, green and silver paint, a paintbrush, a hot glue gun and glue, 24 2×2 boxes, 2 rolls of ¼” red ribbon, red twine, adhesive numbers or stamps and scissors. Hot glue craft sticks together end to end overlapping about ½ an inch. Make one with 6 sticks, 5, 4, 3, and 2 sticks. Glue the last 4 sticks across each other like an asterisk. Hot glue the “branches” onto the “trunk” of the tree. The longest length is the trunk. At the intersection where the craft sticks overlap is where you will glue your branches. The largest one at the bottom working up to the smallest at the top. Cover your work surface with newspaper and paint the tree green and the star silver or any other color you have. Wrap the boxes with red ribbon and tie a bow. Slip some twine under the bow and create a loop to hang the box. Add the number stickers to the boxes and hang the boxes on the tree in order from 24 to 1, with 1 being at the very top left branch. Your branches will be even, one on each side at the top, two on each side on the next branch and so on. Fill the boxes with candy or whatever you want and you are done. Glue the star to the top of the tree. Stick the tree to your wall using some foam tape at a couple points along the tree.
Half the fun of Christmas is the anticipation of the big day, so why not celebrate each day leading up to Christmas with the kids? Include activities like lighting the tree, working at a food bank, looking at Christmas lights and other fun, rewarding activities, like making these easy Advent calendars.