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Advent Calendar Activity Ideas

Can you believe December is just a week away now?! Looking for activity ideas for your advent calendar? Whether your kiddo is just entering toddlerhood or headed off to school next year, I’m confident you’ll be able to find some ideas to at least get you started in this list. They’re a combo of activities to do and tiny gifts to use.

  1. Choose a toy to put under the Kmart wishing tree.  This is a great way to start teaching empathy & also the spirit of community and giving back.
  2. Encourage your kiddo to choose a pre loved toy or two that can be donated to Lifeline or Vinnie’s.
  3. Write a letter to Santa. Even if your kiddo is tiny, using appropriate language with them while they scribble on the page can be hugely beneficial to their growth and development. In the early years of school when children are learning to write, one of the biggest stumbling blocks can be the fear of getting it wrong. Being encouraged to try and experiment from an early age helps alleviate some of these stumbling blocks. (Think: “Are your writing a letter to Santa? Are you writing words? Are you telling Santa what you’d like for Christmas?” These all help reinforce that writing is something we do to communicate.)
  4. Send a Christmas card to grandparents, family or friends. Just like number 3, this is a good way to help expose children to the concept of writing, and that it’s something we do to communicate.
  5. Make gingerbread men. This recipe is a quick, easy one.
  6. Make and decorate Christmas biccies. (Am I the only one that thinks this is something you do because it’s fun, not because you want to actually eat the biccies afterwards? Here’s a link to some that look pretty, and a recipe if you’re actually going to eat them. :p)
  7. Make reindeer food to sprinkle a landing strip for Santa’s reindeer. (Think: a teaspoon of sultanas, oats, a little bit of sugar, desiccated coconut etc.)
  8. Wrap 25 books, they can be a mix of old and new, and read one each night. Kids don’t learn to read without first being read TO.
  9. Read a favourite Christmas story.
  10. Write down a list of family highlights from 2015.  Keep these in a special notebook that can be added to each Christmas.  If your kiddos are tiny, write on their behalf, as they get older, include them in the reflections.
  11. A trip to visit Santa. Because what’s childhood without at least one photo of a tiny kid terrified of the big red fella?
  12. A tour of Christmas lights.
  13. Watch a favourite Christmas movie. (Arthur Christmas is a new fav and the Grinch is always a winner in our household.)
  14. Make a paper chain. Make it bright and bold or even just make it from strips of old magazines, this is an activity that older kiddos love.  A great chance to get some incidental maths concepts in, too! “Which one is longer, which one is shorter, which one has more, which one has less?”
  15. Chalk for drawing on the driveway. 
  16. Temporary tattoos. Chop a sheet up and you’ve got 6 tattoos to share with siblings or a new one every few days.
  17. Head to the beach to build sandcastles.
  18. Have fish and chips while you’re there!
  19. Go to Carols by Candlelight.
  20. Create a picture to frame for Grandparents.
  21. Make a reindeer with foot and hand prints.
  22. Donate food to a local pet shelter.
  23. Make red or green play dough. This one using Jelly makes it smell really lovely too!
  24. Make salt dough Christmas ornaments. Recipe here.
  25. Make an edible fruit wreath. (Think: slices of kiwi fruit with cherries or grapes. )
  26. Make pancakes for breakfast. Or better yet, dinner!
  27. Choose out a special ornament for the Christmas tree.
  28. A treasure hunt. You can even use toys you already have – “The elves have hidden 5 red things / 10 toy cars / 6 ornaments from the tree.”
  29. Put a new ornament on the tree each day. It doesn’t have to be a new ornament, even just hold a few special ones back and put one on every few days.

I’m pretty sure it doesn’t matter what you fill your advent calendar with, the best part is the anticipation waiting for each one to be revealed and the delight when it finally is.  Christmas can be a time of year when families are busy, stress levels can begin to rise along with the temperatures and sometimes the focus of what really matters can go missing momentarily.  Advent calendars are a lovely way for everyone to connect each morning in a happy, fun way.

Even if all you manage is to poke a Freddo frog in every single pocket for the entire month. 😉

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