For the last 3 years, we have done an activity advent calendar.
I bought a fabric advent calendar, I believe from Lidl. And I made some activity cards that I hide in each pouch of the calendar. I chose the activities to be in line with our December schedule, with some activities being more appropriate for the weekend and some more appropriate for a school day.
When my daughter was 3, I did once 24 hand-made felt surprises that I hide in a similar fabric calendar. I had time back then! And I am not a sewing expert! I barely manage to do a back stitch on felt.
Along the years, I collected a few ideas that I wanted to share with you:
- collect 24 small animals toys, even new or second hand bargain and have one for each day. You could add a matching card and at the end of the advent period, you will have 24 animals and 24 matching cards
- find a 24 pieces puzzle (or 4 six pieces puzzles, or 6 four pieces puzzles, depending of your child's abilities) and let your child discovers the puzzle day after day.
- make an advent calendar with a pile of wrapped Christmas and Winter related books. I did that one year with their own books wrapped up (we take our Christmas books out only in December) among some new Christmas books.
- hide some craft materials in each pouch of your calendar as an invitation to create each day with your child
- finger puppets and stickers are a great small token to hide in a calendar
- when your children are under the age of 3, you can use any toys you have in storage. Seriously, they generally don't remember they had them!
This year, my daughter will 12 years old on the 1st of December. I feel that we are slowly but surely moving away from cute family activities. She wants beauty products and more teenager gifts. Even if she did asked for some Sylvanian families 😉
My son is 7 and he is still into that magical childhood period when he still wants to do all our Christmas traditions.
So this year, we will have our activities again although I will revamp them to fit a teenager's spirit as well.
And I might offer them a product based calendar for once. We tend to avoid extra chocolate and sweets here!
If you are lacking time to create something, here are the ones I like:
Christmas tree ornaments advent calendar (the decorations are made of resin)
Playmobil has some too, most include a Santa and an Angel.
I am torn with the concept of Hama beads. I love that it encourages children to use a Iron but it's a lots of plastic.
Do you have any other advent calendar ideas?
I also share my own activities cards printable with you when you take my free Simplify Christmas e-course. You can join this course and receive an email series with info, printables and video to help you to make the Holidays seasons more meaningful for your own family.
Subscribe below to receive that course (you will also receive my weekly newsletter)
Carine Robin is a a mother of 2 children. She raises them the Montessori way. Originally from Belgium where she worked as a child psychologist for several years, Carine spent 6 years in Ireland before settling in in the UK. She qualified as a Montessori teacher 10 years ago and has since worked as Montessori teacher and preschool manager. She founded Montessori-family in 2011 to provide opportunities for parents to discover Montessori. She believes that it’s truly possible to implement the Montessori ideas at home to make your house and family life welcoming to your child, her needs and her thrive for independence. She offers parents & babies classes, toddlers playgroups; Montessori home designs, one to one support, parenting classes and online courses.
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