Advent Calendar Ideas

Advent CalendarAdvent Calendar Ideas

Let’s start with a bit of background on the Advent Calendar…

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An Advent calendar is a special calendar which is used to count or celebrate the days of Advent in anticipation of Christmas. Some calendars are strictly religious, whereas others are secular in content. Despite the name, most commercially available Advent calendars begin on December 1, regardless of when Advent begins, which can be as early as November 27 and as late as December 3. Many take the form of a large rectangular card with “windows” of which there are often 24; one for each day of December leading up to Christmas Day. One is opened every day during Advent. In many of these calendars, each window opens to reveal an image, a poem, or a portion of a story such as the story of the Nativity of Jesus. More elaborate Advent calendars have a small gift concealed in each window, such as a toy or a chocolate item.

Handmade Advent Calendars as Craft Projects

Handmade Advent calendars have become popular projects with craft persons and artisans of all types. Today, we see handmade creations made from various media—including fabric, felt, paper, chipboard, small boxes, etc.

The concept of the Advent Calendar has recently broadened to include “Countdown Calendars”. These are calendars suitable for persons from all faiths, and can be used to count down to any event imaginable—birthdays, Easter, Halloween, graduation, last day of school, retirement, etc.

The word advent means “arrival” and the calendar is a good way for families to count down the days until the big celebration day arrives. There are many ways to make an advent calendar each having its own special way of rewarding little ones for their patience.

Advent Calendar Ideas

During the weeks leading up to Christmas, many families celebrate the anticipation of the holiday with an Advent Calendar. There are many ways to make your own Advent Calendar and it is a fun family project to design and put together. There are many printable templates that you can find online to guide you in your calendar design. Here are some simple calendar ideas to get your started:

You can make an advent wreath made with 1) hand prints, or make 2) an advent jar or 3) a tree.

Good Deed Hand Prints Advent Wreath

Supplies you will need:

  • Construction Paper
  • Glue
  • Markers, crayons or paint
  • Paper Plate
  • Pencil

Instructions:

  1. Make a wreath out of the paper plate by cutting out the center of the plate.
  2. Have your child put a hand on a green piece of construction paper and trace his entire hand and fingers with a pencil.
  3. Cut out the hand and then use it to trace 23 more on green construction paper so you have 24 hands all together.
  4. With a dark colored marker, write a good deed on each hand print. (if young children will be participating make sure the deeds are within their ability to complete).
  5. Starting on December 1st pick one cut-out hand for the entire family to do that day. Example: the good deed is to say something nice about someone else. Each family member needs to do this at least once that day.

At the end of the day a family member will glue the hand print onto the wreath. When all 24 hand prints are on the wreath you will have something to be proud of and a beautiful decoration for your home.

Advent Jar – Special Blessings

Supplies you will need:

  • Large Jar (glass or plastic)
  • Christmas themed stickers or other decorations
  • Construction Paper
  • Markers or Crayons

Use 24 themed stickers or other holiday small decorations, or you can have your little ones make some of their own decorations. You can do a combination of these suggestions too. Just make sure that you end up with 24 all together.

Instructions:

  1. Take a black marker and write a one-word blessing on each decoration. You an go round-robin with family members (the ones old enough) for blessing suggestions. You can also add one person’s name on each decoration.
  2. Place all 24 decoration inside of the jar.
  3. On December 1st a lucky family member gets to draw a decoration out of the jar and glue it to the outside of the jar. What ever one word blessing is written on the paper is what family members will be giving thanks for that day. If you choose to write a person’s name on the decoration, than each family member should think good thoughts about that person all day.
  4. On Christmas eve the jar will be empty but the outside will be decorated with blessings and family members will be rewarded for their good thoughts when someone fills the empty jar with yummy holiday treats.

Advent Christmas Tree

Supplies you will need:

  • Felt – green
  • Felt – Assortment of brightly colored
  • Tracing Paper
  • Self-adhesive Velcro Circles

Instructions:

  1. Draw a Christmas Tree on thin tracing paper or use a pattern from the internet or a book you might find on Christmas crafts.
  2. Pin the tracing paper onto the felt (green), and cut out the shape of the tree.
  3. Cut out ornament shapes out of the brightly colored felt (freehand or use a pattern from the internet or a Christmas craft book). You will need 24 ornaments.
  4. Stick the prickly half of the Velcro circles all over the tree where you will be placing the ornaments.
  5. Now, stick the other half of each Velcro circle on each of the ornaments.
  6. Starting with December 1, you “hang” an ornament on your advent tree by sticking an ornament onto the tree where you placed the prickly parts of the Velcro circles. Hang one ornament each day. They will all be hung by Christmas Eve and you will have a beautifully decorated felt advent tree.

If you do not have the needed supplies you can use construction paper for the tree and ornaments and attach the ornaments to the tree with glue or tape.

2 Comments


  1. Very similar to the approach we use to help kids count the (50) days from Pesach (Passover) to Shvuot (Shavout)…
    Cool.

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