Monday, March 4, 2013

December Advent Calendar of Activities

I realize this post can be viewed as either three months late OR nine months early... Either way.. Thought I should get back to posting and start with what occupied me all December!!!!

Warning: If you are doing this for the first time, there is a lot of prep work, especially if you decide to do crafts. 
Not gonna lie. BUT, it is a ton of fun when it's all said and done.... !!!!

How To Create Your Activity Calendar

1. Decide how many activities you'd like to do. We did at least one a day everyday of December leading up to Christmas. If you have a lot going on, you may want to limit to 5 days a week or something that is more suitable to your schedule. Be realistic about your time.. This should be fun, not stressful!!!

2. Decide what types of activities fit your family style. Here are some different ideas:
  • Outings (some are free, some you pay a fee.. )
    • Drive around & look at the Christmas lights
    • Go Christmas caroling 
    • Give food to the local food drive
    • Search for local seasonal events taking place at the mall or other shopping centers
    • Kids workshops at your local Home Depot or Lowe's
    • Events at local attractions (the Zoo, Aquarium, Butterfly pavilion, etc)
  • Crafts (there are a MILLION ideas on Pinterest... Start pinning!!!!)
  • Home-Based
    • Watch Christmas movies -We wrapped all the movies & let the kids pick & unwrap one like a present on movie nights
    • Read Christmas books-  We did the same with the books as the movies... Always a surprise!
    • Drink hot chocolate
    • Decorate Christmas cookies
    • Make Christmas gifts for neighbors or families

3. Plan your calendar. Start with the activities that may have only certain days and/or times that work (i.e. local attractions, special events, etc). Then, add any crafts. Pick days that give you time to prep AND help with the craft itself. Lastly, add the home-based activities that are pretty simple to get together. For instance, on your busy errand day, pick a Christmas movie to watch that night so it doesn't add to your work load.

4. Create the advent calendar itself. You can either buy or make one. Again, Pinterest has sooo many cute ideas for these. I printed the names of the activities with pictures on business cards so my kids (toddler age) could see what we were doing since they couldn't read & stuck those in an already made advent calendar.

5. Have fun and enjoy the time making memories with your kiddos!!! Take lots of pictures!

Our First Activity Advent Calendar & Some of the Activities

The Advent Calendar & Activity Cards
Making Santa Faces
-Construction Paper, Googly Eyes, Cotton Balls, Glue

Christmas Lights out of Fingerprints
- Finger paint, Paper, Sharpie

Free Home Depot Kids Workshop- Made Christmas Picture Frames.
Decorating Christmas Cookies

Zoo Lights at the Denver Zoo

Christmas Tree Waffle Cones
-Icing, Waffle Cones, M&Ms, Mini Marshmallows, Food Coloring

Paper Strip Christmas Trees
-Construction Paper, Colored/Decorative Christmas paper cut into varying sizes, Glue

Pom Pom Christmas Trees
-Construction Paper, Glue, Pom Poms

Candy Sleighs for the Neighbors

Snowflake Art
-Canvas, Masking Tape, Paint

Delivering Food to F.I.S.H.

Looking at Christmas Lights