Thursday, 28 November 2013

Advent Calendar Activities

Christmas in Australia always means one thing - stinking hot weather!

This makes most of the long term traditions a bit of a challenge.  A lot of people even forgo the cooking of a hot meal and stick with seafood and salads on Christmas Day. For me, though, it ain't Christmas without Turkey, Ham and all the roasted trimmings. And I'm a glutton for punishment with ridiculously high expectations!

The one thing I have always found challenging is the advent calendar.

Years and years ago I made and personalised this fabric pocket calendar from a store-bought kit.  It's become an important part of our family tradition. 
Each year since I've tried filling it with various items but sweets (even wrapped ones) attract ants and chocolates just become sticky melted lumps. The concept of sugar every day doesn't sit well with me, either - even at Christmas. 

Alternatives, such as festive story books and other items, are just too big for the pockets.

Add to that the fact that as the number of children in our family increases, the number of pockets to open eat becomes diminished.  I really wanted something that everyone could take part in, even if we do take turns checking the pockets.

So, a couple of years ago I tried activity cards instead.  You've probably seen these online.  The idea is instead of eating a chocolate or sweet first thing in the morning, the children pull out a card that shows which Christmas-themed activity they'll be completing that day.

I like to mix it up and include a variety of activities such as baking, craft, field-trips and movies.  (I've removed books from this list since we've started this new tradition.)

This year's activities look like this...

The cute printable tags are from Babystar Design and are found free for personal use here.  I pasted them into a Word document and used text boxes over the top.  (If you'd like a copy of mine to edit, drop me an email!)

Similar to our School Holiday Activity Jars, I've separated these into categories - Make, Bake, Go/Do and Watch.  I've tried to spread out the activities to give us a lot of variety, but have also factored in things like watching our favourite holiday movies on a Saturday night, preparing class gifts just before we need to take them to school and keeping those activities that require more time for after school holidays start.

In case you are interest in trying some of this year's activities, here are links to some of the ones we will be doing...

1. Make Bead Wreaths as table decorations or napkin rings
2. Bake Santa Hat Strawberries
3. Go to the shop and choose a gift for your teacher
4. Make Paper Strip Christmas Trees
5. Bake Hot Chocolate on a Stick
6. Bake CandyCane Cookies
7. Watch “Arthur Christmas"
8. Make Dough Ornaments
9. Make Wrap Teacher’s Christmas presents
10. Make Wrap Reindeer Noses for Grade 2
11. Bake Santa Cookies for preschool
12. Bake Decorate and Wrap Cookies
13. Bauble Ice creams
14. Watch “The Santa Clause”
15. Make Christmas Bath Crayons
16. Bake Rudolph Pancakes for Breakfast
17. Paper Snowflakes
18. Go for a drive to see the lights
19. A Gingerbread House
20. Decorate the Gingerbread House
21. Watch “A Muppet Christmas Carol"
22. Do - Sing some carols by candlelight
23. Do - Take a Christmas Bath
24. Bake Assemble the Trifle/s
What are some of your Christmas traditions?  Do you have an advent calendar?


  1. Thanks, I love that you've mixed the Christmas fun with the practical keeping it quite achieveable and enjoyable for you as well as the kids! I'm going to do a 12 days of Christmas activity advent to introduce this type of tradition in our family this year, and see if we want to extend it to the whole month next year!

    1. Adding in the practical things is the only way to get everything done and save your sanity at this time of year! Let me know how your 12 days go, Shell. Sarah : )

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