20 Advent Calendar Activity Ideas

Advent Calendar Activities

It's almost time to bring out our advent calendar.  Our calendar has been a happy tradition for us (I love traditions, especially around the holidays) but it includes mostly activities and experiences each day, instead of chocolates or gifts.  I keep a box with the ornaments, activity cards, books and other items that we use year after year, so that everything is organized and ready to go.

Here are 20 Advent Calendar Activity Ideas from my home to yours!

1. Random Act of Kindness - Each family member receives a small amount of money to go out and perform a random act of kindness for someone else.

2. Shop for a gift for children less fortunate - Place an amount of money inside so that your child knows his or her budget. Wrap it up together and take your gift to a local drop-off site for holiday giving.

3. Make an ornament or decoration - Include all of the materials, supplies and instructions for a small craft project.  You can find ideas on my holiday Pinterest board.

4. Watch a special Christmas movie with treats - There are so many great Christmas movies.  The DVD could be included in the advent calendar (if there's room) along with a package of un-popped popcorn and some candies or chocolates (or healthier treats, if you prefer!) If you don't have room in the actual advent calendar, leave a little clue to find the items. 

5. Hot chocolate made especially for you - include marshmallows, or wrap up the hot chocolate in special packaging. Find inspiration on my holiday Pinterest board. 

6. Today we decorate the Christmas tree - every year, part of our advent calendar includes special ornaments that we use year after year.  You could also include a new ornament - something that you've made yourself

7. Animals deserve a special treat too.  Today we'll feed the ducks - include a small bag of birdseed!

8. Christmas colouring book - You can buy an inexpensive book, or you can make your own out of free printable colouring pages.

9. Let's make a snowman - This is a great invitation to play if you have snow outside - otherwise, you can improvise and make an indoor snowman.  Find inspiration on my holiday Pinterest board.

10. Your special Christmas pillowcase - Our kids each have their own special holiday pillowcase that we take out each year.  It's a lovely tradition, so we include it with the advent calendar activities. 

11. Make Christmas cards -I love homemade cards, and try to get the kids involved.  You can include some blank cards, colouring objects and embellishments for an invitation to create.

12. Decorate the windows in your room. - Include window decals (can be used year after year) or paper and scissors for making paper snowflakes.

13. Listen to fun Christmas music - Include an age-appropriate Christmas CD (can be used year after year).  My absolute all-time favouite (from my childhood) is Dolly and Kenny's "Once Upon A Christmas"

14. Make a gingerbread house. - If you have room, you could include a small bought gingerbread house kit, or you could make a graham cracker house.  Find inspiration on my holiday Pinterest board.

15. Have a picnic dinner in front of the tree - they might find some of the picnic supplies under the tree that morning - a blanket, maybe a picnic basket and some fun Christmas dishes perhaps?

16. Read Christmas stories together - at our house, we have a whole container of holiday books. Early in the month, we include a card that announces the arrival of the holiday book box.  It's always exciting to have new stories to read.  If you don't own holiday books, you could include a trip to the library to pick some.

17. Go for a drive to see the holiday lights - this is a tradition that we look forward to every year. You could also do a neighbourhood lights walk together as a family.

18.  Bake Christmas cookies, or make cinnamon salt dough ornaments - the Oliver Bakes Cookies story card, included with Petit Mail holiday gift sets, would be the perfect thing to include with this activity.

19.  Make an ornament time capsule - this is something that I started last year, and I love it!  Using a clear plastic ornament, we write the year on the outside with a gold sharpie, then I ask the kids some favourite memories from the year.  We write them on small red pieces of paper and slip them into the ornament.

20. Make Your Own Wrapping Paper - use a roll of white paper, or kraft paper.  Include paints, or stamps - a great invitation to play, or activity to do together as a family.