Advent Calendar and Activities

30 11 2010

Inspired by several advent calendars on the web (several on The Crafty Crow, and in particular this one from The Artful Parent), I decided to make one for us.  I wanted one that could be re-used though, plus I have fabric and an inclination to sew things so this is what I did:


It didn’t come out quite like I had in mind but I’m happy with it nonetheless.  The ornaments are 2 layers of felt and are all attached by snaps, which I have lots of and need to use up.  BB and I decorated the round ones with glitter glue, and the rest are supposed to be a string of lights. 

Now I am working on a list of activities, and each day, BB will have to find the date (good practice identifying numbers!) and on the back will be our activity for the day.  I’m doing them just on little dot stickers:


This is my list, which is a working document.  I decided against putting them all up at once, because some, like taking a winter hike, will be weather dependent, and others, like driving at night to see the lights, will be dependent on someone not waking up so early he barely lasts till sunset. 

Advent activities:

  1. Put up decorations
  2. Park avenue holiday open house, 5pm onward
  3. Make a garland
  4. Christmas party
  5. Set up our tree.
  6. Decorate our own wrapping paper.
  7. Candlelight night in Pittsford 4pm onwards
  8. Make pinecone ornaments for the birds and hang outside.
  9. Bake gingerbread house.
  10. .  Assemble and decorate gingerbread house.
  11. .  Holly Trolley
  12. . Make Christmas gifts.
  13. . Write a letter to Santa.
  14. . Decorate ornaments.
  15. . Decorate and sew pillows as gifts (using Pentel fabric crayons).
  16. . Make snowflake window decorations.
  17. . Make candy cane playdough.
  18. . Go for a winter nature hike.
  19. . Play games and drink hot chocolate.
  20. . Bake Christmas cookies.
  21. . Invite a couple friends over to decorate cookies.
  22. . Make popcorn and watch a Christmas movie together.
  23. . Go for a drive to look at Christmas lights.
  24. . Christmas Eve Service
  25. . Make pumpkin waffles with whipped cream for Christmas breakfast.
  • Head to the library to pick out some Christmas books.
  • Build a nativity set. 
  • Bake gingerbread men
  • Take donation to Lollypop Farms (humane society)
  • Buy a toy for a toy drive. 

I put up just a few activities to get us started tomorrow, and then I’ll be working on the list as we go and putting up more activities on the tree.  I would really like to do more activities that focus on giving to others, as well as those that help understand the meaning of Christmas, which I have done a terrible job of so far.  We read a story by Frank McCourt called Angela and the Baby Jesus, and now BB is asking all these random questions like “Why didn’t the baby Jesus have a blanket?  Will baby Jesus be coming here for his birthday?”  Um, what?  In general I am not very good at explaining things on a three-year-old’s level and this one is really tricky.  If anyone knows some good books, by all means, let me know!  I love the idea of activities for every day, because it really emphasizes presence over presents.  If you haven’t seen it before, check out Advent Conspiracy; I think it’s one of the best ideas I’ve ever heard:

Link to video because I can’t figure out how to embed! Gah!




5 responses

30 11 2010

Oh man. I was going to comment on this post being adorable, and then I read on and realized that the whole blog is adorable. Ridiculous.
Is it creepy for you if I say that this is inspiration for the kind of crafty mom I want to be when I have kids? Hope not!
So far I’m LOVING Seattle, almost despite myself. You were all kinds of right, and UW is great! Hope you are having a great time yourself–the boys are adorable!

All the best,

30 11 2010

Thanks Paula! I find all my inspiration online (what on earth did people do before internet?) so I don’t think it’s any creepier than me stalking these other blogs and copying their ideas, haha! It’s flattering, right? I’m glad to hear you love Seattle, not the least because I would feel really bad if I said all these great things and then you hated it. If we are really lucky we might be headed back in 2012. Best of luck with school and happy holidays!

30 11 2010

Hey Ms. Domestic Engineer! The advent calendar idea is fabulous. I love the idea of doing different activities each day. That’s a great way to celebrate. I also love the resuseable advent wreath. What at great idea. Plus it helps you to divide up things you can easily have kid help with to do!

30 11 2010

Thanks Marie! I hope it works out. I remember getting so excited for Christmas and this is a really visual way to see how many days are left… I am still such a teacher at heart! Hope you guys have a wonderful advent season also!

1 12 2011
What?!? It’s December?!? « Domestic Engineering

[…] school just start?  Well, I pulled a not-quite-all-nighter to make our advent activity list, like last year.  Here are our plans, subject to lots of rearrangement as […]

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