DIY Advent Activity Calender

The Festive season is my favourite time of the year since I had my daughter. She has made me see the season in a whole new light. Her eyes are filled with wonder and awe at the beauty of everything and its made me want to make the festive season so special and magical for her.

The last 5 years we’ve spent the season decorating, baking, doing crafts, and catching the elves in all sorts of naughty antics. This year will be a little different. I’ll be gone for the first few days of December and then I will arrive home with a whole baby brother. Things are going to be different and I realise that I will for the first time have to split my attention, love and self between two human beings. I honestly don’t know what lies ahead for our little family this festive season , things will be different, but there is definitely going to be so much extra love in our home.

With things about to change, and Xav about to learn to not only be a big sister, but have to share me with a new baby, I wanted to create something extra special for her. Instead of the usual sweet/cookie/chocolate treat advent calendar, I put together a special activity advent calendar for us.

This is how it works.

I filled a blank advent pocket calendar I bought at MRP Home for R139 with clue cards I made using my Cricut Maker 3. Each card has a picture clue for that days activity. Xav will have to guess what we’re doing on that day and then find the corresponding package and number under her Christmas tree. The little packages, labeled with numbered gift tags, which I also made on my Cricut, will contain all the supplies we need for that day’s activity. I also picked up a few small treats like mini chocolates, candy canes and cookies, that I can add as a sweet treat to the pockets of the calendar.

I kept the activities as simple and easy as possible. I don’t know how my days will go, its been so long since there’s been a baby in our home, but I want to make a little mommy and me time for Xavier’s each day, and this calendar is the perfect opportunity to do that and carve the way for this new journey we’re on.

If you would like to recreate something similar for your kids, here’s the calendar I used. Its taylor made to suit our family and our situation, so please feel free to make this your own and create somethimg suited to your family. For example, instead of a welcome home baby sign, you could create a merry Christmas or hello elves sign.

You can download my advent activity calendar here.

1. The Elves Arrive

A few years ago I made Xav a personalised elf on the shelf book, every year the elves do what’s in the book and we read about it at night. This year the elves and the book will be wrapped up under her tree on day 1

2. Make A Banner

I made a simple welcome home banner on my Cricut, using print and cut. I wrapped it up with some crayons and some string to create a little diy kit. Xavier will decorate and colour in the banner for her new brother. You could make something similar, with Merry Christmas or Hello Elves instead.

3. Take Pictures

This is the day we’re supposed to bring home baby brother, I made a little soft toy camera as the under the tree gift and Xav can give it to him and take some cute pics with her brother. You could use this one to take those Christmas card photos at home and set up a little photoshoot around the Christmas tree.

4. Christmas Movie Night

Keeping it pretty simple, and wrapping up some microwave popcorn and cuddling up with Christmas movie.

5. Read About The Birth Of Jesus

I want Xav to know what the season is truly about, so I wrapped up one of her kiddies bibles and a book, called ‘When Santa Heard The Gospel’, that I found at CUM books for only R19, which brings together faith and Santa in a way kids can enjoy both.

6. Santa Craft

I put together a little diy kit to try to recreate this craft I found on Google (source unknown) . We’ll be making little elves and Santa.

7. Read Some Books

I bought Xav a new book a while ago and this seems like the perfect time to give it to her. Its not a Christmas book, but we will definitely pull a few of those off the shelf as well.

8. Decorate some Gingerbread men

I picked up this cute kit from Harak and Heart. It has everything we need to get decorating.

9. Hair Day

I picked up some cute hair accessories and wrapped it up. We can try some new styles on her or she can play hairdresser and dress up my hair.

10. Tell a Christmas Story using Stickers

I used the print and cut function on my Cricut to cut stickers out of printable vinyl. I cut the characters of the nativity and I’ll ask Xav to use the stickers to tell the story of Jesus’s birth.

11. Dress Up and take funny pictures

Time to get out all the Christmas props, and funny glasses and take some funny pictures.

12. Christmas Matching Game

I created a cute memory game using my Cricut Maker 3. Xav loves these games, so I just had to make her a Christmas themed set.

13. Make Christmas Cards.

I had a stack of embossed Christmas cards I made a few years ago. Xav can draw, and decorate them for family and friends.

14. Take a drive and get take aways

Time to just get in the car and take little drive, pick up some takeout and park somewhere scenic to eat. I willl wrap up some cash for Xav to pay for her meal.

15. Have A Tea Party

I ordered some yummy cookies from The Frosted Raspberry and if that’s not an excuse to have a tea party, I don’t know what is.

16. Bake Cupcakes

Xav loves to bake, so I had to add this. I bought a box cake mix and wrapped it. We can get our bake on.

17. Watch a Christmas Movie

I wrapped up some popcorn and we can have another movie night.

18. Build A Snowman Out Of Sand

It may not snow here, but we do have a sandpit! I’ll wrap up a carrot, some buttons, a scarf and hat for this one.

19. Paint Your Own Cookie

I bought a little kit from The Frosted Raspberry and Xav will love doing painting some Christmas cookies.

20. Decorate A Gingerbread House

Another Frosted Raspberry find, we’ll create a gingerbread house together.

21. Christmas Puppets & Show Craft

I made a little diy puppet kit using my Cricut. All the designs can be found on Cricut Design Space. We’ll put this together and have a little puppet show.

22. Put On A Christmas Show

Xav is a true performer who loves to entertain, so I thought she could put on a little show and sing some christmas songs for us.

23. Have A Picnic

A few yummy treats and a we are all set for a Christmas garden picnic.

24. Make A Plate For Santa & Rudolf

We’re getting ready for Christmas Day! I’ll have some cookies and carrots ready for Santa and the reindeer that Xav can put out and prep.

25. Yay! It’s Christmas!

Time to celebrate the birth of Christ and the beauty of the season with family and friends.

If I haven’t included a picture in the above, its because I haven’t wrapped up that gift yet. There’s still a few things I’m waiting for that I will quickly throw into a gift bag when it arrives. There are also a few fresh things that I will prepare on the day and put under her tree to find, like the picnic basket.

As the calendar is made for my family here are a few more ideas that you could try. I didn’t include many of these because we’ve done a few in November and because I won’t be able to drive for the next dew weeks.

Some additional ideas

  • decorate the christmas tree
  • wrap presents
  • write a letter to Santa
  • donate old toys
  • bake something for a neighbour
  • make care packages for a shelter
  • take a drive to see the Christmas lights

Here are some free festive printables from my blog that you can download and build with your littles this festive season.

I hope some of these ideas inspire you this festive season. Have a beautiful, merry and very blessed festive season.