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Friday, January 17, 2014

Advent Activities

This was the first year that Owen really “got” Christmas so I wanted to make it a special month.  Also, I’d been doing a lot of laying on the couch so I wanted to try and redeem his October and November months of TV time.  :) 

The first thing that we did everyday was open one holiday/winter/Christmas book.  I had a large stash from my classroom, but I plan on adding one or 2 new ones each year we do this.  Yes, I’ll re-wrap the books every year.

Next, I hung up two red ribbons using command hooks.  I glued red numbers onto white paper crafts bags for en easy Advent countdown.  Inside each bag was a piece of paper with an activity on it.  Many times, I didn’t fill the bag until that morning so I could adjust our activity depending on our schedule.  In 3 or 4 of the bags, there was a small treat or present too but I tried to focus on activities.  I had bought some game/toy things last year on clearance and I did the same thing this year so I have a few things ready to go when December rolls around again.Picture 1709I made my own little decorated papers for inside, but here are two cute printable sheets of activities to save you time if you want to do this next year.  HERE and HERE.
Here is a list of everything we did for the 25 days.  Some have pictures. :)
  1. Make a Christmas paper chain countdown.
  2. Decorate our door like a snowmanPicture 1717
  3. Decorate little trees for each of your roomsPicture 1729Picture 1732
  4. Make an ornament for your tree (beaded candy cane)
  5. Decorate a gingerbread house (this was a big fail)Picture 1742
  6. Sing and dance to Christmas songs
  7. Christmas ring toss game (bought last year on clearance)
  8. Make a bird feeder
  9. Watch a Christmas movie
  10. Go to the live nativity
  11. Go somewhere new – Soccer Planet!
  12. Have hot cocoa with whip cream and sprinklesPicture 1785
  13. Make a paper nativityPicture 1777Picture 1776
  14. Make salt dough ornaments
  15. Decorate the windowsPicture 1757
  16. Play outside and make a snowman
  17. Bake Christmas cookies
  18. Make snow ice cream
  19. Choose three of your toys and give them away.
  20. Date night with Mom!
  21. Deliver gifts to neighbors
  22. Drive to Grandma and Grandpa’s house!
  23. Open presents!
  24. Go to Christmas Eve Service and drive by lights on the way home.
  25. It’s Christmas!
Each day we also had a little advent calendar (that we got from my in-laws) that has a little part of the Christmas story.  We’d read the little book and hang it on our tree.  As we took down our bags, we hung up the Christmas cards that started to roll in:Picture 1765-001 Let me know if you have any other good ideas for our advent countdown next year.  It was such a fun way to get them excited for Christmas!

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