I made Sebastian this Advent Activity Calendar two years ago in hopes of creating extra special memories throughout the month of December. It's a way to help us be more intentional with our time and our thoughts as we move through such a frenzied, hectic, exciting time of year and a way to teach them about the anticipation of Christmas!
I wrote about it on my old blog but wanted to repost the basic instructions again here:
I started with some gray wool that I found in a bargain bin last year and cut it to measure about 16" x 24". I hemmed the edges and made a pocket hem for the top edge in order to hang it on a rod (or stand in ruler). I found my cream felt and cut five rows so that they would fit my allotted space and pinned them down. I then sewed down all three outer edges of each felt panel.
After measuring the distance needed for five spaces each, I stitched lines to create pockets. I then carefully hand cut felt numbers and glued them on with tacky glue. Finally, I cut an old ruler down to size using a serrated kitchen knife because I never have any dowel rods on hand, and added a pom-pom hanger.
Next, I cut down 25 individual cards from scrapbook paper I've saved, rounded off the corners, and arranged them so that they looked mixed up. Then I made a list of all of the activities I could do with Sebastian (and now Ruby) or that we could do as a family to make each day this month a little more special. I thought about which days lent themselves to simple activities like making brownies and which days we could do something more specific such as enjoying the bounce house at the YMCA this Friday. Most of the activities will cost nothing or very little but will surely keep us focused on enjoying each other during the holidays.
Bake Christmas cookies, watch a movie at Grandma Cheryl's house, make brownies, pick out a board game to play, an extra 20 minutes of screen time, hang paper chains, visit the North Pole at Bass Pro and see Santa Claus, paint ornaments, make pizza at home, build a gingerbread house, build a fort on mama's bed & read books all evening, make a ton of paper snowflakes, buy new snow boots just in case, drive around looking at Christmas lights, read two or three Christmas stories, make hot chocolate and marshmallows, make a present for someone, find a Salvation Army bell ringer and drop off $5 in dimes, mail out post cards to people we love, surprise friends with sweet treats, watch Home Alone I, watch Home Alone II, get Daddy at the airport, pancakes for breakfast!
I've organized activities according to our schedule so that weekends get more time intensive activities and the busiest weeknights get the simplest activities. I've learned from the past two years not to get too ambitious lest I miss the point and create the busyness I'm trying to avoid. We've sent a chocolate advent calendar to Brett to help him enjoy the countdown to coming home two days before Christmas!
Do you do an advent calendar?
Other Holiday DIYS from Smile and Wave