Making stuff 5: advent of activities

home made advent calendar of promises

I haven’t done a “making stuff for kids” post for a while. Advent begins today and so there are chocolate calendars in the house.

Last year

Four years ago my wonderful mum made a fabric advent calendar and that year and the two following years, we collaborated to fill it with a little toy each day for the boys. Last year I was rather distracted (by a surprise pregnancy that eventually ended very badly) and didn’t get toys and treats ready. Then on 1st December a friend posted that she was doing an advent calendar of activities with her children. In about 30 minutes a bit of googling gave me 24 ideas, which I scribbled on post it notes and popped in the calendar.

After last Christmas I promptly forgot the whole thing. Last week I purchased chocolate calendars again and was only reminded of activities this morning by Facebook memories. I’d even forgotten when large boy moaned to me yesterday about not having grandma’s calendar up.

This year

This year I will be more organized. I have written a list of activities in my notebook so I’ll be able to find it again. I’ve also written the activities on cards so I can use them again.

How to

First I planned out the days and thought about important things we already have planned, work commitments, travel and so on. Then added treat activities around them. Some are on repeat depending on other regular things we have happening, some are piggy backing on already-organized stuff.

Then I took two A4 pieces of heavy paper, brightly coloured, and cut each into 12 squares (7×7cm, cutting three long strips and then dividing each into four).

I got small boy to help. I wrote each activity onto a paper square and he found the number on the calendar that it needed to go in.

I hit it lucky. Each card fitted neatly into a pocket of the calendar.

All done

That feels like a morning well spent. It was quick and easy and free! Its using the beautiful calendar my mum made and I’m all set to reuse the treat activities next year.

I feel good that we’re not focusing on the material but on nice family experiences as we approach Christmas. They’ll get enough gifts on Christmas day as it is!

2 thoughts on “Making stuff 5: advent of activities

  1. That is such a good idea. I think there would be rebellion in my house if the chocolate calendars were cancelled (they are 10 and 13 so pretty used to how it should be 😋) but this is such a great extra thing to do to really focus on the family time that should be the focus of Christmas.

    We have pretty busy weekdays but maybe I’ll make it for the weekends as weekend “treats”

    Liked by 1 person

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