I promised you more about Advent Calendars and if you aren’t packing chocolates or toys… there are still plenty of treats to pack!!! Here are se7en + 1 things we routinely pop into our Advent Calendar. Just write out your plans or intentions on strips of paper. Fold them up and pop them into your advent calendar… and you will be ready for heaps of pre-Christmas fun…
- A Christmas Story: We read One Wintry Night, I have blogged about it before, it is the story of the whole Bible amidst cups of hot cocoa and is a brilliant read for kids of all ages. We just read a snippet each day and then we will make one tiny thing towards our Nativity Scene that we make fresh out of different materials… one day we might make sheep and another day shepherds… slowly but surely building it up.
- Tasks: We have a heap of ideas of things to do during Advent like making gift wrap, baking brownies for the neighbors… the sort of things you really want to do for Christmas but if you don’t schedule in a little bit every day then you will never get it done.
- Memory Makers: We have a family meeting for this one and my kids make a list of things they really want to do but we just never get around to… Breakfast at the beach, go swimming after dark. And of course I schedule in our traditions on the relevant days so that they don’t get squeezed out.
- An Action a Day: Christmas has to be about caring for others, not just for grown-ups to care about others, but things my kids can do right now, with who they are right now. Last year we looked at a different cause each day, it is really amazing what you can do online with your kids and a click of a button, it was really enlightening and a fun project for all of us.
- Christmas around the World: We want our kids to grow up as citizens of the world, interested and caring for different cultures. So a little visit each day to a different country, to see how Christmas is celebrated there, is an easy way to introduce different cultures.
- A Craft a Day: Christmas crafting is fun, for us it is the middle of summer and cotton wool snowmen aren’t really appropriate, but my kids love Christmas crafts and now is the time to let them go for it. It is easy enough to make a list of 24 simple crafts to do with your kids – and they don’t have to take all day – often they are a five minute interlude in the scheme of the day. If you are looking for twenty four crafts all beautifully presented for you then head no further than the legendary Crafty Crow and her Christmas Book Series.
- The Jesse Tree: We always work through the Jesse tree together and read the book as we go along. It is fun and easy and there is always more to learn about the Christmas Story. If you are looking for a great printable outline then you can get it over here: Feels Like Home has a Fabulous E-Book with everything you need in it. And for a quick coloring Jesse Tree then head straight over to Life Your Way.
- A Game a Day: This one is all about enjoying the stuff you have. I am terrible at getting around to games with my kids and yet they love them so. It is hard for young kids to play games without an adult to assist… and this is the time of year where I write 24 games on a list and we play one a day – every day without fail!!! If you can’t face it then you can always replace a game a day with a joke a day: Activity Village has them, and so does Woodlands-Junior print them out and cut them into strips. Fold the strips up and pop them into your Advent Calendar.
And the Se7en + 1th thing:
That’s it – Have fun… Next time I will show you how to whip up an Advent calendar in Se7en Steps…