I have to admit the fact that I usually find myself with too much gifts for the children on Christmas eve….
Months before I already buy things on sale (or second hand), because I love bargains and well, you can never start to early to get your presents ready, right? 🙂
This year I would love to focus on more family-time during the weeks before Christmas, because:
”the greatest gift you
can give someone
is your time.
because when you
give your time,
you are giving
a portion of
your life you will
never get back”
( – Rick Warren,
Back to the idea of an activity advent calendar. You can find a lot of suggestions online for activities, but I still found it hard to pick 24 activities for us.
For every ‘outside’ activity I will also put an alternative on the list, because you’ll never know how the weather will be on that day.
1. Make Christmas ornaments / decorations together
2. Learn a Christmas song
3. Go outside and gather pinecones for crafts (or the seasonable nature table)
(inside alternative) Make a Christmas drawing
4. Bake speculoos biscuits or ‘pepernoten’ for the Sinterklaas celebration
5. Celebrate Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas) with an early gift ( I know, most countries celebrate on the 6th of December, but Dutch people celebrate on the 5th!)
6. Visit a (local) tourist attraction (in our case it will probably be a hike to the ruins of a castle)
(inside alternative) visit a local museum
7. Learn a Christmas action rhyme or fingerplay ( you can find some suggestions here )
8. Make a Christmas window stare ( link )
9. Fill up a box with clothing to donate (or make a ‘welcome’ box for refugees, with other things like hygiene products and a blanket)
10. Make a family picture to be this year’s Christmas gift for Grandparents
11. Bake a Christmas tree bread
12. Visit a Christmas market
(inside alternative) dance together on Christmas carols!
13. Have a candlelit dinner
14. Make & write Christmas cards
15. Visit the library to lend some Christmas books
16. Pack up Christmas gifts for a charity (donating toys the kids will sort out from their collection)
17. Bake Christmas cupcakes / cookies for the other kids (and teachers) at the Kindergarten
18. Eat pancakes for dinner!
19. Visit a live nativity scene
(inside alternative) play with our wooden nativity scene at home
20. Go for a hike in the snow (let’s just assume there will be snow this year 😉 )
(alternative) go see the Christmas tree of our town
21. Build a Christmas tree with building blocks
22. Make a Christmas craft
23. Bake Christmas cookies! (and bring some to the neighbours)
24. Go see this year’s Christmas play
I think we will go with a simple envelope advent calender and because my girls can’t read yet I’m planning to print out images / symbols to illustrate the activity for the day.
I know we don’t need an advent calendar as a reason to spend quality time, but it’s a great incentive with the activities and I love it for being an alternative for the chocolate or gift filled calendars.