Advent Activities – Part 2: Our 2011 Advent Activity List

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To see my design ideas (okay somebody else’s ideas I swiped from Pinterest) for this year’s advent calendar and to get the rest of my back story to this advent activity list, click here. Here’s what you should know before you get too excited about an elaborate list of activities. It’s not elaborate. It’s based mostly on what I already have on hand or could get at the library or online.

Things to Note: 1) This list is tailored to my child who loves trains, so you’ll notice that several days’ activities include trains. 2) If there’s anything “big” I’d buy if I were you and you have the extra money, I’d consider the toy nativity set. But if that just doesn’t work out for you, do not despair! Improvise with what you have. Go online and find ideas if you can’t come up with a nativity set idea on your own. 3) Use YouTube! I was amazed when I started looking for Christmas carols. I found not only the songs, but tons of cute little Christmas story shows, most of which are the perfect length for a small child to sit through and enjoy. I plan to use several of them to enhance our activities. 4) I made it a point to pay attention to what day of the week a certain day fell upon. I made sure that my Saturday activities were things that would be fun to do as an entire family since Dad will be home then, too. When I’m being realistic, I can envision us not getting to any activity at all on Sundays, so I made those days free days where we could go back and do something we’ve already enjoyed if we have time.

Without further ado, here is the list of advent activities that our family will be doing this Christmas season.

1. Open a gift that explains all you need to know about Christmas. (Last year for Christmas, we got the Fisher Price Nativity Set. This year, I plan to re-wrap it and let him familiarize himself with it.)
2.  Meet a new Christmastime buddy. (Introduce Elf on a Shelf)
3.  Meet our snowy Christmastime pal, Frosty. (Watch Frosty the Snowman as a family.)
4. Everyone loves Christmastime – even trains! (Open Thomas Christmas book. I found it at Lowe’s and couldn’t resist getting it because of Dash’s love for all things Thomas the Train and the fact that it plays Christmas carols.)

(For days 5-7, we will be revisiting the nativity set and focusing on one part of the story each day.)

5. Let’s go on a donkey ride. (Incorporate the first part of the Christmas story – entering Bethlehem.I’m pretty sure I’ll be the donkey and Dash will be Mary, but I’m okay with that.) Color page
6. Away in a Manger (Learn the Christmas carol & tell the story of Jesus’ birth.) Color pages for all parts of the Christmas story can be found here.
7. Meet the shepherd boy. (Make sheep craft & dress up like a shepherd. I’m so excited to pull out the towel and headband for this!)
8. Instead of words, draw a picture of a star for today’s clue. (Tell this portion of the story and make a fun star ornament like this one.)
9. Make an edible Christmas tree (Thank you, Pinterest, for this idea)
10. Send some holiday cheer to those we hold dear. (Make Christmas cards for family )
11. Pick your favorite activity! (Sundays are super busy for us, so I decided to be realistic. If we do anything at all on Sundays, it will be an activity that’s been a hit thus far…like playing with the nativity set or reading the Christmas Thomas book.)
12. Dress up your tree with some candy canes. (Make pipe cleaner candy canes to hang on his tree & eat some real ones while doing it!)
13. Create some extra sweetness. (Make some sweet holiday treats.)
14. Share your sweetness with those around us. (Deliver treats to our neighbors.)
15. Learn about our good friend, Santa (Unwrap and read Santa story books. I’ll probably get these from the library or see what we have on hand.)
16. What’s that choo chooing I hear? (Unwrap and read The Polar Express book.)
17. Let’s watch that Polar Express come around the corner! (Watch The Polar Express movie as a family.)
18. Pick your favorite activity! (It’s Sunday again!)
19. Make your Christmas tree even prettier! (Make salt dough Christmas ornaments.)
20. Add some yummy decorations to the tree. (Make a popcorn chain.Note to self, get some large plastic needles for this!)
21. What’s that? Another Christmas movie? (Watch Santa Clause is Coming to Town.Or something else. We’ll see what we’re feeling on that day.)
22. Help Frosty get ready for Christmas! (Insert cute snowman craft here. I’m thinking it will involve gluing cotton balls onto circles of paper.)
23. Jesus’ Birthday Party! (Make cupcakes and a card to celebrate baby Jesus coming to earth.)
24. Wrap a present (Wrap a simple, small shoe box-sized gift together. My other idea is to gift wrap Daddy. Another Pinterest-inspired idea.)

I hope you are able to use some of this to create a fun, memorable holiday season for your little ones! Let me know if you do. I don’t care if you use any or all of it, but please be sure to link back to my site if you choose to share it online anywhere.

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