We’ve been using an advent calendar for about 4 years. Each day beginning December 1st leading up to Christmas Day we read a scripture verse about the birth of Jesus. We have always used and love this set from Happy Home Fairy. I place a verse in each advent house box. I got the boxes in the Target Dollar Spot a few years ago. I haven’t seen them this year. This is a similar set, but only has 15 so you would need two sets.
The numbered clothes pins are from Hobby Lobby a few years ago. I haven’t found anything similar but you could always make your own. Use mini number stamps on the clothes pins or boxes. Or add these cute wooden numbers. Definitely check out some craft stores like Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, or Joann Fabrics.
Another option would be these little kraft bags. I added some cute Christmas washi tape to decorate them.
In recent years I have been coming up with fun activities to add in our advent boxes as well. The activities don’t pertain to the verses. They’re just fun things to do during the season. Here are some of the activities we have planned this year, in no particular order.
Our Town’s Christmas Tree Lighting – My town has a Christmas tree lighting celebrations every year on the first Friday of the month. This is usually how we kick off our advent activities. Local shops are open late. Each shop usually has an activity for kids to do. There is free hot chocolate, face painting, and a fun ice sculpting display to watch. There is also a cute little trolley that will take you around the town. There is also a craft fair with a lot of vendors. Last year we bought a gingerbread cookie kit. It came with the cookies made and all the icing and sprinkles to decorate the cookies.
Bake Cookies – We will probably do this multiple times throughout the season. We always make chocolate chip and sugar cookies and we like to try new recipes too.
Make Playdough – We got some Christmas themed playdough last year and my girls had a blast with it! They like to make little Christmas desserts, decorations, little snowman, and even decorate a play dough tree.
We also got some Christmas themed cookie cutters from Nature Based Toys and made some snowflake playdough stamps. This year I thought it would be fun to make our own using essential oils.
Make Christmas Cards – My oldest daughter loves making cards! She will make a card for everyone for any occasion or no occasion at all. Christmas time is the perfect time for card making. I usually buy blank cards & envelopes and a variety of Christmas stickers, washi tape, and embellishments. My girls will spend all day making cards for their friends and family.
Polar Express Hot Cocoa Bar – My girls said they’re most excited for this activity! I will be putting together a little hot cocoa bar with lots of different toppings and we’ll be watching The Polar Express together.
Coffee Filter Snowflakes – I always loved making paper snowflakes growing up. Coffee filters are a million times easier! And they’re already round. You can fold the filters many times and it’s still easy to cut. Here is a guide on how to make various snowflakes.
Read Christmas Books – We will probably be doing this multiple times throughout the season as well. I have a few Christmas books I’ve purchased over the years and I always like to get at least one new year each year. The Story of Holly and Ivy has been my favorite Christmas story since I was little. Here is a book list of my favorite Christmas books.
Decorate a Gingerbread House – I’m going to be completely honest, I really dislike making gingerbread houses! They’re SO time consuming and difficult to decorate. And none of use even eat the house after we’re done. So I just hot glue the sides together! I haven’t decided what kit we’ll use this year. I’m debating on just using graham crackers and letting my girls decorate small houses. They would actually eat those!
Family Game Night – We love playing games anytime of the year. But this time we’re going to play some Christmas themed games! Here’s what we’re going to be playing.
Christmas Lights – On Christmas Adam (as we call it), the day before Christmas Eve, we get in our Christmas pajamas, make a hot cocoa to go, and drive around and look at Christmas lights. We started this tradition a few years ago and my girls love it!
Go Ice Skating – My girls have been wanting to go ice skating for years, but we’ve never actually done it. I am determined to do it this year!
See a Christmas Play/ Ballet – We love going to see The Nutcracker. It’s been a few years since we’ve seen it. I don’t think we will see it this year. But I put it on the list as an idea in case.
Make Christmas Gifts – My girls love making gifts for their friends and family. Last year they made these adorable felt animals for their cousins. They worked so hard on them! It took them several weeks to complete them. I don’t think they will be doing such elaborate gifts this year.
Wildlights – We live in Columbus, Ohio. Our Columbus Zoo has Wildlights every year. The whole zoo is lit up with Christmas lights everywhere. It’s been a few years since we’ve gone. We have a membership this year so we’re definitely going to go.
Christmas Crafts – We do a lot of crafts at Christmas time! I like to buy craft kits that come with all the supplies ready to go. I get a lot of them from the Target dollar spot, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, or Joann Fabrics.
I’ll also be sharing a lot of new crafts on my Instagram page in the coming weeks. Needle felting, clay, and paper Christmas crafts. So be sure to follow along there to see what we’ll be making this year! You can also check out my Christmas Crafts highlight on my Instagram. There I saved all of the crafts we made last year and I’ll be including the new ones to the highlight as we make them. Let me know if you have any questions about our advent calendar!