40+ Advent Calendar Activities for Kids

I’ve had an idea wandering around the back of my head for the last week. To make an advent calendar of activities for my kids. Not just giving them the cheapie £1 calendar’s full of chocolates (true fact – my kids demanded and got those in October) but giving them something to do each day. Not to do with promises of good behaviour or anything but just for fun and because I thought, insanely, hey! Why not ramp them up even more for Christmas?!? Then at the weekend my Step-Mum offered me a super cute advent calendar that she’d made with room to pop something tiny in each day and I thought hey, why not? So as I now have to plan some activities I thought I’d share them with you guys in case you fancy giving it a try too! I’ve included over 40 so you can pick or choose what you like; you might not have a Christmas market near you or maybe you’re kids are into different books. I’ve also got some tips for how to make this as stress free as possible, because stress is not your friend in the run up to the festive season. Want something you can print out to help you remember these? Make sure you check out my free printable of a month’s worth of Christmas activities for kids!

advent calendar activities for kids

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Choose your Calendar wisely

Choose an advent calendar which doesn’t have too big a space to fill because you’ll only feel obliged to pop something big in each box otherwise! This cute stocking calendar is similar to the one my step mum’s made us and will look lovely over a fireplace or something like this wooden advent calendar would be great as you’ll be able to use it year after year. Want to make your own? I love this cute tutorial from Hodge Podge Craft that looks simple enough for your kids to make with you!

Be prepared to change things around

If my kids sleep well then we’ll totally be baking or crafting or something fun. If they’re up at 4am? It’s watching a Christmas DVD. Make sure you can go back in and change the activities round if you need to because it won’t be fun for them if it’s not fun for you either.

Advent Calendar Activities for Kids

Read The Night Before Christmas (US Link / UK Link)

Make Christmas cards

Decorate the Christmas tree

Write a letter (or draw a picture) for Father Christmas

Make reindeer food

Decorate Christmas cookies

Make cardboard roll reindeer decorations

Visit Father Christmas

Read the nativity story

Make a snow globe

Buy some food for your local homeless centre

Read Father Christmas Needs a Wee (US Link / UK Link)

Make some Christmas suncatchers for your windows

Watch The Snowman (US Link / UK Link)

Make Christmas wreaths

Make gingerbread

Make paper plate Christmas trees

Read Stick Man (US Link / UK Link)

Print a bubble wrap snowman

Play with red and green playdough and some Christmas cookie cutters

Drive or walk around your area to look at the Christmas lights

Make mince pies

Make Gingerbread Latte Play Dough

Make hot chocolates with lots of cream and marshmallows

Dry orange slices and hang them up

Make snow paint

Make some paper chains and hang them up

Read The Dinosaur That Pooped Christmas (err, my kids kinda like dinosaur and poo related stuff more than sensible stuff!) (US Link / UK Link)

Go to a Christmas Carol service

Hang up mistletoe

Make pine cone bird feeders

Play a family game together

Choose some Christmas sweets (and umm….eat some)

Make salt dough decorations

Make paper snowflakes

Do some snowflake sensory play

Decorate old ornaments with glitter and glue

Watch Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas (US Link / UK Link)

Cut out some Christmas trees from green card and decorate them with stickers

Make some TMNT ornaments (seriously my kids will love these!)

Go to a Christmas Market

Make a popcorn garland

Want more ideas? Why not check out my list of 24 Stories for a Christmas Book Advent Calendar!

Have you done any Christmas calendar activities with your kids? Let me know what they loved in the comments below!

advent activities for kids

Christmas baking image and advent calendar image via Shutterstock

1 Comment

  1. 7th November 2015 / 2:45 pm

    Ha! Just read your email with a link to this list – just as I’ve been busy making my own! I made a fabric advent calendar last year for our little Button and filled it with ideas like this, as well as a small German straw decoration for each day (which I bought in Lidl). Annoyingly, I can’t find the list I made last year (I wonder if I put it with the advent calendar?) but I think I have sorted most of the things that we’ll be doing this year – how about these to add to your list: Print off a special Christmas colouring picture; Christmas themed face painting;; Have a Christmas themed photo-shoot (can also be used to make some cards to sent to loved ones); complete Santa’s Checklist (http://www.netmums.com/activities/christmas/santas-visit-application; Make gift tags; Track Santa (http://www.noradsanta.org/); Choose some toys to give to charity (and make way for new ones!); Make mince pies (or cookies) for Santa; Have a Christmas karaoke competition.

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