I shared this list of advent calendar activities for kids a couple of years ago and it was so popular I thought that I had to bring the idea up again, after all what’s not to love – 24 days of fun memory making that you can all enjoy!
We’ve done every kind of advent calendar over the years but I love the idea of doing something each day that makes that day a bit special – and with over 40 ideas there’s enough suggestions to match your kids interests and your energy levels (I’ve been there too!)
What’s more I’m now including a free printable so all you have to do it cut out an activity for each day and pop it into your advent calendar ready to go.
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Advent calendar activities for kids
Of course there are lots of things that can affect what you want to do each day – December can be crazy busy and you don’t want to put making reindeer crispie treats on the same day that you know you have swimming practice. Life will just become too hectic and you’ll get too stressed, trust me we’ve all been there!
Take into account what your normal calendar is like and plan your advent activities accordingly, got a busy day? Choose a Christmas story to read at bedtime. Quiet weekend? Go out to see the Christmas lights.
Just as important is that you can change your plans from one day to another if you need to, if you get ill then watching a Christmas movie might be all that you are up to doing!
The benefit of doing an advent calendar of activities, rather than a Christmas bucket list is that you know what things are on your plan to do but your kid has no idea at all.
Choose your Calendar wisely
Over the years we’ve done everything from one pound chocolate advent calendars to Lego Star Wars and Playmobil advent calendars but the nice thing about these ones to fill with activities is that you can use them year after year so they are an investment and not something that you’ll throw away by Christmas itself. Having said that we sometimes grab a chocolate or toy advent calendar too, each year is different with us!
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, a box big enough to fit a slip of paper and maybe a chocolate coin is absolutely perfect.
This hanging advent calendar would be good while this wooden gingerbread house is absolutely gorgeous and the kind of thing you’d look forward to getting out every year, I’ve also got my eye on this because who doesn’t love a beautiful nativity scene at Christmas?!
What can I put in my advent calendar besides candy?
If you want to put a little gift in your advent calendar as well as activities – or instead of if you know you’re going to have a busy day, then there’s loads of fun ideas you could try without just resorting to candy (although there’s nothing wrong with that either!)
Some ideas that we love include hair accessories, stickers, erasers, temporary tattoos or lego minifigues. Christmas books and movies can be great choices too!
Don’t forget to print your advent calendar ideas!
You can find a list of all the advent calendar activities at the end of this post that’s ready to be printed so make sure you check it out. I’ve kept it really plain so it will be easy to pick the ones you want.
Don’t have the printer lined up right now? Make sure you bookmark this page or pin one of the images so you have all these advent calendar activities for kids to hand later when you need them.
Want more ideas? My kids love getting in the mood for Christmas too so I’ve also shared a printable list for a month of Christmas activities.
40+ Advent Calendar Activities for Kids
Make Christmas cards
Decorate the Christmas tree
Write a letter (or draw a picture) for Father Christmas
Make reindeer food
Decorate Christmas cookies
Make paper snowflakes
Decorate a paper candy cane
Read the nativity story
Make and drink hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows, sprinkles and whipped cream
Buy some food for your local homeless shelter
Hang a Christmas wreath in your home
Make some Christmas suncatchers for your windows
Watch The Snowman
Read Stick Man
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 a Christmas tree sensory bin
Choose a Christmas tree together
Dry orange slices and hang them up
Do an act of kindness for a friend or relative
Make some paper chains and hang them up
Go to a Christmas Carol service
Hang up mistletoe
Play a family game together
Choose some Christmas sweets (and umm….eat some)
Go Christmas caroling and sing your favourite Christmas songs
Watch The Grinch
Decorate old ornaments with glitter and glue
Watch Home Alone
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
Hang Christmas decorations in your room
Advent calendar activities for kids free printable
More Christmas ideas for kids
Have you done any Christmas calendar activities with your kids? Let me know what they loved in the comments below!
If you love making Christmas memories with your kids then you might like these ideas for a calendar of Christmas stories for kids, perfect for bedtime snuggles or if you think you might not get the chance to try all the ideas above!
Want more simple craft ideas? This round up of Christmas crafts for toddlers has been really popular with parents!