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Thursday 17 November 2022

Activity Advent Calendar Ideas

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December is almost here which means it's almost time for the advent calendar. 

There are so many great advent calendar options out there, from the classic variety with the tiny chocolates to very specialized advent calendars with character toys, nail polish, make up, tea bags, jams, wine, socks, and even dog treats. We have a reusable advent calendar that I fill with small treats (usually chocolates) and vouchers for holiday themed activities. We've been using the same advent calendar for over a decade now and it always makes me so happy to take it out of storage and fill it with my home made vouchers each year.

So, just what sorts of activities do I include in our advent calendar each year? 

Good question! I like to include a mix of holiday activities that we can do at home with little effort, as well as fun local holiday events. If you're in Colorado and looking for holiday events check out my Christmas in Denver 2022 post here. For general activities keep on reading for my list below.

Activities to include on your advent calendar vouchers:

πŸŽ„ Write a letter to Santa
πŸŽ„ Visit a Christmas tree farm and cut your own tree
πŸŽ„ Decorate the Christmas tree
πŸŽ„ Visit Santa
πŸŽ„ Attend a local holiday parade
πŸŽ„ Attend a local tree lighting festival
πŸŽ„ Build a snowman
πŸŽ„ Go ice skating
πŸŽ„ Make Christmas crafts (I have DIYs for a washi tape tree, waterless snow globes, Christmas handprints and borax snowflakes)
πŸŽ„ Read a Christmas story (You can find my favorite holiday books here)
πŸŽ„ Go out for hot chocolate or make hot chocolate at home
πŸŽ„ Decorate a gingerbread house
πŸŽ„ Make salt dough ornaments
πŸŽ„ Make holiday cookies (You can find my honey biscuit recipe here)
πŸŽ„ Watch a Christmas movie
πŸŽ„ Make a Christmas pudding
πŸŽ„ Watch a performance of the Nutcracker or The Velveteen Rabbit
πŸŽ„ Check out the holiday window displays in local department stores
πŸŽ„ Take an evening walk through the neighborhood to check out holiday lights
πŸŽ„ Sing Christmas carols
πŸŽ„ Make snow ice cream (You can find the recipe here)
πŸŽ„ Visit a holiday market 

I tend to repeat activities such as reading a Christmas story, watching a Christmas movie, going out for hot chocolate, and making Christmas crafts several times throughout our advent calendar so I don't need to come up with a new activity for every single day. These activities are pretty easy ones that we can fit around our busy schedule without much effort - or leaving the house!

Now that you have ideas for what to put on your advent vouchers let's talk about the vouchers themselves. I use vouchers that I designed and printed for my kids years ago. Because most of the activities I include in our advent calendar are pretty generic we've been able to use them for a long time, even after our move to Colorado. If you're not up for designing your own vouchers, there are lots of great options out there. E.Frances Little Notes are my favorite cards to use as gift labels and they're also the perfect size for advent vouchers. They come in a large range of designs including plenty of holiday options. You can find E.Frances Little Notes here. Minted also make cute gift tags that you can even personalize with photos if you choose. If you stick with a blank background they work well as advent vouchers. You can find Minted gift cards here. Mini photo prints from Social Print Studio would also make a great option. If you're up to it you could print a different photo for each activity card. You can order Social Print Studio mini prints here. Now, of course, you can always keep things super simple and hand write or type the vouchers on any paper or card that you have at home.

Now for the advent calendar itself...

Our advent calendar was purchased from Kikki K, a popular stationery store in Australia before we moved to the US. This particular style is no longer available on their webpage but there are plenty of similar styles available from various stores. Below are links to some of my favorite pocket style hanging advent calendars:

Don't forget Amazon! Amazon has a large range of fillable advent calendar options. I've shared some of my favorites below. Just click the image to shop.

Do you make an activity advent calendar too? I'd love to hear what you include in yours!

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