Are you looking for some easy Advent calendar activities and ideas for kids this year? This post is all about simplicity. We are including fun activities that you will be doing anyway during December and just adding some extra fun by putting them on the calendar! You can easily use the printable calendar with ideas for each day of Advent, or you can print the activity cards and use them as it works for your family during the holiday season. I hope these great ideas help you and your loved ones have so much fun this December, creating new Christmas traditions together.
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Decorate a Felt Tree
One of our favorite Christmas activities is decorating a felt tree with our kids. We hang ours in the kitchen, and all four of our kids love decorating it together. This is a great option for little kids, as they can decorate it any way they want time and time again. It’s a fun way to get little ones involved this time of year. Our felt tree is hung on the first day of December, so they can play with it all month long. This is also a great gift for a baby’s first or second Christmas, as it will get lots of use throughout the years.
Make a paper chain
The first thing we do during the Christmas season is to make a paper chain counting down the days to Christmas morning. Our older kids love finding fun printed Christmas paper to make wide bands to staple together to make the paper chain. Hang it in your kitchen or living room to count down the days together.
Color in Chrismons
Coloring in Chrismons is one of our favorite Advent activities on our own Advent calendar. These help retell the first Christmas story. Each family member can color in the Chrismon and then we talk through what that Chrismon represents in the first Christmas story. For instance, the anchor cross reminds us that Christ is the anchor of our faith. The Nativity Star reminds us of when the Wise Men visited Jesus.
For easy printables, visit whychristmas.com. Print the patterns and let your kids color them as they like. This is a great dinner-time activity, along with reading Scripture each day of Advent.
Construct a Gingerbread House
Of course, making a gingerbread house is a great option for our Christmas activities and gets everyone into the Christmas spirit. Make sure to open the package and read through the directions completely before starting construction. It’s the perfect time to use leftover Halloween candy to complete your house. Another great tip is to use hot glue to hold the walls and roof together, instead of using messy icing. Then, you can use icing as an accent! Play some Christmas music and get the whole family involved! For more gingerbread house-making tips, check out this post!
Have a Christmas Movie Night
Every year, we have to add watching a Christmas movie or two to our Christmas countdown calendar. We love this quality time together and both older children and young children enjoy it! Some of our favorites include Elf, The Polar Express, The Star, The Grinch, Home Alone, and Noelle. Pop some popcorn, make some hot cocoa with marshmallows, and relax together.
Light Advent Candles
Every Sunday, we love to light another Advent candle to mark the Christmas season. This way, each week on the way to Christmas, we know that kids are hearing the good news of the coming of Christ. We ordered this wreath and candle set for our dinner table. For more simple ideas on celebrating Advent at home, check out this post.
Read Our Favorite Christmas Books
You can also pair lighting the Advent wreath candles with reading many different Christmas books. These stories tell your kids the story of the birth of Jesus. It is the simplest way to tell the story of that first Christmas. In fact, unpacking the Christmas books is one of the first things our kids want to do every single year! Here are a few of our favorites at Christmas time:
The Advent Storybook by Laura Richie
The Advent Storybook Coloring Book by Laura Richie
The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones
Jesus Calling: The Story of Christmas by Sarah Young
For more great holiday book ideas, check out my post of our favorite board books for the holidays and our favorite Christmas books for kids. A gift of a new Christmas book is always welcome in our house and a wonderful way to celebrate the season!
Wrap a Christmas gift for teachers and write a note: Advent Calendar Activities and Ideas
How much do we love our teachers? Make sure to add this idea to your Christmas family traditions! See if your school has a list of your teacher’s favorites: candy, coffee, restaurants, hobbies, etc. Kids of all different ages will love shopping for their teachers. Make sure to include a handwritten note from yourself and your child saying thank you. Notes from parents and children are always my favorite gifts from students, even more than any material things!
Make Paper Snowflakes
Making paper snowflakes is an easy, fun activity for your family Advent calendar. Pull out your Christmas crafts box with scissors and white paper and make these simple Christmas decorations. I even love to add them to Christmas packages for extra decoration for little gifts. Try these step-by-step directions from Martha Stewart and try some on your own before you try it with your kids!
Drive to See Christmas Lights
Another simple idea for young kids and older children is to go out and see some Christmas lights. Bundle up in your Christmas pajamas, grab a cup of hot chocolate, and explore your town. Use social media to find out the best neighborhoods! We even have a few homes in our area that are decorated and have corresponding radio stations. It’s such a fun and easy way to spend a December evening.
Make Christmas Cookies
Of course, the holiday season is even more fun with Christmas cookies! Run to the grocery store and stock up on all of the baking essentials plus sprinkles and icing of all different colors. Have fun making some simple recipes to add to your fun DIY Advent calendar ideas. Check out my post on five simple cookies and treats to make with your kids.
Remember, to keep it easy and fun! If you have young kids, it may not be the year for perfectly sculpted gingerbread men and a perfect Buche de Noel, and that is ok. Keep it simple with a few treats that require minimal effort with little ones.
If you have older kids, consider hosting a small Christmas party and having a cookie exchange. Each person brings 2-3 dozen of their favorite Christmas cookies, and they go home with a few of their friends’ favorites as well!
I hope this post gives you plenty of great ideas for your holiday Advent season this year! Remember to keep it simple and flexible in order to keep it fun!
For more fun Advent ideas, check out my other posts:
Christmas Gifts for Boys
Holiday Gifts for Girls
Feel free to download my printable 2021 calendar or print the non-dated ornaments to order them as you wish! Merry Christmas!