Tuesday, November 27, 2012

a simple advent

i can't tell you how excited i am for the holiday season this year. i think it's because my son is old enough to get excited, but i couldn't wait to rush through october and november so we could enjoy december. weird, huh? normally i am all about fall.
to celebrate december and count down to christmas, i put together a simple advent calendar full of fun activities and little treasures for my little one. it is a simple project that can easily be done in time for december first, so listen up all you last-minute-adventers!

-25 (or 24, depending on when you end your countdown) small white paper bags. i found mine at michaels, they are 3.5x6.75 inches and the perfect size.
-25 clothespins
-decorative tape
-numerical stamps (you could also print the numbers from your home printer or handwrite them)
-activities or treats to fill your bags

i didn't take pictures of the process, but it's very simple:
stamp numbers on the bags, 1-25
come up with 25 activities, treats, or crafts (michaels and hobby lobby have great crafts and toys for just a dollar or two a piece) and place them in the bags.
cover clothespins with decorative tape (found at michals, etsy, or here)
secure ribbon to the wall, and hang bags from the ribbon

most of my bags are filled with a slip of paper and a m&m or two. there are a few little presents, like a holiday cup with a cool straw, silly putty, and a few new books, but other than that it's crafts and activities. most of the presents, books and crafts didn't fit in the bags, so the paper instructs him to either pick a craft or unwrap a little present. these are stored up high in a basket until we need them :)

here's our list if you are looking for some ideas (keep in mind, he is two, so most of these are simple):

read a new book (that he gets to unwrap)
pick a craft from the craft basket (all of these were a dollar or two)
color a picture for grandparents
hot chocolate by the fire with mom and dad
sing christmas songs while shaking jingle bells
decorate gingerbread houses
visit the botanical garden of lights
make cinnamon ornaments
decorate sugar cookies
make a snowman out of cotton balls
paint with evergreen branches and pinecones
decorate gingerbread men
take treats to neighbors
drive around and see christmas lights
take treats to nursery teachers
color a picture of baby Jesus
pick a present to donate
family holiday movie night
new jammies and the nativity story



  1. That is so dang cute! And it seems super duper easy :)

  2. so very cute and a great way of doing this.

    my mom does the 12 days of christmas, giving little gifts each day. if i ever start doing this (she's doing this now for the girls), i'll incorporate your idea of "coupons" for activities - i've heard experiences mean more in the long term than physical presents.

    nice work!

    p.s. do you do elf on a shelf? my aunt gave us one but i never did it as a kid. i know you'd have great ideas, if you do do it.

    1. thanks, cora! coupons are a great way to describe what's in the bags! that's so great that your mom puts it together for your girls, what a great grandma!

      we do have elf on a shelf, this is our first year doing it. brody doesn't quite get it yet, but finding the elf is fun for him. there are a ton of great ideas out there, especially on pinterest. just search for "elf on a shelf ideas" and you will find picture after picture.

  3. I love your advent calendar. I really wanted to make something like this for this year, but time is something that I just don't seem to have enough of lately. {ya know?} Anywho. Love the idea! Looking forward to see what else you do this year!

    1. thanks, joy! your pictures are so fun, looks like you have come up with fun ideas for little E to do each day until christmas!

  4. Love this idea! So simple and fun! We have a 2 year old daughter and these ideas would be great for her as well! Pinning this one. ;)


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