101 Advent Calendar Activities

The holidays are fast approaching and one of my favorite ways to cut out all the noise surrounding Christmas and focus on the memories I want to make with my daughters is an advent calendar. Not only is it a tangible way for them to see how close we are to Christmas Eve, but it also gives me an opportunity to use an advent calendar as a holiday list with advent calendar activities. Whether your kids have a chocolate advent calendar or you have a beautiful wooden Christmas tree advent calendar, have a little advent calendar activity with a seasonal theme waiting inside the box or next to the sweets. It’s such a sweet way to make sure you and your family make all the vacation memories.

What is an advent calendar?

Advent calendars date back to 19th century Germany and are a way for people to count down to December 25. At the beginning of the 20th century, calendars were produced and marketed for children. Now, advent calendars are very popular and can include everything from toys and construction sets to chocolate and small jams. But many parents love to put a little advent calendar activity inside their advent calendar, especially if it has pockets or openings, like little doors or windows to open.

Advent calendars with pockets and drawers

Advent Calendar Activities for adults, toddlers and more

Trust me, advent calendar activities don’t have to be super elaborate. You can do a combination of activities, or you can focus on one type for the full 24 days. The fun thing is that when your kids open the advent calendar window or hang their advent calendar ornament, they find a little activity to do that day to spread a little more cheer. Perhaps every advent calendar activity for your family is watching a different Christmas movie before bed or reading a Christmas book. Maybe you are really into cookies and save great advent calendar activities for the weekends where you can make all your favorite Christmas desserts, and during the week your kids find recipes inside their calendar. Or maybe, like me, you have a list of things you want to do with your kids this season (write a letter to Santa, paint decorations, wrap Christmas presents together) that you can spread out as Advent calendar activities throughout the season. december. .

Pro tip from me: don’t get too precious with dates on these things. Life happens. Sometimes you have big plans to see The Grinch after soccer practice and it just doesn’t work. Feel free to change it up to something super small and easy (I have ideas for you there too!) The Grinch activity on another date. Also think about days when planning your activities. If you know the kids are going to be wiped out on a random Thursday in December, maybe skip that night to make a centerpiece for your Christmas table and use it as one of your “let’s read a Christmas book” advent calendar activities. Christmas” instead. .

Craft and creative activities of the Advent Calendar

You could go as simple and broad as “make a Christmas craft” here if you’d like and then use it a few times throughout December, or you can get specific with some of these ideas.

Cooking and Baking Advent Calendar Activities

You absolutely could make a “baking cookies” or “making Christmas treats” advent calendar activity, but if you want to get specific and spread the word, try some of these. Bonus: You can make a Christmas baking activity last several days if an advent calendar activity is choosing a recipe, followed by another day to make the cookies, and then another day to decorate. (Handing out cookies to neighbors could be the fourth advent calendar activity in that row.) You could do the same for gingerbread houses or any other elaborate Christmas baking project.

  • make cookies for Santa (a great one to save for Christmas Eve)
  • Do your research and find a new cookie recipe to be part of your family’s Christmas traditions.
  • make snickerdoodle cookies
  • make chocolate chip cookies
  • try one of their Christmas dinner sides (super fun for the kids who really like to cook)
  • make gingerbread cookies
  • make horse chestnuts
  • go shopping for everyone’s favorite holiday snacks
  • make a christmas tree cake
  • make chex mix
  • go buy a snowman cookie at starbucks
  • make crockpot christmas treats
  • make something with crushed candy canes
  • make oreo truffles
  • make cinnamon rolls to give to the neighbors
  • planning christmas day breakfast
  • make homemade whipped cream
  • make hot chocolate
  • make fudge
  • make christmas break
  • Make a Sweetology Christmas Baking Kit
  • make and decorate sugar cookies
  • make eggnog
  • make a gingerbread house

Christmas Book Advent Calendar Activities

Of course, the advent calendar activity can be “read a Christmas book,” but you know I’m going to be specific to spice things up a bit and make planning easier for you.

  • read How the Grinch stole Christmas and have everyone practice a Grinch voice for their dialogue
  • read It was the night before Christmas (another great advent calendar activity for Christmas eve)
  • read a winter story by Jan Brett
  • read Christmas in the great woods and make gingerbread man pancakes like mom
  • read a chapter of The best Christmas contest in history (this can span multiple nights)
  • read a chapter of A Christmas Carol (another one that can cover several nights)
  • read the snowy day and do the same things in the snow that Peter did
  • read The gift of the Magi

Fun advent calendar activities for the whole family

If you have a Christmas wish list in mind of things you definitely want to do this holiday season as a family, write them down as advent calendar activities. Everything from decorating the Christmas tree to driving to find Christmas lights to singing Christmas music together counts. Here are some broad and specific family advent calendar activity ideas to get you started.

  • take a drive to see the Christmas lights
  • go pick out a christmas tree
  • decorate the Christmas tree
  • Decorate your bedrooms with Christmas decorations.
  • hang garland somewhere in the house
  • walk around your neighborhood and rate the Christmas lights
  • go help a family member decorate their Christmas tree
  • Go caroling in your own home and have family members trade being carolers and door openers for carols
  • make a Christmas playlist together as a family
  • play christmas playlist over breakfast
  • find a Christmas movie in a theater and go out for a movie night
  • go see santa claus
  • go walk through Home Depot and look at all the Christmas decorations and trees
  • go to Target and take pictures of the gifts you want to receive or give
  • look at I love Lucy Christmas special
  • look at Modern Family christmas episodes
  • watch one of the claymation christmas specials on tv as it airs
  • see the 1966 How the Grinch stole Christmas! tv special
  • see the 2000 Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas movie
  • see 2018 The Grinch movie
  • And then rank all the Grinch movies and vote for your family favorite to watch again.
  • clock Pluto Christmas Tree Before going to bed
  • circle the gifts you want in the Amazon toy catalog
  • write letters to santa claus
  • deliver your letters from Santa Claus
  • make a christmas puzzle
  • buy a set of bells and learn to play “Jingle Bells”
  • hang a new set of twinkle lights somewhere
  • family dance party with “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”
  • everyone wears their matching family Christmas pajamas
  • gather around the piano and play and sing Christmas songs together
  • christmas shopping for siblings
  • put Christmas sheets on everyone’s bed
  • Play the Grinch version of Clue
  • organize a Christmas performance with the figurines in a Christmas village
  • sing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” on the way to school with horns on
  • have your own Christmas Eve service by candlelight
  • write a letter to your elves
  • clock the snowy day
  • decorate your car with a Rudolph kit
  • watch a Christmas movie with popcorn and hot chocolate (these can be multiple advent calendar activities if you want to write the specific Christmas movie for each night)
  • look at Guardians of the Galaxy Christmas Special
  • make a christmas theme Where is Waldo? book before bed
  • Create a family Christmas cookbook with all of your family’s favorite foods and desserts for this time of year, even if you buy them at the store (this is a great time to call grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. at family for their input)
  • take a picture in front of the Christmas tree and write about what is happening this year
  • go shopping for gifts and toys to donate
  • go shopping for decorations that represent 2022 for each member of the family
  • donate holiday cookies, candy, turkeys and other seasonal foods to your local food pantry
  • eat a weeknight dinner off of christmas plates
  • clock A Charlie Brown Christmas and discuss what Christmas means to you
  • sit by the Christmas tree and talk about each of the decorations and where they come from
  • look through old christmas photos
  • Check out this huge online collection of Christmas wish books from the 1950s to the 1990s.
  • Host a neighborhood Christmas gathering
  • wear Christmas-themed accessories all day (the kids will love watching you go shopping with antlers, trust me)

funny christmas accessories

No matter how specific or broad your advent calendar activities are, the most important part is having fun together and creating sweet holiday memories. Think of these advent calendar ideas as a way to include all the must-have Christmas activities for your family. If baking cookies is most important to you, donate to a toy drive and watch The Grinch, then make them a priority. The rest can be an easy and fun Christmas filling.

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