The point of doing this is to come up with simple, fun and stress free activities to bring out the holiday cheer in your family. I also wanted to promote kindness, love and generosity to my Toddler. This is NOT meant to be overwhelming or stressful. If I don't do an activity, I'm not going to get upset or feel like a failure. If I do an activity on a different day, it's no big deal. If I want to do an activity twice because Aiden enjoyed it so much, than that is what I'll do.
There is no wrong way to do this. My friend Katie made her own tin number set and hung them up on her refrigerator. I liked the idea of the tins because my toddler can play with them, so I bought my set on clearance at Starbucks last year in the hopes of actually doing it this year. I have also seen people do their own calendars by simply hanging twine on the wall and clipping numbered note cards to it. I pinned a few helpful ideas on my Pinterest board here if you want to see other people's creative ideas or ways they displayed their calendars.
In my opinion, the days leading up to Christmas should be more filled with fun, generosity and joy. Too many people are stressed around the holidays and this is not meant to be something that causes a parent stress. With that in mind, these are the activities I came up with for my toddler based on what I felt he would enjoy. (Example: Giving the garbage man a treat...Aiden loves watching our garbage being collected so I knew this would be something he would like to do. Meet and give the garbage man something! I can't wait to do this one!)
So here are the activities I chose for our Advent Calendar...
Set up Nativity (read story)
Make Homemade Snow
Decorate the Christmas Tree
Get new Christmas PJs and dance around in them to Christmas music
Visit a toy store and test out toys
Read a new to you Christmas book
Make Christmas cards
Make a Snowman
Build a Gingerbread house
Horse drawn carriage ride (if not applicable...go on a winter walk?)
Take coffee to a friend
Polar Express + Hot Chocolate
Make and eat Snowman pancakes for dinner
Make a gift to give someone
Go on a drive to look at Christmas lights
Make donuts (or fudge!)
Take a picture with Santa
Give the Garbage Man a treat
Bake and decorate sugar cookies
Share cookies with our neighbors
Have a pizza picnic by the Christmas tree
Attend a Christmas Eve service at church
Read the Christmas story in bed as a family
If you want to see these activities in action, I made a hashtag just for fun... #aidensadvent
Have you done this before? What other ideas would be fun to add some holiday cheer to your family this year?