A family activity advent calendar is a great way to make the month of December fun and sweet with daily chocolates. Eat a treat every day while waiting patiently for Christmas and discover the daily activity, this has become a favorite for all the family members.
For the past few years, I have been preparing this DIY calendar with love and it is now a tradition. I start preparing it in November, it is nothing too fancy, I just gathered great little ideas I found mainly on Pinterest.
This advent calendar for children and adults is budget-friendly and I hope an inspiration to make your own with what you have at home.
⭐ Why You'll love making this calendar
- It is family-friendly, from toddlers to teens! Every one gets to have fun.
- You can personalize your calendar according to your budget!
- This holiday tradition is the BEST to create memories that will last forever!
📋 How Do You Make An Activity Advent Calendar
Choose how you want to display it
There are a few way you can do it:
- a simple wood frame with strings going through it (see first picture of the post)
- Just one long string with wooden clips to hang your little bag
- A long piece of wood with strings hanging
- In a cute basket and make sure each bag is numbered
Alternative: Find somewhere where you will want to pin your mini bags or maybe a shelf to display them. You can also hide them in the tree!
Next step, you'll need scissors and glue (+ maybe a printer)
For this DIY advent calendar, I printed 3 different patterns. I typed 'free Christmas printable' on Pinterest and I chose these 3:
You will need to print 12 papers.
Once printed, I cut the paper in half (hold it in portrait and cut it horizontally). Then, I follow this tutorial to fold it into small pockets.
Alternatively, use wrapping paper, some white paper and colour it.
How to create the content
Grab colourful pens, papers, holiday stamps and the chocolates
Now, it's time to fill these babies with goodies and surprises for each night. It's all about the chocolates but also the activities.
Fillers ideas (with and without candies)
- Food: Chocolates, candies, small cookies, etc.
- Special attention: Coupon for an extra time to watch television, coupon to choose dinner, coupon to choose a movie for the family, etc.
- Mini gifts Christmas themed: ornaments, socks, pen or pencil, book, notebook, etc
Here is a list of ideas for advent calendar activities, most of them are really budget-friendly and free.
- Decorate the tree.
- Make paper snowflakes.
- DIY ornament: You can get a kit at the Dollar store. We will make these wooly hat ornaments.
- Christmas drawings or colouring.
Minute-to-win game: This was our FAVOURITE last year.
* Put a cookie on your forehead and slide it to your mouth by making faces. Don't use your hands.
* Put a candy cane in your mouth and a bunch of them on a table. Do 2 teams, and you need to fish as many candy canes as possible: see the picture here to understand better.
* Take 2 bowls, dry beans or chickpeas, and tweezers. Make 2 teams. You have a minute to transfer as many beans as possible to the other bowl using the tweezers.
- Christmas bingo night: I printed this game on Pinterest last year and saved it in an envelope
- Board game night.
I could have started with that one! You can almost make a food-themed activity advent calendar if you want... Maybe an idea for next year?
- Hot Chocolate Bar: I buy some mini marshmallows, some cookies, chocolates, candy canes and we make it our dessert!
- Kids in charge of dinner: Enough said. They decide on dinner, I put this activity for a Friday night.
- Baking cookies for snack or dessert
- Baking to gift: Chocolate truffles for example.
- Decorate the Christmas table
- Make a gingerbread house
- Christmas photo booth: Take some pictures by the Christmas tree, some funny ones, some family ones, here is your excuse to get everyone excited for a photoshoot
- Make up a Christmas story: I got them a little Christmas pad at the Dollar store
- Write a letter to Santa
- Make your own/write Christmas cards (to teachers, school staff, neighbours, family members)
- Do something nice: Make someone's day super bright. I actually put this one twice in the month.
- Call Santa
- Christmas movie night with popcorn
- Christmas pyjama/sweater day
- Scavenger hunt drive or walk. Make a list of items you have to see, I use this one I found on Pinterest as a guideline as I often do my own in French.
- If there is snow: make snow angels, a snowman, or go tobogganing.
- Drive through different neighbourhoods to see the lights or go downtown (wherever your downtown is!)
Finally, it is ready! Enjoy your advent activity calendar while waiting for Santa.
Keep The Christmas Spirit In The Kitchen!
- Make my sweet Christmas bread with an orange blossom flavour, so delicious
- The French mendiants are a super easy treat to make with the kids and also make a great hostess gift.
- Have you ever baked a yule log from scratch? It is easier than you think, let me take you to step by step.
Did you make your own using this guide? Tag me on Instagram @petitporcini or leave me a comment! I'd love to see!