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Advent Activities

November 30, 2014

As Christmas of My Make Do and Mend Year approached a couple of years ago, I had a rant about advent calendars, and blogged about my idea for doing an activity each day with the Smalls.
I totally LOVE this idea, probably more than the kids do. They have been bought Lego calendars by a relative, which I am sure will be a billion times more exciting than my attempts to step away from consumerism, but I am determined to persevere with this idea!

So for anyone else wanting to do a similar thing, here is my list of 24 Advent Activities for you to pick from if you’d like 🙂
I’ve tried to vary it a bit from last years, but some of these things are becoming tradition.
(I know it’s probably too late now, but if you are still wanting a homemade Advent calendar, then there are 35 here from The Crafty Crow , or there are 5 toilet roll advent calendars here from The Multi-tasking Mummy)

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1) Write a letter to the big man, Father Christmas
There are loads of templates on line, like these ones here from Family Fun.
We get them to put theirs in the (unlit) log burner before bed, and then liberally sprinkle glitter around the hearth ready for them to discover the next morning

2) Make cards
How about these ones here on the fabulous Red Ted Art.
19dabd3e6d41c603dd0b34ff68757cb2I am LOVING these potato print ones from Molly Moo Crafts.

snowman-christmas-card-diy
Or there are these fingerprint ones from Hands on as we Grow
finger-print-christmas-cards-for-kids-433x650

3) Felt tree decorations
I have a horrible feeling I have just given away all our felt scraps, but if I can find some more, these ones from Kidspot look do-able!
felttree_main

4) Make orange and spice playdough
This playdough from NurtureStore sounds like it will smell delicious!
christmas-play-dough-recipe

5) Make Christmas biscuits
If you want to, you can make a double batch and freeze half ready to have nearer to Christmas. This is my favourite recipe here

6) Decorate the biscuits
Abandon all ideas of sophisticated, under-stated Scandi-style chic and let them go crazy with the sprinkles

Christmas biscuits-iced21

7) Make salt dough, or cornflour dough decorations
We made some cornflour ones a couple of years ago, and they looked pretty good!
cornflour-decs21-2Or check out this tutorial on the Imagination Tree

8) Go to the library and stock up on Christmas books

9) Make a handprint wreath
I spotted this on the Nurture Store, and looks really cute!
IMG_2107

10) Make/decorate your own wrapping paper
 We have a roll of brown paper at home that we picked up at the scrapstore. I’m planning to use cookie cutters to cut shapes out of potatoes and let them go crazy with paint… I may regret this…
Or this fingerprint reindeer wrap from The Crafty Crow looks very cute
6a00d8341cc08553ef01a3fa958812970b-800wi
Or this cookie cuter paper is another great idea from NurtureStore
homemade-gift-wrapOr this Lego printed paper from No time for flashcards
lego-print-wrapping-paper-356x800

11) Yarn decorated ‘baubles’
-from Hands on as we Grow

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12) Snowman/star rice crispy cakes
(Blog post to come..!)
Crispy stars1

13) Make teacher presents
-I am planning a variation on these chocolates here on NurtureStore
IMG_6773-300x22514) Make mince pies
Again, you may need to forget about the aesthetics of your mince pies and be happy with ‘rustic’

15) Watch a Christmas movie
Pile on the sofa with some popcorn and a big blanket to snuggle under

16) Go for a bike/walk around town and marvel at the Christmas lights/decorated houses
Hot chocolates upon your return are obligatory.

17) Make paper snowflakes to tape up on the windows
You remember, the ones where you fold a piece of A4 into 4 and then cut out shapes…!

18) Decorate the tree
Last year BigSmall had his own tree (a twig in a pot…) to decorate, so that we could leave our tree unadorned!

19) Make/decorate a gingerbread house
 My friend made two last year, and then invited us round to decorate them. I feel like I should return the favour!
There are instructions here from the BBC Good Food site for making your own, or I think you can buy kits ready to assemble and decorate.

20) Some kind of toilet roll craft…!
There are some great ideas in this post here on Red Ted Art
88b51ee4a60ee51d51dbe2daafa1a295

21) Build a lego Christmas ornament
I saw this on Frugal fun for boys, and know that my boys will love it!
lego-ornaments-4
I just googled Lego Christmas ideas, and there are loads of things to have a go at (some look easier than others…)
Screen Shot 2014-11-29 at 19.57.40

22) Egg carton trees
How cool are these from Mermaid’s Makings?
???????????????????????????????

23)Decorate a plate for Father Christmas
In the past we have done this with ceramic paints and white china plates, but I think this year we might go with good old paper plates

24) Put out the stockings, and any signage you may have to indicate that Father Christmas needs to make a stop. Don’t forget the mince pie and the carrot

If this wasn’t quite enough, check out this fab post from No Time for Flashcards, with 25 Christmas books, each with a craft to match them-what a brilliant idea!

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  • Reply Holly u December 29, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    One idea that has gone over well with my son is a treasure hunt. It’s great for days I know will be too busy for crafting or other big projects. I make about 6 cards for the hunt. The treasure has been a book (used), minifigs pack, have a cookie now, put a treat on your lunch box. Whatever would be fun for your kid and fits your budget.

    • Reply Jen December 31, 2014 at 7:59 pm

      That sounds fab Holly!

  • Reply Rae Hodgetts December 1, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    I think I might try to get my (very nearly) fifteen-year-olds! I miss those potato printing days!

    • Reply Jen December 1, 2014 at 8:35 pm

      How awesome would that be if they joined in?!

  • Reply Too many Advent calendars? | Second-Hand Tales December 1, 2014 at 8:52 am

    […] looking for an alternative to advent calendars and chocolates have a look at this great post about advent activities from the brilliant blog: my make do and mend […]

  • Reply Helen November 30, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    I think we’ll try out the egg boxes. Thanks for sharing these ideas!

    • Reply Jen December 1, 2014 at 8:36 pm

      My pleasure Helen!

  • Reply sandyfaithking November 30, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Reblogged this on multicolouredsmartypants and commented:
    I am so looking forward to using our advent wreath this year, with the accompanying book Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp. We are going to inherit my parents’ Christmas tree and we’ll decorate with home made ornaments made using origami and salt dough. Today is ‘make Christmas cards’ day, using cards from last year 😀

    • Reply Jen November 30, 2014 at 10:56 am

      Brillo!
      And thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Reply Heather November 30, 2014 at 8:39 am

    There are some lovely ideas here. For the activities in the advent calendars this year I have done a mixture of craft / making things (cards, wrapping paper, cookies etc) and other simple activities. I had to carefully decide what to put in each day as with work, school, after school clubs and homework our weekday evenings can be very fraught the last thing I needed was to be getting the glitter & paint out on a Monday night! So I’m hoping it’ll go well.

    • Reply Jen November 30, 2014 at 10:55 am

      Hi Heather
      Good point-haven’t quite planned out exactly what we are going to do when yet, but will try and leave the messier stuff until the weekends!

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