Advent calendars are such a fun way to count down the days until Christmas. It’s also a great opportunity to work on counting skills, number recognition, and concepts of time. I have seen some really beautiful wooden and homemade advent calendars.
This year, we will make the classic paper chain. There are many different ways you can use your advent calendar. We will be making a paper chain with a special activity written inside of each link. I will not have to hide what is written, since my children are “pre-readers,” as I like to call them. If you have readers and want to hide what is written on each chain, you could just tape another piece of paper over the writing. On the outside of each link, I will write the number of the date.
As for the actual making of the chain, you should modify it to your child’s attention span and interest level in crafts of this kind. I will have about half of the chain made before we start. I will have lines on paper for my son to cut out, and we will all work together to tape the strips together.
Our focus on each link will be activities that show love to others. For example, some things that will be written inside will be:
Feed the pigs at the farm.
Paint a picture for our neighbor.
Wash the kitchen floor.
Donate an old coat.
Send a card to a friend.
Buy a present for a child in need.
Bring bread to the ducks.
Bake cookies for our babysitter.
Each day will be a fun surprise. We have not used an advent calendar in years past, so there are no expectations. If you would like to do an idea like this, but your child is used to getting candy each day, you could simply attach candy to strips of paper with what you’ve written, and put them in a jar, to be taken out one by one.
Another idea that I like is using each link to tell a part of the nativity story. I found a nice free printout here: