Friday, December 2, 2011

Countdown to Christmas 2011

2011-11-30 Advent Calendar copy

If you’ve been around here awhile, you may remember the Countdown to Christmas Advent activities I did last year. Anyway, I decided to do something similar but not quite the same this year. I feel like Kahlen is still a little young to do anything more serious, and I did incorporate several activities that explain the true meaning of Christmas as well as the spirit of giving that I’d like to instill.

I’ve recently joined Pinterest as well, which has been slightly distracting, but overall a good thing. I’ve been pretty good about not spending too much time there, but it is very tempting. Anyway, I found a bunch of great Advent activity ideas and resources, so I combined them and made my own, cause that’s how I roll.

Here’s the links to the ones I used parts of:

  • My finished product looks very similar to this one
  • But I got my numbers from here
  • And several lists of activities can be found here, here, and here.

Tada!

2011-11-30 Advent Calendar

Here’s my activity list (link goes to ones you can actually print, already formatted to 2”x2” squares):

  1. Make a Christmas Star paper chain
  2. Christmas Symbols Lapbook
  3. Get Christmas Pictures taken
  4. Find and decorate a Christmas tree
  5. Make and mail Christmas ornaments
  6. Look at Christmas decorations at the mall
  7. String popcorn garland for the tree
  8. Make Christmas Cards for friends
  9. Make a new ornament for the tree
  10. Watch classic Christmas cartoons
  11. Sing at Church
  12. Bake cookies and give them to neighbors
  13. Drink hot cocoa and watch The Polar Express
  14. Minivan Express
  15. Library Storytime about Christmas
  16. Nativity Coloring Book
  17. Celebrate Kahlen’s Birthday
  18. Make paper snowflakes
  19. Read or Watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  20. Christmas craft(s)
  21. Wrap Christmas Presents
  22. Play “Don’t Eat Pete
  23. Read “A Special Place for Santa
  24. Go to the Christmas Eve service at church
  25. Have a Merry Christmas!

I printed them on 2”x2” squares and taped them inside like this so that once we do an activity, we turn that day inside out so we can see all the activities we’ve done. I used just a bit of tape so I can rearrange them if I need to. 2011-12-02 Advent Calendar (1)

Okay, supplies I used:

  • Large glassless picture frame (I picked this up at a thrift store over a year ago, has so many uses!)
  • Scrapbook paper in several colors/patterns. I used four different papers to provide variety, but you really could use all the same paper. I also didn’t want to go buy anything, so these are from my stash.
  • Mini clothespins (from Joann’s)
  • Ribbon
  • Staple gun (you could use tape, but I like it to be nice and sturdy)
  • Glue or tape (I used my Scotch ATG, but anything will work)

How I did it:

  • I actually used my Cricut Expressions and the Plantin Schoolbook cartridge to cut out the shape I used for each day, but a rectangle would have worked just as well. I used the bookmark and then folded it in half and folded the top part down so it looks like a present. But, seriously, a long rectangle would have worked just as well.
  • After I had the bookmark shapes all cut, I printed these numbers and cut them out with a circle cutter at about 2.5” (scissors would have worked too).
  • I taped the numbers onto the bookmarks I had already cut and folded.
  • I laid out my activity cards on the floor and figured out when each one would work best for us. Some are better on the weekend, some have a specific date, and the rest were “fillers”. Then I taped them on the inside of each of the folded cards with just a bit of tape so I can rearrange if I need to.
  • Next, I stapled ribbon onto the frame. I did not measure, I approximated, and it worked out just fine. If you are more of a perfectionist than I am (which is not hard), you might want to actually measure so you don’t end up with a gap at the bottom like I did.
  • Finally, I just pinned all the cards on to the ribbons, hung the frame on the wall, and voila! A cute, somewhat simple, advent calendar!

Since my posting has been sporadic anyway, there are no guarantees that I will post every single activity, but I’ll do my best. Geez, I’m already two days behind! Gotta go take some more pictures of the things we’ve done already…

~S

I included a lot of links in this post, but none of them are affiliate links so I won’t be benefitting in any way from you visiting said links. I just thought you might like to know what I was talking about :)

4 comments:

Monica @ Equipping Catholic Families said...

I love your Countdown to Christmas post...please consider adding it to my Advent Calendar linky:
http://www.equippingcatholicfamilies.com/2011/11/homemade-advent-calendars-links-of.html

Thanks! Have a blessed Advent!
Monica

TyKes Mom said...

This is so creative! Advent calendars are usually all so similar but this one is much more fun. Thank you for sharing! I would love it if you would link up to my Frugal Christmas Week (http://the-north-forty.com/2011/12/04/frugal-christmas-week-link-up/) so my readers can check this out as well! Thanks!

Barb said...

Very creative! I love how you flip each one over as you do it to show the progress.

The Prudent Pantry said...

Thanks for the great activity ideas! And your advent calendar looks great.

I would love it if you would share this at my new 12 Days of Christmas in July linky party. You can link up here:

http://theprudentpantryblog.blogspot.com/2012/07/twelve-days-of-christmas-in-july-linky.html

I can’t wait to get organized for a peaceful and frugal holiday season!

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