I had so much fun making this Advent calendar. When hubby saw it he proclaimed “that’s nice!” Thank you hon for the kind compliment – makes me feel good about the project! Anyway, if you ever had little kids planning for an event you’ve got to be familiar with their famous question! The one that comes every second of the day until the event arrives no matter how much you try to explain. Here goes: “Is it time yet?” or how about “Are we there yet?” The thing is, smaller kids are not aware of times so they will constantly ask. So making things like activity calendars are great ways to help them understand the concept of time.
A few months ago, we were planning a trip to Florida. I used a simple calendar that I had found in the teacher’s/school section at Walmart during their back-to-school sale. I placed a star sticker on the day of the event and left the rest of the calendar blank. Everyday, starting at day 1, I had the kids put a check mark in the slot. I told them when the check marks get all the way up to the star, that is when we were going on the trip. It worked really well, especially for our 4 year old daughter. So I figured I would create an Advent (Christmas Count Down) calendar with activities for them.
Here is how it will work: Each day we will do an activity such as read Christmas stories, bake cookies, go bring a gift to someone, go shopping, etc. This calendar will also coordinate with our 25 Days of the Story of Jesus Bible Reading and Activity Printables. Also, on certain days, the kids will open a small gift.
What I used:
- 1/2 yard of burlap (JoAnn’s Fabric around $1:50 total)
- Fabric gift tags (Target 6 packs at $1 each)
- Small utensil bags or fabric gift bags with drawstrings (Target $1 each)
- Fake snowflakes (Target for $1)
- Jute twine
- Hot glue gun
First, I folded the burlap in half (well it was already folded from the store).
Then I glued down the open end and sides together. Cut out any extra loose ends.
To make the first column horizontally, I cut out 5 pieces of rope to fit across the burlap with a little extra on each end to overlap at the back.
I sealed the front ends with hot glue and also glued down the back pieces in place.
To create the second column vertically, I used 4 pieces of jute twine and spaced them out equally in a vertical order. (Rope could be used here, too, but I ran out and could not find my other spool of rope until after I had already used the twine). I do like the mix of colors, though. Then I hot glued the twine like I did the rope.
Write the numbers 1 through 25 on the fabric tags. I used two different color sharpies for this.
I love the beautiful Christmas sayings already written on the tags.
Place the tags centered in each little column, beginning with number 1, of course. Secure the ties on the column rope.
Once they were all in place, I hot glued around the 2 ends and the bottom corners. I left the top open to add little activity printables.
I did all the way up to 24 with tags and used added a Christmas decor for Day 25 ($1 at Dollar Tree).
Next, I grabbed the cute little drawstring baggies.
One of the bags had #25 on it so it was perfect for placing right next to day 25. It came in a pack of two so I did not realize they were different until I opened the pack. Don’t really care for Santa and his North Pole, but I care for the number on the bag! Sorry Santa!
Then I tied the bags in a few other slots next to a few different days. They represent the days to open a small gift. The gifts can be placed in them or someplace else if they are heavier.
Those little snowflakes were perfect for adding a bit of a finished look to the calendar.
Tie a bow at the top. To hang this I used two very small picture nails on either side and one at the top.
And because it is Christmas, I found a pretty burlap and red bow to cover the top. It was perfect!
And there you have it, hanging in our kitchen for now until we figure out where to put our Christmas decor.
I love that it is rustic and kind of shabby, raggedly looking. I will probably include some wording such as “Merry Christmas” in the very top column later.
Do you use advent calendars like these with your kids? I would love to know your thought in the comments below.