Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Advent Calendar

We begin our Advent Calendar Activities again tomorrow.
Advent Caldendar Wall
We're still using the one I made inspired by Allsorts' pattern allsorts.typepad.com/allsorts/2007/11/advent-calendar.html I keep meaning to try something different, but this one works so well for us. I print out the activities and stuff them in the little pouch. If something unexpected comes up and we need a shorter one I just swap them.

I've had a lot of people ask me what sorts of activities we do. Well, I have to admit as the boys are getting older, it's getting harder and harder to come up with fresh ideas. Here is a list of ideas I've compiled over the years. Most we have done. Some while my nieces were visiting, others are just ideas I've had for others to do. Santa isn't a part of our holiday, and never has been, but he is a big part of other people's holidays, so there are some of those type of ideas too. Hopefully you can find these useful. If you have ideas of your own, (especially ones a 14 year old boy won't roll his eyes at,) please let me know!

Quick 10 min or less
•Write a card to military overseas or veterans hospital
•Color Christmas Picture
•Bunny hop/Conga line through house
•Only speak in Pig Latin or like a pirate
•Learn or make up instructions for a secret handshake
•Write a letter to a distant relative
•Tell Christmas Jokes (have these ready)
•Call Grandparents and sing carols
•Word searches, crossword puzzles, mazes, etc... (there are a lot of online word search & crossword puzzle makers for free.)
•Read a Christmas themed book
•Sing Christmas Carols using kazoos
•Make and Drink fancy hot chocolate (marshmallows, whipped cream, sprinkles, candy cane)
•Make Snowangels

About 30 Minutes
•Hang Stockings
•Paper airplanes- make and fly (Who's goes farthest, highest, etc.)
•Make Ornaments
•Make Paper Snowflakes
•Set Out Nativity
•Paint Rocks (could take longer than 30m)
•Make an ice candle (larger bucket, smaller bucket, tape, greenery, water, freeze, use next day)
•Make stickers using white label stickers and markers
•Make Thumbprint animals on wrapping paper or gift tags (potato stamps would work too)
•Learn an origami project
•Make a birdfeeder
•Make Playdoh
•Look at past holiday pictures in a photo album

More than 30 min
•Bake Bread/Banana Bread
•Make a pom pom garland or string popcorn for a garland
•Make a beaded necklace, bracelet, bookmark
•Make soap/candles •Make Snow globes
•Have a bonfire
•Marbleize paper (liquid starch or shaving cream method)
•Lego building competition
•Make up a crazy dance to some Christmas music
•Take Silly Christmas Pictures (everyone in Santa hats, wearing reindeer antlers, wrapped up in Christmas paper or decorations, etc...)
•Make a memory game for the little kids we know with wooden disks and pictures
•Make Gift tags for our gifts to others •Write your own Christmas Carol •Make Teacher Gifts
•Watch a favorite or new Christmas themed movie
•Follow a treasure map to a large-ish gift or activity
•Write Out Christmas Cards
•Go out and play Bocce (or other game) in the snow
•Make a wreath
•Make/decorate a Christmas themed pillowcase or t-shirt
•Make pajama pants
•Learn a new magic trick or science project
•Star gazing
•Play a family board game
•Have a camp out around the Christmas Tree
•Make Snowman
•Have a video game competition (Wii bowling or boxing are popular)
•Have a snowball fight
•Christmas Charades
•Exchange Stockings Food/Meal Related
•Make Cookies
•Pizza making night
•Decorate Cookies
•Have Milkshakes
•Make Rock Candy
•Have an Indoor Picnic
•Have a Fondue Night
•Have a Candle light supper
•Have an Eat Dessert First night
•Breakfast for dinner

Away From Home
•Watch local Holiday Parade
•Get a Christmas Tree/Decorate Christmas Tree
•Buy a toy for toys for tots
•Visit at a nursing home
•Gather no longer used towels and blankets for local animal shelter
•Go to a production of the Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol
•Shop for things for women’s shelter
•Go out to eat at a favorite restaurant
•Go to a movie
•Take a walk/drive to look at holiday lights
•Go Bowling
•Go Sledding
•Go out for ice cream
•Pack a picnic for the park/botanical gardens (weather permitting)

Activities for younger kids or when girls are here
•Use puppets to tell bedtime story
•Have a bubble bath
•Fancy dress up for dinner time
•Give everyone crazy hairstyles
•Paint everyone’s toenails

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