There is nothing so special as a home-made advent calendar - and the best thing about them is that you can choose exactly what will go in them each day, personalising them to suit your family. We have lots of ideas to get you thinking below...
Some home-made advent calendars are flat, others offer you a bit more flexibility and allow you put in a little gift or edible treat. We have lots of ideas here:
24 Advent "activities" that you can enjoy with the family in lunch box notes format, as well as 8 blank notes that you can fill up yourself.
Advent Lunch Box Notes
We have 36 little Christmas images to choose from which you can print and cut out.
Christmas Gift Tags
- We've got so many Christmas printables, printable crafts and puzzles here at Activity Village, you could easily roll up one for each day if your "pockets" are big enough!
- Do a Google or Bing image search for Christmas clipart or Christmas icons
- Cut images from last year's Christmas cards
- Write "challenges" for the children to do each day
- If you have more than one child, ask them to draw little pictures for the other's advent calendar. Add some of your own too.
- Pop in a joke - you could use some of our Christmas Jokes for Kids
- How about some Christmas quotes, bible verses or lines from popular Christmas carols?
- What do you plan to do that day? Leave an exciting message for the kids to open and read: "today we will pick out our tree", "today we will take our Christmas presents round to Granny's house", "tonight we will go for a drive to see the Christmas lights", "this evening we will pop popcorn and watch a family movie", and so on.
- How about a coupon? Make your own!
- You could write the title or first line in a Christmas story, which you will read to the kids at bedtime. Why not a Christmas book or story a day? Invest in a few new books each year and you'll soon build up enough for Advent (especially if you look in thrift stores and charity shops just after Christmas!) Alternatively, use the library and hunt for good Christmas stories online.
- Gold and silver coins, or other Christmas treats
- The first clue in a treasure hunt - how exciting! Save up some little bits and pieces as the "prize"
- The name of a recipe you will cook with the kids that day - perhaps some special Christmas cookies (or a photo of the cookies you will bake!)
- A miniature Christmas cookie cutter
- Tickets to a special Christmas show or pantomime
- Mini booklets with stories for the children to read (or leave them blank ready for them to write their own stories). Perhaps you could use our origami booklet - try with A5 or even A6 paper. We've also got special Christmas Booklets all ready for you!
- Save up miniature toys, knick-knacks and puzzles (you could even save Christmas cracker gifts from last year!)
- If your advent calendar pockets are big enough you could add a shop-bought miniature Christmas cracker.
- Have a "giving" day rather than a receiving day. Ask the children to pick one or two toys to take along to a charity, or pack up a shoebox full of goodies to give to your local Christmas scheme. Perhaps you could bake cookies or a cake and take them to your local old people's home? Or clear out some of the children's books and take them to a hospice or hospital? Older children could do some research to find a cause they would like to help, and spend the day making a plan to raise money.