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Advent or Christmas Countdown Calendar

Advent or Christmas Countdown Calendar

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Little lady is almost 3 so this year we are talking a little more about the meaning of Christmas.  To reinforce the idea of giving and helping during the holiday season I decided to make an advent calendar.  I remember those cardboard ones when I was little, a piece of candy every day leading up to the big day.  I loved those!  But I thought I’d focus on fun activities we can do each day vs. just candy.

Advent or Christmas Countdown calendar - DIY tutorial

Here is what I used for this relatively easy project:

Plywood (32″ x 40″)

Fabric to cover the board



Glycine bags (affiliate link)

Washi tape and other decorations for bags and title

I covered the board in fabric then added 4 strings of twine.  I numbered and decorated each bag then attached them to the twine on the board.  I added a simple “Christmas is Coming” title on top using the same decorations from the bags.

countdown 2


Bags on the advent calendar - fill with activities and treats

In each bag I put an activity.  I got some great ideas Money Saving Queen, I wanted to focus on fun activities that would help Little lady learn about giving and those who are less fortunate.  I also want her to learn more about the Christian meaning behind Christmas.  I did some planning with these cards.  I looked at my calendar to make sure each activity was doable on the day it occurred so she wouldn’t have to wait.

Advent calendar activities for each day

Here is the full list of activities in no particular order:

  • Make popcorn and watch a Christmas movie
  • Bake Christmas cookies
  • Pick out a toy for Toys for Tots
  • Special treat!  Hot cocoa with marshmallows
  • Special treat after dinner
  • Decorate a gingerbread house
  • Gather toys/clothes to donate
  • Read a Christmas book
  • Read Luke 2
  • Make a Christmas craft
  • Make a card for someone and mail it
  • Go for a drive and look at Christmas lights
  • Make an ornament
  • Make a garland
  • Wrap Christmas presents
  • Make cookies for Santa
  • Have family game night
  • Deliver a treat to Daddy at work
  • Color a Christmas picture
  • Make a gift for someone special
  • Visit Santa
  • Read a story about the birth of Jesus
  • Watch a Christmas movie
  • Play in the snow


I also added a sticker, fruit snacks, or a sucker to each bag.

Advent calendar bag - 1 for each day with an activity and treat

Little Lady has been staring at this board, anxious to see what’s inside, she can’t wait!

Do you use an Advent or countdown calendar in your home?  I’d love to hear how you do it.


Thanks for visiting!

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