Create An Advent Calendar With 25 Family Holiday Activity Ideas

It’s almost December and I can’t wait! I love the Christmas season. It is my favorite time of year. Everyone is happy and friendly. I love the music, the decorations and let’s not forget the food!

25 days of Christmas activities with advent calendar - The Everyday Mom Life

This year I decided to make an advent calendar for our family. I wanted it to be filled with activities we could do together. I also wanted it to serve as a cute decoration in our family room. I had the perfect spot – my son’s magnet board. I made the magnet board a few years ago and I will have to give instructions on how to make that another day, but you can really pick any spot or blank wall in your house for this homemade Advent Calendar.

You will only need a few items:

– Dowel rod

– Garland long enough to cover dowel rod. I bought one with lights

– Bows, holly berries and any other items you wish to decorate your garland with.

– Small paper gift bags

– Gift tags, I bought some that were stickers so it stuck right on the paper bag.

– String or yarn

– Small twigs (found a small branch in our yard and my son helped by breaking it into 3” pieces)

– Marker and hole punch

Hey Mom, you'll enjoy these too!

– Paper, I used green card stock. Cut into 25 pieces

25 days of Christmas activities with advent calendar - The Everyday Mom Life

I was happy to only have to buy a few of these items, I had many of them on hand left over from other projects. The gift bags and gift tags were less than $2 at my local craft store and I found the garland on sale for $10. Everything else I already had. A good deal for a month’s worth of fun and a cute decoration!

I chose the activities based on things we do every year as well as some new ones I am excited my son will be able to do for the first time. I sprinkled in a few “easy” days because while I try to make every day special, I still need to be reasonable. My suggestion is to look at your calendar and plan the activities so that when you make your advent calendar you can strategically pick which activity happens each day.

Here is my list to give you some ideas:

  1. See Santa
  2. Build gingerbread house
  3. Decorate the small tree in my son’s room
  4. Go ice skating
  5. Have hot chocolate. I have a homemade recipe I found on Pinterest that is delicious!
  6. Read a Christmas book
  7. Kiss under the Mistletoe
  8. Color a Christmas picture
  9. Make a Christmas card for my parents
  10. Make a Christmas Card for my in-laws
  11. Make a Christmas Ornament
  12. Donate a toy (or 5!)
  13. Write a letter to Santa
  14. Have a picnic by the Christmas Tree
  15. Have a snowball fight (I bought a bag of cotton balls in case there isn’t snow that day)
  16. Make a Christmas card for Daddy
  17. Christmas tree pancakes for breakfast
  18. Make reindeer food (oatmeal & glitter to sprinkle in the yard on Christmas Eve)
  19. Read the Christmas story from the Bible
  20. Make cookies
  21. Go look at Christmas lights
  22. Sing Christmas carols
  23. Watch a Christmas movie
  24. Buy a gift for a child in need
  25. Write a wish for our family that we hope comes true this year and put it on the tree.

25 days of Christmas activities with advent calendar - The Everyday Mom Life

To assemble the advent calendar I stuck one gift tag to each bag and wrote 1-25 respectively on each of the 25 bags. I then put one activity in each bag, making sure that I wrote each activity in my planner so that we are actually able to do the activity on the day he opens it. I want it to be fun opening the bag to read ‘go ice skating’ and then actually go that day. I also want to make sure on the day we are making cookies that I have the ingredients ready to make them.

Next fold over the bag and punch a hole in the fold. I put a piece of string through the hole and tied a small stick to the string. This is for two reasons: It will look cute AND the bag won’t rip like it would if I just tied the string through the hole.

Tie each string to the dowel rod at varying heights and out of order. This way my son will have to find the number each day, this is good practice for him and makes it more fun as well. Hang the dowel rod. As I mentioned, I hung ours on the magnet board. I thought it looked cute since ours is red and it’s a good spot in our family room.

Attach the garland to the dowel rod. I used left over ribbon from another project. It looked cute and held the garland in place. I added a few holly berries to give it a pop of red against the greenery and the lights.

Most of my projects I do with my son. I had him help this time as well but I kept the activities a surprise. He can’t wait to open them and has been doing a count down the last week waiting for December 1st. Your little one can help with punching the holes, finding the stick and breaking it into pieces. If they are writing this is perfect for them to write the numbers and tying the strings is good for fine motor skills too. I love how much fun we had making this and I can’t wait to actually do a fun activity every day in December as well! Share a picture of your advent calendar and any activities your family loves to do during the holidays. Happy Crafting and Merry Christmas!

25 days of Christmas activities with advent calendar - The Everyday Mom Life

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Everyday Mom Lee
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  • Dada November 08, 2017 07.26 pm

    Ohh what a beautiful christmas calendar and what a fun idea to make activities for the family instead stuff!
    This gives me ideas for our family calendar!

  • Magen November 08, 2017 08.15 pm

    Yes! I am so doing this this year. I’ll even have the boy help me. I just love Christmas activities.

  • Dominique Lessard November 08, 2017 08.21 pm

    This is a great project, not only for Christmas time, but also for any family vacation we have. I think about our next summer vacation, and it’s perfect to remember cool activities to do and not always do the same thing over and over again.

  • Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh November 08, 2017 09.11 pm

    We love our advent calendar, but I was recently thinking of getting new one. I love the way you’ve created yours.

  • Melissa Chapman November 08, 2017 10.32 pm

    Great way to usher in the holiday season. It is beautiful and functional. I don’t know where I would put one of these but I need to be reminded of to dos.

  • reesa November 09, 2017 02.04 am

    What a cute project! I never thought to do something like this. I don’t really care for the chocolate calenders I usually get.

  • Terri Steffes November 09, 2017 02.39 am

    This is super cute and I cannot wait to share it! I love having something like this to look forward to in the season!

  • Krystal Butherus November 09, 2017 03.02 am

    Great ideas for creating advent calendars, and activities for the whole family. Time well spent together!

  • Kate November 09, 2017 05.12 am

    What a fabulous idea! We loved opening each box of our advent calendars as kids and this activity spin on the classic would be so much fun!

  • Shell November 09, 2017 04.38 pm

    Oh my goodness this is such a cute and adorable Christmas project! It turned out beautifully!!

  • Mallorie Owens November 09, 2017 06.49 pm

    Love this idea! So much better than just doing candy.

  • Julie I Aloha Lovely November 09, 2017 06.51 pm

    LOVE this idea! Although I know my girls will still want the one with the chocolates, lol.

  • elizabeth hurt November 09, 2017 09.19 pm

    I have so been wanting to make one of these! Yours looks so good! Thanks so much, gonna use this for sure!

  • CIndy Ingalls November 09, 2017 10.53 pm

    What a fun idea. I love the idea of a homemade advent calendar. It would be cool to have everyone do a few days so it’s a surprise for more than just the kids.

  • Angela Cardamone November 10, 2017 12.18 am

    This is such a great idea! I think my daughter would really enjoy making this with me.

  • Jessica Joachim November 10, 2017 12.30 am

    This looks like such a simple yet fun idea. I have been thinking about doing an advent calendar this year with my kids.

  • Hey Sharonoox November 10, 2017 12.41 am

    I really like this creative idea. I’m going to try make this for the coming holiday. Great list idea. Thanks!

  • Andrea November 10, 2017 01.40 am

    LOVE LOVE LVOE this idea. It is so awesome. This is such fun project to do as a family and a great way to get everyone involved.

  • Roxanne November 10, 2017 01.33 pm

    I love this!! We do a 25 days of kindness countdown at my house. I’m going to “borrow” some of the ideas from your list!

  • Rakhi Parsai November 10, 2017 06.29 pm

    Such a nice way of celebrating the holiday season. I loved the idea of advent calendar alot.

  • Kaity | With Kids and Coffee November 10, 2017 06.51 pm

    This turned out so cute! Love that you were able to DIY it and make something for your family to enjoy during the holiday season.

  • Brittany November 10, 2017 08.41 pm

    This is such a beautiful idea! I love filling each day for an activity to do together or for others. This could be a great way to teach my littles what the season is truly about!

  • Anne Murphy November 10, 2017 10.20 pm

    I love this! I like activities, instead of things… and the range you have sounds just right. And hunting for the right day was always half the fun!

  • Heather November 11, 2017 01.01 am

    This is so pretty! I’d love to do something like this for our family now that our youngest is a little older and excited for everything holidays!

  • Melissa November 11, 2017 01.03 am

    This looks like such a great idea, and so cute too! Perfect to do it with kids.

  • Yasmin Ali November 11, 2017 03.02 am

    This is soooo adorable! I bet kids would love this and would be all over it!

  • Nayantara Hegde November 11, 2017 08.38 am

    I love how beautiful this looks and so dreamy. The activity seems really simple too for kids to join in while making it. I am so looking forward to christmas.

  • Hannah Rooks November 11, 2017 06.00 pm

    This is so cute and so fun! I love that it’s Christmas decor yet a fun planning tool for the whole family.

    Hannah Rooks

  • Tara Holland November 12, 2017 04.55 pm

    This is such a cute idea and great way to add a personal touch to the season. My kids would love to help create one.


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