This December I really wanted to do some fun advent activities with the kids throughout the month. I’ve found that doing a little something every day to celebrate the season takes the pressure off that one day at the end of the month when expectations may or may not be met, and helps us keep focus on the real reason for the season through the whole month.
The first craft we did (balloon sculptures with yarn and glue) I considered a fail because it was super messy and too fussy for the kids to do without a lot of assistance. So began the quest for truly fun and simple advent activities for my 4-8 year olds. Here’s a few we’ve enjoyed so far:
What you need:
- bag of fresh cranberries (1.99 at Aldi’s!)
- needle for each child
- heavy duty thread
Thread the needles with a double length of thread, knot it, and let the kids go to town. Hooray for a craft they could do almost by themselves! Yes, cranberries went everywhere, but they were happy for hours, and it was cheap.
Make Your Own Christmas Book
- Christmas book printable
- markers or colored pencils
This is the simplest of activities and one we’re doing every day this month–illustrating the Christmas story page by page. I did this as a child, and am so excited my kids are old enough to enjoy the tradition this year.
What you need:
- some trees you can cut some branches from (check with friends if you don’t have trees of your own that could spare a few branches)
I make Christmas wreaths every year for myself and family. The trip to the woods to cut greenery is almost as fun as cutting down our own tree. I took the kids along and they helped load the trailer and loved the ride back to the house. Whether you want to try my wreath making tutorial, or you just use the boughs to add some green around your manger scene or mantle, finding some woods and cutting greenery can be a fun outing for you and the kids.
This afternoon, Jesse actually helped me clip the greenery to the right length while I worked some orders for friends. I think by next year he’ll be ready to make his own wreath!
Felted Acorn Ornaments
This is in the ‘little more involved’ category–and maybe not even really Christmasy? But I saw them on Etsy and couldn’t resist. This was our favorite activity yet. Tutorial coming tomorrow!
Fun Winter Reading
Besides the books the kids are opening every day for their advent book calendar, we also managed to read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe in 3 days, and now we’ve begun the Little House Series. (If you need inspiration for great read alouds for this time of year, check out my advent book list, and this post over at Kindred Grace!)
More Activities for Advent
Hoping to get to these next week!
- Counting Christmas lights whenever we’re out
- baking cookies
- coffee filter snowflakes
- Ribbon Scrap Ornaments
- Felted Snowmen
If you’re wondering how I’ve had time for all this extra crafts and activities with my kids, I’ll tell you: we put away the school books this month.When you think about it, trying to force the regular school routine into days also focused on Christmas preparation and the extra cooking is rather a recipe for a not-so-jolly holiday. And we’ve discovered something this month:
It’s amazing how much learning can happen when you approach life creatively.
If you like the idea of changing up your school routine for December, you need to check out my friend Pam’s brilliant idea she’s calling Yule School. (Why didn’t I think of that? It sounds so legit!) Pam’s got a whole series on her blog with tips and resources for Christmasizing your school this month. I’ll be digging into her series for inspiration for next week’s activities!
Do you do any fun advent activities? Have a great craft to add to this collection? Share it in the comments, or with the hashtag #adventactivitieswithoutglitterorglue
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