I like success.
I searched long and hard for an advent calendar that 1) was cute, 2) was quick & easy, 3) would be a good visual for Alan for how many days were left until Christmas, 4) would contain a surprise or surprise activity for each day.
I finally decided 3 out of 4 ain't bad and went with this:
The cute scrap-booky number squares came as a free download (that I would really, really like to share here but haven't been able to find it again anywhere! :-( Sorry.). They printed 6 to a page. I printed them on cardstock, glued each one to a piece of solid green paper, then laminated them.
You could do anything you want with them. I chose to arrange them in this tree shape and tape them to my refrigerator.
Every day we take down that day's date, switch the tape from the green side to the number side and tape it back up.
By the time Christmas day rolls around, we'll have a solid green tree on our fridge! Ta-daaaa! And hopefully we'll get around to making a big yellow glittery star for the top before then. :)
So... item number 4 - "contain a ... surprise activity for each day". I couldn't figure out how to link those two together, so I didn't. Making them separate just adds to the fun, right?
Beginning December 1, the first thing the boys do every morning is check the "surprise stocking." It's really catching on big time, so much so that this morning Dale came and asked me while I was still in bed if he could check the stocking. It's like Christmas morning every morning! Dale has mentioned several times how much he loves it and asked if we can do it again next year.
And what is in this stocking? Here's so far:
1 - A handful of ornaments. We put the boys' tree up in their room this day.
2 - Hot chocolate packets, with Christmas mugs sitting nearby. Breakfast treat!
3 - Two jingle bells and two lengths of yarn, with Polar Express book (from Library) sitting nearby. Made jingle bell necklaces and watched The Polar Express on tv that night.
4 - Two big Christmas bulbs. Put up the outside lights that afternoon.
5 - Box of old fashioned peppermint sticks and two forks, with Little House in the Big Woods storybook "Christmas in the Big Woods" sitting nearby. Read the book and had 'pancake men' for breakfast just like they had in the book. (They also received peppermint sticks in their stockings in the book.)
6 - Various spices and a recipe. Made ginger cookies.
7 - Peanuts Christmas books. Read the books and watched A Charlie Brown Christmas movie (borrowed from Library).
8 - Measuring cup, food coloring, glitter. Made Christmas playdough. (With glitter!)
9 - Six piece clue puzzle I made and printed from the computer. The answer to the puzzle: We're going to Daddy's Christmas concert at school tonight!
It's been so fun putting a little bit of Christmas into every day! Seeing what we've done so far, I definitely want to put in more nativity activities (ooh, that's fun to say! ha!) and more book-related fun, too. Any suggestions?
How are you celebrating the season?