25 Fun Advent Calendar Activities for the Whole Family – Free Printable

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Have you been looking for some fun Advent calendar activities you could use as a family?

Do you remember being a kid and counting down the days until Christmas?

Opening those little doors every day to get a little piece of candy (or maybe you were that kid that couldn’t wait and opened up the entire calendar in one day)?

Here is the best list of advent calendar activities for the whole family that replace chocolate and candy kids usually get this time of year, plus a free printable! #alittlerandr #advent #calendar #Christmas #parenting #parentinghacks

Today, however, sweets are so overly prevalent.

It’s like kids are on a sugar high from Halloween to New Years Day! Do you feel like you need a “sugar-free” alternative during the holidays?

Or maybe you feel like your family needs to be more intentional about spending time together during the holidays.

These 25 fun Advent calendar activities the whole family can participate in, may be just the thing you are looking for!

25 Fun Advent Calendar Activities for the Whole Family

First you need to choose the kind of calendar you want to use with your kids. 

There are so many options out there for Advent calendars, and Google is a wonderful friend; here are 5 Advent calendar ideas to help get you started..

1. The Matchbox Calendar

The matchbox calendar is made from 24 empty, small matchboxes that have been stacked and glued together in rows of three and columns of 8 to make a sort of chest of drawers. You can then cover the sides and back in wrapping paper and paint the front with a design of your choice and number the drawers to make it look festive.

There isn’t much space in each drawer, so it is best to write or print the activities on small pieces of paper and roll them up to place them inside the drawers.

Here’s a cute Matchbox Calendar example at Mom Always Finds Out

2. The Card Calendar

Card Calendars are easy, and you can buy them mostly completed if you or your kids don’t like arts and crafts. If you and your family are the artsy type, you can make them easily enough at home with materials that most artsy people have readily on hand.

You’ll make 24 or 25 little cards from cardstock. You can write or glue the printed activities inside the cards. Print Christmasy number labels, make your own, or buy stickers for the front of the cards. Attach the cards to a string by way of clothes pins or paper clips and Voila!

Check out this post from us on how to make homemade Christmas cards

3. Paper Sack Calendars

These types of calendars are cute and inexpensive. They are very similar to the card calendar except you use mini paper bags. You can sometimes find them in various colors at craft stores. Or if you are a “crafty” person, you could make them yourself from last year’s Christmas wrapping paper.

Here’s a good example of Paper Sack Advent Calendars at The Mama Notes

4. Decorative Box Calendars

These are a bit more spendy (unless you’re really handy at making your own boxes) but the end result is a beautiful decoration. You’ll need 25 small decorative boxes. Sometimes you can find them already labeled from 1-25 for Christmas, if not, you’ll need to find some nice stickers to label them with. You can fill and stack these  boxes in the shape of a pyramid and end up with a very cute looking Christmas tree.

50. The Pocket Calendar

And last but not least, for the mom that is exhausted and is not the least bit motivated to make anything or put anything together but feels guilty because her kids need an Advent Calendar, and there is NO WAY she can deal with more sugar?

Go out and get yourself one of those felt pocket deals with the numbers printed on the pockets. Print out the list below, stuff those activities in the pockets, and sit down to enjoy a nice cup of coffee. Then pat yourself on the back.

You’re such a good mom!

Here are the Advent Calendar ideas you can do as a family!

Now that you’ve chosen the kind of calendar you want, you need 24- 25 ideas of what to do to fill those pockets, drawers, bags… what have you. 

But don’t panic!

That’s part has been done for you. 

Here are listed 25 activities that are fun to do during Advent.

  1. Make or buy an Advent wreath together
  2. Go choose a fresh Christmas tree together this year
  3. Turn on Christmas music and decorate the tree together
  4. Make and decorate Christmas cookies for a neighbor (and some for you, too, of course)
  5. Watch your favorite Christmas movie and put M&M’s in your popcorn
  6. Go ice skating
  7. Go out for a Christmasy coffee or hot chocolate
  8. Go out for a drive and look at Christmas lights
  9. Learn some Christmas carols
  10. Make some Christmas ornaments for the tree
  11. Choose a family in need and buy their kids Christmas gifts
  12. Make Christmas Cards for people you love
  13. Go take pictures with Santa or a special family photo
  14. Read “The Night Before Christmas” or your favorite Christmas story while drinking cocoa
  15. Put on your hats, gloves, scarves and boots and take a winter hike
  16. Have a present wrapping competition and see who can wrap presents the best (Have various awards- Best, Prettiest, Most creative, Neatest, Most colorful…)
  17. Go out for a special Christmas treat
  18. Take those carols you learned and go caroling in your neighborhood
  19. Use window markers to make snowflakes on the windows in your bedrooms
  20. Buy Santa hats and glitter glue at the dollar store and make your own customized hats.
  21. Have a Christmas sock- exchange
  22. Exchange names as a family and make a special gift for the person you chose
  23. Decorate Gingerbread houses
  24. Heat up apple juice with a cinnamon stick and some cloves on the stove and have some apple cider after dinner
  25. Read the Christmas story together from the Bible as a family

These are A LOT of activities. I think any family that does all of them will experience Christmas burnout.

You may divide them up with a dollar or two in between… you may go out for hot chocolate, a special treat, or sing carols more than once. 

Have fun making the activity-based calendar your own, tailor it to your family’s need; and more importantly, enjoy your Christmas season!

Get these 25 Advent ideas as a printable below when you enter you email in the form below.

Grab these fun and creative Advent Calendar ideas today and make the Christmas season memorable for the whole family! #alittlerandr #advent #calendar #Christmas #parenting #parentinghacks

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