An Advent Calendar of Family Fun
Advent is almost upon us and the countdown to Christmas has begun. Such excitement for the little ones! (And it also means I can officially use the 'Father Christmas is watching you' line for at least the next few weeks!)
Advent Calendars are such a lovely tradition counting down to the big day. When I was growing up, I remember the thrill of opening a little door on a paper advent calendar to reveal a festive picture of an angel, a donkey or a shepherd each year in the lead up to Christmas. But Advent calendars have changed: You can now open the doors to chocolates, toys, sweets, make up (please!) or match attax! If you search Advent calendars on my much loved pinterest, you are bombarded with so many different ideas, making that small little door paper door of my childhood seem quite inadequate. While I feel it's a shame things have advanced so far, it does also open a door to get more creative in the Advent Calendar department. Today, I want to share my idea for advent with you.
Advent Activity Calendar
My advent calendar this year removes the daily chocolate (always have the Clean Little Tummies in mind) and gives an Advent activity each day for my three Clean Little Tummies. Don't feel too sorry for them though, they will get treats and lots of fun along the way!
Advent is traditionally about the preparation for the arrival of baby Jesus, so my hope was to come up with an Advent calendar idea that prepares the little ones for our Christmas celebrations, adding to the excitement and magic that only small children can bring. I wanted to do something that ensures my three little tummies:
(1) think a little bit about Christmas and its meaning,
(2) get involved with Christmas preparations (just as when they help me prepare their own food), and
(3) give them even more fun and pleasure around this festive time.
After some brainstorming, I created 24 Advent Activities, one to do each day of advent. Some practical, some super easy to deliver, and some with a bit more thought. I printed out each activity, cut them out and placed each of them in an envelope for the kids to open each moring. Each envelope contains an activity for that day of advent, ranging from making Christmas Biscuits, writing Christmas cards, donating Christmas foods to the local food bank to driving around the local area after tea one evening to see all the Christmas Lights.
My hope is that it is an activity that we can all do together; a fun game of sorts that ensures we spend some quality time after school and at the weekends doing different activities that only happen at this time of year. I want it to be a chance for my little siblings to work/create/play together to create special memories to last forever.
Where to put all those envelopes?
Now, I am very lucky to have a talented dad who was able to build an Advent Tree for me. (I sent him a picture and a week later he arrived with a beautiful Advent tree fit for any Pinterest board!) But your Advent Tree doesn't need to be as elaborate (mine sure wouldn't be without my talented father!) You could easily get your children involved in drawing something Chrismassy - stars, a tree, a nativity scene - on cardboard and affix the envelopes there. How have you done your advent tree - please sure your ideas with me!
My Little Tummies are unaware of what is to come but I can't wait for 1st December and to embark on our Advent of fun.
Wishing you all a very happy Advent period, enjoying the build up to the big day. I'd love to hear your ideas for Advent Activities, and I'll be sharing some Festive Cooking Ideas with you all in the coming weeks. Happy Advent to you all.
Lots of Love
Caroline & The Clean Little Tummies xxxx