Advent Calendars are a great family tradition to adopt. They are incredibly fun for kids, it is so exciting to discover the surprise each day and they also teach children patience as it is so difficult not to open all 24 boxes/flaps in one sitting.
We have only started this tradition last year and it was a success. So, naturally, we are going to set up an Advent Calendar for my son again this year. Thinking about it, between the Advent Calendar and the Christmas gifts, no wonder December is the most thrilling month of the year.
There are many advent calendar ideas for kids out there, some ready-made that look fantastic and save you the time spent shopping for fillers, others are more on the DIY side. The ready-made Advent Calendars, although very convenient, can cost a pretty penny especially if you go for higher quality ones. If you are not comfortable spending all that money, then a DIY calendar is the way to go.
Traditionally, Advent Calendars contain either a toy or sweets. Well, how about this year, you have a calendar filled with simple and fun activities that are perfect for your toddler or preschooler. And best of all, it doesn’t cost you anything. We have come up with the activities so you can just relax and save time. All you have to do is download the printable pack at the end of this post.
What Christmas Advent activities will you find in the pack?
I am a mom of two kids, one little boy that is made of quicksilver and a baby girl that needs a lot of my attention. So, here is a mamma who doesn’t always have time to do complicated activities that require many materials or a lot of prep time. This is the reason why these Advent Calendar activities are no prep or very little prep. The little prep ones either require materials that most likely can be found in your house or can be bought at any shop (like plastic cups) or require a printable that you will find in this pack.
This means 0 work for you. Ok, maybe a little bit of work if you count the printing and folding of the tickets.
Let’s take a look at each of the Advent calendar activity ideas for toddlers and preschoolers so you know what to expect:
1. Hide a Christmas ornament around the house and have your child find it. Say “hot” if close by or “cold” if far away.
2. Bake your favourite Christmas dessert.
If you need some dessert inspiration, take a look at these 83 mouth-watering Christmas desserts.
3. Walk through your neighbourhood and make a top 5 best-decorated houses.
4. Do a good deed like volunteering at your local senior citizen centre, taking some food to an animal shelter or donating old toys and clothes.
5. Go see the Christmas lights in the big city.
6. Go visit Santa.
If you have a Mall or a big store nearby chances are they will have Christmas activities for kids including meeting Santa. Be sure to check whether you need to make an appointment.
7. Make a decoration for the Christmas tree.
Here are some cool ideas for simple, budget-friendly Christmas decorations that you can make with your kid.
8. Watch a Christmas movie.
9. Take 3 plastic cups. Hide a little ornament under one of them. Shuffle the cups. The child has to guess under which cup the ornament is.
10. Play Hopscotch. Draw 9 squares. When the child jumps on one square he/she must say the name of one of Santa’s reindeer.
The names of Santa’s reindeer are Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph.
11. Play “toss the bauble”. Have the kids throw (non-breakable) baubles in a box/bin that has been placed a few paces away.
12. Write a letter for Santa.
Here are some cute Letters to Santa templates that you can download for free. There are templates both for kids who can write and for those who can’t yet.
13. Set up a Christmas sensory bin.
Here are some Christmas sensory bin ideas that you can try.
14. Make a Christmas-inspired painting/drawing.
15. Play Christmas stocking pong. One player bounces a ping-pong ball off the table and the other player has to catch it in a Christmas stocking.
16. Sing Christmas carols and have a karaoke contest.
17. Inflate a balloon and use the air from it to push a small ball into a designated area.
18. Write/Decorate cards for your relatives and loved ones.
19. Make a festive bracelet/necklace.
20. Play Christmas bingo.
The templates for the Christmas bingo are in the printable pack. Cut the Bingo cards and stack them upside down. Give the player(s) a bingo grid. The players will take turns in extracting a card from the stack and crossing the image in their grids. The first player to cross three images in a row is the winner.
21. Stack some plastic cups one on top of each other. Use a small ball or tightly balled socks to knock down the cups.
22. Decorate a cardboard Christmas tree with recycled bis of paper.
23. Collect pinecones and then decorate the house with them.
24. Play Tic-Tac-Toe, the Christmas version. Draw a big Tic-Tac-Toe grid on paper and use Christmas objects like a candy cane and a jingle bell to play the game.
17. Decorate a felt Christmas tree.
These simple Christmas Advent activities don’t require much preparation ( in some cases no prep at all) but they are fun and they will surely put the whole family in a Christmassy mood.
The activities work perfectly as Advent Calendar fillers for toddlers and preschoolers, all you have to do is print them, cut them into strips, roll or fold them and put an activity in each of the calendar’s pockets. They can be used as “stand-alone” fillers or in addition to small toys or sweets.
By the way, take a look here if you need some Advent Calendar ideas for kids.
If you like these Advent Calendar activity ideas for toddlers and preschoolers be sure to download the printables pack that contains the activities and the bingo game.
We wish you Happy Holidays from all of us at What Does Mamma Say!
Mom of two wonderful children, dedicated teacher and book lover.