Advent Calendars & Activities for Preschoolers

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Hello friends! Thanks for coming by today. I wanted to discuss Advent Calendars & Activities for Your Preschooler today. I’m going to be sharing what I personally do to count down the Christmas season, and I’d love to hear what you family does as well!

I’m a little advent calendar obsessed. What can I say? Candy and countdowns are two of my favorite things. Last year I did some reflecting and I realized two things: 1) Christmas was flying by, and I felt like our family wasn’t taking advantage of all the fun things there is to do during the season and 2) I felt like I wasn’t focusing enough on the true meaning of Christmas, which is the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. I decided to incorporate both of these things into our daily activities and calendars as a way to be intentional and really reflect on the true reason for the season.

First up: teaching my children the true reason we celebrate Christmas.

New Cover - Jesus Storybook

Reason for the Seasons: A Jesse Tree Advent Journey is a 25 day guided devotional for young children aimed towards teaching the true meaning of Christmas. It has two options: the Jesus Storybook Bible or the Big Picture Story Bible. It has 24 reading passages, 48 crafts that correspond to the passages, 27 activity ideas, 24 food ideas, and coloring pages for each day. I’m so excited about delving into the Christmas story with my kids! I love that this includes craft templates and all the activities are simple, short, and inexpensive.

Last year we did Truth in the Tinsel but I thought it was geared towards older children, and some of the crafts were quite complicated. I think it is a great option for school aged children, however.

Both devotionals are available as instant downloads and you can either print out at home like I did or you can use an iPad or iPhone to read.

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We also own The Story of Christmas, which is a story book set and advent calendar. Each day has a mini book that tells the story of Jesus’s birth, and each mini book is an ornament. Each day we read the book and add it to our playroom tree.

I’ll be talking about this is more detail tomorrow, but our Elf on the Shelf also incorporates both kindness and being a servant into his daily visits. Each day I have a task for Cooper to do that will help him focus on showing kindness and love to other people, just as Jesus did.

Second: incorporating Christmas activities and traditions into our daily routines

Every single year it seems like December just flies by. It wasn’t as much of a big deal before I had children, but as soon as I got pregnant I started dreaming of all things I would do with my kids during Christmas. I wanted to decorate the tree, bake books, wrap presents, look at lights… the list went on and on. However, every December it seemed like less and less got crossed off my list. I have found that I have to be very intentional and plan things out so that I do not get overwhelmed, stressed out, or miss out on precious memories with my children.

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Every year I sit down and make a list of things I want to do during the Christmas season. I also look at my calendar and plan out our December activities – parades, parties, visiting Santa, etc. Then I make a list of 25 things to do during December. Each day I write a task down on a piece of paper and put it into our advent calendar, and we do one activity a day. I’ve learned from past experience that if I pack in too many places to go or complicated projects that I get stressed out, so I make sure to add lots of simple activities and things we can do at home.

Here are some of our ideas:

  • Make hot chocolate
  • Build a gingerbread house
  • Go look at lights
  • Make reindeer food
  • Make snow
  • Write a letter to Santa
  • Make cookies
  • Watch a Christmas movie
  • Make Christmas munch
  • Go see Santa
  • Ride the Polar Express
  • Listen to Christmas music
  • Make a Christmas ornament
  • Make a Christmas card for someone you love
  • Do a Christmas craft
  • Go sing Christmas carols to a neighbor
  • Drop off a surprise gift to our friends
  • Decorate a felt Christmas tree
  • Have a picnic in front of the tree
  • String popcorn
  • See a live nativity
  • Have a PJ day and watch Christmas movies
  • Make oven smores and fudge
  • Make cookies for Santa
  • Make a birthday cake for Jesus
  • Read the story of Jesus’s birth
  • Kiss every time you walk under the mistletoe
  • Check out Christmas books at the library

The second piece of paper you see is a prayer list. Every day we pray for one person. I write a name down on a piece of paper and place it in the calendar, and then we spend some time praying for that person throughout the day.

The daily boxes also have a piece of candy as well. :)

christmas booksWe also do another type of advent – 25 days of Christmas books! I have 25 Christmas books that I wrap, and we unwrap one book and read it before bedtime.

I know this one can be expensive, but if it is something you want to do don’t be discouraged. I purchased books inexpensively at library sales, consignment shops, Amazon, and on sale at Barnes and Noble after Christmas. You can also utilize your library!

Do you use advent calendars in your home?