Monday, November 23, 2015

Printable Family Activities Advent Calendar

Every single year by the time mid-November rolls around, I think about making an advent calendar. 

I'll do a search on Pinterest, find tons of great ideas, start making a list... and then I get caught up in the busyness of life. 

It never happens. It just seems like so much work.

This year is going to be different. I'm going to plan and I'm going to do it. 

Not only that, I'm going to share it with you. 

My goal is simple: 24 easy family activities we can do between now and Christmas. A few nights will require more work than other nights, but most will be simple like reading Christmas books in front of the Christmas tree, baking cookies, or making fudge.

Printable advent cards with simple family activities for the Christmas season.

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If you're like me and have been putting off doing an advent calendar because of all the work involved, then I've got a special treat for you. I made a list of simple activities and created pretty printable cards that you can use in your own advent calendar. 

I have 36 activities and 12 blank cards. I know we all have different Christmas traditions, so you can use the blank ones for all the special things you do every year with your family. 

If you keep reading to the end of this post, you can download and print your own set of cards.

Let's talk planning. 

Once I finally sat down to plan, I discovered it wasn't that time consuming or difficult. 

Start with a calendar and jot down everything that is already planned. Do you attend your church's Christmas Eve service? If so, that will be the activity you do on the 24th. (Hint: that's already on one of the pre-made cards!) Jot down Christmas concerts, family parties, and community events. You've already got some of your days planned.

Next, write down all the things you typically do each year. We always bake cookies together, make homemade Christmas ornaments, and watch some of our favorite Christmas movies. 

Finally, choose some additional activities so that you have a total of 24. 

Schedule these activities over the month of December. Try to keep more time-consuming activities for weekends and days where you aren't too busy. Keep the simpler activities for the busier days. 

Now it's time to package up your advent calendar to display. You can find tons of inspiration on Pinterest and can adapt many of the ideas with these printable cards. 

Also, if you check the list out at the bottom of this post, you'll find some other ideas for advent calendars. 

I saw so many ideas, but none of them worked for me. I don't have a lot of wall space and wanted something small, but still festive. So, I combined a few ideas to make an advent calendar basket. 

Here's how I put it together.  I purchased simple brown paper bags and mini clothespins. I found both in the party supply section of a local store. (I've included Amazon links for your convenience.) I also used red and green cardstock for my labels. 

Create 24 circles from your red and green cardstock. I used my circle punch to do this quickly. If you don't have a circle punch, get creative. And if you don't want to get creative, squares always work! Write the number 1-24 on your labels. 

Print your advent activities on white cardstock and cut out the ones you want to use. Use the blank squares for your own activities. 

Put your cards in each of the bags. (I'm also including a strip of this advent reading plan I found over at Not Consumed in each of our bags.) Fold the top down and clip it closed with a mini clothespin. Add your number card so you do the right activity on the right day. I found a pretty basket to pile the bags in. If you have the wall space, you can hang them on twine with the clothespins. 

Are you going to make an advent calendar this year? I hope you do! I'm excited to start ours and hopefully make this a new holiday tradition. Keep it simple, keep it fun, and don't forget to print out your family activities advent cards below.


For even more ideas, check out all the other participants in the Countdown to Christmas blog hop:

Winter Snowflakes Advent Calendar - My Bright Firefly
50 Acts of Kindness for Advent - Mum in the Madhouse
DIY Christmas Tree Advent Calendar - Crafty Kids at Home
Homemade Christmas Countdown for Kids - The Gingerbread House
Advent Elf Houses - Sun Hats and Wellie Boots
How to Make a Fun and Easy Countdown Card - Peakle Pie
Christmas Carol Advent Calendar Printable - Mama Smiles
How to Organize an Easy and Fun Advent Calendar - Books and Giggles
Printable Advent Calendar for Preschoolers - Fun-A-Day
Christmas Jokes Countdown - Little Bins for Little Hands
Occupational Therapy Christmas Activities Calendar - Sugar Aunts
Farmhouse Style Advent Calendar - Teach Me Mommy
Christmas and Kwanza Calendar Numbers - Tiny Tots Adventures
The Easiest Advent Calendar Free Printable - Freshly Planted
Advent Wreath of Christmas Words - Witty Hoots

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  1. I love this idea - the idea that you spend a little time together each day is perfect and so much fun to do especially when the season can get away from us all.

  2. I love how this advent calendar involves the whole family and not just the kids in the house (we are allowed to be excited as well!!)

  3. What a great idea, I'm going to do this. I love how the whole family can get involved!

  4. What a great way to celebrate Christmas as a family!

  5. Definitely have to look into printing these out. I have another calendar idea planned that I had better get started on ASAP!

  6. I love brown bags, they are great, simple and effective. Love this.

  7. I love that this has some Charity in it as well!

  8. what a great way to involve the family x

  9. I love how you incorporated the things you were planning to do into the calendar

  10. I like how simple this is to put together.

  11. These printable cards are so pretty and helpful. Great Advent calendar!

  12. I love all the ideas on your pretty printable cards. What a beautiful simple advent calendar.

  13. I love all the ideas on your pretty printable cards. What a beautiful simple advent calendar.

  14. Love the ideas you've got on these printable cards. One of my favorite things about Christmas is spending extra time with my son, making memories!

  15. Peakles loves this idea - I think it is easy to forget that spending time together and doing things together are what makes Christmas memories!

  16. A great idea, free printable to download and simple to make as well - thank you for the inspiration!


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