Now I will admit, this is rather late and probably not at all useful right now! However, I thought I would share our idea for an alternative advent calendar with you…
Like you, we often find that advent calendars are a bit of a pain. They generally contain chocolate these days and finding one that is gluten-free and dairy-free and actually tastes nice can be a bit of a challenge.
Also, if you are like me, you may not particularly like the fact that at 7am (at the latest) in the morning your children are scoffing chocolates!
So, this year we decided to do something a bit different and go for an ‘activity’ advent calendar.
Well, technically when I say ‘we’ that is not quite correct…
When I proposed the idea to Mr M I was met with hard stares and annoyance. ‘Why make life more difficult for us’ they said.
However, the following day, he seemed to have mellowed rather, and had even written a list of ideas in his book of ‘important things to do’, which happens to be a Beano notebook!
Anyway, in order to help you be prepared next year (cough cough)…I thought I would share the activities that we are putting in the advent calendar this year. We already had an advent calendar with ‘drawers’ to pull out and fill with your own things. I think it came from M&S. If you didn’t have one, you could make one or buy one!
The idea is, write a load of things down and then the night before decide which activity will be the one for the following day (allowing for the time you have available that day)…and pop a little note to that effect in the correct box of the advent calendar.
With the first three activities there were things to find that went with the activity which we hid and then played a game of ‘hot and cold’ to find them. The kids seemed suitably enthusiastic and excited hence why I am sharing the idea, even if it is rather late!
So here goes…our activity list for advent 2014:
1. Learn how to draw some Christmassy things (with accompanying Usborne book – Christmas Things to Draw)
2. Make Christmas cards (with accompanying blank cards, stickers, gel pens, glitter etc)
3. Have Christmas gluten-free fish and chips (with accompanying deely boppers and santa hat)
4. Decorate the Christmas cake together
5. Make some Christmas biscuits and take them to the local day centre for elderly people
6. Choose one loved toy each to donate to charity – am looking in to whether we can take these to our local hospitals children’s ward
7. Go on a special trip to see the Christmas lights
8. Go ice skating
9. Sing carols around the village (an organised activity to raise money for charity)
10. Go to the village outdoor evening carol concert
11. Make a Christmas door hanger (with accompanying Wilko make your own door hanger kit!)
12. Make some decorations for the Christmas tree (using salt dough…so hide some salt and lovely silver and gold paint)
13. Go to late night Christmas shopping and choose some gifts
14. Make a gluten-free and dairy-free gingerbread house
15. Make presents for teachers, friends and family (for example, chocolate bark, fudge, bath scrub…hide the ingredients to be used)
16. Make paper chains and hang them in the living room (hide the paper-chain paper for the kids to find)
17. Choose the Christmas tree and help to decorate it
18. Borrow a Christmassy film and watch it with a mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows in
19. Prepare the reindeer food and gift/food for Father Christmas (obviously a Christmas Eve activity!)
20. Read Christmas books together in front of the fire
21. Attend the local church nativity play
22. A treasure hunt to find a new decoration for the Christmas tree
23. Have fun with a Christmas sticker and activity book (always given to us each year and we have loads from last year – we will hide two for the kids to find)
24. Make glass effect scenes – using a Wilko kit that cost £1!
There are always fallback days when we will put a few sweets in the box because life is just too busy sometimes!
I hope these give you some ideas though. Have you ever done anything like this? What activities did you do?