Friday, November 11, 2016

Activities for Advent (the Master List)

I love doing an activity Advent calendar.  Ours isn't super fancy, but it makes me so happy to have one special treat for every day of December leading up to Christmas.  The trouble is coming up with a special treat for every day during the crunch of the holidays.

First things first: I assume that everyone's got some holiday traditions they love.  I assume everyone's got a Christmas party or two to enjoy.  And I assume everyone's got a list of holiday foods they're already going to indulge in eating.  However, I'm guessing that most people don't have 24 special Christmas traditions to fill up all of the days in an activity Advent calendar, and most people also have probably got a few busy weeknights, where fitting in one-more-fun-thing between dinner, homework, and bedtime sounds overwhelming.  With those assumptions and understandings, I have created a list of ideas to fill in those days of December which still need an activity.  The following activities all fit 5 arbitrary guidelines:
  1. They do not involve sugar treats.
  2. They only require 10 extra minutes on the day you do them.
  3. They can be done within a 100 foot radius of most families' homes.
  4. The advance preparation for each activity can be completed in 10 minutes or less.
  5. The cost of each activity is less than $5 (with a preference for free, although many activities assume you have certain items on hand).
Without further ado, Activities for Advent

  1. Count down from 10 and plug in Christmas lights for the first time
  2. Play with homemade peppermint playdough (or store-bought playdough with peppermint extract added)
  3. Have Christmas for animals (some possibilities: strew birdseed on the lawn, smear pine cones with peanut butter and hang them on trees with ribbons, give a new toy to a pet, etc.)
  4. Eat dinner by candle light
  5. Play "Reindeer games" by enjoying any game together (some possibilities: board game, card game, guessing game, word game)
  6. Play a new "Reindeer game" online or on your phone
  7. Use fancy dishes (or Christmas themed paper plates)
  8. Write notes for the stockings of people in your home
  9. Make a Christmas card for a friend, teacher, or neighbor
  10. Make or decorate gift tags for presents
  11. Do a tiny decorating project (some possibilities: set up a nativity set, decorate a doorway, hang a garland, hang a wreath, hang up stockings, etc.)
  12. Kiss under the mistletoe
  13. Have a Christmas lights bath (some possibilities: string lights in the bathroom, put glow-sticks in the tub, use extra bubbles or peppermint soap, dye the water green with food coloring, etc.)
  14. Dress fancy (some possibilities: put on costumes, wear antlers, paint nails, put on makeup, glitter everyone's hair, wear matching outfits, wear Christmas sweaters, wear paper crowns, etc.)
  15. Stay in pajamas all day
  16. Read a Christmas story
  17. Tell Christmas jokes
  18. Ask Christmas trivia questions
  19. Have a sing-along (some possibilities: load karaoke tracks on youtube or spotify, play instruments, sing a capella, etc.)
  20. Make snowman pancakes
  21. Have a snowball fight (some possibilities: actual snow, crumpled tissue paper, cotton balls, etc.)
  22. Have a dance party
  23. Watch Christmas videos (some possibilities: Pentatonix, Sesame Streetfamily video Christmas cards, or Christmas with a Baby.)
  24. Have a tea party (some possibilities: use real china cups, cut regular breakfast/lunch foods into tiny shapes, serve a baked good, etc.)
  25. Sing a Christmas carol for somebody else (some possibilities: go knock on the door of a neighbor you know, skype Grandma, call Uncle Bill, sing in the lobby of your apartment building, etc.)
  26. Make a Christmas themed art or craft project (some possibilities: paper snowflakes, wax resist with white crayon and watercolor paint, glitter pine cones, green construction paper wreaths with stickers, red and white paint, paint with a piece of an evergreen branch, ornament shapes with stickers or glitter and glue, paper chains for the tree, beads on pipe cleaners to make jewelry or ornaments, etc.)
  27. Color a Christmas themed coloring page
  28. Play "name that tune" with Christmas songs
  29. Play catch or keep away with jingle bells or a plastic ornament
  30. Search online for the most outrageous or ridiculous Christmas gift 

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