It’s almost December, which means now is the perfect time to make your advent calendars! Advent calendars tend to start on December 1 and run to December 25, and each day gets a little pocket with a treat for your kiddo to celebrate the season. Parents tend to follow this tradition in their own way; from how the advent calendars are decorated to how they’re structured to what’s in the pockets, this is a highly variable project. Since there are so many ways to go about this, I thought I’d offer some ideas!
To start with, decide if this craft is something you want to do for your child or something you want to do with your child. Your kid will love the advent calendar regardless, but I think they’d like to get a say in its design and help make it. Of course, I’m a big fan of surprises, so if you make the calendar with your little one, I’d suggest doing the treat portion on your own so that each day brings them a little surprise.
Once you’ve decided on working with a little partner or not, pick a theme! Does your kid have a particular interest you want to use? How cute would an advent calendar be with a Disney or space theme? Maybe you would rather match the rest of the Christmas decorations in your house. There’s nothing wrong with a simple red, green, and white color scheme.
Sometimes you can pick your calendar style based on your theme. For instance, if you’re going with a general Christmas theme, you can use fabric paint to number 25 mini-stockings and hang them on the wall. Some people hang small numbered bags on their Christmas trees, too.
Other times, your theme can be adapted to whatever style you choose. If you want to hang bags, envelopes, or pouches on the wall or on a clothing line, then they can easily be decorated to match your theme. Another idea is to decorate and number 25 jars and place them in a designated spot. You could also decorate small boxes and arrange them in a calendar format.
There is also the more traditional calendar, of course. This is often done by using some kind of fabric backdrop and attaching numbered fabric pouches.
The type of treat you use can influence the style of calendar you pick. Some parents choose to give their kids small gifts, such as toys or ornaments. These treats would not fit with the envelope method, so you would want to choose something more suited to them. Other parents like to put pieces of chocolate or other candy in their advent calendars, so certain styles might be too big for such small treats.
Another popular advent gift is a note with an activity that the parent plans to do with their child that day or even a clue that the child has to solve to find their treat. Since the note is a simple piece of paper, you would be less likely to use bags or jars. There is also a growing trend in which parents write out an act of kindness or charity that the child should complete that day, in honor of the spirit of Christmas. It’s a very nice idea that your child is sure to learn from.
Personally, I believe using all these treats on different days gives your child a more exciting and fulfilling advent season. They’ll never know if they’re going to get a sweet snack or the sweet feeling of doing something kind that they might not have thought to do otherwise!