We mentioned some Advent ideas on the show, Simple Christmas Ideas Even We Can Do and the History Behind Them with Jessica Snell. After the show was taped we created 30 ideas with a simple printable. All we have to do is print, cut, and fill our calendars.
Great news!! We want to share this with you! The directions are included below in this post.
30 Super Simple Advent Calendar Ideas
Rhymes (the dorkier the better) along with simple treats and/or activities (in green):
- Roses are red. Violets are blue. Christmas is coming, so look in your shoe. (Leave a piece of candy or gum in their shoe.)
- I love you. You love me. Let’s take a picture in front of the tree. (Take a funny family picture in front of the tree.)
- Sometimes it’s sunny. Sometimes it snows. It stinks in the shower when you don’t wash your toes. (Leave a $1 loofa scrubber or special soap in the shower.)
- This season is dandy. Bring on the candy. (Leave Christmas candy.)
- Your smile is so cute. Your eyes are like pearls. Don’t eat too much candy or you might have to hurl. (Leave some candy.)
- Get a hug. Give a hug. Eat a hug! (Include Hershey’s Hugs®.)
- You are more precious than silver or gold! (Leave a silver coin or coin candy.)
- Jump into your PJs. We’ll make some popcorn. We’ll drive to see lights in our car where we’re warm. (Optional: drive through McDonalds to buy drinks or cookies instead of popcorn.)
- It’s time to make memories around the TV. Let’s drive to Redbox to rent a DVD. (Rent a movie.)
- Whoop it up! Let’s hear you holler. ‘Cuz this days your lucky day. Your gettin’ a dollar. (Give a $1 bill.)
- We’d like to give you the moon. We’d like to give you the stars. But since that’s not happenin’ just settle for Milky Way Bars.
- Record the family singing a Christmas carol and send to a relative out of town. (Use your record feature on your phone and send via text or email.)
- Play the “Family Game.” (Switch family roles for an activity. Maybe your daughter is the mom, a son is the dad, mom is a child, dad is a child, etc. Interact as that person. Be kind but have fun. If you would like to put all names in a hat and draw out who you will be that would be fun, too. Eat a meal, play a game, go for a walk, whatever.)
- Have cups of hot cocoa and share one thing you are thankful for.
- Play the “Celebrity Game.” (This is a take on Charades. Everyone writes 5 celebrity names on 5 small pieces of paper. Any famous character from Brad Pitt to LeBron James to Cinderella. Don’t show anyone else. Put the names in a bowl. Split into two teams. One person on team #1 stands in front of his team. Team #2 has a timer set at 60 sec. When timer starts, very quickly team #1 up front person draws a name from the bowl and is allowed to talk without using the words on the paper or any rhyming words. ONLY TEAM #1 guesses. If a celebrity name is guessed correctly, keep the piece of paper out and draw another. Keep going until the time is up. Count up the sheets of paper and record the score. One point for each paper guessed correctly. If a drawn name is not guessed correctly and time is up, the name goes back in the bowl. Now it’s team #2’s turn. Keep alternating until all the names have been drawn and guessed correctly.Now Round 2: Put all the names back in the bowl. Designate a new up front person. Same routine only this time the up front person is only allowed to use TWO WORDS for the clue. At the end of this round put all names back in the bowl. Now Round 3: Same routine except this time NO WORDS only actions may be used by the up front person. Count up total of all three rounds to determine the winner.)
- Eat dessert before dinner by candlelight.
- Watch the Top 10 Christmas bloopers on YouTube.
- Plan a camp out by the fire or Christmas tree.
- Plan a picnic dinner in front of the fire or Christmas tree.
- Watch old family movies together.
- Go get a donut at a donut shop, gas station or grocery store.
- Start a puzzle.
- Decorate Christmas cookies. (Take a plate of the finished cookies to a widow or neighbor.)
- Make gingerbread houses. (Buy graham crackers, store bought frosting, candy, etc)
- Make Popsicle prayer sticks. (Each of you write your name on a popsicle stick and place in a small cup at the kitchen table. Draw a stick out each night at dinner to pray for the name you choose. Extra: Cut out the head of each person from a picture and tape it to the stick!)
- Use this $20 to buy someone’s meal tonight! (Include a $20 bill. Eat dinner out. Can be inexpensive but needs to be sit down. Ask your waitress to secretly pay for someone else’s meal.)
- Do a service project in your community.
Date specific activities:
- December 5th: Leave shoes outside bedroom doors with a carrot or lettuce leaf for St. Nick’s horses. That night remove carrots or lettuce and leave chocolates. Talk about how Santa is based on – St. Nicholas. Read more and learn about St. Nicholas here.
December 6th is still the main day for gift giving and merrymaking in much of Europe. For example, in the Netherlands St. Nicholas is celebrated on the 5th, the eve of the day, by sharing candies (thrown in the door), chocolate initial letters, small gifts, and riddles. Dutch children leave carrots and hay in their shoes for the saint’s horse, hoping St. Nicholas will exchange them for small gifts. Simple gift-giving in early Advent helps preserve a Christmas Day focus on the Christ Child.
December 24: Scavenger hunt for pajamas.
Insert marbles or jar lids with CLUE #1 into a box and then wrap. The hunt will start with family opening this box. CLUE #1: This is a hunt for a present for you. You must work together. Begin with this clue. (If only one child use: …present for you. You must follow the trail. Begin…) When we are together it gives us a smile. Except when your laundry ends up in a pile.
Place second clue in a laundry pile. CLUE #2: Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. If only he hadn’t got out of the carton he’d be the star of our omelet and we’d be a fartin’.
Place third clue in with the eggs in the refrigerator. CLUE #3: It’s time to get going. No time for your cryin’. You’ll find the next clue where your clothes spend time dryin’.
Place the fourth clue in the dryer. CLUE #4: Great job and keep going. You are close. You are smart. The next clue you’ll find where you make your hair part.
Place the fifth clue where the kid’s combs are. CLUE #5: Alright, you’ve been good and this has been fun. The elves and I worked hard on this last one. While you’ve looked near and you’ve looked far. Your treasure is found where your parents keep the car!
Place the present (PJ’s) in the car.
Scripture verses to Read:
Read Isaiah 11:1
Read Isaiah 11:6
Read Isaiah 9:6
Read Isaiah 7:14
Read Isaiah 64:3
Read Isaiah 64:8
Read Psalm 24:8
What are your favorite Advent activities? Please share below.