Advent Calendar Crafts For Christmas

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Advent calendars are a great way to count the days down until Christmas arrives. Young children may have heads filled with visions of sugarplums, but it's hard to wait through what seems like endless days before Christmas morning finally dawns.

Most Western Christian churches celebrate advent as the start of the church year, beginning on the fourth Sunday before Christmas day. Advent calendars, however, usually countdown the days of December from 1 through 25.

An advent calendar not only helps children visualize how many days are left before Christmas, it also helps to create a sense of special excitement on each day of advent. Small treats or toys for each day of the countdown make it a joy to mark off the December days, and remind children that this holiday season is a special remembrance.

Advent Candy Tree

Candy not only looks cute on an advent calendar, it's also a delicious way to count down the days until Christmas.You will need:

  • Green poster board
  • Yellow poster board
  • Brown poster board
  • 24 Individually wrapped candies
  • Thin ribbon
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  1. Cut a Christmas-tree shape from the green poster board.
  2. Cut out a star from the yellow poster board, and glue it to the top of the tree.
  3. Use the brown poster board to cut a trunk for your tree, and glue it in place.
  4. Snip ribbon into 24 six-inch lengths.
  5. Glue the center of the ribbons onto the tree, spreading them evenly like ornaments.
  6. Let the glue dry.
  7. Tie the ends of each ribbon over a piece of candy, forming a bow.
  8. Hang your candy calendar, and remove a piece of candy to enjoy each day from December 1 until Christmas Eve.
Ready for Planting Finished Product

Activity Advent Calendar

Celebrate the countdown to Christmas with a fun activity to enjoy on each day.You will need:

  • Red poster board
  • Construction paper in various colors
  • Clear tape
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  1. Measure across the poster board, and draw a grid of seven squares across, four squares down.
  2. Write "December" across the top of the board.
  3. Cut 24 squares of different color construction paper, making the squares slightly smaller than the grids on your poster board.
  4. Label the squares with numbers 1 through 24.
  5. Use tape to attach each square to the poster board, placing the squares as if on a calendar.
  6. Tape just the top edge of the squares to the board, creating a hinge.
  7. Lift each square, and write an activity idea underneath. Ideas might include playing a game, baking cookies, doing a craft, going for a walk, having something special to eat, or anything else your children enjoy.
  8. Each day from December 1 through 24, have your children lift the appropriate square to discover the fun activity of the day.

Merry Christmas Advent Banner

Wish your guests a merry Christmas while counting down advent. String the completed banner across your fireplace mantel, near the Christmas tree or in the living room.

You Will Need:

  • 24 Small envelopes
  • 24 Clothespins
  • Paint
  • Glitter
  • Marking pens
  • 6-foot length of ribbon or yarn
  • 24 Small candies or toys
  1. With marking pens, write the words "WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS" on the envelopes, with one letter going on each envelope.
  2. Decorate the envelopes further with glitter and paint.
  3. Paint the clothespins, using markers and glitter for extra decoration.
  4. Slip a candy or small toy into each envelope.
  5. Hang the length of ribbon securely in your display area.
  6. Use a clothespin to attach each envelope to the ribbon.
  7. Open an envelope each day of advent and enjoy the treat inside.

Candy Dots Advent Garland

You will need to find an old-fashioned candy shop to purchase the candy dots sold on long strips of wax paper.

You will need:

  • Candy dots on wax paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  1. Cut 24 even strips of candy dots. A strip with 8 dots in a row is a good length.
  2. Tape strips to make a chain of 24 loops.
  3. Use your candy dot garland to decorate the Christmas tree, or hang over your mantel.
  4. Each day of December, snip off one loop and enjoy!

Toilet Paper Roll Countdown

Save up empty toilet paper or paper towel rolls in advance.

You will need:

  • Empty toilet paper or paper towel rolls
  • Poster board
  • Construction paper
  • Green and red paint
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Marking pen
  • Small wrapped candies
  1. Cut toilet paper rolls in half, or paper towel rolls in thirds so you have 24 cardboard tubes the same size.
  2. Paint the cardboard tubes green and red.
  3. Use the base of a cardboard tube to trace a circle on construction paper, and cut out 48 paper circles.
  4. Glue a circle onto one end of each paper tube.
  5. Let glue dry, then drop a candy into each tube.
  6. Glue a paper circle onto the open end of each tube.
  7. Write numbers 1 through 24 on the tubes with a marking pen.
  8. Glue the cardboard tubes onto the poster board. You can arrange the tubes to form a Christmas tree, candy cane, or just make a rectangle.
  9. Each day of advent, cut open one tube to reach the candy treat.

Making an advent calendar is a fun craft to enjoy with your children. It's a great way to spend an afternoon on the long weekend after Thanksgiving. Be sure your calendar is ready before December 1!

Last Updated: November 20, 2011
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About Michelle Ullman Michelle Ullman has lived and gardened in Southern California since childhood. A freelance writer, she covers topics ranging from gardening to home improvement to health issues. She also has experience as a catalog copywriter and poet. Michelle has trained and worked as a respiratory therapist and surgical technologist, but prefers to spend her time gardening, and walking with her dog. Michelle holds a Bachelor's Degree from Redlands University in Business Management. 

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