DIY advent calendar for crafty and creative kids

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Christmas Eva is just around the corner, but before the big night there’s a whole month of christmas anticipation and (im)patiently waiting as you count down to the big night. Eva – who is only 2 years old – does still not grasp the full concept of christmas – or time for that matter, but I still think she should get an advent calendar like I had growing up. She had one last year which was a huge hit and she still plays with the presents today.

Like last year we’ll tell her that the house elf brings her the presents, which is why we also use a stocking to leave a new present in each day instead of having them all out at the same time. This might not make it a traditional advent calendar, but more of a mix between a calendar and stuffing a stocking. When she gets a bit older and no longer believes in the little elf I might make her a more traditional advent calendar, but for now I like this little extra christmas mystery that this way of doing it brings.

The criteria for the advent calendar

We set up a few criterias for Eva’s advent calendar.

  • No junk, but still inexpensive. Both me and Ben agreed that the calendar should not be too expensive, but still not be filled with fragile, chemical filled trinkets we’ll most likely end up throwing away sooner than later.
  • Easy to make. Like last year, there is no way I would be able to finish the calendar if it was not easy to make.
  • No candy or chocolate. I know Eva is going to get a calendar with dried fruits (which she is going to absolutely love) from her grandpa, so I don’t feel like we need to add more treats to the whole december treat orgy. Especially not chocolate (which she does not like) or candy (which we have not yet introduced her to).
  • Fun and open-ended. The calendar should be something she looked forward to opening each day, but without it adding to her ever growing toy collection. At the same time it should be something that challenge her or gets her creativity going.

Craftsy advent calendar for creative kids – grat for stocking stuffers

The theme for this years advent calendar is crafts and creativity. It’s full of little craftsy things that hopefully will ignite her imagination – or mine if she needs a help. It’s not December yet, but I almost can’t wait for her to open the first present and for us to get started. I know she is going to love it as she always loves us doing crafts together.

Since Eva is still rather young the point of the calendar is not for her to get a little present each day and then to be left alone to figure out what to do with it. Instead I have a few ideas for activities we can do together to make something fun (or tasty) and a handful of different “tools” we can use, but not necessarily a plan on where it’s going to end. If you on the other hand have an older child you wouldn’t necessarily have to help them, but you could instead leave it up purely to their own imaginations. For the same reasons this advent calendar could just as easily be used as stocking stuffers – that way the stocking would end up like a inventors box full of materials just waiting to be used in a creative way.

The items I’ve listed below are just the items that I think Eva would find fun and which we “needed” in our art supplies (some I had already bought a long time ago and something we have used before, but I don’t think she’ll know or mind). You could easily switch it up with other items more suitable for your kids – maybe add some yarn, play dough (we make our own), finger paint or tools like pencils, brushes, glue or scissors.

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  1. Foam sheets
  2. Pens you can use to draw on stones and porcelain
  3. Pipe cleaners
  4. Seeds
  5. Sequins
  6. Straws
  7. Stickers
  8. Cookie cutters
  9. Googly eyes
  10. Tissue paper
  11. Shoe laces
  12. Decorative tape
  13. Wooden beads
  14. Glitter glue
  15. Clothpins
  16. Ballons
  17. Buttons
  18. Food colour
  19. Popsicle sticks
  20. Sprinkels
  21. White clay
  22. Matches (without the sulphur head)
  23. Textile pens
  24. Gloss paper

Eva won’t necessarily get the present in the order listed above. It all depends on the plans we have for the particular day. I will however try to give her the materials in such an order that some of the first things can be used with some of the later ones. On Christmas Eve’s day she’ll probably get something I now she can entertain herself with for a little while after we get her started.

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