My niece Hadley is almost 3 and I started thinking, she's almost at the age when an advent calendar would be fun for her - probably next year she'll be more ready for it. So I looked around for one I could create and found my inspiration.
The word 'Advent' has a Latin origin meaning 'the coming,' or more accurately, 'coming toward.' For Christian believers, Christmas is one of the greatest events in the yearly cycle, being the celebration of the greatest gift ever given by God to mankind. That gift was Jesus, the Son of God Himself, born into this world in human form and coming to live among us.
For this project you'll need:
25 tins measuring 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 that have a clear window in the lid and a magnetic back, found at Michaels in the dollar bins
a magnetic dry erase board square 14x14 is the size I used (found at Walmart)
labels for the tins 1-25 - I designed mine in Word and used a red and green theme, I printed on copy paper and cut out, so they'd fit into the clear insert in the tins. You could also use scrapbook paper and stickers or sticky labels.
To design in Word, I chose Insert/Shapes/Circle. Then under Drawing Tools, I sized the shape to 1.69 x 1.69. I chose a black outline and different fills. Then I inserted a text box over that shape and added each number in a unique font.
For this year, I put little gifts in each tin for Hadley to find and it was really fun shopping for creative, little items. Here are some ideas:
-socks -lip gloss -fingernail polish -stickers -dice -little toys -rings -bracelets -necklaces -hair bands -Christmas ornaments -candy -candy necklace -ring pop -money -bottle brush trees -figurines -little stuffed animals -bath novelties (fizzies that color the water or pills that expand into sponges)
In future years, as Hadley gets older, my sister's family can try new ways to celebrate advent. Here are some ideas:
-each day could contain a piece of paper with a Christmas activity to do as a family (sing carols, look at lights, watch Rudolph, wrap a present, bake cookies, visit Santa, etc.)
-get your child a mini tree for her/his room and each day could contain a mini ornament to add to his/her tree
-a clue to find pieces of a nativity hidden around the house
-the title of a different Christmas book or poem to read each day
-the title of a Christmas carol to sing each day
-Bible verses to look up that collectively tell the story of Jesus birth
-the name of a family member that you find a way to encourage that day
-different amounts of money, with the instructions to find a creative way to give that money away that day
-a Christmas photo scavenger hunt - a different Christmas item to find and photograph each day
-an instruction for an artistic expression of Christmas for each day (draw an angel, use watercolors to paint a house lighted with Christmas lights, write a story about a girl who wakes up on Dec. 1 in Santa's Workshop, use pastel chalk to create a winter landscape)