Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Advent Activities

I have several Advent Calendars (and Christmas Countdown things) that we use each year. Logan's preschool class sent home one where he had to cut a strip from Santa's beard each day, knowing that once the beard was gone it was Christmas. I also have one with small pockets that I usually use to put a piece of paper in with our daily activity. But this year I used it for Sophie, putting a puzzle piece in each pocket. She put the puzzle together throughout December. I also have a countdown stocking (with 2 pockets) so the kids got a little gift each day. Some days it went along with the activity scheduled for the day, other times it would be a small toy, edible treat, or ornament for the tree.

We did have our daily activities and below are some pictures from them.

We read Christmas books a lot, including this one.

In the book, once he got his job as Santa the elves gave him an emergency kit to take on his trips. I gathered up items from the book to create our own kit and then let the kids pick a couple of other things. We had our Elf Elmo take it to Santa on that last night.

The kids made reindeer food during the Birthday Party for the Baby Jesus at preschool. We then tossed it out in the yard on Christmas Eve.

I found this cute plate and mug set at Sam's for Santa's snack. It included a note holder so I had the kids dictate little notes to Santa.

One evening we all wrapped presents. I thought this would be more fun than it actually was.

The kids made several crafts as part of the daily activities, including these owls for the sitters at church. The owls were the gift in the countdown stocking for that day.

The first activity they do each year is write letters to Santa. I had them dictate what they wanted (with some coaching, of course), then they got to color on the note. The notes were also in the stocking.

We took our letters to Macy's to be mailed. I love how they have a tall slot and a shorter one.

One day the activity was to make a snowman (which they did as it was Logan's snowman birthday party). Another day just said to play with snow, so I had the fake snow all ready for them. Here's a doll making a snow angel.

Some of our activities corresponded with gifts from Elf, Elmo. Here the kids are making cards for Paul that the elf left for them.

Door hangers that the elf brought us. We made these for the grandparents.

We decorated all the doors, including the glass back door using gel clings from the countdown stocking.

Playing with the nativity sets. I even pulled out the ones from the hutch for a bit.

We had a different activity everyday and I was able to do them all. One thing I found helpful was just putting the activity papers in a few days at a time. Obviously there were some that had to be done on specific days, but most of the activities I was able to look at our schedule and adjust as needed. This was so less stressful for me. It also allowed me to change up some activities from things I'd tried in the past that didn't really work out for us.

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