Friday, December 2, 2011

Advent Calendar

I bought this adorable advent calendar (you can ignore the dog), at Kohls and have been so excited to use it with the girls this year.  I am calling it the Countdown to Christmas.  I told them that they get to open one box (door of the train) each day after school (as long as CC has a good day at school), and the paper inside will tell us if we get to open a small gift/surprise/treat or if we get to do some sort of fun Christmas activity.  Anything that goes with the activity for that day, gets wrapped and put in the basket next to the Advant Calendar.  So if they get a special treat, there will be two small gifts to open with the treat in it.  If they get to watch "The Grinch", the movie is wrapped for them to open (even though we have it already - hey, it's fun to open presents!). 

It was pretty challenging trying to find 24 ideas to put in there, especially ones that would be good for toddlers.  I didn't want there to be a bunch of candy and I wasn't going to buy a bunch of presents either.  I think I ended up with a great mix of activities, treats and gifts.  Take a look

Advent Calendar

1. Paint toenails in Christmas colors (red nail polish wrapped and green nail polish wrapped)
2. Get a special Christmas surprise (wrapped Frosty and Santa figurine from dollar tree)
3. Go to see a holiday lights show (we previously bought a Groupon to do this anyway)
4. Visit Santa (what is Christmas without visiting Santa at the mall?)
5. Have a special Christmas treat (wrapped Christmas tree and Santa shaped cookie)
6. Watch "The Grinch" (wrapped our DVD)
7. Write a letter to Santa (nothing to open here, but a necessity for little ones at Christmas)
8. Make Christmas cards (I am going to start on them, wrap them and then let them draw all over them on their own)
9. Make Christmas ornaments (materials from Michaels, wrapped)

10. Listen to Christmas music (nothing to open)

11. Watch a Christmas movie (Elf, Home Alone or Rudolph)
12. Color a Christmas coloring page (a few coloring sheets that I printed online, wrapped for each girl)
13. Read Christmas books (I got 'Twas the Night before Christmas Record a Story and recorded me reading it, then wrapped it for them to open together. I might wrap another Christmas book that we already have too)
14. Wrap presents (I am going to have them "help" me wrap Daddy's presents)
15. Play with Christmas stickers (from the dollar store, wrapped for each girl)
16. Complete a Christmas puzzle  (printed online, wrapped for each girl)
17. Make a Christmas related craft (materials from Michaels, Christmas necklaces and finger puppets)
18. Bake cookies
19. Get a treat from the Snowman cookie jar
20. Sing Christmas songs (wrapped, tiny song books from dollar tree)
21. Go see neighborhood houses decorated for Christmas
22. Make a birthday card for Jesus and put it under the tree
23. Get a Christmas treat (wrapped a box of candy canes from dollar tree)
24. Go to/have a Christmas party (family will be in town, so we are doing this anyway)

Last night was our first "box" in the countdown to Christmas.  The girls were very excited and really enjoyed having their toenails painted red and green.  I am excited to see how each day goes.  I hope CC doesn't have any bad days at school because I would hate to have to leave her out of some of the fun.  Unfortunately, she has been having a lot of "red" days lately (which means that she wasn't listening to her teacher, she was pushing the other kids, or something of the sort that got her put in timeout).  Yesterday she had a blue day so we are off to a good start.

So, what do you think?  Do you have any ideas for your own advent calendar?  I would love to hear them.

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