My son is almost begging me to start our Advent Calendar even before Halloween has ended. A family advent calendar doesn’t have to be a monumental task that leaves you feeling so overwhelmed you end up doing nothing. It also doesn’t have to be a store bought one either! If you have always wanted to make your own Christmas countdown calendar, here are some simple and fun homemade advent calendar ideas you will love.

ADVENT CALENDAR IDEAS FOR KIDS

Homemade Advent Calendar and 25 Days of Christmas Countdown Ideas

FAMILY ADVENT CALENDAR

The last thing you need for the holiday season is another activity that makes everything feel more rushed and busy! I had always wanted to put together an advent calendar for my son but was neither crafty or well prepared. I don’t think you need to be either with some of these fun and easy advent calendar ideas I am going to show you right here.

PRINTABLE ADVENT CALENDAR ENVELOPES

Grab this FREE printable Advent Calendar idea today!

There is a small bit of prep for these Advent calendar ideas but not a whole lot! Some require printing a few pages and being mindful of the Christmas activities! I like simple, and I like using what I have, and I like to pick up a few things at stores I am already going to, namely the grocery store.

Plus, YOU REALLY DON’T HAVE TO DO SOMETHING HUGE EVERY DAY!

There are plenty of times when I left out a packet of hot cocoa and baggie of mini marshmallows and that was good enough! Or I decided to declare a pizza day and have a picnic by the Christmas tree. That one is always remembered.

homemade-advent-calendar-simple-cocoa-idea

My son loves the planned advent calendar activities as much as he loves the crazy unplanned ones I throw in as well. Each morning he can’t wait to check the spot to see what will be happening that day.

ADVENT CALENDAR IDEAS

Below you will find a list of simple ideas you can throw in to make your homemade family advent calendar fun and easy to pull off.

1. PLANNED ACTIVITY OR OUTING

Getting your tree? Make it your countdown activity for the day. Write it on the card!

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2. ADD AN ELF {BUT NOT A CREEPY ELF}

Do you have an elf to enjoy with your Christmas countdown activities? I don’t mean that creepy elf either! Just a friendly one that hangs out to enjoy the season.

I purchased a small {inexpensive $3} one after we started our advent calendar, but this year he will be arriving on the 1st. Our elf is wrapped below. This year we purchased these awesome kindness elves. I am so excited about these little elves!

3. USE WHAT’S AVAILABLE

 You can base your family advent calendar activities off the items in your house, the places you will go, the activities you already do. Plus you can add a few new fun things based on your available time.

4. NO JUNK PLEASE

What I did not want to do was end up buying a bunch of junky little novelty items that would just get strewn around the house. I want our countdown activities to be meaningful, family centered, and hands-on!

For example; science activities, LEGO building, family adventures, and experiences that will be remembered and asked for again and again. Hopefully passed on to future generations too!

5. KEEP IT SIMPLE

You do not need a Pinterest worthy set up for your Advent calendar DIY. This thinking can derail your chances of setting up your own pretty quickly.

Some items that make it fun include: a mini fake Christmas tree, small paper bags, gift tags, and cards. You can pick up these items or get creative with what you have. I have pictures of everything below too.

6. MAKE IT HOMEMADE!

Some of the fun ideas or themes for your countdown calendar could be…

Reading Christmas books

LEGO Advent Calendar

Christmas STEM Challenges Calendar

Engineering with STEM challenge cards

Random Acts of Kindness Calendar

7. CHALKBOARD SIGN

Use a small chalkboard easel with the day’s number on it for your family countdown calendar. Leave out a special treat, a note about what you are going to do that day, or a new Christmas book or movie to watch.

This is really the simplest way to incorporate what you would do anyway into a Christmas countdown calendar!

8. ARTIFICIAL TREE

First, check out our Christmas tree idea for our Christmas Countdown Calendar with a science theme.  We used an artificial tree with clothespins and numbered cards with activities written on them.

Alternatively, clip a card to your large Christmas tree every day!

Christmas STEM Countdown Advent Calendar

9. PAPER BAGS

Check out how we used this idea for our LEGO Advent Calendar! We used the bricks we already have. Use our daily building ideas as suggestions or challenges to get your kids thinking.

I used white paper bags for each Christmas building idea. Whether you write the challenge on a card and place it inside or you actually gather bricks for your kids is up to you and up to the level of involvement you wish to have.

LEGO 25 Days of Christmas Countdown Calendar Advent

10. PLASTIC ORNAMENTS 

This year we planned a Christmas countdown calendar as our advent calendar idea. This calendar includes a free set of printable pages with the challenges.

All the challenges use simple supplies that you can get easily or already have. I used plastic refillable ornaments! You can hang one a day on your tree or present a few at a time to pick from.

Plus, you can use the ornaments for gifts too! How about filling up one with LEGO bricks, winter essentials, or even slime!

25 Days of Christmas STEM Challenges Cards Countdown Calendar

11. PAPER CHAIN

A classic paper chain advent calendar is perfect for Christmas jokes! This simple countdown calendar features 25 days of Christmas jokes perfect for kids. Plus, it’s quick and simple to make!

25 Days of Christmas Jokes Countdown Calendar and Advent Idea for Kids

12. CHRISTMAS BOOKS

You could do 25 days of Christmas books too! Wrap a new book each day, and enjoy reading together as a family. I have seen calendars filled with new books and ones filled with the holiday books already owned.

It’s a fun way to remember the books you have and add to your collection as well. Add hot cocoa, marshmallows, and cookies.  Or add a fun new place to sit each day and read the book together like on the floor by the Christmas tree.

13. RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS

Print out this Random Acts of Kindness Advent calendar by Coffee Cups and Crayons. Pair it with these awesome Kindness Elves with their own set of 25 kindness ideas. It’s a great way to get kids into the true spirit of Christmas that lasts year round!

Our new kindness elves are perfect for leaving out all year long. We like to incorporate many of these kindness activities into our Advent Calendar as well. A favorite is taking cookies to the local police and fire stations.

14.  ONLINE ADVENT CALENDAR

Not exactly a homemade advent calendar but definitely a Christmas countdown calendar for busy families! My friend steered me in the direction of this cool online Christmas calendar her parents send to her daughter. Check out the beautiful Jacquie Lawson Advent calendar.

There are fun things to see each day of this advent calendar. Plus I am told that it’s nighttime if you check during nighttime hours and daytime if you check during daytime hours based on your location. I will be signing up!

advent-calendar-ideas-homemade-christmas-for-kids

MORE CHRISTMAS FUN…

SIMPLE ADVENT CALENDAR IDEAS FOR KIDS

Click on the image below or on the link for more easy Christmas activities for kids.

35+ Christmas activities for kids including Christmas crafts, DIY ornaments, Christmas games, science activities and more!

Looking for easy to print activities, and inexpensive problem-based challenges? 

We have you covered…

—>>>  FREE STEM Activities For Christmas