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Advent Calendar Adventures: Exciting Countdown Ideas for Kids

Nothing stirs up excitement for the holiday season quite like a countdown calendar!

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Not sure how many days are left before ole Saint Nick and his reindeer come gliding down into Tinseltown? We got you! You can create a fun, easy way to keep track of time with a Christmas countdown your family will love. Whether it’s a DIY advent calendar for kids, DIY Christmas decorations that help your family tick off each day or Christmas crafts to commemorate the holidays, these fun ideas will keep your little ones busy leading up to December 25.

In addition to easy holiday craft ideas, these exciting countdown ideas for kids include capturing magical moments together and turning them into keepsakes for years to come. Snapping pics of your family traditions (and amazing advent calendar adventures) and printing your pictures into photo books is a great way to feel warm and fuzzy (and festive!). Try these advent calendar ideas to create new and exciting memories with your kids that they’ll want to replicate every year going forward.

Trip Down (Mini) Memory Lane

Did you know Memory Lane is right at the crossroads of Santa Claus Lane? Countdown the days until Christmas with a DIY advent calendar that’ll make the kiddos smile. Create a 12 Days of Christmas countdown with Monthly Minis for the past year, and spend time each night building your collection of memories with your little ones. Pick your fave photos each month and add them to the monthly photo books (soft cover with rounded edges, perfect for little ones). 

Add pictures from the impromptu stop at the ice cream shop and that time your pup was all curled up with your kids on the couch. Your kids will love building a personalized collection of memories each night leading up to Christmas! It’s the perfect time to celebrate another great year together, while creating a whole new family tradition.

Reading Countdown

Your family’s personalized advent calendar is the perfect opportunity for a storytelling adventure. Using new books or family favorites, wrap stories for your kids to individually open each night leading up until Christmas. Include your photo books for a mix of fictional and real-life stories your little ones will enjoy. There’s nothing like snuggling up with your kids by the fire (or Netflix Yule Log!) for a storytime session that becomes a family tradition. Pro tip: Snap candids of your family’s special storytime together, you’ll want to savor the snuggles!

24 Days of Scavenging

In the spirit of Elf on the Shelf, this daily scavenger hunt is a super cute countdown to the big day. Turn your home into a festive playground by planting clues each day that’ll lead your little ones to a new treat or activity (like a Christmas backdrop for a cute family photo, or to the kitchen for oven-baked s’mores!). And if your kids are young enough, tell them Santa’s elves are taking a break from the workshop to create daily adventures for them! They’ll love this interactive treasure hunt with a twist—and you’ll love the awesome candid pics each day will create.

The Art of Christmas

It wouldn’t be the holiday season without some wintry crafts! Take a big piece of canvas and sketch out a cute scene (like a snowman), and draw equal boxes (either 12 or 24) over top. Each day, work together as a family to color and add to the box, creating either one cohesive piece or a truly unique work of art! Side note: Did you know you can take photos of the arts and crafts they bring home from school and print them in a photo book? That way you can keep some room on the front of your fridge, but keep their works of art in a safe place.

Get Puzzling

Go through your camera roll and family photo books and find a picture of the fam you can print onto puzzle pieces. Once it arrives, divide the number of puzzle pieces into 12 or 24 piles, so you have a few new pieces to work on every day. As you and your kids eagerly assemble the puzzle, they’ll uncover the entire photo (aka a great way to work together and spend meaningful time each evening as a family).

Find the True Meaning of Christmas

Christmas isn’t just about toys and dessert, it’s about generosity, kindness and compassion. Teach your kids the true meaning of the holiday spirit by incorporating acts of love into your countdown. Create a list of 24 good deeds you and your family can work on together—from donating toys and writing cards to strangers to visiting the local animal shelter and volunteering at the local soup kitchen.

While Christmastime is certainly filled with holiday glee, the most important and meaningful thing you can do is spend time with your loved ones. Don’t forget to snap pics of your advent calendar adventures as you create new and exciting memories with your kids. These DIY advent calendar ideas are perfect for instilling a sense of nostalgia and wonder in your kiddos as they countdown to December 25th.

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