With Rowan just a few months shy of 2 years old (cue my ugly crying), he is starting to understand more about the holidays and I've been excited to try a few new things with him this year. I thought an advent calendar would be a fun way to incorporate some festive activities and make sure we cross off some of our holiday to-do list!
Last year I picked up a stocking advent calendar during the after-Christmas sales (similar here) so it was just a matter of finding easy things to do during the week and filling in the weekend with bigger things like visiting Santa and baking cookies. With Rowan involved it's inevitable a few cookies will get "boo boos" and need to me eaten immediately, so you won't hear me complaining!
I know a lot of people do small gifts each day but I wanted to keep it simple because the last thing the kid needs is more stuff and I really want him to start learning about giving and helping others. The only gifts I included in his advent activities are a new Christmas book, a Finding Dory figurine (which he is oddly crazy about), and some stickers or crafts we can do together.
These free printables for activities from i heart naptime are so cute and made my job so much easier! I love that there are blank cards included so you can add your own.
Make Christmas Cookies
Read a new Christmas book
Make Christmas cards for the military
Decorate the Christmas Tree
Drive around to see Christmas Lights
Take Ruby for a walk and give her a new dog treat
Pass out Christmas cookies
Listen to Christmas music
Watch a Christmas movie
Visit Santa Claus
Playground date with Daddy
Decorate Gingerbread Houses
See Scuba Santa at the Aquarium
Drink hot chocolate with marshmallows
Make reindeer food
Make a Christmas ornament
Make paper snowflakes (I'm going to make them in advance and let him open them up)
Learn about the Nativity
Donate to Toys for Tots and the Humane Society
Make a Christmas treat
Have festive pancakes for breakfast (or dinner!)
Take a family picture with your Christmas tree
Sing Christmas carols
Paint a holiday picture for grandparents
Read about the Christmas story
Rowan is really into art (especially painting) lately so I picked up some wooden ornaments and little craft projects from Michael's for some of the activities. Try not to be too jealous of his coloring skills!
Also if you're looking for a new Christmas book, a few of our favorites (other than Little Blue Truck which has been well documented) are Olaf's Night Before Christmas, Bear Stays Up for Christmas, and my personal fave, Home Alone! Seriously, its Home Alone in a children's book form with the cutest pictures. I admit that one may have been more for us than R though!
If you have more ideas for an advent calendar with a toddler I'd love to hear them!