I've been seeing a lot of advent calendars lately. The shops seem to be full of the sort that focus on giving children gifts, anything from a daily chocolate to lego figures. I have to admit, I don't like the way that "the magic of Christmas" seems to be translated into different ways to give children gifts. When I look back on my childhood Christmases I do remember getting gifts of course but I also remember things like making gifts for my grandpaerents, helping to decorate the tree or making paper chains. Surely those memories are more important than just getting lots of toys?
My calendar is a little different. Each door opens to reveal an activity that will help you to create Christmas memories. Some are about having fun as a family, some encourage artistic skills or sensory exploration, some activities involve thinking of other people. They are all simple enough to do with a toddler, or can be made elaborate enough for an older child, shouldn't be too expensive and don't need you to be part of a large community. I haven't included activities like visiting Santa or decorating a tree, since I don't know when you might choose to do those and I have also avoided anything very religious, but you can add that in if it suits your family.
You can also use the countdown in a few different ways, as a traditional calendar with doors to open each day, as a reference list on the wall without doors or even alongside an "elf on the shelf."
I'm really excited about the calendar, I hope it will work for lots of different families and I'm looking forward to hearing about all the fun you have over on my facebook page!
To get the printable downloads absolutely free, just fill in your details here and I will email them right to you, along with instructions for the different ways to use them.