Ooh this year its been tricky to plan advent. Having an 20 month old, a primary schooler and now one in secondary school we do only have a very small window of opportunity together and some evenings I’ve had to plan around the fact that we may just be able to grab 5 mins together in the same place. Lots of the activities we are doing are repeats of things we’ve done over the past few years so I’m not planning to blog each day seperately, but I do try to vary it a bit so that the children don’t quite know what to expect, while also not feeling any pressure to make each year totally different so that they stay grateful for the simple and basic activites.
Here are the 24 different things we are up to this year. (Note: If you are one of my children and have accidentally stumbled across this LOOK AWAY NOW… and you may be allowed to revisit after December 24th)
- Writing our Christmas cards
- Making paperchains
- Buying and decorating the tree (including mulled wine for the grown ups)
- Movie Night -Healthy pop corn and Inside Out.
- Local nativity
- Carols singing in a local pub
- Making snowflake white chocolate lollies
- Writing Christmas lists
- Decorating baubles (I bought glass fillable ones and white ones to write on with oil based sharpie)
- Out for a hot chocolate (trip that includes some visits to local independent shops to get flowers and bits and pieces for hampers)
- Movie Night: Home Alone
- Christmas Cards for the baby to make. This was a simple pack of stickers, glue and papers for a craft activity for the bigger 2 to do with their little sister. This was show day for both the older 2 so seemed fitting to make todays activity somethng for the smaller one to do.
- Sleeopver (they each have a friend I’ve invited over, without them knowing. There are Christmas party games planned and a small Christmas gift for each of them)
- Snowman Biscuits. A simple shortbread recipe and a few basic decorations.
- Grotto. We’ve not seen Father Christmas for a few years and I think the older 2 are maybe a bit big… but they have a duty to their little sister and I’m hoping they’ll secretly love it!
- Biscotti. We have some gift bags and are planning to use this baking activity to add gifts into a few pressies and to make gifts for teachers.
- Lantern Making. I’ve saved 3 pesto jars and tea lights and using decopatch glue and tissue papers we’ll make some pretty little lights.
- Thanksgiving cards. Here’s where they write a prayer of thanks in a little notecard to acknowledge some of the different ways they are blessed and are grateful to God for. We pin these on the wall to remind us to be thankful people.
- Movie Night: I think this one might just need to be The Snowman. It is most definitely the best.
- Trip to a Christmas House.
- Christmas shopping. We’ve done most of this already and have done all the main bits online. I try to keep the children away from all the consumer stress of it all and this trip is more about local shops and little extras with no pressure to buy anything.
- Family Christmas party. Crackers, classic party games, possibly traingle sandwiches for tea… and it might all end with the start of an 1000 piece jigsaw.
- Cristmas wrapping. The children get to wrap the bits and pieces they have arranged for gifts. I try not to interfere with the bad folding and sticking and let them experience their freedom… I do try. Sometimes my reactions are too expressive and occasionally I grab the sellotape off them.
- Winter Walk. Welly boots on. Woods. Bag of snacks. 🙂
Each of these activities is wrapped in one of these pretty copper parcels. Each morning we get a few mins together at the start of the day to open it and see what we’ll be doing later that day. It really is a lovely start to the day and it works to help them to be really appreciative of the ordinary parts of preparing for Christmas.
I would love to hear any other tried and tested good ideas that might suit my age range and time limitations. Why are children so busy?!