I love December. I love countdowns. I love Christmas! Roll it all together and you have… Advent Calendar Countdowns!! A few years ago, I did a 24-day Bloggy Advent Calendar! I must have had just one kid at the time or something! (LOL).
The ideas from those posts are still great for kids of all ages, so I’ve collected them here as one post for your convenience! With a FREE PRINTABLE (or TWO!)!
This is NOT a sponsored post, although I do mention several previous sponsors from Christmas past. Affiliate links have been used.
Christmas Countdown for Kids – 25 Activities!
Hang framed holiday prints!
If you love the movie ELF, you can get well-known lines printed by Brittany Garner Designs on Etsy.
Sing favorite Christmas Carols!
With online streaming radio and local stations that play Christmas songs 24/7 from Thanksgiving until New Year’s, it’s easy to sing your excitement about Christmas! My oldest son used to ask for “Kiss-Miss Moo-Sick!” every day in December.
Decorate the tree with special ornaments.
Put on Christmas music and drink hot chocolate while you “Deck the Halls!” Each year we get a personalized ornament from Ornaments With Love showcasing our growing family. Here’s an idea for a DIY stained glass ornament even kids can make!
Wear cute Christmas outfits.
I can’t resist – a snowman shirt, elf hats, Christmas cloth diapers? I am into dressing for the holidays! Here’s my son in his snowman shirt from Inktastic, and red-striped wool longies from Forty41 on Etsy!
Fill the stockings.
My sister and I used to enjoy finding wacky items to fill each other’s stockings. Hubby and I still fill a stocking for each other – mostly with yummy snacks! Get stocking stuffer ideas, and stocking stuffer ideas for adults, stocking stuffer ideas for kids, and more stocking stuffer ideas!
Open a gift early.
We’ve never actually done this, but I’ve always thought it would be a good idea! Some families unwrap pajamas for wearing on Christmas Eve, so everyone wakes up in their new jammies on Christmas morning. Sound fun!
Christmas Countdown Activities you can Eat!
Bake Christmas cookies.
Cut out cookies, thumbprint, and gingersnaps are great choices little ones! One year I said to my son, “Let’s Decorate the house!” He said: “Decorate COOKIES!” He’s continued to say this any time I mentioned decorating!
Pick up beautiful molded chocolates in Christmas motifs. Place one at each dish at the dinner table one night for a sweet treat!
Decorate a gingerbread house.
I do NOT make my own gingerbread houses. Why would I when you can get great gingerbread house kits! Kits let you enjoy Christmas fun, without the prep and cleanup! (Or buying bags of candies only to use 5-6 pieces!). Find out what we did with our gingerbread house after Christmas!
Drink a holiday beverage!
Many Christmas events are outdoors, so a great item to take is a hot beverage! I’m a fan of the Libre Tea on-the-go tea diffuser. This nifty glass and poly tea diffuser lets you use your own loose-leaf teas, without the mess of a separate strainer.
Christmas Countdown – Books, and Music, and More!
Read a Christmas book.
We’ve done the Book A Day Advent Calendar in the past. Now we keep all the Christmas and winter books in a basket by the couch or displayed on the buffet table for browsing! Find my entire list of suggested books here. One favorite is The Berenstain Bears Get Ready For Christmas Lift-a-Flap book.
Read the Christmas story.
We read a lot of Christmas books, but one that we save until Christmas even is The Christmas Story According to Luke. It’s the actual Bible scriptures with illustrations and a perfect, calming routine for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day!
Tell the Christmas Story in Felt!
Take a break from books to retell the Christmas story with vivid felt story pieces from Betty Lukens. These pre-cut felt story sets are ready to use immediately! Tell and retell the birth of Christ from various perspectives. Sometimes I focus on Mary and Joseph, sometimes on the shepherds… Kids can place the pictures onto the felt storyboard themselves.
Go to a Christmas concert.
Churches and schools offer free or inexpensive Christmas concerts. Every one I’ve been to has been delightful! Wear something festive!
Watch a Christmas movie.
Great for a weekend night, stay inside, snuggle with the kids and have Christmas family movie night. Here’s some of our favorites: It’s a Wonderful Life, Elf, White Christmas, Christmas in Connecticut, Charlie Brown Christmas.
Hands-on Christmas Activities for Kids
Make Christmas crafts.
Until recently “crafts” with my sons have consisted mainly of coloring, stickers, and an occasional hand-print stamp! One year we made Christmas trees out of painted handprints – a bit messy, but it turned out well! I also enjoy sewing goodies for the boys, like crayon rolls or car rolls for taking small vehicles traveling over the river and through the woods!
Create Christmas cards!
Let the kids design their own cards with stamps, stickers, or drawings. To save on stamps, give them half a card (4.25”x5.5” unfolded) to design and slip it into your own cards).
Every year we try to have the kids make one ornament. I’m saving them for posterity! Don’t you love pulling out ornaments you made as a child. Keep it simple, like twisting pipe cleaners into candy canes, or decorating a paper tree with sticker ornaments!
I found FREE Christmas coloring pages at Doodle Art Alley – this lady is incredible with her Doodle Art! I can’t believe she’s giving away her coloring pages and ebooks for free!!
Play a Christmas game.
Get a bunch of different colored candy canes and have your toddler play a matching game. Or, print out or stamp 2 sets of Christmas images onto wooden coins or even card stock circles or squares. Flip upside down and play Memory. How about hiding some candy canes and having the children look for them?
Giving Back Christmas Activities for Kids
Christmas for me has a lot to do with food. When considering how to give this Christmas, a good place to start is a food pantry or food bank, or contributing to a local food drive. I’ve read it’s best to give protein items like canned meats, soups, beans, or powdered milk and eggs, because those are the most nutritious. But probably the best thing to do is call your local food bank and ask what is needed.
As a kid, I was oblivious to how the rest of the world lived… but now I know, Christmas is not a pleasant time in many homes. Consider packing shoeboxes of gifts for Operation Christmas Child. Or find toy drop off boxes in stores and town centers. The best gifts are the ones we give to other people (even when you’re giving on a budget!).
Package those cookies and ornaments you made up and drop them off to friends! We’ve made easy Chocolate Drizzle Pretzels, or Chocolate Filled Cookie Cutters to give. You’ll bring smiles for sure!
Find more ideas for Christmas giving PLUS a printable “Giving Tree Ornaments” sheet (click image to access):
Christmas Countdown Activities – Outings
Visit a Nativity Scene.
One year, we went to see a live Nativity show ! You can also find nativity scenes in front of large churches, or at winter events like Trolley Rides and local amusement parks.
View Christmas Lights.
Some parks have light “Fantasias” and neighborhoods sometimes compete for best light décor! A drive through the streets on a winter’s night is a pleasant experience. When my oldest son was very young, he used to sing: “Fa-la-LA!… Season…FA-la! FA-LA LA!!” And “MORE LIGHTS!” … every time we got in the car!
Well… that’s 25 Activities to help you count down to Christmas! I hope you enjoyed the many resources! Take a moment to visit the sites, posts, and products, because these are some of my BEST suggestions!
Christmas Countdown Free Printable Activity Cards!
Every year we do something a little different for our advent calendar. The year we did this list of activities, I was extremely ambitious, had only one child, AND had the help of an 8 day power outage at the end of October to plan this all out!
I’m going to save you the time – and pray you don’t ever experience 8 days without power – by giving you this FREE Advent Countdown Activities Printable. It lists all the above activities (in a nutshell) to use, print, frame, or what-have-you. You’re welcome!
Tell me about your Advent Calendar ideas and countdown activities! I have MORE Advent Calendar Ideas I’ll share with you tomorrow! Oh goodie!!
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This is NOT a sponsored post, although I do mention several previous sponsors from Christmas past. Affiliate links have been used here and there in this post.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.