I love December. I love countdowns. I love Christmas! Roll it all together and you have… Advent Calendar Countdowns!! Christmas countdown activities are one of the best parts of the season.
A few years ago, I did a 24-day Bloggy Advent Calendar–I must have had just one kid at the time or something! The ideas from those posts are still great for kids of all ages, so I’ve collected them here in one post.
And, I’ve created a printable of these activities as Christmas Countdown Cards for you to enjoy at home with your kids. The printable is FREE and you can grab it at the end of this post!
This is NOT a sponsored post, although I do mention several previous sponsors from Christmas past. Affiliate links have been used.
25 Fun, Engaging Christmas Countdown Activities for Kids
Hang Framed Holiday Prints
Let the kids help you decorate the house for a festive mood. Use a free program like PicMonkey, Canva, or any word processing app to create and print a fun Christmas quote from a movie, a line from a Christmas carol, or Bible verses, and hang it up!
Snag these 10 Advent Scripture Verse Cards in my etsy shop!
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.
To play all your favorite Christmas songs, try out a FREE 30-day Trial of Amazon Prime Music so you can stream festive songs to your device anytime, anywhere! Plus it comes with free 2-day shipping!
Decorate the Tree with Special Ornaments
While that Christmas music is playing, “Deck the Halls!” When our family was growing, we got a personalized ornament to show the various ways we had changed. We also love to buy ornaments when we travel, and they take us down memory lane!
Here’s an idea for a DIY stained glass ornament kids can make!
Wear Cute Christmas Outfits
I am into dressing for the holidays! You could go for the Ugly Christmas Sweater. But there are so many cute ways to dress for Christmas! A snowman shirt? elf hats? When the boys were babies, I always got them a Christmas cloth diaper!
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, stocking stuffer ideas for adults, stocking stuffer ideas for kids, and more stocking stuffer ideas!
Open a Gift Early
I like to let the kids open something small on Christmas Eve. 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!
Or easily make your own molded chocolate with Christmas themed silicone molds!
Decorate a Gingerbread House
You can get great gingerbread house kits at most stores! Gingerbread house kits let you enjoy Christmas fun without the prep! (Like buying bags of candies only to use 5-6 pieces!).
Drink a Holiday Beverage
Many Christmas events are outdoors, so taking a hot beverage is a great idea! 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 Activities – Books, 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!
Read the Christmas Story
We read a lot of Christmas books, but one we save until Christmas Eve is The Christmas Story According to Luke. It’s the actual Bible scripture story with illustrations. It’s 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.
Here’s 4 creates ways to tell the Christmas story with your kids.
Go to a Christmas Concert
Churches and schools offer free or inexpensive Christmas concerts. Every one I’ve attended has been delightful! Be sure to wear something festive (see above!).
Watch a Christmas Movie
Great for a weekend! Stay inside, snuggle with the kids, and have Christmas family movie night. Here are some of our favorites:
- It’s a Wonderful Life
- Elf (has some mature language, so 8+ recommended)
- White Christmas
- Christmas in Connecticut
- Charlie Brown Christmas
- Christmas Oranges
- The Star
- Angela’s Christmas
- Muppet’s Christmas Carol
Hands-on Christmas Countdown Activities for Kids
Make Christmas Crafts
When the boys were little, “crafts” 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). Or use old Christmas cards to make DIY Upcycled Cards!
Make an Ornament
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! Some years, we just get wooden ornaments and color with markers.
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 two sets of Christmas images onto wooden coins, card stock circles or squares. Flip upside down and play Memory. How about hiding candy canes and having the children look for them around the house?
Giving Back Christmas Countdown Activities for Kids
Donate to a Food Bank
Christmas for me has a lot to do with food. When considering how to give this Christmas, a good place to start is giving to 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. Better still, call your local food bank and ask what they need.
Christmas is not a pleasant time for so many children and families. Consider packing shoeboxes of gifts for Operation Christmas Child. Or donate to a toy drop off in stores and town centers. The best gifts are the ones we give other people (even when you’re giving on a budget!).
Package cookies and ornaments and drop off to friends! We’ve made easy Chocolate Drizzle Pretzels, or Chocolate Filled Cookie Cutters to give. You’ll bring smiles for sure!
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 young, he used to sing: “Fa-la-LA!… Season…FA-la! FA-LA LA!!” And “MORE LIGHTS!” … every time we got in the car!
Christmas Countdown Free Printable Activity Cards
I hope you enjoyed these 25 Activities to help you count down to Christmas! To save you time, I’ve created a printable of this list – download this FREE Advent Countdown Activities Printable. It lists all the above activities (in a nutshell) plus two blank cards to add your own family traditions.
The year I made this, I decorated library pockets with Christmas paper and numbers and hung them up with twine and clothespins. Then I put the activity cards into each pocket. The best part was I could tailor which activity fell on which day, so I put time-intensive activities on weekends.
Share this list to your Christmas Pinterest board now, so you’ll remember it when the time comes!
More Ideas for Giving
Get more ideas for how to give with children year round. Visit the link to get a free printable of “Giving Tree Ornaments” – just print, hole punch and hang from a mini tree once you’ve accomplished each item.
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.
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