This is the first Christmas my oldest will be old enough to understand Christmas and you guys, I'm so excited! I have so many things I want to do with him to make it memorable and fun, and one of them is definitely an advent calendar. One of my favorite traditions when I was young was manning the advent calendar, (it was more like fighting my siblings to see who could be first to stick the little velcro character on the quilted calendar. Am I right?!), so this is one thing I'm definitely going to have on hand and easy for him to do. Here are three ideas with fun (and free!) printables to get you and your kids excited for the countdown!
1. The Christmas Countdown Poster
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I had so much fun making this and I love the big size! It's 18″x24″ and can go on a wall, a door, a fridge, wherever. I put little circles on each box so your little elves can glue on a pom-pom as the countdown item. The Dollar Store sells bags of pom-poms (they come in super fun bright colors), or you can get your tinsel on and get these cute pom-poms on Amazon! As far as printing this size, you just download the PDF file to your desktop and save it to a jump drive and take it to your local FedEx or Staples and tell them you want to print the file. I just did it on basic paper – nothing fancy. It cost about $3 to print it out, and the pom-poms were $1 at the Dollar Store! The black and white PDF file for this poster is here: Christmas Countdown Poster, and here is the colored version of the Christmas Countdown Poster (Color) (not pictured).
2. Christmas Character Countdown
This calendar is the same idea, but just a little more kid-friendly with the little Christmas characters. On each character there are little circles with numbers that you can add a pom-pom to for the countdown. Can you tell we love pom-poms at our house?! This bag of pom-poms would be perfect if you wanted to do both of these countdown calendars – all different sizes and all your basic Christmas colors! (It's an Amazon add-on item so when you're restocking on diapers or chocolate, add these pom-poms to the shopping cart!) The circles on this character countdown are a bit smaller so the smaller pom-poms would work best. (But the Dollar Store ones will work great too!)
And a fun little bonus with this one is a black and white version your kids can color! You could print out a few copies of these and let them decorate their own calendar however they want and keep it in their rooms and color in the circles each day with a crayon or marker. This PDF file is an 11″x17″, so unless you have that size paper at home, you'll just need to print this off at Staples or FedEx the same way as the poster above. I think they're about $1 per copy.
Both of the files above (colored/black and white) are contained in this PDF: Christmas Character Countdown
3. Hanging Christmas Tag Countdown
All you need for this one is your home printer, some string, and a stick! (Send your little ones on a hunt to find the best stick for this – any size will do!) Just print out the PDF file and cut the squares out – put your little one in charge of punching a hole in the top and stringing a little bakers twine (Dollar Store has some cute colors with three rolls in a pack, and I can almost always find some in the Dollar bins at Target) through the tag, then hang a tag per day! It looks a little lonely starting out, but as the days go by it fills up and is darling! The PDF file contains two 8.5″x11″ prints. It's best to print them out on heavier paper – cardstock – so they keep their shape a little better, but normal printer paper is great too!
The PDF file for this countdown is here: Hanging Christmas Tag Countdown
There you have it! Three cheap and cute ideas you can do with your kids to count down to Christmas! Hope you and your littles enjoy them as much as I plan to!
What are some of YOUR favorite Christmas countdowns with little ones?!