DIY Advent Calendars

With all the new Christmas ads on TV and more merchandise in the shops than in Santa’s Grotto, it truly is starting to look a lot like Christmas, and here at Kiddie’s Kingdom we’re getting as excited as the rest of you all planning how best to spend the time in the run up to it. Because we’re kids at heart, and love arts and crafts as much as our children do, we’ve been playing around in the office and come up with our top 3 DIY advent calendar ideas:

Wise Words

If you’re trying to steer clear of the chocolate this year, why not put together a “wise words” advent calendar for your older, but not TOO old for Christmas, children. The idea we came up with was to have a piece of board, decorated with a festive theme (our suggestion for younger children: cut out pics from magazines for some fun cut ‘n stick time), and with 25 buttons stuck on, one for each day of advent. Underneath, there will be a wise phrase, either applicable to the season or just in general that you can then use for discussion later in the day, especially if you ask your child to try to put their “wise words” into practice. Examples we thought of included: •    “Do to others as you would have done to you” – food for thought at school and home •    “Pick up as you go” – for anyone trying to instil a bit of tidiness in the house •    “Sharing is caring” – for anyone teaching children about sharing skills

Get Creative with Lego

Get some of your child’s Lego (who doesn’t have Lego floating around, even as an adult), and put it together in the shape of something festive, such as a miniature tree, bells or even, if you’re feeling creative, a Santa on his sleigh. Once you have it assembled, break it up (don’t cry!) and split it down evenly into 25 individual piles of pieces. Get 2 pieces of firm board (you can usually pick up cardboard boxes for free from local supermarkets) and make a rough box – as with the Wise Words idea, you can decorate this with the kids or have some fun on your own, whatever works, but leave enough room between the two to stick the individual piles of Lego pieces down. Be sure to remember to mark out where your doors will be. Next, mark out the doors on the front – these can either be cut out ready for each day in advance and held together with sticky dots (or similar), or your child can cut them out each day with safety scissors. Once these are done, stick the Lego piles behind them, ready for December 1st where you can commence the opening and gradually, over the month, build up the Lego masterpiece for finishing on Christmas Day!

Christmas Decorations

If you want to do something that will stay with your family forever, why not make your own calendar as in idea 2, but instead of Lego pieces, buy a Christmas ornament for each day that your children can unveil and stick on the tree or mantelpiece. This way, you’ll be able to keep the decorations forever, whilst still keeping the fun of Christmas alive. You could either make the decorations yourself beforehand, or buy them – personalised baubles are always a nice thought, but so is sparkly cotton wool stuck onto a piece of card, so this just depends on how much time you’ve got and how creative you’re feeling!

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