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Looking for Advent ideas? Here’s an awesome collection of simple Advent activities. None of them require a lot of preparation or expense. Easy and simple is perfect for this busy time of year! Build memories that last a lifetime.
The beauty of Advent
Advent is one of my favorite seasons. It provides a quiet oasis of peace in the midst of the Christmas craziness.
Advent invites us to stop and take a breath.
Instead of fretting over endless lists we can slow down the season. Savor it and embrace the ritual of preparations.
When my boys were still home I usually had elaborate plans for Advent, but these tended to slip past me in the hustle of busy family life.
Still we always found time to enjoy some simple traditions that didn’t take a lot of time and preparation. And that worked really well for us.
I have gathered together a few simple Advent activities. None of them require a lot of preparation or expense. The first Sunday of Advent is almost upon us, so easy and simple is good!
Have fun with these simple Advent activities
Have fun. Celebrate. Enjoy the season, but don’t overwhelm your schedule. The idea is to make memories and encourage family connections, not create extra stress! Pick one or two ideas and then enjoy a simple and meaningful Advent.
1. Advent wreath
An Advent wreath is a tradition that comes to us from the church. If you are interested you can learn more here.
- Yellow Bliss Road has published some lovely photographs of very simple Advent wreath. If you prefer to use the more traditional circular shape simply use a round plate or tray.
- Michelle at A Mommy’s Adventure has instructions for making a hand print Advent wreath from hand prints. What a lovely way to make a family wreath that is safe for younger children to play with.
- Sun Hats and Wellie Boots show you how to make a traditional Advent wreath using natural materials.
- The Kids Craft Room has some instructions for making simple Advent candles
2. Advent countdown
Advent calendars are a wonderful way to help children countdown the days of Advent. You could simply go out and buy one and there is nothing wrong with that. If you want to make something unique choose one of these ideas.
- Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar free printable.
- The Waldorf family published some pictures of a lovely home sewn Advent Spiral.To simplify draw a large spiral on blue or purple card stock. Stick 24 self-adhesive stars along the spiral.
- Head over to Spell Outloud to find instructions for making a simple Advent chain. This link includes a free download for the chain links.
- I love this fun Advent Activity Tree from The Imagination Tree.
4. Advent Giving Jar
Advent is the perfect time of year to collect money for a good cause.
Brush thin white glue (mix with a little water) onto a clean glass jar and cover with tissue paper squares.
Repeat until the entire jar is covered. Brush on another layer of glue and leave to dry. Tie a ribbon around the neck of the jar. Use the jar to collect money. At the end of Advent roll and count the money. Perhaps you could use it to give the gift of a Kiva Loan.
Related: Looking for other ways to reach out and help others? Take a look at our Christmas Acts of Kindness.
5. Daily Activities
Preparing the manger
Display a small manger somewhere in your home. This doesn’t have to be elaborate. A small cardboard box will suffice and shredded paper makes an easy substitute for hay. Children may enjoy painting the box to make it special for baby Jesus. Place the hay in a large bag.
Once the manger is in place, invite children to help prepare it for the baby Jesus. Have them add a big handful of straw to Baby Jesus’s manger every time they do something kind or helpful. On Christmas Eve, children can place a small figure of Baby Jesus (doll) in the soft bed of hay.
Mary and Joseph Travel to Bethlehem
If you have a nativity scene, set up the stable in a central location. Tell the story of the journey Mary and Joseph had to make to Bethlehem. Start Mary and Joseph on their long journey by placing them some distance from the stable. Every day move them closer to the stable, until they arrive on Christmas Eve.
Start a new family tradition this holiday season with the magic of the Kindness Elves. This wonderful alternative to the elf on the shelf will put the emphasis back on giving. Kindness Elves come into your home at the start of Advent and each day they encourage your children to do small acts of kindness. Get more details here.
Gather your Christmas books and maybe borrow a few new ones from the library. Place them in a small basket or storage container by the tree. Each night sit by the tree and read 2-3 books. You don’t need a lot of books, because children love to hear the same stories over and over.
A few more resources
My book Advent A-Z
A few years back I was privileged to co-author an Advent Devotional book for families.
Each day explores an Advent-related word that begins with a successive letter of the alphabet. There is a short reading and suggestions for all kinds of simple activities .
It is available in as an e-book, so you can download it and start using it immediately.
Do you celebrate Advent as a family? What special traditions do you have? Please share your ideas in the comments below.