At home we had a self-made advent calendar for everyone. Every year until you moved out of your home. To this day I associate it with family, love and of course tingling anticipation. Now we are parents ourselves and we pass this tradition on to our children.
There is a lot of work in an advent calendar and of course the whole thing shouldn't be too expensive. Unfortunately, this often means that savings are made on the "filling", so in the worst case, a plastic item from the € 1 store is behind the little door every day. In this case I prefer chocolate. We wish the nice little things sweeten the pre-Christmas-time and don't end up in the trash after a few days, therefore we have collected the best ideas here on how you can give lasting, sustainable joy. It is helpful to ask yourself beforehand what this special time in Advent stands for and what you hope for from it. Some ideas take a little more effort, some don't; some things are free, other things a little more expensive. We believe the mixture makes it and, above all, the intention behind it: Collect family moments and look forward to Christmas together.
Disclaimer: many of our suggestions can also be easily bought on site in the store, the links are examples. We deliberately do not use Amazon links. All links were checked by us at the time of publication. We are not liable for their content and we do not receive any money for the links.
- A "child determiner day". On this day the children can decide what, when and how to do it.
- Candlelight dinner without electricity
- Picnic in the living room
- Visit to the Christmas market
- Torchlight hike
- Collect fir branches in the forest
- Practice a dance to a Christmas carol together (make a video!)
- Attend a Christmas concert
- Go swimming
- Watch Christmas film with homemade popcorn
- Overnight party with best friends
- Drive to the library
- Go to the cinema
"Family, love and of course tingling anticipation."
- Make birdseed yourself, strung on or poured into molds. It's very easy, the video is available here.
- The classic: make paper stars out of sandwich paper. here is the guide.
- Make bath bombs. You can find the chemical-free recipe from household items here.
- Warning, mess - but the kids will love it: a sand box in the living room with homemade ones Magic sand.
- As decoration or to wear yourself: Even two-year-olds can make ring necklaces. See what you can find beautiful in the waste paper for it. The instructions are there here.
- Paint Christmas tree balls yourself, this works best with finger paints. Simply "beautify" some of the existing ones. In the craft shop there are also cardboard balls (6 pieces approx. 3 €).
- Design Christmas cards and send them to kindergarten friends. There are great ideas here at Pinterest.
- Make children's punch yourself, e.g. with Lebensbaum organic punch and mulled wine spices (at REWE)
- Prepare and crunch Christmas granola, there is a sugar- and gluten-free recipe here. Grandma is also happy about it in a pretty glass.
- Roast chestnuts. Yes, you can grill in winter too.
- With cinnamon and speculoos one Christmas pudding cooking on my own.
- For beginners and very easy: gingerbreadhouse from shortbread biscuits.
- And of course: Rolf Zuckowski on and bake cookies! There's the hit mix for it here.
"Collect family moments and look forward to Christmas together."
- Wooden yo-yo to paint yourself
- Animal bookmarks wooden
- Coloring pages with Christmas motif (there is also Paw Patrol ;-))
- Brightly colored Christmas socks
- Biofinger paint
- Pappdorf with houses to design yourself
- PlayMais, colorful building blocks for gluing
- Funnier Pen attachment "Animal fleece"
- Children's plate or cup
- Magnets for the stainless steel lunch box, e.g. dinosaurs
- Colorful Lunch box
- Malstrasse made of paper 1.18 meters long
- Sticker for the lunch box or drinking bottle
- Cookie cutter
- Soap bar in animal shape (dm, organic market)
- Dinosaur chips, at dm
- Children's tea
- Books, preferably reduced copies or second hand
- Homemade Energy balls
- And of course: chocolate and gummy bears. Can be found unpacked in department stores like Karstadt, in health food stores or in drugstores (not unpacked, but at least without gelatin).
One idea, 24 doors
- a book "Tiger and Bear, it's very Christmassy!". 24 wonderful Janosch stories, our children love it.
- Ostheimer wooden figures "Christmas World". Every day a new figure moves into the manger, the three wise men, the angels, the animals and of course Mary and Joseph with the Christ child.
- Advent spiral von Grimms, every day there is a figure to put on.
- Spread a small fir tree in the pot and the tree decorations on 24 doors. On Christmas Eve the top comes up. These can be "old" pendants and balls or homemade ones. A small Christmas tree of your own in the room, that's something.
- A Lego or Playmobil set: every day there is a part and a piece of the instructions.
- A great photo of you all as puzzle on box with 24 parts.
- Feel memory, e.g. from GoKi. Instead of images, different surface structures are felt here.
Advent with a difference
I have one last idea. How about if we break the idea of the advent calendar down to its purest core? What matters most in the run-up to Christmas? Gratitude and charity. The advent calendar can be an opportunity to give children new experiences of giving - and to let them see that it triggers the same positive feelings as receiving something for themselves. Imagine if we were to stick to this old principle for 24 days: do one good deed every day. And every morning together with our children we ask the question: who can we do something good for today? Chocolate can still exist ;-)
Ideas for good deeds before Christmas can be, for example:
- a game or learning package about Save the Children give away
- Giving alms to a homeless person
- Christmas in a shoebox participate
- at Bright spots call
- bring the senior citizen next to a few places
- Light a candle in the cemetery
- for the neighbors with snow shovels
- bake a cake for the advent bazaar
- bring old blankets to the shelter
- throw money in the bell bag in church
- Put a smile on dad's face with an "Elf-Yourself" video (free app at Google play or in Apple App Store)
- Give the DHL people something sweet
- a sponsored child over plan support or similar
- Share an appeal for donations from a social organization on Instagram or Facebook.
- Write a card to distant relatives
- Donate, donate, donate.
What other ideas do you have? It's best to write in the comments box below so everyone can benefit! And now: have fun tinkering with the advent calendar!