Advent calendar ideas have been at the top of my Google searches lately. We already have a tradition of a Christmas book countdown but I wanted to add one more countdown activity this year. Then I remembered a mom that I met in my Houston MOPS group that does an A to Z advent calendar for kids every year. It looked like such fun that I wanted to try it as one of our family Christmas activities this year.
Admittedly, it seemed a little overwhelming at first. 26 days of themed Christmas activities for kids sounded like a lot of glitter and messes and planning. But it also seemed like a great way to connect with the kids, get them excited for the upcoming season and to pass those long Christmas break days away from school.
Since this is our first year to do this A to Z advent calendar for kids activity, I will be adding pictures and updates after we complete each day. I hope you will follow along with us! If you decide to follow along use #AtoZAdventCalendar to show us the fun ya’ll have!
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A to Z Advent Calendar for Kids
Here are the things that we are planning to do during our 26 days of Christmas from A to Z. We will have easy Christmas crafts for kids to make, sing Christmas songs for kids and make simple Christmas treats that preschoolers can help with.
I am so excited to introduce this to my kids and start a fun and new Christmas tradition.
Christmas Countdown by Letter Ideas
Come hang out with us as we move through the alphabet with Christmas crafts and activities.
A is for Angel Footprints, Advent Calendar, Angel Snack and Angel Worksheets
My 4 year old was pretty confused starting out. I explained the process as best as I could and we just jumped into opening the first bag. Since the contents of her “gift” were not what I am sure she was expecting even more confusion set in but we ended up having lots of fun.
I even dressed her in an angel top that morning. Completely unintentional but I guess I was ready to get this theme going! (I assure you that there will not be a coordinating outfit for each day but that would be so much fun!).
I love her face in that picture. It looks like she is thinking “what in the world has my mom thought up now?”
Here is a glimpse of what was included in the “A” Bag. Angel worksheet and coloring printables, a baggy with 2 pretzels, a marshmallow and a gummy lifesaver, and a bottle of paint were in the bag. At this point, she thinks I am crazy.
Decorate an Angel Snack
We started off with our Angel Snack. It was simple to make with cinnamon toast and she used the decorations included in the bag to make the pretzel wings, marshmallow head and lifesaver gummy halo.
The extra toast after you cut the triangle would make great wings too. Just search your pantry for things that will work. I found the lifesaver gummy in the leftover Halloween candy and the marshmallows were leftover from our Smores obsession a few weeks back.
After snack, I had some work to do so she moved on to her angel printables that were in the bag. She is really into connect the dots right now so I used a free printable that I found at Surfnetkids. I also printed off a couple of free angel coloring pages. This was a nice quiet time activity.
Angel Footprint Craft
The last thing that we did was an angel hand and footprint craft. We did this one after dinner because I knew it would be a little messy and take a bit more time. The pictures on this are limited because she giggled so much that I honestly just forgot about taking pictures. It tickled, painting your feet is funny, you know typical 4 year old stuff.
It did turn out pretty cute. Our Christmas angel is pink because that is her favorite color and she wouldn’t have it any other way. This was my favorite activity of the day just because it cracked her up so much.
Total Out of Pocket Cost: $0 – We had everything that I used on hand.
B is for Bow stamp painting, Singing jingle bells with Bells for Noise makers, Baby Jesus fingerprint nativity and Butterfinger Bells
By today, she was a bit more excited about this A to Z Advent Calendar! We started off by opening the bag and finding 2 jingle bells, two gift bows, a small stuffed baby Jesus (from our nativity set) and 2 Butterfinger chocolate bells.
Eating Butterfinger Bells
First the kids ate their chocolate bells for a quick snack. The baby was particularly excited that he got included on this part.
After snack, we got the bells out and sang jingle bells while ringing our bells. I was surprised at how fun they thought this was. After a few rounds (when I was done), I heard them still ringing the bells and the 4 year old singing away. They were going so crazy (maybe from the candy) that it was almost impossible to get a clear picture because they would not sit still!
Bow Stamping a Gift Bag
We used a paper lunch bag to do the bow stamping on and she plans to use this to present a gift to her grandmother. She had fun with this craft but it didn’t last long.
Baby Jesus and the Manger Finger Painting
The last thing that we did was saved for after dinner. We talked about baby Jesus. We talked about why we celebrate Christmas and then started our fingerprint nativity scene. I just drew out a basic manger and let her stamp away.
She ended up wanting to add Mary and Joseph to the picture so that baby Jesus would not be alone in the manager. Too cute!
Total Out of Pocket Cost: Technically $2.98 for the Butterfinger but they only ate 2 so that bag of candy will be used for some other upcoming things soon!
“C” is for Candy Cane Hunt, Christmas Carols Medley, Christmas tree snack, Candy Cane bath paint and Candy Cane do a dot art (& Coronation Day)
She added the Coronation day to our C day by dressing up like Anna for our “C” day A to Z Advent Calendar Countdown.
Christmas Carol Medley
I just kept adding to “C” day and it kept us pretty busy! We started the “C” bag on our way home from school by introducing the Christmas carol medley tradition. I remember riding in the car with my Dad and sister as a kid and him starting a Christmas carol medley. The rules were simple. The song had to be a Christmas song and you could interrupt at anytime with a new song and everyone had to start singing that song.
I remember having so much fun being silly and singing in the car with Dad and my sis. So I explained the rules and we jumped right into a beautiful medley. I love listening to her interpretation of some of the songs (& I refuse to correct her. She will be five in just a few days and I am savoring every moment of “baby” that I have left.)
Christmas Tree Snack
A quick, DIY Christmas tree snack was next. We went back to the trusty old cinnamon toast and I provided topping for her to decorate with. The baby didn’t get to decorate but he does love to eat our creations.
Candy Cane Hunt
After dinner, the candy cane hunt was on. I hid 12 candy canes around the living room. She ran around the room squealing with delight every time that she found one. This was definitely a winner activity.
Of course after she found them all, a candy cane dessert was in order.
Candy Cane Bath Paint
We got a lesson in listening to go with our fun on this little project. She was not listening to my instructions and got her a big handful of shaving cream to eat (she thought it was whipped cream). It was a nice time to discuss how listening and obeying your parents is expected and helpful.
But we quickly got to our candy cane fun. She mixed the ingredients (shaving cream, a couple drops of red washable paint or food coloring and some optional peppermint extract). She swirled it to get a candy cane effect and took it to the bath to play.
I heard “this is so much fun” at least 100 times. The fact that the paint turned the water pink was an added bonus for her.
We also did a quick Do A Dot candy cane printable while I was cooking dinner. It is a simple activity but helps to give me those few minutes to get dinner done.
Total Out of Pocket Cost: $1 for the shaving cream
“D” is for Dear Santa
We kept it ultra simple after having a big day yesterday! We thought about 5 things that she really wants and made a list for Santa.
It was fun and simple. And a bonus, she got to practice writing.
“E” is for Elf Crafts and Elf Hats
We used a free elf printable to create our own little elf (because we don’t have enough Elf On The Shelf going on already!).
Our afternoon snack was “Elf Hats” which are known to others as Bugles.
“F” is for Fizzing Candy Canes, Friends and Family
This was actually the day of my daughter’s birthday party so it was perfect that it was “F” day because she was surrounded by family and friends.
And because she was not letting me off that easy, we also made fizzing candy canes. This was so easy and she had fun for 10 minutes or so working on the activity.
To create the fizzing candy cane project, fill a couple of containers with white vinegar and a drop or two of food coloring. Arrange candy canes on a tray and sprinkle with baking soda.
The child can use a dropper (we used the syringe that comes with baby Tylenol) or even a teaspoon to drop the colored vinegar on the tray. They will have fun watching the white baking soda change colors and fizz up.