Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Counting Down the Days Til Christmas! (A Tutorial)

Posted by Heather at Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Advent Calendar Chain 2011

Katy kept trying to "wear" the loops as bracelets and then couldn't understand why the whole chain wasn't something you wear around your neck like a necklace. My little girly girl!

One of the projects I had planned for us to do on the train was an Advent calendar to count down the day until Christmas. We never got around to making it on the train, so we did it today, instead. Below are the step-by-step instructions for how we created this simple, yet meaningful Advent Calendar Chain.

1. First, I cut out 24 strips of decorative paper. I used scrapbooking paper but you could use whatever you have on hand- old cards, construction paper, have the kiddo color pictures, etc. Each strip measured 2" x 6".

2. Next, I cut out one 2"x6" yellow piece of paper for Christmas day.

3. Then, I came up with 25 Christmas/Winter-themed ideas and I typed them onto return address labels that you run through your printer. I catered my labels specifically for Katy and her 21 month-old capabilities.

Labels that I came up with are as follows (in no particular order):
  • Enjoy a mug of hot cocoa!
  • Donate to a Salvation Army red kettle and remember those less fortunate than us.
  • Color a picture to send to one of the great-grandparents.
  • Skype with Nana and Bapa.
  • Skype with Grandma and Pop-Pop.
  • Learn the lyrics to Jingle Bells.
  • Wish a “Merry Christmas!” to everybody you meet, today.
  • Bake a Christmas goodie with Mommy.
  • Have Daddy read The Night Before Christmas aloud.
  • Make a paper snowflake.
  • Watch “A Muppet Christmas Carol.”
  • Take a picture of a Christmas tree.
  • Brave the malls with Mommy and do a little window shopping.
  • Help Mommy wrap some Christmas presents and place them beneath the tree.
  • Find the Christmas Pickle ornament on the Christmas tree.
  • Make an ornament to hang on the tree.
  • Wear the colors red and green, today!
  • Have Daddy read about the true meaning of Christmas from the Bible.
  • Read about the history of the real St. Nicholas.
  • Today is pajama day!
  • Make special red and green placemats to be used for Christmas dinner.
  • Listen to Christmas carols on the radio.
  • Bake a Christmas goodie to be shared with the library staff, thanking them for story time fun!
  • Count how many Christmas wreaths you see, today.
  • Happy Birthday, Jesus! Merry Christmas!

4. Then, I affixed one label to each of the 25 strips, making sure that the label, "Happy Birthday Jesus! Merry Christmas" was put onto the yellow strip for Christmas Day.

5. Now for Katy's "assistance." She "helped" me make loops with the strips of papers, using fun Christmas stickers for each loop. We linked up all of the loops until we had one long chain (making sure that the last and final loop was the yellow Christmas loop). Since all of the strips of paper got mixed up, it will be a "surprise" to see what our fun Advent activity is for that day.

6. I hung the chain in our play room using a festive red ribbon and a Command Hook. Each day in December we will take a loop off of the end until we are done and it is Christmas day.

We are excited for Christmas!


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