Can you believe that Advent is almost upon us? I know it sounds a bit trite, but it honestly does feel like only yesterday when we were celebrating Halloween (and if you look at my blog you’ll see clear evidence of this, as that was the last time I wrote a post!) But here we are, heading into December once again, and that can mean only one thing – it’s time to crack out the Advent Calendar.
My memories of Advent as a child included a cardboard chimney with little boxes we pulled out to find a treat my mum had put inside for us. I even remember my sister and I naming one sweet as “yum yums” as they were a particular favourite of ours. I loved that Advent Calendar and have tried to find a similar one for years (with no such luck). I did try to make one years ago, but it was a bit rubbish to be honest. This year I’ve got a Santa’s Sleigh version that works on a similar basis, and I’ll be filling it with the leftover Halloween treats we never handed out, which reminds me I need to crack on with that as soon as I’ve posted this.
We also have the typical chocolate Advent Calendars too, as my mum always buys us all one. But sometimes it’s nice to complement them with other ideas too, isn’t it? Which is why I thought I would bring together some of my favourite Advent Calendar finds with you, in case you’re looking for a bit of inspiration this year. Do let me know if you try any of them, I’d love to hear how you get on.
Guide to advent calendars available in 2018
If you’re looking to buy a slightly different Advent Calendar this year, Katie from Mummy in a Tutu has created a guide to a variety of offerings this year, including preserves, bath bombs, and gin & tonic. There really is something for everyone in the selection, so if you’re still stuck for ideas for someone who isn’t really a fan of chocolate then check out the selection over on Mummy in a Tutu.
chocolate-free Advent calendar ideas
Speaking of people who aren’t fans of chocolate (or who cannot eat chocolate for dietary/allergy reasons), there is a wide variety of chocolate-free Advent Calendars available these days. Beth from Twinderelmo has collected 20 chocolate-free options for Advent, including Haribo for those with a sweet-tooth, crafts for those who are more artistic, and activities for the more adventurous amongst us. Find out more about all these ideas over on Twinderelmo.
book advent calendar
This is such a brilliant idea, especially if you have book-loving kids. It might even be a great idea for getting reluctant readers to enjoy sitting down and reading with you! Claire from The Ladybird’s Adventure has put together a fantastic step-by-step guide to creating a Book Advent Calendar. Claire has listed a great variety of festive books which you could include, but even if you wrap up non-festive books it’s still a lovely way to enjoy Advent. Check out Claire’s tips over on The Ladybird’s Adventure.
activity advent printable
I couldn’t put together a post on Advent Calendar ideas and not share the free printable I created a couple of years ago! The idea is simple – you print out the 24 activity cards, cut them out, and either stick them in envelopes or hang them on the wall, and do one activity each day. It is always a favourite of Little Man’s, and the activities have all been chosen to be easy to do with limited time, energy, and funds. There’s even a full A4 page of supporting ideas for each activity, and some Pinterest boards to go with some of them too. Get your copy, completely free (with no need to sign up to anything) here.
random acts of kindness ADVENT CALENDAR
If you like the idea of doing some kind of activity each day, and want to include the spirit of giving into this, then why not check out this brilliant Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar by Lauren over at Dilan and Me. The activities included range from something as simple as smiling at a stranger through to making donations and buying a suspended coffee at your local coffee shop. Check out the ideas over on Dilan and Me and either follow along or use it as inspiration to create your own list of kindness activities.
reverse advent calendar
Speaking of kindness at Christmas, another way you can give to others is to do a Reverse Advent Calendar. The idea behind this is that for every day on December you put something aside for someone else, rather than getting something for yourself. Reverse Advent Calendars tend to focus on putting food aside to send to the local Food Bank which, with so many people living in poverty in our country at the moment, makes a big difference. Laura from Savings 4 Savvy Mums has created a fantastic selection of resources for anyone wanting to try a Reverse Advent Calendar this year, including a list of food items that most Food Banks in the UK are keen to receive. Find out more at Savings 4 Savvy Mums.
cosmic kids yoga advent calendar
I cannot tell you how excited I was when this popped up on my instagram feed this week! As I’m sure you already know, Cosmic Kids are a huge favourite of ours. We regularly use their books and YouTube videos, so it is really exciting to find that there is an Advent Calendar this year. You can find the Cosmic Kids Yoga Advent Calendar here – make sure you bookmark it for easy access every day in December!
32 elf on the shelf ideas
Okay, so this isn’t exactly an Advent Calendar, but it is something that a lot of people take part in during December, so I thought I would include it here. Alana from Baby Holiday has created a brilliant post with 32 simple ideas for keeping the magic of Elf on the Shelf alive. Each idea is portrayed in an image, making them super easy to copy. Check out the post over on Baby Holiday.
advent at the north pole
And finally, as we’re talking about Elves, don’t forget that I have a whole series of Advent poems all about how Santa and the Elves are preparing for their big night on 24th. There is a video for every day in Advent (and an extra one for Christmas Day) over on YouTube. You can find the whole playlist here.
I do hope that one of these ideas inspires you, and that you have a very festive Advent!