advent calendar

i love the idea of counting down to christmas, so i decided this year we'd have an advent calendar.  ideally, we'd give the kids one book a day, but because the cost of books add up so quickly, we'll be doing a special activity each day instead.  it's only day two and jaden is already SO excited for christmas.
the advent calendar is super easy to make and can be completed in under an hour.  i made the star out of popsicle sticks and the tree from baker's twine and thumb tacks.  i then used mini clothespins and cardstock paper to make the calendar.  here's the breakdown:

10 small popsicle sticks
gold glitter
glue gun
glue stick

Use popsicle sticks to form a star shape then apply hot glue to corners. Once it's dry turn over and apply glue stick on each side of the star.   Sprinkle on glitter and shake off excess.  

baker's twine
thumb tacks 

Using a thumb tack, place star on wall and use it as a guide to form a christmas tree shape with the baker's twine.  Make five layers and use thumb tacks to hold tree.  Lastly, create an additional two layers with the baker's twine to make the trunk of the christmas tree.  

mini clothespins
printer (optional)
scissors or paper cutter

Print out numbers 1-24 from computer on cardstock paper. (my handwriting isn't very impressive so I opted to use the printer.)  I used the font Harrington, size 20.  Cut out numbers to form 1 inch squares and write the activity of the day on the back. Clip clothespin onto the twine tree with the square numbers and you're done!

i catered each activity according to our regular schedule and saved the bigger activities for the days jaden is not in school.  i made sure to make each activity simple but also threw in some bigger ones like a trip to the aquarium and zoo.  

here's what we'll be doing each day until christmas:

1:   hot chocolate with marshmallows
2:   make paper snowflakes
3:   popsicle treat
4:   lunch picnic in living room
5:   trip to the dollar store to buy one new toy
6:   party!  today is jaden's birthday
7:   instead of a gingerbread house, let's make an ice cream cone christmas tree.
8:   fingerpaint
9:   trip to the bookstore to choose one new book
10: make and write christmas cards
11: bake christmas cookies
12: donate 3 of your toys to toy box connection
13: zoolights
14: sing and dance to christmas songs
15: build a snowman.  if it's not snowing, do a snowman craft.
16: trip to the aquarium
17: watch a christmas movie together
18: make christmas goodie bags for jaden's class
19: footprint reindeer craft
20: photo with santa
21: ice cream date
22: drive around to see christmas lights
23: let's go the living room.
24: bake cookies for santa

hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving and long weekend!  happy december!

*this post sponsored by Popsicle

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