24 Activities to Enjoy with Your Child this Advent!

When I was little, I used to get really excited about Christmas. The lights, the foods, the TV specials and (of course) the prezzies. But at some point, I think it was in my mid-teens, the anticipation and magic of Christmas faded, and it became more a source of stress than blissful joy.

Last year, I felt that I really wanted to try and make the whole lead-up to Christmas more enjoyable. It was also our first Christmas as a home educating family, which meant that Penguin would no longer be getting his fix of advent activities, crafts etc from school, so I felt it was my responsibility to provide him with those things. So, to ensure that we’d get at least one little dose of Christmas spirit per day, I decided that we’d do a kind of ‘Advent calendar of Christmas activities’. It worked out pretty well and Penguin enjoyed all the activities, more or less, so we’ll be doing it again this year, though not with the exact same activities.

24 Activities to Enjoy with Your Child this Advent! For more, join us at http://sensationallearningwithpenguin.com

To do this kind of advent calendar is not only a way of counting down/warming up and getting ready for Christmas, but it also means that you spend quality time doing something together every day. I’ve made a list here of 24 activities which you could include! (The activity for the 25th would simply be ’Celebrate Christmas!’, although you could of course add something more specific if you prefer.) Many of these have the added bonus of exercising motor skills and/or life skills, and most of them include various elements of sensory stimulation, too.

I’m hoping that these activities will be enjoyable for kids of all ages and with various levels of abilities! As you’ll probably know if you’ve read some other blog posts from us, Penguin is autistic and has developmental delays, so I really try to make the things we do simple enough for him to take an active part, while still leading to a (hopefully!) rewarding result. So many Christmas crafts are just way too complicated for children who haven’t developed the required motor skills yet, whether it’s due to them just being typically developing toddlers or older kiddos with some delays.

Of course, if you’d feel like doing one of these things every day is too much (you might already have commited to doing Elf on a Shelf, or Kindness Elves, or have lots of other advent activities coming up with playgroups, school, scouts etc.), just pick a few things that really appeal to you and your child/-ren, and put aside some time for enjoying those together.

So, below is our list of suggested activities. Click on each link for details (all links open in new window). Happy Advent!

1 Making Mini Christmas Crackers

2 Potato Print Snowman Christmas Cards

3 Super simple beadwork ornaments

Advent Activities 1-3

4 Season’s Greetings with Penguin(s)!

5 Scented playdough – Gingerbread, cinnamon, and mint!

6 Christmassy Playdough Mats – Free Printables!

Advent Activities 4-6

7 Rudolph the Reindeer Craft

8 Meringue Snowmen a la ‘Big Cook, Little Cook’!

9 Making Paper Angels

Advent Activities 7

10 Visit a Christmas Market! (We went to the one at Leeds Castle last year)

11 Making a Paper Chain

12 Baking Saffron Buns

Advent Activities 10-12

13 Celebrating ‘Lucia’: A Scandinavian Tradition

14 Making a Paper Heart Garland

15 Homemade Santa!

Advent Activities 13-15

16 Baking gingerbread

17 Icing on our gingerbread cookies, and a house!

18 A Winter Visit to a Wildlife Park (We went to Port Lympne last year) If you don’t have one near you, or if you don’t enjoy them, a visit to a local historical building or other special place (think English Heritage, National Trust etc.) could be a great alternative. Many places put up lovely lights or other decorations around Christmas time, and some put on family friendly activities or exhibitions with a festive theme.

Advent activities 16-18

19 Christmas Gift Tags

20 Homemade Play Snow (safe to eat & coconut scented)!

21 Making & decorating salt dough ornaments

Advent Activities 19-21

22 Paper Snowflakes – “different, not less”

23 Festive Pipe Cleaners

24 Gingerbread Man Felt Play

Advent Activities 22-24

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you’ll have a really enjoyable Christmas period!


Psst, don’t forget to pin this post!


Linking up with:
Blissful Domestication

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
Reflections from me

41 thoughts on “24 Activities to Enjoy with Your Child this Advent!

  1. I love this!!! I’ve been a bit of a grinch so far this year and you’ve made me feel a bit more festive! I’m loving the scented play dough. This is one to pass on to the families I work with 😊 Thank you! Happy Christmas! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fabulous! I particularly like the Father Christmas (I love a loo roll craft!) We’ll definitely be making those!! And the play snow looks like great fun! I’d forgotten about paper snowflakes – my Little Miss loves scissors at the moment so that will give her something to do rather than just cutting shapes out of magazines!! 😂 #KidsandKreativity

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you lovely! I love loo roll crafts too (don’t forget to make some reindeers for Santa as well 😉). And I used to love cutting snowflakes when I was little. Penguin saw it more like a task to get through than enjoyment, I think, but his scissor skills are still improving so I’m hoping he’ll enjoy it more next time we do it! Cutting shapes out of magazines sounds quite good fun too though 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh wow! So many lovely advent activities. We are all so excited in our house and I’m feeling really festive after reading your lovely round up.

    Thanks for sharing with #MMBC. Have a fab week ahead. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Sarah! I’m glad the commenting is working fine again, must have been a temporary technical glitch of some kind. Playdough mats are great fun 😀 Is it the smell you detest most about play doh? If so, making your own homemade stuff could help, as the shop bought stuff often has a nasty odour to it. Happy Christmas! xx


  4. These are some really good ideas. Will especially try the scented play doh. Since we’ve just moved my little guy doesn’t have a nursery environment either, so I’ve been trying to keep his creative side up in the local huts for kids dotted around the town. I recon we could do some of these as ‘presents’ for his relatives for Christmas. #blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for these ideas. g breaks up from school the end of this week so we have 2 weeks to fill before chrimbo. I’m going to try and organise myself and make the snow and salt dough and try some of the others too. Pinning this. #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love these ideas, and love the idea of using crafts and activities as a coutdown to Christmas. Thank you for linking up to #KidsandKreativity, hope to see you again next time x

    Liked by 1 person

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