With Christmas around the corner, December is a fantastic time of year to have a bit of silly family fun. It’s also an important period for many religions and cultures, and a great opportunity for children to learn to think about others. There are plenty of advent ideas for families to choose from- there’s something for everyone no matter how young or old!
From the fun to the thoughtful, these 25 days of Christmas activities will help your children count down the days to Christmas. Make a big checklist, pop a daily event on the family calendar, or make a DIY Advent calendar to reveal one suggestion per day – however you choose to tackle these fun activities, they’re sure to put the whole family in the festive spirit.
25 Advent activities for children
1. Letters to Santa. Write and decorate letters for the North Pole – post them to the address below by 11th December to get a reply!
2. Make Christmas cards. Sit everyone down at a table loaded with craft supplies and make your own Christmas cards. Send them to friends and relatives you might not get to see this year. Include a family update letter to help everyone keep connected, no matter how far away.
3. Bake Christmas treats. Children will love decorating cookies and cakes with coloured sweets and other toppers, and it’s an easy way to get them excited to help out in the kitchen.
4. Decorate the Christmas tree. There’s nothing that marks the start of the yule season quite like putting up the tree and decking the halls.
5. Hang fairy lights. Indoors or outdoors, they always bring a festive touch.
6. Make a family donation. Christmas is a time for giving – so come together as a family to think of others this year. Donate to a charity that’s close to your heart or go shopping for the food bank together. Check your local branch for a list of much-needed essential items and encourage your children to pick out the supplies themselves.
7. Take a winter walk. Bundle up and enjoy the crisp, wintery air with a walk in your local park.
8. Make a Christmas wreath. Depending on your children’s ages, you can use paper and glue or get more involved with holly branches, ribbons, fake flowers, bells, small toys, and more.
9. Take family photos. Skip queuing for a picture with Santa this year and stage a creative family photo shoot instead. Try giving your kids the camera and some festive props and see what they come up with.
10. Put on a Christmas play or talent show. Whether it’s the nativity or an original Christmas skit, challenge the family with a Christmas play or talent show. Let the children organize the entire production, or get the whole family involved with individual skits.
11. Make it a movie night. Make some popcorn or hot cocoa, snuggle up in your pjs and pop on a family favourite festive film.
12. Make paper snowflakes. A classic Christmas craft that only requires scissors and some paper! Tape the finished product to your windows to give the house a festive feel.
13. Have a Christmas music dance party. Take ‘rocking around the Christmas tree’ to the next level with a full-on festive dance party. Ridiculous outfits welcome.
14. Wrap and decorate presents. Set up a wrapping station and get your children to help wrap and decorate Christmas gifts (just not their own).
15. Make a bird feeder. Coat an empty toilet roll in peanut butter and roll it in birdseed for an easy DIY bird feeder. Hang it outside a window where you can watch to see if you get any feathered visitors, taking care to make sure it’s out of reach of cats and foxes.
16. Have a gingerbread decorating competition. Provide all the supplies, including gingerbread, icing and decorative sweets, and let your children construct their own masterpieces.
17. Host a family game night. Set out some snacks and include festive games like present games, Christmas musical chairs, or holiday charades.
18. Learn about Christmas traditions around the world. Assign each member of the family to research a different country or region, then take turns sharing how the holidays are celebrated in different parts of the world.
19. Host a virtual party. Include family-friendly activities, such as a carol sing-along or a Christmas quiz.
20. Celebrate your faith. Attend a virtual worship service or read a meaningful story together and talk about what the holiday means to you.
21. Make a silly Christmas video. Send it to friends and family to spread the Christmas cheer.
22. Go carolling. Do some socially-distanced singing for neighbours, or video call relatives with a surprise carol concert.
23. Commit secret acts of kindness. Challenge your children to come with their own secret way to be kind or help someone else over the course of the day.
24. Read Christmas stories. Gather together over mince pies and hot cocoa and read your favourite festive stories – A Visit from St Nicholas is a great closer on Christmas Eve.
25. As it’s Christmas day, it’s time to open presents!
With these fun family activities, this Christmas is sure to be full of festive cheer – no matter the circumstances.
As we encourage our children to think of others at this time of year, it’s important that we do the same ourselves. One of the most impactful things you can do to help your community is to become a foster parent to a child in need – get in touch to find out more.