In this article: Get 9 different advent calendar ideas for kids to make the Christmas countdown more exciting!

Christmas is an exciting time of year for kids. Even adults still countdown to Christmas- starting in October!

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So how can you make this time or year even more magical and exciting for your kids? By creating fun countdown to Christmas ideas!

Below are 9 advent calendar ideas that your kids will love! Do one, or do them all, either way have fun counting down the days till Christmas!


9 advent calendar ideas


9 Fun Advent Calendar Ideas for the Kids this Christmas Season


24 Christmas Themed Books

This advent calendar ideas is one of my favorites because it has so many good things going on. 

One- it fosters kids’ love for reading. Two- you get to open a present every day, which is exciting!. Three- it’s virtually free. 

So how does this Christmas countdown activity work? Easy! All you need is the following:

  • 24 Christmas story books (raid your shelves and your local library)
  • Get some wrapping paper (or use paper bags and decorate them!)

That’s it! Wrap all 24 books and put them under the tree, in a box, or in some other festive display. 

Every night your kids can choose one “present” to open and read for their bedtime story. 

When the stack is gone, it’s Christmas! 


DIY Felt Advent Calendar and Family

This is the way we have counted down to Christmas in our family for generations. It’s a fun family tradition from my childhood that I have passed on to my kids. 

We used a large piece of felt- it’s about 5 feet long! And cut out squares and triangles out of felt to create little houses- 23 of them. Then we made a larger felt church at the very top. 

Then we used glitter glue to write numbers 1-24 on all of the houses (#24 goes on top). Then use glitter glue to create a road up the calendar past all of the houses. 

Now the fun part- cut out a little felt person for each member of your family. Decorate them with clothes and features. Your felt family starts at house 1 on December 1st and moves one house each day until you reach the top on Christmas eve. 

My kids LOVE this advent calendar and they are so excited to  move their person every single morning. 

You can see an example of our advent calendar below:


christmas advent calendar made of felt


Related: 21 Family Holiday Traditions to Make Christmas More Memorable


25 days of Christmas Activities

This advent calendar idea takes a good bit of pre-planning but if you pull it off your kids will remember it forever!

To create this Christmas countdown activity, you need to come up with 24 different holiday themed activities, crafts, or outings for your kids. One for each day from December 1-24th. 

These don’t have to be huge undertakings, they can be as simple as drinking hot chocolate and watching a Christmas movie, making homemade ornaments, or baking Christmas cookies

You can either just announce the activity each day or write them all down and present them in a fun way- like opening an envelope, unwrapping a box of supplies, or make a  numbered banner with activities printed on the back and let the kids take one off to do each day. 

Here’s a list of 39 different Christmas activities you can choose from! Or print out one of these Printable Christmas Bucket Lists for Kids and Adults to check off activities as you go!


An Ornament a Day

When I was younger we had this old advent calendar- just a worn cardboard box filled with little doors. Each door was numbered and inside was a little tiny wooden ornament. Every day my brother and I would take turns opening a door and hanging up the ornament on our tree. 

It was a fun way to fill the tree and countdown to Christmas.

What a perfect and fun advent calendar idea to DIY!  You can buy or make 24 little ornaments and wrap them up and allow the kids to pick one to open and hang each day. 

You can even make this activity even more fun by giving them their own little tree to decorate with these special ornaments. You can even decorate a houseplant!


Countdown with Candy

My mom loves to sew, so she made her own advent calendar with 24 little pockets. 

Now you can out whatever you want in these pockets to countdown to Christmas- you could even put ornaments or activities in them. 

But, since many of us have a sweet tooth, candy is a great option!

Fill your advent calendar pockets with one piece of candy for each person in your household, and every day (after lunch or dinner) you get to eat a piece!

All advent calendar activities can be make better with chocolate!


Red and Green Paper Chain

Making paper chains  has been around for years and years, but you can turn this craft into a fun advent calendar activity as well!

Just get 12 strips of red paper and 12 strips of green paper and then create your paper chain that is exactly 24 chains long. 

Every day your kids can rip off one piece of the chain. When the last chain is removed- it’s Christmas!


advent calendar gifts


Mark the Calendar

This may sound a little boring compared to the other advent calendar ideas, but in my house, the more ways we countdown the better!

Take your calendar and give your kid a marker and let the make a big X on everyday. (Red and green markers are always festive!)

It’s a great visual reminder for how many days there are until Christmas!


Create a Thankful Tree

So this is usually an activity reserved for Thanksgiving, but I find that with the consumerism,  materialism, and greed that can often accompany the Christmas season creating a sense of thankfulness is needed. 

I like to do this by cutting out Christmas themed shapes from paper. Think candy canes, Christmas trees, stars, etc. 

Punch a hole in each and tie on a circle of yarn. 

Every day have your kids write something they are thankful for and then hang the paper ornament on a tree. You can even just use a dead branch or branches from the yard placed in a vase on the table. 

This is a great advent calendar activity that no only countdowns to Christmas but helps your kids to feel grateful for everything they have during this season. 


A Good Deed a Day

Similar to the Thankful Tree, you can also countdown to Christmas by doing good deeds!

These can be as simple acts of kindness or something more involved. Some ideas for this advent calendar activity are:

  • Pay for someone’s meal
  • Adopt a family
  • Buy an angel tree gift
  • Volunteer at the animal shelter
  • Volunteer at the soup kitchen
  • Pay someone’s parking meter
  • Take cookies to the fire station

Basically any good deed that would help or benefit someone else. Think of it as a secret Santa for your community!


There you have it! 9 fun, simple advent calendar ideas to help create excitement and anticipation as you countdown to Christmas! I’d love to hear how you celebrate this time with your family! Leave a comment and let me know!

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