Joy to the world--it's December and Christmas is near! My little ones remind me of the simple joys of Christmastime at home, from candles and recorded carols to cookies and calendars. Advent calendars are one my favorite activities for anticipating noël because they are a concrete way for children to comprehend the passage of time. (Advent traditionally starts four Sundays before Christmas, but it's easier to stay on track by starting December 1st.) If you haven't started a countdown yet, it's not too late to catch up!
What's Advent? It means "coming" or "arrival"--it's a preparation of our hearts and minds to celebrate Christ's birth into the world. It doesn't have to include a daily chocolate behind a paper door, but it can! And even if your family doesn't include Christ as part of Christmas festivities, you can still appreciate these ideas for counting down the days until Christmas:
Your child can collect 25 leaves, rocks, or mixed natural items and subtract a item from the collection each day:
Of course you can always cut a ring from a paper chain, but if you'd like to do something different this year, consider these decorative coffee cups or colorful wreath ideas. Or add an ornament each day to a miniature Christmas tree.
And a forest animal calendar with stickers from the December issue of Toupie magazine, because stickers are such simple fun for a four-year-old:
Which is your favorite advent calendar idea? Feel free to share photos of your advent calendar or countdown activity on Intentional Mama's facebook page. Blessings!