Since I saw "Advent Activity Calendars" online last year, I wanted to make one for Maximo. I like the idea of building up to Christmas... and understanding just how far off it is before Santa comes in a fun and visual way. So, after ordering an advent calendar last year and scouring the internet for ideas, I've created our own Los Lemleys Christmas Countdown, which I hope will continue as a tradition, although it will be harder in the future when I'm back at work.
A couple of things I considered:
1. Not getting Little 'Mo hyped up on sugar before breakfast (or bedtime for that matter) with chocolate treats
2. I wanted it to be a bit more exciting than finding the number and opening a paper door.
3. I didn't want him to get 25 gifts as a countdown to Christmas, when he will already get plenty between being a new big brother and Christmas itself.
And Christmas Countdown 2010 was born!
Last night we started off with a book, Ten on a Sled. It may have not been the most exciting start, but I didn't want to start off with something super crazy and then have to live up to that each day and we are trying to keep school nights more low-key.
Our bucket of books and activities
We told him that he could "get his Christmas treat" after dinner, since he spotted the calendar as soon as he got home from school. So, he pulled himself up at the dining room table and started requesting dinner (at 4:30).
I've only put activities/clues in the top three rows, because I have a feeling he may start pulling some of these things out.
I can't take credit for all of this... I originally got the idea from TeachMama and then found other things all over the web. I got a "Busy Box" (their website is down, or I'd link, like a good teacher should) to help with my lack of creativity for some of the art projects and am using books because books are fab, and from the idea from Celia.
Here's our calendar, which is on the refrigerator:
This is an example of what the papers in the calendar pockets look like:
Tonight, we're going to do a craft project. I'll try to post pictures as we get through some of the activities, although I probably won't post on each one, as it really isn't that exciting to see pictures of us reading.