Easy Activity Advent Calendar For The Most Fun Holiday Ever!

photo by Dane Tashima

photo by Dane Tashima

Every year we set up an Advent calendar for our kids. We fill them (mostly) with family activities with a few treats here and there. I love that this tradition kick-starts and extends the holiday season for us, which can otherwise fly by and be over before we know it! I made this paper bag Advent calendar for Parents magazine's December issue. It's super easy to make, using paper bags, adhesive numbers (available at office-supply stores), string, and clothespins! And it can double as cute decor! Fill them with treats, small toys or, as we do, fun family activity ideas! Click here for a printable list from Parents including simple activities like "make hot chocolate with candy cane stirrers", "take a drive to see your neighborhood's best holiday lights", "family game night" and more. 
TIP: before I fill the bags I look at a calendar and make sure that the more time-intensive activities (drive to see holiday lights, museum trip, Nutcracker, etc) fall on weekends.


- at least 24 brown paper lunch bags
- assorted colored craft paints  
- paintbrush
- drafting low-tack tape
- bakers twine
- regular and mini (optional) clothespins
- small sticker numbers TIP: you'll need 13- 1's and 8- 2's so you might need two sets
- small toys, treats, slips of paper with quotes or family fun activities

  1. Use the drafting tape to create the triangular outlines on the bags. Paint, allow to dry and *very* gently peel off the tape.
  2. Add a sticker number to each bag.
  3. Fold down the back of the bags and use a clothespin to clip to a line made from baker's twine. Clip on a regular or mini clothespin for a tree trunk.

I made a version where I folded the bags back entirely to create the triangular trees! Clipping on a clothespin is an easy way to add a tree trunk.

For more ideas, pick up a copy of the December issue of Parents magazine or visit their Countdown to Christmas Advent Calendar list here!
I hope you have fun making and enjoying a family Advent calendar like we do!