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
- 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
- Use the drafting tape to create the triangular outlines on the bags. Paint, allow to dry and *very* gently peel off the tape.
- Add a sticker number to each bag.
- 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!