My children really enjoy counting down the days for special occasions, and with all of the anticipation and preparation of Christmas, this is as special as it gets! Just like during Lent, when we counted the days until Easter by making our own fluffy Lamb of God, I try to find new and fun ways to aid our children in checking off the days. After seeing some of the lovely creations on Pinterest, (Disclaimer: If you have not discovered Pinterest yet, I will not be held accountable for the addiction that will occur!), I stumbled upon a nifty Christmas Countdown made from nothing other than empty cardboard toilet paper tubes and instantly set about crafting one for my family!
In order to help make the countdown a visual reminder of the Advent season, instead of using the colors of crimson and evergreen, I chose to use lavender and rose paper to cover the 28 tubes–one for each day, with 7 dosed in pink for the days of the Third Week.
Once each tube was covered in the various patterns, I joined the tubes at the end openings with staples, taking care to ensure that the appropriate pink tubes were placed after the purple of the first two weeks.
Once all of the tubes were strung together, I then glued little tags. to the outside fronts.
In trying to keep the feasts and traditions of the liturgical year in the forefront of our family’s preparations, along with numbers, I created tags featuring the season’s saints, as well as tags for the O Antiphons that begin on December 17.
(You can find the tags for your own use here: Advent Calendar Countdown Tags/Advent Workbox Tags or by clicking the image below to print without the copyright watermark. My daughter noted that these would also make great Workbox tags!)
Just for fun and to add a little excitement, I then stuffed the insides of the tubes with squares of tissue paper with a hidden note tucked between it’s folds. Each day there is a surprise waiting to be discovered by the children telling them of that day’s planned activity. Ranging from making gingerbread houses and hot chocolate, to celebrating Our Lady with a Mexican Fiesta, they contain just little ways our family will be celebrating and preparing for the coming of our Lord.
This Advent Calendar Countdown with Activities along with our Advent Book Baskets, and a few other family traditions, has already proved to be enjoyed greatly by my little ones. I hope that this sharing of our family’s celebrations will bless you and your family, too!
(Do you have a fun and creative Advent Calendar Countdown for your family? I’m always looking for new ideas– Please share!)