It’s that time of year when we start thinking about Christmas and what better way to countdown than with an advent calendar.
If you’re one of my lovely US readers (and there’s many of you), I know you have wonderful Thanksgiving celebrations before Xmas. But for the rest of us across the pond, November means Christmas is coming!
This year, I’ve gone for simplicity with this wooden advent calendar, keeping it all natural. I’ve made mini wooden houses, each with a little activity at the back.
I made an activity advent calendar last year and found that it was so much more fun for Anya than one filled with treats. So I’ve gone for activities again and if you haven’t tried one of these for your kids, I highly recommend it. Not only will they love it but it’s lovely way to spend time together and make memories that will last a lifetime. If you want some ideas, I’ve shared some advent activities at the end of the post for both kids and adults.
Of course, an advent calendar isn’t only for kids – I wish someone would make me one! But if you want to make one for your partner or bestie, then this wooden advent calendar will work just as well as an adult advent calendar.
DIY WOODEN ADVENT CALENDAR
balsa wood (6.4mm thick)
ruler and pencil
black number stickers
round white office stickers
Mini reindeer and trees
I added these to create a Christmas scene. These are optional but fun to add. They’re both cake decorations that you’ll find here – reindeer cake decorations and christmas tree cake decorations
1.Draw your house shapes on your balsa wood. I went for a range of different sizes to add interest.
2. Cut the houses out using your craft knife and ruler. Balsa wood is soft enough to cut with a sharp craft knife but make sure to use a fresh blade. Also don’t cut through the wood on the first go. Instead gently score the outline a few times, adding a bit more pressure each time. You’ll get much a cleaner cut this way. Hang on to the corners of the houses that you cut as these will make the stands for the houses.
3. Stick your numbers on to the front of each house. Write your activity on your round white stickers and stick these on to the back.
4. Finally glue the little corners (that you saved) with wood glue on to the back of each house. The shorter, squatter houses need just one whereas for the taller, skinnier houses, stick two on the back.
Note: If you cut the balsa wood in the direction of the grain, it cuts like butter with a sharp craft knife. Cutting across the grain takes scoring a few times before it cuts.
With the houses, I made a few different sizes to add interest. Some are short and wide while others are tall and skinny. And I made extra large ones for the 1st of December and the 24th. I tried painting the houses but I found that they looked much better in natural wood. But if you prefer a colourful look, go ahead and paint with acrylic paints.
Do you make your advent calendar each year or do you buy one? Do you think you’ll have a go at making this one?
ADVENT CALENDAR ACTIVITY IDEAS FOR KIDS:
- family game night
- surprise play date
- choose a story and I’ll read it to you
- let’s go to a carol service
- buy a tree and decorate it
- let’s bake some cookies
- buy gifts for a family in need
- £1 for your money box
- go see the Xmas lights in central London
- star shaped pancakes for breakfast
- let’s go ice-skating
- let’s have a dinner floor picnic
- decorate some Xmas ornaments
- write a letter to santa
- family dance to Xmas music
- family midnight feast
- lay out brandy, cookies and a carrot for santa and reindeers
ADVENT CALENDAR ACTIVITY IDEAS FOR ADULTS:
- date night
- Xmas dinner with family friends
- drink eggnogg laced with brandy
- have a cosy dinner in front of the fire
- family game night
- go to a Xmas concert
- visit an old peoples home
- go for a winter walk
- get dressed up for dinner at home
- decorate the tree together
- kiss under the mistletoe
- have a pyjama day and watch Xmas movies
- go to a Christmas market
- give to 3 homeless people today
- go to a carol singing evening