Counting down to Christmas Day is always a favorite activity for kids. We wanted a fun way to count down to Christmas, so we came up with this fun Christmas tree advent calendar last year and pulled everything out this year.
Decorate a Christmas Tree Advent Calendar Activity
The basic idea of this tree is to allow the kids to decorate the tree a little each day. We came up with this idea mid-season last year when they were enjoying adding ornaments to the little trees I had around the house (My name is Alyssa, and I am a bit obsessed with Christmas trees.).
We collected a variety of different tiny ornaments, mini tree skirts, and a tree topper for their trees.
Oh man. They have some pretty cute tiny ornaments out these days. We found robots, emergency vehicles, ducks, gingerbread men, dinosaurs…so much fun.
I found a cardboard advent calendar box and used a paint pen to write numbers on the little boxes in the cubbies, 1-25. You can totally decorate the calendar, but we kept it simple so we can reuse it from year to year, no matter what idea we come up with next.
Before starting the Christmas Tree Advent Calendar decorating activity, we set up mini trees for the boys. I purchased pre-lit trees so we could save on the step of lighting the trees. Unfortunately, one of the trees was missing a key part needed for the lights to work and we purchased it a couple years ago, but we found some light-shaped decorations for that tree until we get to the store for regular lights. S didn’t seem to mind.
I filled each of the boxes with something special for the tree. In the first box, since the tree skirt did not fit in the box, I left a note that said “tree skirt” and showed a very quick sketch of a skirt for a visual. You can include an ornament in here too so your child has something to hang on the tree.
Fill the other boxes with mini ornaments. You can fill the boxes up with any number of ornaments, but we found 23 to be a great number of ornaments, though I will probably go ahead and add one in box number 1 with the tree skirt.
In box 25, the last and final box, I included a card that said “tree topper” and had a quick sketch of a tree topper for a visual. For the boxes that had notes, I keep the larger items in another area and they receive them once we get to the card. The tree topper finalizes everything and the tree is ready to go. Now it can have tiny gifts scattered beneath!
Each day your child will open one box and decorate the tree with what is inside. By Christmas Day, the tree will look fabulous and full. This activity also helps your child work on fine motor skills. Some ornaments may need a hook to more easily be hung on the tree.
You can do other variations with this tree as well–including garland in the second box, or an extra special ornament like a large bell with a ribbon in box 25. You can even make the last box a note about an extra special gift.
Another fun option would be to use the Christmas Pickle tradition and hide a tiny pickle ornament on each Christmas tree advent calendar for the children to find Christmas day, and the last and final box will have a note telling them to look for it. We usually do this activity on the big tree. We hide a pickle ornament and the first to find it gets an extra gift (we just do high-fives.). Each child could receive a high-five if they have their own tree to decorate and find the pickle.
What are some advent activities you have done? Share with me in the comments!
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