Homemade Minimalist Advent Calendar for Preschoolers

homemade advent calendar for preschoolers

I stumbled upon this beautiful advent calendar photo from the one and only Kristin Rogers (one of the hosts of my favorite parenting podcast) and a lightbulb went on. I’ve been saving this branch for a project for Judith’s room but haven’t gotten around to it, and it will be perfect for this. I quickly googled “preschool advent calendar ideas” and surprisingly quickly found a few blog posts with the minimalist approach I was looking for. I didn’t really want to wrap 24 cheap little gifts that would be absorbed into the clutter of our home and forgotten in a few days. I wanted a couple meaningful gifts and plenty of holiday activities. So here’s the list of 24 activities and gifts for preschoolers this advent season (and the photo that inspired it all).

homemade advent calendar


1. Present: Christmas book (I have a whole bunch of Christmas books coming in the mail from Thriftbooks already, and they were only about $4 each! You can get 15% off your first order through that link.)

2. Random act of kindness (ask child what they’d like to do, have a few suggestions ready)

3. Christmas movie night (She’s been watching Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas since Nov. 1…haha. VeggieTales: It’s a Meaningful Life, styled after the classic It’s a Wonderful Life, looks cute too. The first Chronicles of Narnia movie is one of my fave Christmas movies–I’m hoping Judith will sit through it this year!)

4. Make popcorn garland (great tips here!)

5. Present: chocolates (I’m wrapping one of the special dōTERRA truffles for Judith 😉

6. Holiday lunch (see this post for 25 creative lunch ideas)

7. Hang wreath (add a drop of Cassia essential oil for a beautiful aroma every time the door is opened)

8. Mail Christmas cards

9. Hang special ornaments + make cinnamon dough ornaments

10. Present: finger puppets

11. Christmas lights walk

12. Dontae cans to food bank (here in Lakeland, VISTE is one place you can do this)

13. Hot chocolate with breakfast (healthy peppermint hot chocolate recipe)

14. Host a Christmas party/cookie exchange

15. Go see decorations downtown (or the Highlands Park Lights of Lakeland, it was amazing last year!)

16. Present: headband or hair bows 

17. Hang mistletoe (and give kisses!)

18. Get ready for new toys – declutter and donate

19. Present: Christmas stickers

20. Play “what’s in the stocking

21. Present: Christmas book (again)

22. Make a window snowman (or like this but a snowman)

23. Wrap presents for family members (if they can keep a secret! I’m not sure Judith can…we’ll see)

24. Present: Christmas pajamas

If you’re looking for a few extra activities, this list includes a bunch of great DIY ornaments, a few of them easy enough for the kids to help.

I’d love to hear any more ideas you have! Drop a comment below to share them.

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