Activity advent calendar - do's and don'ts

It is our fifth year of doing an activity calendar now - and it has change a lot since we started. The most important lesson I learnt was to write down the days of the week, note which days we had lots of thing going on after work - and adjust the ambitions accordingly. If you plan vigorous activities every day in December both you and your kids will be exhausted within the first week.

Divide activities into two categories

Write a list of possible activities divided into two categories by how time consuming they will be. If you do the prep work ahead of time this will be so much fun.

Time consuming activites:

* Baking
* Crafts
* Decorating the tree
* Making a ginger bread house
* Game night
* Treasure hunt
* Cinema
* Swimming pool
* Buying gifts

Easy activities for days when you are busy or tired

* Write gift list for Santa
* Play hide and go seek
* Bathing day - pack a box full of fun bath toys and foam.
* Money collector. Hide chocolate coins in each of the kids room, and get them to collect them. See who finds the most.
* Children decide what's for dinner (they always choose pancakes)
* Beads - give them a box of beads and make them create a necklace or bracelet.
* Activity books. Give them a book each which they can do.
* Movie night
* Read a Christmas story


...Try to clear the schedule as much as you can, before December starts. You can read about it here. Get the gift buying and wrapping done. Shop groceries online. Organize the house and clean before December and just do the last finish before Christmas.

 ...The activities you would normally do, and that you WANT to do - make it and activity for the family - like baking or decorating the tree for example.

 ...Schedule in the other activities so you know which days will be busy and which days you do more time consuming activities.


...Be over ambitious. Put in resting days were the activity is done in 5 minutes or less, or give the kids a craft or activity where they can do the activity without so much input from you.

...Be surprised by what today's activity is. Write down what you put in the calendar each day so you know what to do each day.