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Easy Advent Calendars for Children

Simple, Inexpensive Advent Calendars

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Advent calendars are a fun way to help your kids count down the days until Christmas or any other holiday or special event. Traditionally, Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, so in 2013, Advent begins on Sunday, December 1. But you can jump in and start any time during the month. All of the simple Advent calendars shown here can be made from scratch using items you already have sitting around the house.

Hershey Kisses Advent Calendar

(c) 2007 Jennifer Wolf, licensed to About.com
Help your kids count down the days until Christmas with this yummy homemade Advent calendar. Simply fold Hershey kisses (or any other festive chocolates) into plastic Saran wrap. Then tie each treat off with a piece of ribbon. You can even put notes inside each section, so that the Advent calendar includes 25 reasons why you love your kids, or 25 reasons why you're proud of them. In this way, the calendar serves two purposes - counting down to Christmas Day, and reinforcing to your kids how much you love and care about them!

Good Deed Advent Jar

The Advent jar shown here includes 25 good deeds to help families count down to Christmas.
© Jennifer Wolf, licensed to About.com
Fill a simple Mason Jar with good deeds you can do together between now and Christmas. Make sure to tailor the jobs to your kids' ages, and make a different jar for each child. Alternatively, fill a jar with good deeds you can to together for the community.

Paper Chain Advent Calendar

(c) 2007 Jennifer Wolf, licensed to About.com

This is another easy Advent calendar for children. Simply make a paper chain out of 25 strips of red or green construction paper. (Or consider using strips of old wrapping paper!)

Inside each link, you could even write a verse that tells part of the Christmas story. Or, to encourage your children to think beyond themselves, consider writing an idea inside each link for a mini-service project. For example, one day's project might be making a Christmas card for someone in a nursing home. Another day's project might be clearing off the snow from your neighbor's car.

Be creative and see what ideas you come up with for supplementing this simple children's Advent calendar.

Advent Candy Tree and Poem

Photo courtesy of Sherri Osborn, licensed to About.com
This easy-to-make advent tree is fun to make, and doesn't require a lot of materials. In addition, it comes with a cute advent poem to share with your kids.

Santa's Beard Advent Calendar

Photo courtesy of Sherri Osborn, licensed to About.com
When I was a kid, we used to make these using paper plates to support Santa's beard. But now you can simply print out a picture of Santa and have your kids glue one cotton ball onto the image for each day in December. When Santa's beard is full, Christmas will be upon us!

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