Tutorial & How To

Christmas Activity Advent Calendar

A family activity advent calendar is a great way to make the month of December fun and sweet with the daily chocolate. Eat a treat every day while waiting patiently for Christmas and discover the daily activity, this has become a favorite for all the family members.

For the past few years, I have been preparing this DIY calendar with love and it is now a tradition. I start preparing it in November, it is nothing too fancy, I just gathered great little ideas I found mainly on Pinterest.

This advent calendar for children and adults is budget-friendly and I hope an inspiration to make your own with what you have at home.

How Do You Make An Activity Advent Calendar


A few years ago, I bought a frame in the clearance section at Winners. I wanted to have some rope crossing through the frame and pinning my little paper pockets with a clothespin.

Alternative: Find somewhere where you will want to pin your mini bags or maybe a shelf to display them. You can also hide them in the tree!


For this DIY advent calendar, I printed 3 different patterns. I typed ‘free Christmas printable’ and I chose these 3: the black and red plaid, FaLaLaLa and the black and white trees. You will need to print 12 papers.

Once printed, I cut the paper in half (hold it in portrait and cut it horizontally). Then, I follow this tutorial to fold into small pockets.

Alternatively, use wrapping paper, some white paper and colour it.


Now, it’s time to fill these babies with goodies and surprises for each night. It’s all about the chocolates but also the activities.

Here is a list of ideas for advent calendar activities, most of them are really budget-friendly and free.

Crafty ideas

– Decorate the tree.
– Make paper snowflakes.
– DIY ornament: You can get a kit at the Dollar store. We will make these wooly hat ornaments.
– Christmas drawings or colouring.

Game Ideas

– Minute-to-win game: This was our FAVOURITE last year.
* Put a cookie on your forehead and slide it to your mouth by making faces. Don’t use your hands.
* Put a candy cane in your mouth and a bunch of them on a table. Do 2 teams, and you need to fish as many candy canes as possible: see picture here to understand better.
* Take 2 bowls, dry beans or chickpeas, and tweezers. Make 2 teams. You have a minute to transfer as many beans as possible to the other bowl using the tweezers.
– Christmas bingo night: I printed this game on Pinterest last year and saved in an envelope
– Boardgame night.

Food-related activities

I could have started with that one! You can almost make a food themed activity advent calendar if you want… Maybe an idea for next year?

– Hot Chocolate Bar: I buy some mini marshmallows, some cookies, chocolates, candy canes and we make it our dessert!
– Kids in charge of dinner: Enough said. They decide on dinner, I put this activity for a Friday night.
Baking cookies for snack or dessert
– Baking to gift: Chocolate truffles for example.
– Decorate the Christmas table
– Make a gingerbread house

Creative ideas

– Christmas photo booth: Take some pictures by the Christmas tree, some funny ones, some family ones, here is your excuse to get everyone excited for a photoshoot
– Make up a Christmas story: I got them a little Christmas pad at the Dollar store
– Write a letter to Santa
– Make your own/write Christmas cards (to teachers, school staff, neighbours, family members)

Christmas Magic

– Do something nice: Make someone’s day super bright. I actually put this one twice in the month.
– Call Santa
– Christmas movie night with popcorn
– Christmas pyjama/sweater day

Outdoor ideas

– Scavenger hunt drive or walk. Make a list of items you have to see, I use this one I found on Pinterest as a guideline as I often do my own in French.
– If there is snow: make snow angels, a snowman or go tobogganing.
– Drive through different neighborhoods to see the lights or go downtown (wherever your downtown is!)

Finally, it is ready! Enjoy your advent activity calendar while waiting for Santa.

Do yo have more ideas? Add them below in the comments, I can add them to my list!

Did you make your own using this guide? Tag me on Instagram @bonappeteat or leave me a comment! I’d love to see!

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  • Reply
    November 30, 2020 at 6:42 am

    Great activities. Thank you for including my woolly hat ornaments! I hope you have a great advent and happy Christmas!

    • Reply
      December 1, 2020 at 10:12 am

      Thank you Christine! I’m looking forward to make them. I’ll let you know how it turned out! We are making it on Dec 9 (shhh!)

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