DIY Nativity Advent Calendar

If you’ve ever thought of making your own Advent calendar but wondered if it would be too tricky, this is the post for you!

Here you can make your own Nativity-themed calendar that can hold candy, small toys, or personalized daily Advent activities. I love the idea of using a mini muffin tin and I recently managed to pick up 12-hole tins for just a few dollars each.

finished-advent-calendar

You will need: Advent Calendar Sheets (sheet 1 and sheet 2); 2 12-hole mini muffin tins; Advent calendar activity sheet; 24 pieces of candy for each child; colored pencils, markers, or crayons; self-adhesive magnets or tape; and scissors.

advent-calendar-1advent-calendar-2

Print off the Advent calendar sheets and color the pictures with your children. Use the opportunity to talk to the children about who the characters are. Help your kids find Mary, Joseph, 3 wise men, 2 shepherds, a sheep, a star, an angel, the wise men’s gifts, and Jesus as a baby!

Cut out the pictures and turn them face down. Then cut small pieces of the magnetic strip and attach them to two corners of each picture.

magnet-placement

Cut out the Advent calendar activities and fold them up. I’ve made this available as a Word document so feel free to adjust the activities for your family, church, and traditions! Put one activity and one piece of candy for each child in each muffin hole (ie. if you have three children, put three pieces of candy).

filled-holes

Use the magnets to stick the pictures over the holes of the muffin tins. Alternatively, tape the top edge of each picture to the tin over the corresponding hole. This will allow each picture to be flipped up one at a time.

Wait until December 1 before uncovering the first hole! Put the tins someplace high enough that your children can’t reach on their own, but close enough that they can see the pictures. Be sure to uncover each hole as a family, and consider incorporating a simple prayer each time. You can use this one as a model:

Dear God, thank you for sending Jesus to earth as a baby so that he could save us from our sins. Help us to love you and other people today. Amen.

finished-advent-calendar

Alternatively, tape or glue the pictures on small envelopes. Put an activity and a piece of candy for each child inside each envelope, then hang them all on a length of string or yarn with clothespins.

alternate-idea

This post first appeared at Flame: Creative Children’s Ministry.

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