I know I’m a little late with this post, but better late than never! This year, we’re counting down the days to Christmas with three different kinds of Advent calendars.
One is a family treasure. My mom made it before I was born – a real heirloom! It’s made of felt and has a tree to decorate. Each day, we take a little felt image out of one of the pockets and pin it to the tree. Aleksander can’t wait to get to the next one! (I know I have a picture somewhere…. when I find it, I’ll post it.)
The second is particularly German. I posted the idea several years ago when I was teaching at a German Saturday school. Not only does it count down the days, but each day, you can learn a new word related to Christmas! (See the instructions below.) I’m also adding another feature. Every day, Aleksander gets a little note in his mailbox (he got a toy one for his birthday a few weeks ago) that has something to do with the word. There is usually some kind of scavenger hunt involved as well. For example, the first words was “die Christbaumkugel” (Christmas ball/ornament), so I hid a little blue one for him to find with the instructions on where to look in the note. It’s one more way to add some German print into our day!
Finally, we are using an idea I read about on someone’s blog last year (wish I could remember which one!). It’s a book a day. I collected all our Christmas books – including Dutch books about Sinterklaas and German books about Nikolaus – and wrapped them in red paper. Then I put a number sticker on each one. Every day before naptime, Aleksander gets to unwrap a “new” book. Although we did add a few new books to the collection, most of them are not new. But he hasn’t seen them in so long, they seem new to him! He loves it and can’t wait to get his next “present.”
I am thinking of making a little booklet/keepsake of our Christmas this year. I’ll include the word of the day along with the little notes, the book titles we read, and any other projects we do. I’m trying to do a project each day with Aleksander – simple things like decorating the tree, making Christmas cards, and baking cookies. Most of these things I would probably do anyway!
Paper Chain German Vocab Advent Calendar:
The kids make a chain with strips of paper (6″ x 1.25″) and tear off one paper link each day. The chain hangs from the main page (cut along the dotted lines at the bottom to attach the first link). I set it up so that there are vocab words on the back of each link, and kids fill in the word that goes with the picture on the main page. To print the words, use 12×12 scrapbooking paper cut in half (to make it 6×12). Then cut the printed papers into 1.25″ strips. I’ve attached both documents you’ll need below. You can also just use colored paper without any words. I hope that all makes sense! Let me know if you have any questions!