Advent Activity Tree!

We have been planning all of the lovely traditions that we would like to start as a family in the run up to Christmas. We want to celebrate Advent and really teach our children the meaning of the nativity, as well as beginning some homely, family activities that we can revisit each year.

kids and family advent activity tree tradition

First of all we sat and talked about Christmas and what we would all like to do. C was very keen to mention hot chocolate, sweets, cakes and presents (no surprise!). Daddy really wanted to make sure we included Christingle services, singing carols and learning Bible passages together, to keep the Biblical focus.  I also wanted to include old fashioned traditions and lots of crafting and baking. Between us, we came up with lots of ideas, but 24 will do- one for each day of December!

I drew around a star shape cookie cutter onto white card and wrote out all of our ideas onto the star shapes. Then I simply laminated them, cut them out and stuck a loop of ribbon the the back of each one with sticky tape. I thought I would be able to punch holes through, but the hole-puncher wasn’t able to cope!

We painted a tree branch with a tiny bit of silver glitter paint and hung the activity stars onto it, ready to choose one for each day in December. I didn’t number them so that we can be flexible (and realistic) about what we can achieve each day. I hope this will be one of our new family rituals each year and maybe we can even recycle the same stars for next Christmas too!

Here are a few examples of the activities we hope to do:

* go to a Christingle service
* make cookies
* decorate the tree
* have a Christmas meal with friends
* go and see the lights in the city
* make a gingerbread house
* create a nativity scene
* learn a Bible passage
* have hot chocolate and marshmallows
* wear Christmas pyjamas around the fire and toast marshmallows!
* have a movie night with a Christmas film and popcorn

….and many more!

Have YOU made an Advent activity calendar? What sorts of ideas would you include in yours? I would love to hear your traditions!

See also our:
for more inspiration this Christmas!


  1. says

    OH MY GOODNESS I am in love with this idea. How completely fabulous. *thinks* We have a wooden advent chest for my eldest. And I want to make a fabric advent calendar for the youngest, with decorations you can hang on a fabric tree. And obviously we will have chocolate advent calendars. If I make us an activity advent tree, then do you think that’s too many?! (maybe I need to have a few more children to justify all these advent things? 😉

  2. says

    Hehe Rachel, I’m exactly the same!! This year I’ve just bought a gorgeous nativity advent that has a little board book for each day, telling the relevant part of the story. So that’s one. Then I’ve got the felt one with pockets I made last year, though it’s quite boring….but since I took time to make it I want to reuse it! Then of course we have a chocolate one for both girls….and now this tree?! It’s probably some sort of new obsession 😉

  3. says

    What a special tradition. I love learning about the different ways people prepare for Christmas and the traditions they have.

    Last year, I simplified our Advent activities. I made up a booklet with 25 activities and divided them into categories – traditions, giving, creating, sensory as well as reading and writing. If you are interested in this (or downloading the booklet) you can use the link below to my blog where I wrote about it.

  4. says

    Oh my! How adorable! I LOVE you tree!! We are doing the baby sock calendar this year… but I have to say, your tree is FABULOUS! So so lovely.


  5. says

    What a great idea – we have a reindeer that I sewed up last night with mini envelopes of the activities – iit’s a tradition that I wanted to start with my children this year as well.

  6. Anonymous says

    Wonderful idea. My son is a little too young this year but have bookmarked this to use next year :o).

    I have just found your site and have spent the last few nights totally lost in it and buzzing with ideas :0)

  7. says

    This is so simple yet quite elegant. I love the hint of glitter on the branch, the stars almost look like they’re shooting across the room from the way the branch is leaning. I love it :)

  8. says

    Have you come across Jesse trees? I think you can buy little cards but you could make your own as well. Each day of ‘advent’ tells of part of the gospel story- from creation to Christ’s coming- or so I believe. A lovely way to keep little minds learning the truth.

  9. says

    I love this! We did something similar a few years ago but I didn’t think to use a star cookie cutter! How smart!
    I really like some of your ideas. Some of them I didn’t include on mine because they were “no-brainers”, like set up a nativity scene, but I could/should totally include that as one of our activities. I’d like to add the “have a Christmas meal with friends” and “learn a bible passage” to our list for next year for sure!
    Here’s what we made for this year, I used clothes pins and ribbon. =)

  10. says

    This has really inspired me. Thank you. My classroom now has one with a special Christmas play activity/craft for each day left before we break up. Each of the children has made a snowflake and I have added the date and an activity to each one. Such a good idea!

  11. says

    I really like this idea as an alternative to just eating chocolate every day. I shall ask my husband if we can do it too!

    I also looked at your Christmas sensory tub. I have an 8-month-old and this, and lots of your other ideas, falls down when she continues at this age to put literally EVERYTHING in her mouth! It’s like she’s testing everything in the world to see if it’s food or not. Please help! I would love to do this but not sure how to find things that won’t poke/cut/otherwise injure her in the process. What would you put in a Christmas sensory box for her?

    Many thanks,


  12. Anonymous says

    And if you take photos of the family participating in the activities you can print them to build up their enthusiasm again next year!