December 6, 2012

Making a Bookish Advent Calendar

Making a Bookish Advent Calendar

I wanted to do a cute Advent Calendar for Eleanor, and spent a lot of time earlier this fall on Pinterest browsing around. I liked the one with books all wrapped, one for each day, but I also liked the ones with a new activity each day.

I decided to combine those two ideas, and make a bookish (but still fun!) advent calendar of my own. We had a bunch of books and dvds that I packed away separately from the other Christmas stuff last year so I could get it out sooner. I also hit the dollar areas at Michael's and Target for a few small craft and toy items - plus Bookmans for a couple more books and some puzzles. All together I spent $8, including a roll of Toy Story wrapping paper, because it was mostly stuff we already had. (I had trade credit for the Bookmans purchases).

I put it all in a jumble at first, as you can see in the right hand pictures in the collage below. It turned out I had 32 items, but I only needed 25. So I pulled out things that are a little old for Eleanor: The Jolly Christmas Postman, The Santa Clause, etc. And I decided that I'd pull out 2 of the craft things to save for next year, because we're doing a lot of crafting this month anyway as part of our nightly Truth in the Tinsel devotions. (By the way, you can click here to visit Truth in the Tinsel. I highly recommend it if you're looking for a great advent devotional to do with toddlers or preschoolers!)

Making a Bookish Advent Calendar

Anyway, I narrowed it down to 25 items, of which 10 were books, 5 were DVDs, and 10 were toys, puzzles, socks, or crafts. I sorted them based on our schedule this month. For example, the 14th is Noel's work holiday party, so I put a movie for Eleanor to watch with the babysitter. And the 23rd we'll be in the car for several hours, so I put a sticker book to occupy her.

Then I wrapped it all up, and put them in a basket on top of the bookshelves in the living room, so that she can't reach them. You can just see where I wrote small numbers on each present, to make sure she opened them in the right order.

Now each day she gets to open a small present, and it's a lot of fun for both of us! The funny thing is that they're largely the same things we had last year - but she totally doesn't remember, and gets excited about each one. I think I'm going to keep doing this every year, because it's so much more fun than just unpacking the books and movies with the rest of the Christmas decorations!

And, if you're curious, here are the 10 books that I included.

Making a Bookish Advent Calendar

Are you doing anything for Advent?

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