Last Minute No Candy, No Prize Advent Calendar with Free Printable

It’s Advent minus 2 days and despite all my grand plans and Pinterest pinning I still haven’t sorted out a great DIY kid friendly advent calendar. Where did November go?! Next year I will have to start my Christmas crafting in June!

We have a chocolate one of course but I also wanted something a little creative and more interactive but definitely not something that required me to go out and buy 24 more little presents to stuff in boxes or envelopes just to add more clutter around the house (we already have enough small bitty toys lying around thanks to Monkey’s Kinder Joy obsession!) and no more candy, I’m already worried about that one little piece that will come out of the Dairy Milk calendar each day, I think we will all be taking turns at that!

I wanted to make a felt Christmas Tree and give the kiddos one tree ornament each day of Advent to add to the tree so that it would be fully decorated by Christmas Day but (a) I don’t think I would be able to resist giving them more than one decoration and (b) I just haven’t had enough time to make the whole thing yet, although I guess I only need to do the tree and a few baubles to start with and can make the others as I go along……watch this space!!

I wanted to write out and string up acts of kindness, one for each day of Advent to make Advent more about giving than receiving. However, I think I will save that for a few years time when Monkey and Missy can both join in and understand the true meaning of it.  If your kids are of an age to do engage in this kind of countdown you can find some great suggestions for acts of kindness suitable for kids and free printables here by Mum in the Madhouse.

I also loved the idea of picking 24 festive activities for us to do in the lead up to the big day. There are some great activity suggestions over at Meet Penny and While He Was Napping. I’m not sure if I’ll manage to make an advent calendar out of this in the next couple of days but we will definitely be ticking off as many of these as we can this festive season.

The Munchkins are both into books so I am definitely planning on wrapping up a bunch of Christmas books for them to open one each day. I just haven’t counted them yet to see if I have 24 so that’s another possibility if I can get myself organised in time. But I still wanted a back up crafty calendar.

Then, back on Pinterest I came across a Santa beard cotton wool craft calendar which I just thought was so cute and perfect for both the Munchkins to do at this age, only I couldn’t find a free printable version of it online. So of course I went ahead and made my own. Typically, just as I’d finished it, I then found the original printable I’d been looking for after all here, it is by Tomfo and very cute.

Since I’d already made mine I will go ahead and use it. My version also includes a poem to go with the activity which I spotted on another version of this crafty countdown over at Oopsey Daisy.

Santa Christmas Countdown

It’s going to be super easy but hopefully very effective – each day of Advent the Munchkins will be taking a cotton wool ball and sticking it on to the relevant spot to fill up Santa’s beard by Christmas Eve. We’ve done cotton wool crafts before so I’m hoping they’ll know what to do. I’m also planning to make special beard glue by decorating a regular glue stick with Christmassy washitape and to have a special beard jar to hold all the cotton wool balls. I will print it out on card stock so it will hopefully be able to stand up to 24 days worth of glueing and sticking.

If you also haven’t had time to put together a crafty countdown calendar you can download and print my version by clicking on the image above and saving the image to your computer. Happy beard growing!!


What do you have planned for your countdown for Christmas? Leave me a comment below, I would love to hear from you.

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