Yay! It’s day 3 of the 12 Days of Christmas blog hop and today is all about Advent calendars. If you are looking for something super fun and adorable this year then you will love this printable gingerbread man Advent scavenger hunt!
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It’s Day 3 and we are sharing DIY Christmas Countdown Calendar Ideas!
New Take on Advent
This year I wanted to try something totally different for our Advent calendar. This is partly because in October we were having trouble with the youngest getting out of bed at night and sneaking into food in the kitchen. It seems best not to tempt fate by having the treats accessible to tiny hands until the day of the treat.
I also wanted to make it more of a game for the kids. They get so excited about their Advent calendars but then they open it and it’s done for the day. Now, they get a clue and have to find their treat. In addition to that, since we do a lot of activities for Advent, they get to spend the day trying to figure out what activity those treats go with.
It simply adds an extra layer of fun for the whole family. After a while, you will start trying to trick them which is so much fun. Give them paint brushes but use them for cookie decorating. Little surprises like that truly make this so much fun!
Printable Gingerbread Man Advent Scavenger Hunt
Part of what makes this Advent idea so great (besides the face that they are absolutely adorable) is that it is easy to customize. Since the clues only lead to the hiding places of the treats, you can choose any treat you want. Give your kids a new book each day or get one of those toy assortment kits. Easily do whatever works for your family.
How to Use
Just as these cards make it easy to customize your Advent treats, they can also be displayed (or used) in a variety of ways. Here are just a few ideas for you:
- Use magnets to attach them to cookie sheets and hang them on the wall.
- Skip the cookies sheets and use magnets to attach them directly to your refrigerator.
- Place them in small, numbered envelopes and display on the wall or place in a basket.
- Clip the cards to ribbon using clothespins.
- Staple the cards into a booklet that kids rip one clue from each day.
Then, on each day, hide the corresponding treat for that day’s card. For example, if you are looking at Christmas lights one evening and the card is where the milk lives, then hide some mittens in the fridge that morning for your kids to find.
Advent Treat Ideas
Once you know how you will use your Advent calendar, it’s time to pick the treats. Again these can be anything you want but I have a few tips to help keep you organized throughout:
- First, get a small box or bag to keep all of the treats in one place. The last thing you want is to scramble at the last minute because you can’t find a gift.
- Second, write down which treats are on which days in your planner. Knowing what’s coming makes it so much easier to prepare. This is also important if you do activities so that they do not conflict with kid’s extracurriculars.
Advent Treat Ideas – Activities
Our personal favorite is to include a lot of family activities in our Advent calendar. Because of that, we have treats that coincide with those activities. Since most of those activities happen in the evening after school and homework, the kids have the added fun of trying to figure out what activity the gifts go with.
Keep in mind that for activities, the treats don’t necessarily have to be new since the activity is technically the treat. For example, a board game for game night can be one that your family already owns. This is a great way to save money on your holiday.
- The activity for glow sticks can be playing glow stick tag, taking a glow-in-the-dark bath, or a Christmas-themed living room dance party.
Apron or Cooking Utensils
- These treats are the perfect lead in to baking cookies, making gingerbread houses, or designing a Christmas-themed homemade pizza.
Hats and Mittens
- Use these to represent going to look at Christmas lights, visiting a winter festival, or going on a sledding adventure.
Movie or Popcorn
- Surprise your kids with a family game night by hiding a board game for them to find.
Advent Treat Ideas – Things
Of course, some days you are too busy (or tired) to enjoy a family activity for Advent. On these days, I like to supplement with small gifts and treats for the kids. The trick here is to keep it small and sprinkle them throughout your Advent countdown.
Take your Advent to a fun and hilarious new level with this printable gingerbread man Advent scavenger hunt! You can change it up each year with a different treat theme or use it to build up to a surprise vacation gift on Christmas. This is truly a versatile Advent calendar idea.
Now it’s time to check out what my talented friends have created for their Advent calendars this year. See all of the awesome ideas below!
See where I’m linking up!
Don’t Forget to Pin It!
Scroll down for many more DIY Christmas Countdown Calendar Ideas for your holiday season!