Interactive advent calendar activities
4 October 2007
Count down to Christmas with your class using our exclusive online advent calendar
The following 24 activities link to our interactive advent calendar.
1 ‘I can’t wait!’ poem
Talk about the feelings of anticipation and excitement we feel when we are looking forward to something. Ask the children to complete the sentence, ‘I felt so excited when…’
2 Make a holly wreath
Cut out a ring from a paper plate. Cover with paper holly leaves and berries made from coloured card and tissue paper. Thread gift wrap ribbon over the ring and tie with a big bow.
3 Tell the Christmas story
Use the online pictures to retell the Christmas story. Talk about Mary and Joseph travelling with a donkey, the shepherds and the three Wise Men. Can the children tell you what happens in the next picture?
4 ‘Happy Snowman’
Create an acrostic poem as a class. When the children perform the poem, get them to hold up matching letter cards as the lines are spoken.
5 Make a skiing snowman fridge magnet
Glue two white pompom balls together and decorate with googly eyes and sticky black spots for a mouth and buttons. Cut skis from card and glue onto the body. Stick a strip of magnetic plastic under the skis.
6 What are you most looking forward to on Christmas Day?
Sit the children in a circle and pass round a festive object. Encourage each child to voice their thoughts as the object reaches them.
7 Recipe for a Happy Christmas
Get the children to draw or write their own recipe for a happy Christmas. Display their recipes in a class-made Christmas book.
8 Make a Christmas wish card
Draw a Christmas pudding shape onto thin card. Decorate with collage materials. Make a little flap on the pudding and hide a shiny circle of card beneath it to represent a silver sixpence. Write: ‘Find the sixpence and make a wish!’
9 Make salt dough tree decorations
Mix 300g flour, 300g salt, one tablespoon cooking oil and 200ml water to make the dough. Roll out and cut into festive shapes. Make small holes in the top for hanging. Bake for 20 minutes at 180°C. Paint and varnish when cool.
10 Sing ‘Silent Night’
This carol is nearly 200 years old! Ask the children what their favourite Christmas carols are. Do they know the words?
11 Make a Christmas robin
Dip your thumb into brown paint and press onto paper. Dip your index finger into red paint to make the robin’s breast. Draw on little legs, eyes and a beak with a black felt-tipped pen.
12 ‘Ten little robins’
Sing to the tune of ‘Ten Green Bottles’, but here’s the difference: if two little robins fly away each time you must count down from ten in twos!
13 Do you have a special Christmas message?
Encourage the children to think about people who are less fortunate than themselves at Christmas time. Ask them to write down a special message and then tie it to the Christmas tree.
The verses in the online poem were written in response to Dennis Lee’s poem, ‘Silverly’. As a class, write your own festive version of a favourite poem.
15 ‘Frosty flowers’
Discuss the imagery used in the poem. Then take the children on a walk in the school grounds on a frosty morning and describe what you see using imagery.
16 Make a Christmas angel
Explore the properties of common shapes to make an angel. A big triangle forms the body, a circle the head, small semi-circles make the dainty feet and two large semi-circles make the wings.
17 ‘Jingle Bells’
Perform this festive jingle to accompanying bell sounds!
18 Make a sandwich yule log
Take the crusts off a slice of bread. Flatten the slice with a rolling pin. Spread with your chosen filling and roll up into a log shape. Make one for each child.
19 ‘This is the way we get out of bed’
Sing the song to the tune of ‘Here we go round the Mulberry Bush’. Invite the children to make up new actions and verses.
20 Name that noun!
Write a noun associated with Christmas on a sticky note and stick it on a willing volunteer’s back. They have to guess who or what they are by asking questions.
21 Make a pop-up placeholder
Draw round a template of a Christmas tree, or other festive shape, on thin card. Fold in half vertically and make a small cut along the shape. Open out the card and continue to cut around the top half of the shape. Decorate and then fold horizontally to form the placeholder.
22 Play snowball catch
Make snowballs from screwed-up scrap white paper. Inside the paper ask the children to hide a Christmas message or picture for a friend. At the given moment, tell them to throw the snowball for their friend to catch.
23 ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’
Sing the carol and ask the children when they think a new year begins.
24 ‘The first Christmas’
Read the nativity poem and divide the class into five groups. Each group should illustrate one of the verses. When they’ve finished, challenge the children to put the illustrations in the correct order.