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How to Make an Advent Calendar

Sure, you can buy one, but making an Advent calendar is a nice family project—and you can use better treats!


  • Step 1: Decorate board Decorate a piece of cardboard or poster board large enough to hold 24 small boxes, envelopes, or pouches. The containers should be large enough to hold a little treat.
  • TIP: Cut the cardboard into a holiday shape, such as a Christmas tree, wreath, or snowman.
  • Step 2: Decorate containers Decorate your containers. The possibilities are endless: You could paint them, draw patterns, cover them with sequins--use your imagination.
  • Step 3: Number containers Number the containers 1 to 24 by whatever means you like--construction paper cutouts, magic marker, holiday stickers, and so on.
  • Step 4: Glue containers Glue the containers to the cardboard. You can arrange them randomly or in a pattern.
  • TIP: Make sure the containers are attached in a way that allows them to be opened easily.
  • Step 5: Add surprises In each container, place a surprise--like a piece of candy or small toy.
  • Step 6: Begin in December On December 1st, begin opening a container a day, starting with the one labeled "1."
  • Step 7: Continue opening daily Continue this fun daily ritual until the final box is opened on Christmas Eve!
  • FACT: The Advent calendar originated in 19th-century Germany.

You Will Need

  • A large piece of cardboard or poster board
  • 24 small containers such as cardboard boxes and envelopes
  • Art supplies (ex. markers
  • paints
  • stickers) to decorate your calendar
  • A glue gun
  • And 24 small treats
  • like candy or toys

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