24 Advent Activity Ideas For Toddlers & Pre-Schoolers

The 1st of December is upon us, which means the Christmas countdown has officially begun! The boys have chocolate advent calendars from relatives, and you may remember we received this wooden advent calendar from Hobbycraft to review last year. I was a bit last minute with it then, but this time I have compiled a list of activities which I have put inside so we will have some Christmas fun-filled days in the lead up to the big day – some of them may even involve Buddy the Elf again 😉
I’ve been scouring the web for activities and here are the ones I have decided we are going to be doing – the boys still have such short attention spans that most of them are quite simple and easy, yet lots of fun!
Make Christmas cards
North Pole breakfast
Delivery of letters from Santa
Christmas colouring pages
Drive around looking at Christmas lights
Christmas jumper day
Attend a Christmas party
Watch a Christmas movie with popcorn
Choose Christmas books from library
Help decorate the Christmas tree

Our Christmas 2014

I’m a little bit late as I’ve hardly been around since Christmas, or have been busy sorting ‘things’ that we seem to have accumulated a lot of this year!

For me, the Christmas period has seemed really long this year. I’m not sure if it’s because we started doing Christmas activities in November or because Buddy came to visit for most of December, but once Christmas & Boxing Day was out of the way, the majority of our decorations came down. I’ve kept all of my signs and our cards up but they’ll come down once New Year has been and gone.

Christmas Eve
Hubby was off work for Christmas Eve this year so we got to start our celebrations a little earlier – though J was at nursery and didn’t come home until 1 o clock so they didn’t really start until then (unless you count me still wrapping presents in the morning!). When he came home the boys opened their Christmas Eve bags and we had an afternoon of movies starting with Arthur Christmas; then we watched Muppets Christmas Carol, The Gruffalo, and The Gruffalo’s Child. Around 5.15 pm we headed outside as we wanted to see Santa’s sleigh passing over, and we sprinkled some reindeer food at the same time. J was so unbelievably excited to see Santa’s sleigh and he didn’t want to come back inside! He was stood outside pointing at the sky and shouting “Ho ho ho Santa!”, bless him. J then left Santa & the reindeer some treats and left Santa’s key at the door. Once the boys had gone to bed, I wrapped even more presents (maybe I won’t leave it right until the last minute next year).

Christmas Day
J woke up around 6.45 am and he came in to our bed for a while and watched Peppa Pig on my phone whilst we were waiting for N to wake up – any other day he would be awake already too! If I recall, J also had an extra long lie in on his first Christmas Day. Eventually we all got a little impatient and we might have made a little bit of noise to wake N up… J was just stood at the side of his cot trying to wake him! He eventually woke around 7.15 am and I brought all of our stockings in and we opened them in bed. After the stockings we headed to the living room to check if Santa had been… J walked in, in complete amazement – or in his words, “WOW”. I was in awe as it’s the first year he’s been really aware so it was quite magical for me too. J had the biggest pile of presents and of course he wanted to play with everything as he was opening them so it took us around an hour. After present opening we had some breakfast (just toast, saving ourselves for our dinner!), and then hubby & I took it in turns to play with the boys and get showered.

We then headed for my father-in-laws where we were going for the afternoon. Dinner was smelling lovely (cooked by my brother-in-law) when we got there but we still had to wait for hubby’s Nan & Uncle to arrive so J played with his dinosaurs which he had brought with him. Once they had arrived and got settled, we got set down for dinner and I was the only one who managed to finish mine – I just cannot waste my Christmas dinner (even when I’ve been pregnant I’ve stuffed it all in!). After dinner we got tidied and washed up and then J was getting a bit restless so we headed into the living room to open some more presents! Between us, we then spent the afternoon playing, eating, drinking, sleeping, and watching movies. The boys were absolutely shattered when we arrived home so luckily they went straight to bed, ready for Christmas number two, tomorrow!

Boxing Day
We were heading to my Mum’s today and staying overnight so first things first was to get our bag packed whilst trying to stop J from emptying his new toys all over the place and trying to stop the boys from stealing each other’s toys! We passed ASDA on the way and I just had to nip in for a quick look around the sale whilst all the men waited in the car – £30 lighter, three new tops for me, a set of PJ’s for J, four tops for J, and five rolls of reduced to 50p wrapping paper later, I emerged to an unhappy husband as both boys were whinging – never mind! As soon as we arrived at my Mum’s the boys started opening presents and J became rather excitable again, jumping around and squealing all over the place! Though he ended up being more interested in N’s main present, and vice versa… After playing all afternoon, the boys had their tea and we got them to bed. The adults then sat down to watch a movie and had a yummy Chinese, then headed to bed. We woke the next morning to a covering of snow! Just a shame it hadn’t been a couple of days earlier for a white Christmas.

The boys were very spoiled (so was I for that matter!) and we had a lovely family Christmas.

*Apologies for the quality of some of the photos in this post, I wasn’t even thinking about blog quality, more about spending precious time 🙂

How was your Christmas?

Inside our Christmas Eve bags

Making up a Christmas Eve bag was a tradition which we started last year. Many people have boxes but I bought some lovely small sacks from Bump n Babe with the boys names on, which are great to double up as Santa sacks too. J wasn’t too fussed last year and stopped as soon he found the edible things, but I’m hoping he’ll be more interested this year! Obviously N won’t have a clue though, but I’m sure J will help him. Buddy will be bringing them this year, for his final gift before he heads back to the North Pole.

So what’s inside them? With N being younger and only still a baby, he doesn’t have as much as J; also J had our Santa key in his last year but it won’t be this year as it’s for both of them (and me).

In J’s bag:

  • a winter print onesie (he is obsessed with onesies so I’m sure he’ll love this)
  • some BEAR fruit yo-yo’s (he always asks for these when we walk past some!)
  • Arthur Christmas DVD (I he loved watching this last year)
  • a bottle of ‘special juice’ (so-called because it’s a treat!)
  • reindeer food (for Rudolph and his pals of course).
And inside N’s bag:
  • a penguin print onesie (it’s so cute!)
  • Olive the Other Reindeer DVD (I love this, I hope he will too)
  • raisins & sultanas (he always steals his brother’s)
  • reindeer food (for Rudolph and his pals of course).
Buddy will also be leaving them a letter with the bags to say goodbye and how much fun he’s had. I can’t wait until Christmas Eve!
Do you do Christmas Eve bags/boxes? What do you put in them?