How to Make a Simple Advent Calendar for Toddlers

How to Make a Simple Advent Calendar - Make this sweet (and toddler-friendly) Advent calendar in an afternoon and start a fun tradition with your little one. via littlegirldesigns.com

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As December approached this year, I thought it would be nice to make an advent calendar for toddlers that I could do with my daughter. I have a couple paper calendars that I bring out each year but they are somewhat delicate and definitely treasures—one is the exact replica of the advent calendar we had growing up and the other is one I bought the summer I was in Dresden, Germany. (You should have seen the shopkeeper’s face when I asked if they had any advent calendars but she managed to find one that was perfect.)

I contemplated making a manger scene but have to admit I got a bit lazy when I thought of having to create 25 elements. I guess I could have made a lot of stars in the sky for that one. 😉 A Christmas tree then came to mind and with that, I set to work.

How to Make an Advent Calendar for Toddlers

You will need:

Two pieces of heavy card stock or watercolor paper
Pencil & eraser
Watercolors
Black brush pen
Scissors
Double-stick tape
Laminator + 2 laminating sheets (I love this laminator, and it’s not too expensive either.)
Velcro with sticky back

First, sketch out the Christmas tree and presents onto the paper. Make sure the Christmas tree will fit into a laminating sheet before you go any further. It would be really sad to make a giant tree that won’t fit into your machine! At this point, you will need to decide how you will number your items so as you draw, make sure you leave space for the 25 pieces that will be removable.

Use the watercolors to paint the piece. I recommend using one color at a time and letting them dry in between so you don’t smear the colors. Draw the matching ornaments and presents on a separate sheet of paper and watercolor them as well. **I highly recommend coloring the ornaments with colors that are distinguishable since you won’t be able to see the corresponding numbers on the ornaments and presents very well once the Velcro is attached.**

Once everything is dry, use the brush pen to highlight the tree and ornaments. Add numbers to both the tree’s ornaments and the separate sheet (making sure the colors match.) As I’ve mentioned before, try to keep your marks light and fluid when you’re using a brush pen. It looks better to not try to be exact (and helps the tip to retain its point if you’re not pressing too hard.)

How to Make a Simple Advent Calendar - Make this sweet (and toddler-friendly) Advent calendar in an afternoon and start a fun tradition with your little one. via littlegirldesigns.com

Trim the Christmas tree paper (if needed) and slip into a laminating sleeve. Laminate according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Cut the ornaments and presents out and place a piece of double-stick tape on the back of each one. Place the ornaments in a laminating sleeve and press so the tape sticks and the ornaments stays in place. If you don’t use tape, as you feed the sleeve into the laminator, the ornaments and presents will slide around the sleeve.

Once the ornaments are laminated, cut them out leaving a bit of an edge so the paper doesn’t pop out. Cut Velcro into small pieces and stick one side to the Christmas tree and the matching side to the ornament or present. You’ll see that the numbers are fairly hidden with the Velcro placed in the middle—something I didn’t realize until the very end. Thankfully, I had used several different colors so could easily tell where the ornaments and presents needed to be placed. Phew!

How to Make a Simple Advent Calendar - Make this sweet (and toddler-friendly) Advent calendar in an afternoon and start a fun tradition with your little one. via littlegirldesigns.com

We’re planning on using this each day in December by adding an ornament to the tree and reading a Christmas story. Making this advent calendar for toddlers will allow my daughter to have something of her own to decorate and play with which makes me happy.

 

If you’d like more ideas for simple crafts and DIY projects, be sure to check out my DIY Projects page as I update it frequently. Have a lovely {and creative} day!

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