Advent Calendars have been around for centuries. So many people now even in India are doing Advent Calendars for their kids. Its basically 3D calendars that lead up to Christmas day, which have small boxes or pouches for everyday from December 1 – 24, with little treats or gifts that the children get to open on each day of the month. It’s a really fun thing for kids, and I’m all for these little family traditions that help develop memories for children. But there’s always this fine balance between trying to create memories and making sure your children don’t become selfish, entitled human beings!
So here’s a new take on the advent calendar. I’ve called it the ‘Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar.’ You can make it as simple or as fancy as you have the time. But I’ve made mine quite simple.
Here’s what you need:
- 2-3 Chart Papers
- Marker Pen
Use one chart paper as your base. Using contrasting coloured chart papers, make 24 small squares. Arrange all on the squares on the chart paper before you stick it.
Put glue on three sides of the square and stick it on the chart with the non glue side on top. This will create small pockets.
Use a marker to label it from 1 – 24. The children can decorate it. Hang it with a rope or ribbon.
Every night, I write one kind act that they should do for someone else on a small piece of paper, and slip it into the pouch for the next day (along with a small treat). In the morning when they wake up they check the pouch for the day, and take their treat and read the chit with the act of kindness that they need to do before the end of the day. When they finish doing it, they can put it into a jar called the ‘Kindness Jar’. Thus their kindness jar gets filled through the month. Besides the one kind act that I write for them to do, they also need to think of another one themselves. When they do it, they can write it down (or ask you to write it down for them) and put it into the kindness jar.
Some of the acts that you can write for them to do are as follows:
- Smile and say hello to the person who collects the garbage.
- Make a card saying ‘I love you’ for your father.
- Help your teacher in some way.
- Say ‘thank you’ to the person who helps clean the house.
- Help set the table.
- Give away one of your toys to someone else
- Do something kind for your sibling.
- Water the plants.
- Call your grandparents and tell them that you love them.
- Do something kind for someone in school.
The treats that I put into the pouch along with the kindness chit, is very small and simple. Basically I made a trip to my supermarket and walked around picking up really small things that I know my kids would like. I bought things like sequins, pen, pencil, eraser, small stars, sweets, stickers, bouncy ball, mini notebook, bubbles, etc. Altogether for the 24 days of treats, I spent around 350 bucks. I intentionally kept it simple, because I didn’t want the treats to become the main thing, but just to keep the motivation going.
My kids are super excited about the idea, and through the day keep talking about kind acts that they need to do. So I guess this accomplishes with goal, along with it being a very fun activity for them!
Hope you enjoy doing this with your kids. Happy holidays.
P.S. This doesn’t just have to be a Christmas activity. You can do this for any month of the year!