The advent calendar is finally finished (just in time)!
Lately Monkey has been really into the trappings and traditions of holidays. Birthdays are all about cake, candles, parties and presents. He's got that down. He even knows that Santa brings him a present (not sure why but he's down with it). He doesn't want to go near Santa mind you - but he wants him to bring him some loot. Monkey has decided he wants a marble maze. He's been looking at catalogs and that's what he's landed on the past week or so. Today in the car he spied some Christmas lights and he spontaneously shouted, "I want the marbles that go round and round and round for Christmas. I so excited!" So this year he gets it that we just had Thanksgiving and next is Christmas - more food, fun, family and presents. What could be better? To capitalize on all this excitement (and to maybe slow down the, "is it Christmas yet?" questions) I decided to start a tradition with an advent calendar. I originally wanted a little house with drawers and such but they cost an arm & a leg and we're attempting to tighten our belts.
Luckily, I got some great ideas from Kids Craft Weekly. My goal was to use only paper and materials I had on hand. I dug up enough paper but couldn't round up enough ribbon to match. So I decided to make the handles of the cups out of the paper I was using. It would have been great if I had a mini stapler (or wasn't out of staples) but I had some double-stick tape. I was home free! But the next day I saw the tape wasn't holding and half the handles had popped off. So time for regular tape on top of the double-stick (so for those playing at home use a mini stapler!). Finally, to top it off, I did buy some 97 cent ribbon and a package of mini clothespins. So I spent about $2.50 for this project and that's well below the over $100 for the coveted house advent calendar.
It turned out pretty good and was relatively easy. You could still get one done if you're so inclined. I'm filling each cup with a small slip of paper with an activity and a small treat. Some will be inexpensive toys and some will be edible. Many things I already have won't fit in the cups so I'll put "look in your toy box for a surprise" if it's too big. I put it up after Monkey went to bed so I'm excited for him to see it this morning!