Sunday, November 29, 2009

Advent Adventure

I'm a procrastinator - always have been. So I'm usually no help to those who search blogs for crafty ideas. I'll post about them months later or too late to get it done - or not at all (you should have seen the cute witch hats we decorated for a preschool project). HOWEVER, you still have a day to complete this easy peasy project and have a fun way to count down the days with your kiddos.

Last year, I painstakingly folded origami cups and it was worth it (and really not that bad), but I didn't make them sturdy enough to be re-used (plus I wanted a little bigger pocket for loot). So I desperately tried to figure out a way I could make something quick, easy (cheap) and cute.

Voila! I present to you the quick & dirty advent calendar!

Materials you'll need to make your own:

Small cups: (I chose plain red and green punch cups) - found at Fred Meyer in the party section. They are 9 oz. I was hoping for smaller (the original idea in my head was with dixie cups) but I actually like the size now.

Numbers: I printed some in circles that I colored red and green on the computer - you could stamp or just simply write them on the cups with a pen. There are even easy number stickers you could use.

Ribbon: Joann's was having their 70% off ribbon sale yesterday - score! Or just use kitchen string or twine.

Clips: I used mini clothespins (leftover from last year's project) but you could use binder clips, paper clips, etc. You could even staple to the ribbon. I chose not to so we could take the cups down as we go. I plan to replace the empty spots on the ribbon with any drawings/projects Monkey makes during the month.

1) Affix numbers to the cups
2) Attach to the ribbon
3) Fill cups with messages, loot, etc.
4) Show to kiddies and have a fun time each morning checking out the new surprise!

I haven't figured out what will be in all the cups yet but some days will be a little treat (edible or a toy) and others will have a note about an activity we'll do that day.

Here are some I know I'll be using:

Note: Get out the holiday books
Note: Paint an ornament for the tree
Note: Go to Grammy & Grandpa's and watch the Santa parade
Note: Decorate the Christmas Tree
Note: Visit Winterfest
Note: Bake & decorate cookies
Note: go look at Christmas lights
Note: paint wrapping paper
Note: look under the tree for a surprise and we'll watch a holiday movie tonight (the surprise will be pj's for the whole fam)

small dinosaurs
crazy straws (the kid loves them)
dinosaur tattoos
card game

Now go do it - it's fast and easy and a whole month of fun!

P.S. if you had to buy everything for this project it would be well under $10. Compare that with the Pottery Barn tree I've always coveted (and have thought of trying to make every year but then remember who I am!)

Involve your kids - get white cups and have them paint, draw or glue to decorate! I would have done that if I had thought ahead and Monkey wasn't at Grammy's this weekend.

If you like this - check out these great thank you cards and this easy Santa photo display.

P.S. Please share your results!


Teacher Tom said...

Great idea! We used the same one I had as a child, which was made by my grandma, although I have to say I'm happy to not be doing it any longer. After awhile it just felt like bringing junk into the house.

I love your idea of including activities. I wish I'd thought of that.

ksjjpalmer said...

You are such a great mom! Love it!

Life with Kaishon said...

Oh, just love it so much :) You inspired me to do something like this! I hope I will actually do it! I am going to work on it tomorrow!

Amber said...

i love this idea and will file away for the future. post a pic of your banner!

ejs@mumspiration said...

I love the paper cup idea - I've been looking for all sorts of different advent calendars, and this is so simple yet effective!

Amanda said...

That's a very cute idea :)

Life with Kaishon said...

How is the calendar coming? Does Monkey LOVE it? I hope so!

at the Blue Barn said...

Wow! I Love this idea and the colours - I saw yours linked with our family Advent Calendar on Kid's Craft Weekly - and I love your idea, notes and thoughts! Hope you have a Happy Holiday Season!

Yancey Family said...

We had so much fun with this idea. The little sneaky boys would stand on the stairs to sneak a peak of what was in the cup. Thanks for the idea. I like an easy craft! You can totally use my pic if you want:)!

competitivemum said...

Great minds think alike. I have a passion for the red cups at Starbucks but a dislike for how much I spend there - this was a way of getting some back!/Users/bellabunce/Pictures/iPhoto Library/Modified/2006/1 Jan 2006_4/DSCF3810.JPG

Kari at MamaBloo said...

Really great idea. I am not crafty but this one actually inspired me! Thanks!