12.19.2010

3...2...1 -- Holiday Countdown Calendars

With just a few days between here and Christmas, there is a shared mood of anticipation.  Kids and adults alike are distracted from daily routines by thoughts of travel, food, family, and gifts.  When an exciting event is just around the corner, countdown calendars can be a fun way to mark time until the main attraction.

Since I was in school, I've enjoyed marking the corners of my calendar pages with little numbers and then crossing them out each day as winter, spring, and summer breaks approached.  Turn this practice into a fun tradition by making a countdown calendar you can use and reuse.

This felt Christmas light version from Elsie Marley conceals a small treat for each of the December days leading up to Christmas.

This coloring calendar from Alphamom is customizable and simple.  There are two free templates available to print and make your own.  One has 24 windows, and the other has eight.  These templates are perfect for Christmas and Hanukkah, but they could also be customized for any other event: the twenty four days before a birthday; the last eight days before school starts.

d.Sharp has an envelope calendar idea with free printable numbers.  The tutorial suggests filling the envelopes with small treats or activity ideas.  This system could easily be customized for various holidays and events by changing the amount of envelopes and the treats and activities inside.

This library pocket variation by The Crafting Chicks is also completely customizable and also comes with free printable numbers.
The advent garland tutorial recommends filling each pocket with an activity idea like making hot chocolate or driving around to look at lights.

Oh Happy Day has a long list of fun ideas for a holiday activity calendar. It might also be fun to let students make up their own ideas for the activity cards, leaving just the order of events as a surprise.

Images from Elsie Marley, Alphamom, dSharp, The Crafting Chicks.

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