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 ISSUE 61   •   21  NOVEMBER 2008  
   This issue: advent ideas


1. Editorial
2. Advent calendars
3. Advent activities

4. Featured subscriber blog

1. Editorial – Advent, card swap and more

Wow it's been pretty chaotic around here with a heap of crazy technical problems, a whole lot of sickness [cough cough] and some general misery. We haven't managed any crafting at all so I thought I might re-visit some of these great advent ideas from last year.

We started making our own advent activity calender three years ago now and I have to say the whole experience has completely transformed the lead-up to Christmas for our family. The kids love doing something a little special or different each day and I've found that tailoring the actvities can really make advent more meaningful.

If you haven't done it before I strongly recommend that you give it a go this year – you've still got about ten days to get organised and it doesn't have to be difficult or elaborate. 

These advent ideas plus a whole page of cut-out activity suggestions are included in my Christmas Craft printable mini-book.

I know you are probably all sick of me trying to sell you this book but seriously, it's awesome and I've put heaps of work into it! Buying a copy for $5, if you can afford it, is a fabulous way to support Kids Craft Weekly which is completely free all year round. Thank you so much to those of you who already have.

And now the information you've all been waiting for – the card swap addresses are ready! If you signed up to the swap please go and visit this page and enter your email address to collect your list of swap recipients. Kudos to my awesome brother for building the swap-o-meter and putting it all together.

In other news, you'll be pleased to know that we managed to track down the winner of the October photo comp. Congrats to Laura for taking this extremely cute photo of Kiera making the fabulous flower potato from the Everyday Craft book. (Did you notice how I got that little plug in there?)

Laura has chosen a copy of Making Stuff For Kids as her prize. You can win a book too simply by submitting your photos to the Kids Craft Weekly photo pool.

That's all from me for now. Happy crafting and I'll see you next time!

Amber Carvan

2. Advent Calendars

Advent calendars are a great way to help kids understand how long they have to wait until Christmas!  Instead of purchasing a calendar that contains the usual sweets or trinkets, consider making your own advent calendar that includes a fun family activity for each day from December 1 – 24.

Mini envelopes

This is a really simple and cute advent calendar. We've used potato prints to decorate the envelopes but you could make it even more simple by buying some Christmas stamps or stickers and letting your little ones go crazy with the embellishments!

You will need

• small envelopes
• stickers or paint to decorate
• string
• miniature pegs
• advent activities, sweets or trinkets to put inside


1. Decorate some miniature envelopes using potato prints or stickers. Whatever you choose to do, keep it simple as you will have to repeat it 24 times!

Number the envelopes from 1 to 24 and enclose an advent activity and a sweet or trinket in each envelope.

3. String some colourful string along a wall or mantle and use mini pegs to hang the envelopes from the line.

Origami cups

We made this lovely origami cup calendar for our 2006 activity advent calendar. If you're interested, the month of activities is documented on my poor neglected personal blog.

You will need

• origami paper
• ribbon
• stapler
• advent activities, sweets or trinkets to put inside


1. Fold some origami paper into simple cups. Look here for instructions on how to fold an origami cup. Staple on some ribbon to make a handle then number the cups from 1 to 24 and enclose your advent activities plus some sweets or trinkets.

2. Pin the cups to a notice board or to some wood or hang from a curtain rod.

Match box drawers

I actually bought 24 matchboxes and emptied all the contents in order to make this calendar. Very wasteful, I know, and kind of crazy too. I was just so keen to make this great bank of drawers and I really love how it turned out.

You will need

• a lot of match boxes
strong glue
spray paint
colourful paper
numerical stickers
• advent activities, sweets or trinkets to put inside


1. Glue together 24 matchboxes to form a bank of drawers.

2. Paint or decorate around the outside of the boxes. We spray painted our boxes red...

...and then glued small rectangles of colourful paper to the match box drawers.

3. Number the drawers and pop your advent activities inside each of them.

3. Advent activities

Following are a few ideas to get you thinking about what activities you might like to include in your calendar. A smart way to plan your advent calendar is to pull out your diary and include pre-scheduled events and activities (such as 'go to the school Christmas concert') in your advent calendar so that you don't wind up with too much to do on any given day.

You will find all these advent ideas and more along with a printable list of advent activities and numbers in Christmas Craft – the Kids Craft Weekly printable book. You can buy it now for just $5 and be working on your advent calendar within five minutes!
  • Paint everybody's toenails in Christmas colours.
  • Make Christmas cards.
  • Make Christmas ornaments.
  • Set up the Christmas tree.
  • Make gift tags.
  • Bake Christmas cookies and decorate them.
  • Purchase a present to give to charity.
  • Have a picnic for dinner.
  • Go out to look at Christmas lights after dark.
  • Write a letter to Santa.
  • Make gifts for teachers.
  • Hold a family disco.
  • Go out somewhere special for dinner.
  • Eat fancy ice creams after dinner.
  • Watch a Christmas movie before bed.
For more activity ideas visit Kiddley and Little Birds.

4. Featured subscriber blog

Delicious Baby – Making Travel with Kids FUN

To have your blog featured in this section just send in your web address and I'll add you to the list. But be warned, the waiting list is currently very long. 


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