24 Advent Activities for Very Little Ones

The first couple of Christmases with a little one are so magical.

They aren’t yet old enough to be greedy about presents or so beside themselves with excitement that the days drag. Instead, every new experience is delightful and exciting.

I don’t like our Decembers to be too overwhelming or busy, but I do like to take a few minutes each day to do something special and age-appropriate for my little girls to help celebrate the season.

Here are 24 low-key activities to do with your baby or toddler as you count down to Christmas:

  • Advent Activities for Very Little Ones

    Advent Activities for Very Little Ones

    Click through for ideas for every day of December until Christmas!

  • Start a chocolate advent calendar

    Start a chocolate advent calendar

    These cost about a dollar at the grocery store, and they are my little girls’ FAVORITE thing in the world. My older daughter got her first one for her second Christmas, when she was just over a year old.

  • Use a Nativity Set to Tell the Story of the First Christmas

    Use a Nativity Set to Tell the Story of the First Christmas

    And if a tiger becomes part of the nativity scene, so be it.

  • Let your child hang a few ornaments

    Let your child hang a few ornaments

    Hand over a few non-fragile ornaments and let her find a home for them on the tree.

  • Make Christmas Cookies Together

    These simple cookies are easy enough for a toddler to help with.

    Recipe at Spoonful

  • Watch a Short Christmas Movie

    Watch a Short Christmas Movie

    Most toddlers won’t have a very long attention span, but a short Christmas film is a fun family activity.

  • Open some Christmas Jammies

    One of my favorite traditions is a new pair of festive pjs for every member of the family!

    Available from Disney Baby

  • Make Snowflakes

    Make Snowflakes

    Older toddlers might be able to handle safety scissors. Younger children can draw on the paper before you cut out the snowflakes.

  • Go Caroling

    Go Caroling

    This might be as simple as just singing a song for your next door neighbors.

  • Make some holiday cards

    Make some holiday cards

    Whether you let your child scribble on the front or do something a bit more elaborate, family members will love getting a homemade card.

  • Have Hot Cocoa Together

    Have Hot Cocoa Together

    We are pretty boring about drinks in our house (milk and water is about the extent), so a sweet glass of hot chocolate is a huge treat.

  • Make a snow angel

    Make a snow angel

    If you’re lucky enough to have a white Christmas, bundle up and go make some snow angels!

    (P.S. This picture is of me and my sisters in the early nineties!)

  • Sing a Christmas Song together

    Sing a Christmas Song together

    Teaching your child the chorus of a favorite Christmas song and hearing them sing it back is one of my favorite thing about those first Christmases.

  • Read a Christmas Book Together

    Read a Christmas Book Together

    There are so many wonderful Christmas books – check a few out from the library and read them together throughout the month.

  • Make a cotton ball snowman

    Make a cotton ball snowman

    Let your little one glue three cottonballs on a page, then draw on some stick arms. You can even get fancy and draw on a hat!

  • Enjoy the tree lights

    Enjoy the tree lights

    Flip on the tree lights and turn the other lights down and read some stories, sing a song or two, or just snuggle in the cozy light of the tree.

  • Take a Walk to Look at the Holiday Lights

    Take a Walk to Look at the Holiday Lights

    If your neighborhood doesn’t have a great display, try a street in town or even a shopping mall.

  • Sprinkle Bird Seed Outside

    Sprinkle Bird Seed Outside

    Make your neighborhood birds happy! My toddler thinks nothing is more fun than spreading birdseed outside.

  • Make a Christmas Wish List

    Make a Christmas Wish List

    My mom has some old treasured copies of Christmas lists from when we were very little. It’s so sweet to see what an 18-month-old asks for!

  • Call a Grandparent

    Call a Grandparent

    If you aren’t fortunate enough to have grandparents nearby (all of ours are on the other side of the country!) call or Skype them and let your child wish them a Merry Christmas!

  • Play a Stocking Game

    Play a Stocking Game

    My little one loves this simple game! Put a toy in the stocking and let them fish it out (if they’re a bit older, they can try to guess what the toy is without looking).

  • Practice opening a present

    Practice opening a present

    It’s a bit of a letdown on Christmas morning when your child doesn’t know what to do with a wrapped present. Wrap up a book or other small item (a box of tissue works great!) and let them figure out what to do with it. They’ll be all ready on the big morning!

  • Light a fire in the fireplace

    Light a fire in the fireplace

    If you have a fireplace, lighting it makes the whole room seem cozy and warm.

  • Leave cookies out for Santa

    Leave cookies out for Santa

    And maybe some carrots for his reindeer!

P.S. If you’re looking for some darling DIY advent calendars, Lauren put together a great collection of ones you can make yourself.

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