As a child, I used to love getting to open a window in my advent calendar in the days leading up to Christmas. This homemade take on the advent calendar is a great alternative to store bought calendars, is reusable, and your child will enjoy helping put everything together!
You can actually make this two ways — hold the photos on with tape, or with magnets, depending on what supplies you have available, and how long you want this calendar to last.
First, we cut out a free form tree from a pretty green gift bag. I found a plain brown paper lunch sack for the trunk of the tree. We taped this whole segment on the fridge.
Then, we printed out 24 photos, with the faces approximately quarter-sized. I printed out two copies, one for Toby to cut with his scissors, and a set for me to cut into circles. This let Toby practice his scissor skills and feel involved while I made the circles for our face “ornaments.” Toby had a lot of fun helping me pick which pictures to use. Sadly, we couldn’t include all our family members…since we have more than 24. If you’re planning to have this last for more than one year, I’d suggest printing on card stock or laminating the photos. Otherwise, plain paper works.
Once all the photos for the 24 days of advent were cut out, we started putting them on the fridge, around the tree, of course. If you’re using plain paper photos, just use pieces of rolled up tape to hold them on; if you made durable photo ornaments, then attach squares from an magnet tape roll #afflink so you can have these stick to the fridge.
The final touch was a sign, also from the paper lunch sack, that said “Countdown to Christmas!”
Toby is really excited to start putting ornaments on the tree, and I’m sure he will have fun picking out which family member should go on the tree next. This DIY magnetic photo advent calendar is a great way to familiarize kids with their relatives (and their names too)… and it is definitely more meaningful than your run of the mill advent calendar that can be bought at the store.
We may also add a gold star for the tree topper, that would be put on the tree Christmas morning. I think that would be a nice touch — but didn’t think of that until just now.
Enjoy some pictures of our photo advent calendar being made below! Click on an image to open it in gallery view mode.