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DIY Christmas Countdown Ideas for Kids (FREE PRINTABLES)

Christmas is the most exciting time of the year, and for most people, the most fun and most nostalgic moments are in the build-up.

Creating this excitement and anticipation for our kids is one of the loveliest things we can design for them over the holiday season!

A Christmas countdown is also a great way to help little kids understand the passing of time in the weeks before Christmas day and also a fun way for young kids to take part in Christmas-related activities for the week or even the whole month (depending on how long you choose your countdown to be!)

In this post, we suggest some great ideas for fun ways to DIY a fabulous Christmas countdown for kids of all ages!

This includes visual timelines, little gifts, activity ideas and super fun ideas to mark the season and maybe even welcome in some special, new Christmas traditions.

We’ve split our favorite Christmas countdown activities ideas into 5 categories: Advent calendars with little gifts, Counting with Christmas decorations, Advent calendar children’s storybooks, Christmas Spirit good deeds calendar, and Christmas countdown sticker chart ideas. Scroll down to read more!

1. Counting with Christmas decorations

This is one of my favorite ways to countdown to Christmas, by creating Christmas decorations as you go!

Each day in the month of December you add something to your decoration and by the 25th the decoration is complete, in time for a wonderful Christmas day! The great thing about this Christmas countdown idea is that it’s creative but low prep.

Here are some ideas of the decorations you can build over the festive season and we are are offering free printables of our 3 favorite ideas!

  • Add a snowflake to the window! Before Christmas, sit down with your kids and have a craft day making paper snowflakes, put them all in a box and each day your children can hang one across the window. Before long the window will be covered and once the box is empty, your kids will know it’s Christmas day!
  • Paper candle lighting window decoration: children get to colour a flame of this decoration each night until Christmas even when all flames are lit! This is like a mini countdown calendar and a nice nod to the more traditional advent calendar but one that kids can do along without supervision! You can even let them make a Christmas wish for each candle they light!
  • Santa’s Beard Countdown: Create a Santa face on a poster or chalkboard. Each day, add a cotton ball to Santa’s beard until it’s full on Christmas Day. We have a FREE SANTA CHRISTMAS BEARD for you to download and print in time for Christmas!

Click here for the Ho-Ho-Holidays Countdown. These are designed as A3 poster wall charts!

  • Christmas Tree Decoration: Decorate a small Christmas tree or a designated area with 24 ornaments. Each day, have the child hang an ornament on the tree, one for each day of the countdown. We actually have a FREE CHRISTMAS TREE HOLIDAY COUNTDOWN
  • Tree ornament out the box! if your tree is up before December 1st then this could be a perfect idea for you!
  • Add a snowball to the chain! In this activity children add one cotton ball ‘snowball’ to a chain string for each day leading up to Christmas! the snowballs look like little pom poms, very cute and decorative.

Click here for the Printable PDF Christmas Tree Countdown. These are designed as A3 poster wall charts!

2. Advent calendar children’s storybooks

A super fun way to countdown the days until Christmas is to bring the countdown into the night time routine with a book advent calendar!

If your child is an avid reader they will love this option, and we have carefully selected some of our favourite options out there to recommend you:

This beautifully illustrated little hardback tells the Christmas story, split into 24 little windows that can be read each night in the run-up to Christmas! This is such a cute way to help them pace themselves and know how far away the day of Jesus’ birth, and the visit from Santa is!

These storybooks in the set include classic fairy tales, The Twelve Days of Christmas, Disney classics such as The Jungle Book and Aladdin, and a few classic Christmas stories such as a Christmas carol, T’was the Night before Christmas and the story of Baby Jesus!

This option lets you count down to Christmas with stories from all your favourite Disney princesses! This is the ultimate Christmas countdown for princess-loving little ones!

For superhero fans, this Marvel storybook countdown will make the December month all the more exciting!

These advent calendar books are a lovely way to celebrate the countdown with all your kids at once if they enjoy sharing evening stories together!

3. Christmas Spirit good deeds calendar

One of the main parts of getting into the Christmas spirit is the reminder about good deeds for the holiday. A very sweet way to help your kids get into this spirit is with a Christmas countdown good deeds calendar! Each day there is a good-deed challenge that your child can complete to cross off the day on the list. 

These can be small challenges like an extra special hello to a neighbour, feeding a kitten or something bigger that the family can do together on the weekend such as donating a few toys to a church second-hand present collection.

Here are some ideas for good deeds you can encourage them to undertake:

  • Hold the door open for someone.
  • Greet people with a smile and a friendly “hello.”
  • Help clean up a park or a local area by picking up litter.
  • Share toys or games with a friend or sibling.
  • Write thank you notes to express appreciation.
  • Offer to help with household chores.
  • Give sincere compliments to family and friends.
  • Donate toys or clothes they no longer need to a charity.
  • Water the plants or flowers for a neighbor.
  • Put out bird feed or water for the local wildlife.
  • Create drawings or cards for seniors in a nursing home.
  • Help set the table for a meal.
  • Bake and share cookies with neighbors.
  • Read a story to a younger sibling.
  • Give a compliment or a thank-you note to a teacher.
  • Create artwork for parents and hang it up.
  • Plant a flower or vegetable seed in a garden.
  • Spend time with grandparents or elderly relatives.
  • Offer assistance to a classmate in need.
  • Clean and organize their room without being asked.
  • Write an uplifting message or note for someone to find.
  • Express appreciation for the school bus driver with a thank-you note.
  • Practice patience, especially in situations where they may get frustrated.
  • If a friend or family member is feeling down, try to make them smile.
  • Take responsibility for feeding the family pet.

These good deeds will really help tease out the holiday spirit and value the giving traditions of the christmas season. What’s more, as well as being good deeds, some of these can be fun activities within themselves and could even become a little family tradition over time.

4. Christmas countdown sticker chart ideas

A sticker chart is a simple Christmas countdown activity that will be great fun for kids to fill in. As each sticker gets stuck on the sheet, kids are counting down the number of days until Christmas day (the day of the Christmas presents!)

Here are some lovely Christmas sticker chart ideas!

  • Santa’s Workshop: Create a chart with Santa’s workshop as the background. Each completed task or behavior earns a sticker to help Santa get ready for Christmas.
  • Countdown to Christmas: Design a chart with 24 spaces, one for each day leading up to Christmas. Kids can earn a sticker for each day they complete a good deed or task.
  • Gingerbread House: Use a gingerbread house as the backdrop, and each sticker represents a decoration or candy added to the gingerbread house for good behavior.
  • Reindeer Tracks: Have a chart with reindeer footprints, and kids earn a sticker on each footprint for a completed task or good deed.
  • Christmas Tree: Draw a Christmas tree, and each sticker represents an ornament added to the tree for a positive action.
  • Santa’s Sleigh: Kids can earn stickers for helping Santa prepare for his journey by completing tasks and acts of kindness.
  • North Pole Passport: Create a passport-style chart, and each sticker represents a “stamp” for visiting different locations at the North Pole (e.g., Santa’s Workshop, the Elves’ Village, the Reindeer Barn).
  • Advent Calendar: Make a sticker chart that resembles an advent calendar, with 24 spaces to place stickers for each day’s achievement.
  • Candy Cane Stripes: Design a chart with candy cane stripes, and each stripe represents a positive behavior or completed task.
  • Winter Wonderland: Use a winter wonderland scene as the background, and kids earn stickers to add elements like snowflakes, snowmen, or penguins.
  • Ornament Garland: Create a garland with ornaments, and each sticker represents an ornament added to the string for good behavior.
  • Christmas Lights: Design a string of Christmas lights, and each sticker represents a light bulb turned on for a completed task or good deed.
  • Gifts Under the Tree: Each sticker on a wrapped gift under the Christmas tree represents a reward or small gift to open on Christmas.
  • The Nativity Scene: Create a chart with the nativity scene, and stickers represent characters or elements added for good deeds or actions.
  • Sleigh Ride Adventure: Design a chart with a sleigh ride scene, with stickers representing destinations or achievements along the journey.

5. Advent calendars with little gifts

A Christmas advent calendar is a wonderful staple in many households and can also double as a great calendar (as well as a chocolate dispenser!).

Although store-bought advent calendars to this perfectly well, making your own calendar lets you be creative with what goes inside, and if you have older children, making these advent calendars can be a real part of the Christmas spirit. 

Here are our suggestions for little gifts you could put inside: mini Christmas tree ornaments, little notes from Santa, stickers, mini flashlight, hair clips, cute socks and mini art supplies like coloured pencils.

You could even add in a note as a gift that tell them they are about to complete a special holiday activity such as baking Christmas cookies, making Christmassy hot chocolate or going ice skating.

Another sweet idea is to put a challenge or Christmas joke in some of the days. For example, you could challenge them to sing a Christmas song, name 3 of Santa’s reindeer or draw a Christmas picture for a family relative.

Happy Holidays!

We hope you like these ideas for christmas countdown charts, decorations and DIY advent calendars. 

Merry christmas everyone!

Zoe x

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