Amy’s Free Ideas

Sunday School or Bible Clubs > Crafts > Advent Calendars

Foam or Felt Advent Calendar

This foam set is no longer available through the Oriental Trading Company. However, if you don’t mind going to a lot of work, you can make a foam or felt set using the photo on the left as an example. Each day, the child puts another figure on the scene to help count down the days until Christmas.  I bought clear pockets at a hundred yen store (in photo on the right.) These hold the figures until it is the day to put them on the scene. Since the numbers are glued inside the pockets, the figures cover them until they are taken out of the pocket to reveal how many days are left till Christmas. Note that the numbers are in descending order.

Magnet Advent Calendar

Here are 2 versions of a magnetic advent calendar.

The one on the far left has the tree shape cut out of a sheet magnet, and the balls are more magnets with the number of days counting down till Christmas. (Both kinds of magnet are sold at 100 yen stores.) Since they are magnets, the refrigerator is the perfect place to display them, or buy a magnetic whiteboard for the background scene.

The set on the right also has nativity figures. These are actually sticker sets that can be ordered from Oriental Trading Company. The stickers have ben affixed to sheet magnets and cut out so they can be used over and over again. More sheet magnets and miniature bows were used to make presents under the tree.

Link to Oriental Trading Company

Paper Chain Advent Calendar

This advent calendar is just about as inexpensive as you can get. Cut colored paper into strips and let the kids staple, glue, or tape them into 24 rings in a chain. Be sure to have them write the numbers on the outside in descending order as a countdown till Christmas. Each day they can tear another ring off to see how many days are left till Christmas.

There are several options for how to make this into a more interesting count down. Write a riddle from the Bible story on each ring ( include the Bible reference if they are difficult). To make it even more fun, have the answers to the riddles also be answers to a review game they play in Sunday school--that way they will be more motivated to try to solve the riddles. If you don’t want to spend time playing a review game during Sunday school, you can simply give a small reward to every child who solves all the riddles for that week.

Another option: rather than cut strips of colored paper, photocopy a picture for each child. Cut the pictures into strips for the children to make into rings in a chain. When they cut off each ring and tape the strips together, they will have a complete picture by Christmas. You could give a prize for each child who can guess what the picture is before Christmas. This should not be told out loud, or it will spoil the surprise for the other children who haven’t finished the puzzle yet.

Mailbox Advent Calendar

This advent calendar is in the shape of a mailbox that really opens and shuts. It is made out of a kleenex box with silver paper taped to the outside. There are many ways they can be decorated, but the two ways shown here are felt holly leaves and pipe-cleaner (chenille wire) poinsettias.  Put 24 “letters” in the mailbox, and it becomes an advent calendar. Cut colored paper into strips and let the kids fold them and seal them with stickers. Be sure to have them write the numbers on the outside of the letters in descending order as a countdown till Christmas. Each day they can read another “letter” and see how many days are left till Christmas.

There are many, many options for what to use for letters. They can simply be verse cards that were extra, and so never handed out. Or, you can print out verses of promises God has made, and tell the children that each day they can read a “letter” from God. For more ideas, read the ideas for riddles in the paper chain advent calendar above

Sunday School or Bible Clubs > Crafts > Advent Calendars

  1. 1.Cut off one end from a kleenex box--the end becomes the bottom of the mailbox, and the sides become the door and the back end of the mailbox.

  2. 2.Cut the sides of the box to be rounded (door and back end.) Cut one side so that it can move open and shut as the mailbox door.

  3. 3.Cut the back side off of the rest of the box so it is the right size to fold over and form the domed roof of the mailbox. Either glue or staple it to the base of the mailbox (end of the kleenex box.)

  4. 4.Cut a narrow strip and glue or staple to the door (along the outside edge--if you glue it to the inside, it will get in the way of closing the mailbox.)

  5. 5.Cover the mailbox with silver paper or foil.

  6. 6.Cut out green felt leaves and add red berries, which can be made from felt, beads, or air drying clay such as Hearty (as in photo.)

  7. 7.If you want it on a post, glue a white toilet paper tube to the bottom of the mailbox for the post. Wrap red ribbon around the post to make it look like a candy cane and glue in place.

  8. 8.Glue a cardboard square to the base of the post to keep it from falling over.