DIY Advent Calendars

Christmas is coming!

When we first opened Fireflies Childcare at Motcombe school as an after school club, we were a very small business, with only a handful of children each day, and two or three staff. We are now a multi-site, wrap around childcare business with up to 80 children a day. So, you can understand why the managers at each venue think I’m slightly bonkers for suggesting a craft that was very popular when we first started, as there are lot more children now, so it takes a lot more prep! Fortunately, there are a lot more staff too so we are able to put in the prep so the children can create something amazing that will hopefully last them a few years at Christmastime.
This term we are making our own advent calendars! Each calendar comprises of 24 small paper bags (All of which are handmade!!) decorated by the children and strung on a piece of string, ready for chocolate coins to sit in their pockets for each day of advent.
Christmas is a very important time of the year for us; it marks the birth of Jesus and the many miracles that came with his arrival on earth.
Traditionally, in the UK, we mark the beginning of advent with a calendar, marking off the days in December until we reach Christmas Eve. Most children have a calendar that contains small chocolates, sometimes small toys and sometimes a Christmas message. And so, our calendars will be big enough to hold a chocolate coin for each day of advent.
If you would like to join us and make your own calendars, here is how we are making ours!

You will need:

6 sheets of A4 white paper.
A roll of masking tape
A hole punch

First take your sheets of paper and cut them into quarters. These will become your 24 white paper bags.

Take one quarter in a landscape position and fold it in half (left to right)

Next get some masking tape and tape the open edge together.

Fold up the bottom of your paper (around a quarter of the length)

Take each side of the folded paper and push it into the fold to create a triangle in shape.

Fold the straight edges between the two triangles into the middle and tape together.

Next, take the sides of each bag and fold them into the triangles, so the points meet the flat edge of the triangle, and it creates a straight line up the side of the bag. Do this to both sides.

Unfold the straight edges and open the top of the bag. Push the sides into the bag to the crease you have just made. Crease again on the inside.
You have now created your first paper bag!

Repeat all the steps for the remaining 23 pieces of paper!

Now you have all your bags, write the numbers 1-24 on one side, and decorate your bags to please your Christmas spirit!
Once they are all decorated, use a hole punch to put two holes in the back of each bag and thread some string through the holes to attach all the bags onto the string.

I prefer to do the bags in a random number order, so you have to search each day for the right bag!
You can now put chocolates or small toys in each bag and string it up for Christmas! In my house, we hang ours on the stairs so that each child could reach their advent calendar when they come downstairs in the morning, but you can hang them wherever you like!

Happy Christmas!
Ho! Ho! Ho!

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