If you’re too strapped for time or cash to make a big detailed advent with activities or treats in it this year, don’t worry; you can still do something more creative than a paper chain. (Of course, if you want to do a paper chain, more power to you! In fact, we do that, too—and then we re—glue it together and add it to either our tree or my mom’s gigantic tree each year.) Making a Santa advent is really fun, and I’m excited about this year’s especially because my daughter is five, drawing Santas everywhere, and wants to draw her own Santa face.
Here’s what you do: Just draw a Santa face, minus the beard. You’ll get to that later. Have your child draw it or you can do it. Next, color it in—again, either you or your child, depending on who wants to or who is old enough. Be as creative as you like; use felt, glitter, ribbon, whatever.
Next, make him a big beard on a separate piece of white paper. It should be about as big as the piece of paper (notebook or construction paper-sized), but shaped as a beard. In this beard, you will be drawing 25 circles and numbering them 1 through 25. (It’s actually not necessary to make the circles; you can just write out the numbers on his beard, either randomly or in order. It just makes it easier on younger kids if they are in order and in circles.) Just make sure that the numbers completely fill the beard space and that there are no large gaps. You can even use a small bottle lid to trace if you wish. If you’re totally averse to freestyle crafts or you just want a guide to follow, you can print one out here.
Glue the beard onto Santa’s face and let him dry for a few hours. Then, hang him up and he’s ready to help you start counting down until Christmas! Each day, find that day’s corresponding date on the beard. For example, for December 1, help your child find number 1. Dab a bit of glue onto the number and let your child carefully press a fluffy white cotton ball onto the spot, directly over the number. As you fill in the dates, Santa’s beard will magically grow and grow until, on Christmas Day, it’s complete! If you don’t want to do this with Santa, you can do a similar project with a Christmas tree and fill it with ornaments.