As my kids grow up, I want them to know what the true meaning of Christmas is. I know they will be more excited to see the gifts for sure, but I think as a believer of Christ, it’s a perfect gift for Him; sharing His stories to children and teaching them that He is the reason for Christmas. Today, I’m sharing our Christmas countdown calendar for toddlers, which does just that. It was inspired by Pinterest. Although, some of the activities below are improvised depending on what my kids will be excited to see and do. Each day, in addition to their Christmas activity (whether it is simple or requires more effort), I’m planning to read a Bible verse to them. Here’s what’s inside each paper bag, and the fun, inspiring activities for the kids to learn about the true meaning of Christmas. Enjoy!
Dec 1: A printed photo of the kids for a DIY Salt Dough ornament with photo. (Recipe from h e r e). Read: John 1:1-5.
Dec 2: Inside is a plastic ball (can be a Pom Pom or any type of small, round object). The activity will be a ball sorting stand. (Inspired by this). I used an old diaper box and made holes for the balls. I drew (you can print out pictures too) of characters from Jesus’ birth like Mary, the Star, Sheep etc. I will ask them to find a character like, “Find the mother of Jesus.” Then I will have them insert a ball in the matching hole. Read: Isaiah 9:2-7
Dec 3: Lego figurine of a boy (young Jesus) with a colorful string on the waist (symbolic of righteousness), a brown tape sash that says “faithful,” and small toy animals. I will use these to simply tell the story from Isaiah 11:1-10.
Dec 4: A bandana to use as a cape for kids. My kids love to do the Superman (photo of us like this), so I thought of this activity for them to show that Jesus is our true hero and savior, sent by God to save us from our sins. Read: Jeremiah 33:14-16
Dec 5: A note that says “Water a plant.” My kids love to do this, especially with their Lola (grandmother) right now, so I thought this would be a great way to explain the verse in Bible Verse to Read: Luke 1: 5-10. It tells about how John the Baptist was born. He was the one who baptized Jesus in the river. If you don’t have a plant (Why wouldn’t you!? Haha Kidding!), you may use a bowl of full of water and use plastic toys to simply demonstrate what John the Baptist does.
Dec 6: Cotton balls. Prepare a drawing of an angel on a piece of paper where kids will stick the cotton balls on the wings (using glue or tape).
Read: Luke 1:11-17 Angel show to Zechariah and tell that Elizabeth will have a baby. Tell them that God sent angel to tell the good news about Elizabeth will have a baby.
Dec 7: A balloon. I thought of using a balloon to put it inside my front shirt, to create a baby bump. 😉 My kids are excited to see a baby bump, especially when they see my sister who is pregnant right now. I will use this simple activity to teach about Luke 1:18-25 where Elizabeth was pregnant with John. You may put the name “John” on the balloon too if you’d like. While doing this balloon baby bump activity, I will share how everything is possible with God. Even though Elizabeth was old, she still became pregnant with John who was chosen by God to baptize Jesus himself.
Dec 8: A dry erase marker. I will do the “Mirror Lesson” to demonstrate how God chose Mary to give birth to Jesus who washes away our sins. I will let my kids scribble or draw whatever they want on the mirror. Full instructions here. This is going to be a fun activity!! Read: Luke 1:26-38 Angel Visits Mary
Dec 9: A note that says “Open a gift under the tree.” My kids love to listen while we read books to them, so I got them a new book about Christmas. Read: Matthew 1:18-21
Dec 10: Cotton balls, and a piece of paper with a big letter “J” (teaching them Jesus starts with the letter J). The kids will put the cotton balls on the lines to follow the letter “J”. (Similar to h e r e). Read: Matthew 1:22-25
Dec 11: Your child’s baby photo. I will share how God blessed their dad and I with them! Read: Luke 1:39-45 to explain how baby Jesus came from Mary, but Jesus was the son of God. They have oneness.
Dec 12: Glitter pen for coloring, which is cheap at Walmart! I’ll use a piece of paper with an outline of the letter “J.” I know. I love using J. It’s because this activity is all about Jesus! 😉 Then, we’ll play a worship song. Read: Luke 1:46-56
Dec 13: Use Pom Poms to insert in the hole in a box (Similar to here). Read: Micah 5:2-5 Jesus gets strength from God. The Pom Pom as sign of strength that God is giving.
Dec 14: Cloth (like baby wrap) and old white socks for my kids to draw a face on. Then they’ll put other socks inside (Similar to here). We will play and use the socks as “Baby Jesus” while reading Luke 2:1-7. Joseph needs to go back to Bethlehem. He was with Mary and she was about to give birth. She gave birth in a manger.
Dec 15: Make angels out of Popsicle sticks and put cotton balls on the wings (Similar to here). Read: Luke 2:8-12 Good news! Angels appeared to the shepherds and told about Jesus’ birth.
Dec 16: Put a note saying, “It’s Music Time!” or an egg shaker, something small for creating noise. We will play and sing a worship song with our flute, ukulele, shaker. Read: Luke 2:13-14 Angels in heaven praise God and rejoice for Jesus’ birth!
Dec 17: Small paint bottle. We will create a hand-painted Christmas tree (Similar idea). Read: Luke 2:15-18 Shepherds visit Jesus in the manger. Teach them that God chose shepherds to see Jesus first. His choice was not based on their position or status in life.
Dec 18: Put letters that says Jesus. Use a big bowl filled with fake snowflakes or gift fillers and have the kids search for the letters inside the container. Then, spell it out after they all the letters. (Similar to h e r e). Read: Luke 2:19-20 Everything the angels told the shepherds happened. They were amazed!
Dec 19: Star and Tree Cookie Press. I will use play dough to play with these presses, while reading Matthew 2:1-2 Magi worship Jesus. They saw the star.
Dec 20: A letter “B” magnet that we have. You may just make a simple cutout or write on a piece of paper. I will show them things inside the house that begin with letter “B.” I will also use the Bible and show a picture of Bethlehem where Jesus was born. Read: Matthew 2:3-6
Dec 21: A star cutout from cardboard (I will make 2 since I have two kids). I will have them put Pom Poms on the stars with glue. Read: Matthew 2:7-8 Herod wants to kill the Messiah. The star appeared at the exact time when Jesus was born.
Dec 22: On a piece of paper, write down what the kids thank Jesus for. I wonder what my eldest will say… Maybe “fire truck…” or “goldfish…” Put it on a container and put it under the tree. This is a beautiful act, serving as a gift for Jesus. Read them together next Christmas, and do it again! (Similar idea here). Read: Matthew 2:9-12
Dec 23: Put a note that says “Watch the birth of Jesus.”(I love using Youtube for this, I only show them up to 26:26.) Read: Matthew 2:19-23 Return to Nazareth
Dec 24: Put a note that says “Go to the bathtub” Surprised your kids with some red and green balloons in the tub, maybe do this on Christmas Eve!!! (Similar idea). Read: John 1:1-4 Word became Flesh (Jesus)
Anyone else doing a Christmas countdown? How do you teach your kids or the kids around you about the true meaning of Christmas?
For other fun Christmas activities for kids, visit my Pinterest board!