Play and Grow: Matchbox Advent Calendar
Thanksgiving has came and went, and you know what that means…Christmastime is here!
Now I know some people are a little “bah humbug” when it comes to getting ready for Christmas early, but I love it. I love Christmas songs; I love wrapping paper; I love Christmas cookies; I love Christmas trees. But most importantly, I love the reason for Christmas: Jesus, God’s son, coming down to earth for ME! (and you too!)
So I needed a good way to get in the Christmas spirit but not lose sight of who Christmas is about. My solution was this advent calendar. I actually stumbled across this idea last year. I saw something like it, and I thought, “Hey, I can make that!” Last year, I had a one-month old, so I kinda had my hands full to take on this project, but this year, I got it done. And it was really easy and cheap.
With just some store-bought match boxes (I believe I got 30 for less than 2 bucks) and some pretty Christmas paper, this calendar can come together in no time. And if you’re kids are older, they can help decorate the boxes.
Scrapbook paper (or wrapping paper)
Using a scrap piece of paper, wrap the paper around one of the match boxes, creasing at each of the seams. Cut out the shape of the matchbox. This will be your guide for cutting out the sleeves on the scrapbook paper. Cut out 25 sleeves and fold according to your scrap paper guide.
Decorate each sleeve with the numbers 1-25 with the markers in whatever way you want.
Use glue to attach the scrapbook paper to the matchbox outer sleeve.
Arrange matchboxes on a decorated piece of cardboard or canvas. Make sure that each box has enough room to open before gluing down. Attach decorated matchboxes with glue. Hang, fill, and enjoy!
Now when you make an advent calendar, you have to fill it with something. You can do anything that you please, but I want to make sure that my son knows the story of how Jesus was born. So for each day, I am placing a verse selection from the Christmas story to read to him each day, plus, he will get a little piece of candy just for fun.
|Filling the matchboxes|
For an older child (probably 6+ but really just based on your child’s ability to draw), you can read them the verse(s) and have them draw the scene. By the end of the 25 days, the child will have a completely illustrated version of the Christmas story.
Since I don’t have any children of an age that can do the drawings himself, I asked my niece (she’s almost 7) to step in. Here are her drawings of day 1 (the angel appearing to Mary) and day 10 (shepherds watching their sheep at night).
If you want to try this with a little younger of a child, you as the parent can draw the picture, and the child can then describe what they see. Either way, it will be a great visual of the Christmas story. If you want to access the file in which I have broken up the Christmas story into 25 installments (with picture prompts), you can see it here.
Whether you make this simple or elaborate, I hope you have fun counting down to Christmas!