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How to Make a Classroom Advent Calendar + 10 Printable Activities

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Photo of Natalie
Updated | 4 min read

You’re probably familiar enough with the concept of an advent calendar by now – a calendar used during the holiday season to count down. But did you realize you could borrow the fun of discovering something special every day during the holiday season for a classroom advent calendar?

While it’s true that advent calendars have their roots in religion — a traditional advent calendar counts down the days of December until Christmas, after all — these days there are plenty of advent calendars that are anything BUT religious. From cheese advent calendars to sock advent calendars and everything in between, many don’t even last 24 days!

We came up with classroom advent calendar ideas that will help you manage all that excitement buzzing around your classroom as you lead up to winter break and add a little bit of magic to the days of December too!

Oh, and since we know you can only do so much, we’ve kept it simple with just 10 days of fun … just enough for fun but not too much to add a burden to your plate.


Classroom Advent Calendar – the Countdown is On!

Making your very own Classroom Advent Calendar is so easy! 

OK, you’re probably familiar with advent calendars that have little boxes with windows that can be opened each day during Advent to reveal a trinket or treat. If you’re feeling especially craft, go ahead and make it happen. But we know you’ve got a lot to get through in these last few weeks before the end of the year, so we came up with a classroom advent calendar display that won’t take a day and a half to set up.

You will need the following:

Even though they’re printable, these activities aren’t just worksheets. We’ve selected a fantastic array of craft, STEM, literacy, math, and hands-on activities for your students to enjoy!

You can follow our suggested order of activities, or choose your own from our Winter Holidays Resource Collection.

(P.S. – it’s not on the list, but if you want to make these adorable holiday puppets with your class, make sure to read Ali’s blog Christmas Craft | Fun with Christmas Puppets!).

Classroom Advent Calendar Activities

Day #10 – Elfie Selfie

Start your countdown with a bang – Create an ‘Elfie Selfie’ Template!

Classroom Advent Calendar - Comprehension Task Cards - Create an Elfie Selfie

These adorable cuties aren’t just for younger students. Take photos of your older students and let them get creative with the rest! These are great to hang up on your bulletin board or classroom door.

 

 Day #9 – Santa’s Reader’s Theater

Practice reading with some Christmas-themed reader’s theater scripts!

Classroom Advent Calendar - Readers Theater

Why not ask your students to put on a short play in small groups?

Day #8 – Christmas Code Cracker

This Christmas Code Cracker Activity is sure to be a class hit!

It is Christmas Eve, and Santa Claus is preparing for his night of delivering presents. He goes to open the garage to prepare his sleigh, but alas! He has forgotten the combination to his lock.

Classroom Advent Calendar - Code Cracker

There are 4 digits in the code, hidden within puzzles that relate to the holidays. Would you rather avoid Christmas? Try these holiday code crackers instead:

Image of Holiday Code Cracker: Upper Years – Whole Class Holiday Game

teaching resource

Holiday Code Cracker: Upper Years – Whole Class Holiday Game

A whole class, holiday-themed game where students work together to find a secret code.

Teach Starter Publishing35 pagesGrades: 5 - 6
Image of Holiday Code Cracker: Middle Years – Whole Class Holiday Game

teaching resource

Holiday Code Cracker: Middle Years – Whole Class Holiday Game

A whole class, holiday-themed game where students work together to find a secret code.

Teach Starter Publishing7 pagesGrades: 3 - 4
Image of Holiday Code Cracker: Lower Years – Whole Class Holiday Game

teaching resource

Holiday Code Cracker: Lower Years – Whole Class Holiday Game

A whole class, holiday-themed game where students work together to find a secret code.

Teach Starter Publishing32 pagesGrades: K - 2

Day #7 – Sentence Starters

Practice writing the holiday way with silly holiday stories that build off of Holiday Sentence Starters!

Classroom Advent Calendar - Sentence Starters

Why not ask your younger students to help you select one and then write a story as a class?

#6 – Christmas Image and Task Cards

Give each student a copy of the Winter Image and Task Cards and watch the fun unfold!

Classroom Advent Calendar - Comprehension Task Cards

Alternatively, project it on your screen and play search-and-find. Why not encourage your students to draw their own Winter Christmas image or research unfamiliar objects in the picture?

#5 – Mindful Holiday Coloring

It’s the halfway mark! Only 5 days left of the countdown! Give your kids a well-deserved break with some mindful coloring.

Classroom Advent Calendar - Count Down To Christmas!c

The best part about these worksheets is that they make wonderful fast-finisher activities for the remainder of the week.

#4 – Pop-Up Holiday Cards

These quick and easy Pop-Up Holiday Card Templates make for a quick and easy activity as you near the holidays! Students can write one to a family member or to each other! For more information, read How to Make a DIY Mailbox.

Does your class love making holiday cards? For even more holiday card ideas, check out these Crafty Christmas Card Ideas!

#3 – Christmas Carols

Deck the halls!

These much-loved carols make a great addition to your advent calendar activities.

Classroom Advent Calendar - Christmas Carols

Either task students with performing in groups, or put together a whole class concert for the playground at recess! Even better…add actions!

#2 – Gift Graphing Activity

If your students haven’t already thought about gifts this holiday season, now’s the time to start! Have them complete a Gift Graphing Activity.

Classroom Advent Calendar - Graphing Activities

Students choose five items they believe are the top gifts this holiday season. Then, they ask each classmate to choose the one they would most like to receive. Using their results, students create a tally chart using the data. Then, they put the results into a pictograph and write a word problem using the information from the graph.

#1- STEM Holiday Activities

We’ve saved the best until last… it’s the last day before winter break! The perfect time for some Holiday STEM Challenge Cards!

Classroom Advent Calendar - STEM

You can use these cards any way you like. Either choose one activity that your class can work on for half of the day, or have a WHOLE day of STEM activities!


What a wonderful way to lead up to the holiday break!

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