December is full of so much fun and merry memory-making! This simple craft with free printables will help your kids keep track of all the fun events and traditions they are anticipating. Plus, print off a free December bucket list for more holiday family ideas!
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When I first started making a December countdown calendar with my kids, my oldest children were just 2 and 3 years old. Six years ago! Now they’re 7 and 9 and more than capable of reading a regular calendar, but we still keep making this countdown calendar– in part because of tradition, and in part because their younger siblings now benefit from the pictorial calendar.
After being asked every day, multiple times a day for a week when Nana was coming, or when we were having a party with friends, I decided to make a calendar together with pictures for each highly anticipated event so I could direct my children to the calendar to satisfy their “when will this happen” queries.
This year, I created printables so it will be easier for you to join in and make your own holiday countdown calendars too. Print off the coloring pages, turn on some Christmas music, and start anticipating all the fun you’ll be having this month! If you share you calendar on social media, be sure to tag me @thispilgrimlife, because I’d love to see it!
If you’re running low on ideas for your calendar, you can also print off the December Bucket List, full of ideas for holiday fun both in and out of the house.
You can also watch how to make the countdown calendar and see this simple holiday craft in action in our newest YouTube video!
December Bucket List
The thing about bucket lists is that it can bring on a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out) if you aren’t careful.
Don’t consider this a list of things everyone.must.do. to fully enjoy the holiday season. Some years your Decembers will be packed with parties and crafts and fun traditions, and other years, you’ll be good to just do a few holiday activities together. That’s perfectly okay!
Look over the bucket list with or without your kids and consider what things you will try to do together this year. Maybe just pick the things that you already do every year, or maybe try to branch out and try one or two new things this year.
How to use a bucket list:
There are three basic ways you can use a bucket list.
- Brainstorm what you hope to do in a season and use that bucket list to keep you on track and build anticipation all season long.
- Post the bucket list somewhere with no set intention of what you will do. Check off items as you do them.
- Print them off after the season or month and then go back and talk about everything you did and how much for which you have to be thankful.
Kids Holiday Calendar
How to use the countdown calendar:
Make a list (or simply pull out your own calendar) of the events you have going on during the month of December. Also consider the traditions that you like to do as a family that do not necessarily go on your own calendar, but that you could go ahead and include on your kids’ countdown calendar.
Print off the coloring pages and either go ahead and color everything (this is what we do) or cut out only the squares that represent things you will do.
Color the pictures in together, glue in the right spots on your calendar, and hang the calendar on the wall for the kids to see and get excited!
Print your own calendar coloring pages:
- Kids’ Countdown Calendar #1 :: gingerbread houses, going to the movies, snowman building/craft, movie night at home, candle tea or candle service at church, Nutcracker performance, making cookies, exchanging gifts with friends, Happy BIrthday Jesus cake (or another birthday)
- Kids’ Countdown Calendar #2 :: piano recital or holiday concert, buying/decorating a tree, driving to see Christmas lights, making/sending cards, hot chocolate night/ Polar Express night, homemade gifts, holiday party, caroling, Christmas Day
- Kids’ Countdown Calendar #3 :: road trip, giving/receiving presents, acts of service, New Year’s Eve, donating clothes & toys, holiday dinner, shopping day, giving cookies, a winter hike
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Jamie Hiles says
How do we print the activity coloring pages?
Click on the page titles and a PDF will open up.
This is such a great idea! My children are grown but I have out-of-town grandchildren that are coming for a Christmas visit and it’ll be great to have this up for the week they will be here. I am having trouble downloading the holiday countdown pages. I didn’t have any trouble with the bucket list. Any suggestions?