December has arrived and there’s excitement in the air. The weeks of preparation and anticipation leading up to Christmas are commonly called Advent. Traditionally Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas day; however, most people today start their Advent calendar Christmas countdown on December 1st.
Advent calendars have been around for over one hundred years. The very first commercially available Advent calendar was invented by Gerhard Lang in Germany and printed in 1908. It was a cardboard calendar with little doors that would open to reveal pictures. This was the Advent calendar of my early childhood – I loved those little doors! Gerhard was inspired by his childhood memory of eating cookies, one for each day of Advent, as a way to count down the days until Christmas. There’s a lovely children’s picture book about this story called Waiting for Christmas: A Story about the Advent Calendar by Kathleen Long Bostrom.
Advent calendars have come a long way since the early 1900s. By the 1950s Advent calendars filled with chocolate were invented but these days you can find Advent calendars filled with anything your heart desires – toys, teas, and even cheese! I love Advent calendars, especially if there’s cheese involved, but I’ve come to realize that most commercial Advent calendars are quite wasteful and not very earth-friendly. And so, I wanted take a step away from the over commercialization of Advent calendars and create an Advent calendar rooted in simplicity, nature and connection: a Nature Advent Calendar.
24 Days of Nature Connection
This Nature Advent Calendar is all about simplicity and nature connection. Each day there is an activity that will help you and your child connect with nature in a way that celebrates the season. The activities build on one another and culminate in a very special Christmas nature activity that is inspired by one of my favourite books Night Tree by Eve Bunting.
Do you need snow?
No! This nature advent calendar will work whether you have snow or warmer winter weather. However, there is talk about evergreen trees and pinecones and so it works best for families that have access to those things in nearby nature. However, I also have a blank Evergreen Advent calendar available if you want to swap out any of the prompts that are not a good fit for your family. This is included with the Nature Advent Calendar download but it can also be downloaded separately if you’d rather write your own Advent activities.
What will you need?
This Nature Advent Calendar is meant to be simple and accessible. Most of the materials needed are sourced from nature and anything extra I’ve included in a list that comes with the download.
- Nature Advent Calendar (24 hand painted evergreen trees with 24 nature inspired activities) (12 pages)
- Parent Guide (includes descriptions of each activity, links to tutorials and free downloads) (8 pages)
- BLANK Nature Advent Calendar (to swap out any activities as needed)