Book Advent Activities for the Kids (and my steady decline thereof)

Years ago, I came across a great idea to wrap up a book to open daily as an advent activity.  I did this successfully ONE year for ONE child with a combination of books from the library (yep, I'd wrap them up and then return!), gifts from family and a few new ones I'd buy.  

Once I had a second kiddo, that felt overwhelming.  So I did a 'Twelve Days of Books' to whittle things down - either the first 12 days of December, or the final 12 days leading up to Christmas.  And, lo, this became an overwhelming endeavor as well with two kids (especially when they have different preferences in books).  

I really wanted to keep the yearly fun of new holiday books in some way.  So now I include it as an activity in our personalized advent calendar.

This is the best way to go with books for advent, in my opinion!  I can fit two chocolates in each day's pouch, as well as a note with a fun activity for the day.  Some are just 'listen to Christmas music' or 'drink hot chocolate' for days we're busy or days I just can't even, versus the days we go out to see lights, make ornaments or cookies, etc.  Now I pile up all the holiday books at the beginning of the month, and dole out the cards for a 'open a Christmas book' activity throughout the calendar.  

At the end of November, the library puts out the displays of holiday books and I grab as many as I can (and maybe throw in a book of my own).

Then I do some investigating on what's new, or what I think the kids would love, and put a bunch on hold for a second round of books (and maybe a Seth McFarlane CD, because I love that dude).

We got a good haul this year and I must say that both kids are entertained by Little Red Gliding Hood.  And I must give a shout out to my favorite kid Christmas book that we own: Minerva Louise on Christmas Eve is just adorable, funny and sweet.

So if the idea of a wrapped book every day in December is a new and cool idea to you, give it a go next year!  And know that if it's a bit too difficult to accomplish, the kids still love getting surprises, however they arrive.


  1. At the Greenwood Branch, the SPL has books already wrapped for kids labeled with a general description ("YA mystery" "very young child" etc.) that you can open as a present and then return when you're done reading.