This isn’t your average advent calendar…this is a SMART advent calendar! This calendar will get little ones excited about the upcoming holiday but also entertain them with an activity. Learning Resources offers free printables that can be placed into each cup and we also created a Holiday Crafts and Activities board on our Pinterest.

What you’ll need:  

  • 24- foam cups (I used 16oz, but you can use whatever size you’d like) 
  • 1- large foam board to hold the calendar (20”x28”)  
  • 1- yellow piece of construction paper for the star  
  • 4- green pieces of construction paper for the cup date covers  
  • 1-  piece of brown construction paper for the base of the tree number covers (I used a brown paper bag)  
  • hot glue gun & extra glue sticks  
  • Colored markers for numbering and adding “lights”  
  • Using a cup as your guide, trace out the shape of the tree onto the Foam board.  

You will need to have your circles be in the following order from the bottom:  

3  > 6 > 5 > 4 > 3 > 2 > 1 

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Then, using the glue gun, glue all of the cups onto the foam board  

Then, using an extra cup, trace out 21 green circles for the tree and 3 brown circles for the base of the tree.  

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Label the green ones 1-21 and the brown ones 22-24- I also used some colored markers to add the look of lights to each of the parts of the tree.  

Next, you will want to choose the activities that you want to place in each cup.  

I used a combination of blogs, Pinterest ideas and extra special days, like:  

Then, I used gift labels, but you can write the activities on paper, or print a list (you can use word and make them about the size of address labels) to put into each cup.  

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Once each cup has an activity, you will begin to place the numbers on top of the cups. I started from the base, with the last cup being number 24 then I counted backward to the top.  

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Once completed, we used yellow construction paper to cut out a star and place at the top. 

Here is the completed advent calendar ! 

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Starting on Dec 1, you can have your child punch out the date to reveal the activity for the day!  

Pin this activity!