Alternative Art Gallery Advent Calendar

The countdown to Christmas has begun!

This holiday season is pretty exciting in my household. My son is 3 years old and is finally old enough to enjoy Christmas activities, learn Christmas carols and make crafts. I’m starting a bunch of new holiday traditions with him this year, and one of the more important traditions we started is an advent calendar to help him countdown to Christmas day and Santa’s arrival.

Since my son is allergic to dairy, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts, almost all of the store bought chocolate advent calendars are off limits, so it was up to me to get creative. I didn’t want the advent calendar to be food related, and also I didn’t want to fill our house with new tchotchkes and tinker toys. I was watching him draw one day when the idea finally came to me: we could countdown to Christmas with a daily drawing or art project!

I found the perfect garland with numbered stockings on clothing pins from the dollar store, which helped make this project super easy. If your dollar store doesn’t carry this type of garland, or you want to make something more elaborate, it can easily be replicated with some pretty ribbon, 24 clothing pins and a hot glue gun to keep the pins in place. Every day after breakfast I give my son a small page to decorate any way that he wants to, using anything that we have in our art supplies. Some days he works independently, and other days I sit with him and do more elaborate crafts.

I’m looking forward to Christmas Day, when we’ll have a gallery of his artwork up on the wall!