Advent Shadowbox 2012: An Introduction


Get Ready!
Our ADVENT SHADOWBOX 2012 project starts TOMORROW!

So what is it? An Advent Calendar is a staple in our house. Last year, I came up with a new way to display our daily activity for the kids: The Advent Shadowbox. Each day in Advent, I post a message in a shadowbox picture frame with an easy-open magnetic lid. I usually create an animated photograph to post the day’s TBD.  And, sometimes, I place the materials we need for the activity[pencils, ornaments, popped corn, movie tickets] inside or around the Shadowbox. [See last year’s Feed the Birds post for a bird-seed filled display].

20121130-083726.jpgBut how do I organize all of this fun and excitment?  I’ve gotten it down to a science. One Sunday morning in November, I print out a December calendar and have a look at all of our commitments. Then, I create 7 “themes” for the seven days of the week in order to organize our Advent activities. We ALWAYS have a “Giving Day,” for example, a day on which we make a donation to a charitable organization. And there’s usually both a “Writing Day” and a “Baking” or “Crafts” day on the list. We’re also fans of the “Friday Night Family Film Festival.” [See our Kids’ Movie Reviews post for a printable movie-review sheet for kids.] Then, I come up with an activity that suits the theme and pencil it in. Usually, I keep a list of recipes and activities I want to try or that I’ve come up with on my phone, and this is certainly one of the times in the year in which that “wish” list gets the most use.  Although, most often, I come up with ideas on the fly based upon my super-imposed theme.

This year’s theme days are as follows:
Saturdays are “Party Days” on which we bake, can or create.
Sundays are “Shakespeare Days.” We’ll be reading and illustrating a play.
Mondays are “Giving Days.”  We’ll learn about charitable organizations and make donations.
Tuesdays are “Writing Days” on which we correspond with family and friends…and Santa.
Wednesdays are “Improv Days” on which we write music and perform dramatic scenes, with the exception of the kids’ Christmas-Concert day, on which we will “improvise” a pizza.
Thursdays are “Arts and Crafts Days.”
Fridays are “Holiday Film Fest Days.” 

The fun begins TOMORROW Saturday, December 1, 2012!
While you’re waiting, you can have a look at last year’s adventures.

Advent Calendar 2011: A Shadowbox Spectacular: An Introduction to the Project
Advent Shadowbox: Day 1, Baking Cookies: Test-Cookies for Santa’s Plate – Chewy Chocolate Chip Toffee Bit
Advent Shadowbox: Day 2, Daily Bread Food Bank: Our first “Giving Day,” Making Contributions to the Daily Bread Food Bank in two ways.
Advent Shadowbox: Day 3, Letter to a Friend: Write a letter to a friend.
Advent Shadowbox: Day 4, A Birdseed Wreath: Feed the Birds! A DIY Birdseed Wreath.
Advent Shadowbox: Day 5, Gratitude Ornaments: Making glass ornaments with strips of paper detailing our “grateful for’s.”
Advent Shadowbox: Day 6, Pancakes, Syrup, and a Classic Film: Traditional Friday Pancakes and a screening of A Night at the Opera
Advent Shadowbox: Day 7, Tree Trimming Party: Today’s the day for our tree-trimming party! A free Christmas Printable to the rescue…
Handmade Holidays: Favourite Photo Ornaments: Our annual photo ornaments made easy
Advent Shadowbox: Day 8, Gingerbread House: We used a german stamp and m&m’s to announce our activities today – reading Dahl’s version of “Hansel and Gretel” and constructing and decorating a gingerbread house!
Advent Shadowbox: Day 9, St. Vincent de Paul Baskets: Bringing Gift Cards for the Family Christmas Baskets at School.
Advent Shadowbox: Day 10, Kids’ Newspapers: Making “a-year-in-the-life” newspapers with the kids’ top ten lists, comic strips, advertisements and “special interest” stories.
Advent Shadowbox: Day 11, Imagining Santa’s Workshop: Using Jean de Brunhoff’s Babar books as inspiration, the kids draw their own pictures of Santa’s Workshop.
Advent Shadowbox: Day 12, Afternoon Sundae Bar: Chopping Peppermint Candies and Loading them onto Ice Cream Sundaes!
Advent Shadowbox: Day 13, Movie, Lego, Mindfulness: Asking the children to identify “The Christmas Spirit” during their movie date and lego-building contest.
Advent Shadowbox: Day 14, Salt Dough Ornaments: Making ornaments out from 3 basic ingredients: Water, Flour, and Salt.
Advent Shadowbox: Day 15, “Christmassify” Your Jars, or Glam Cans Lab 2: Applying canning labels to all of the jams, jellies, and preserves we made during our Summer of Funner and decorating the cans to give as teacher gifts.
Advent Shadowbox: Day 16, Have a Tree Planted: Via we will donate to Trees Ontario in memory of the loved ones we have lost.
Advent Shadowbox: Day 17, Christmas Crack-ups: Writing Festive Knock-Knock Jokes.
Advent Shadowbox: Day 18, Make Clove Oranges: We plunge cloves into oranges in festive patterns and letter shapes!
Advent Shadowbox: Day 19, Rudolph Festival (Design Your Own “Misfit Toy“): The kids watch Rudolph, eat snacks, and brainstorm and draw their own “Misfit Toys.”
Advent Shadowbox: Day 20, Festive After-School Spa: Santa Beards, Elf-Hairdos, Christmas Tattoos, the works!
Advent Shadowbox: Day 21, Carol Hootenanny: Write and Perform Christmas Carols!
Advent Shadowbox: Day 22, Trim Another Tree: Decorate the tree at the Grandparents’ House!
Advent Shadowbox: Day 23, Library-in-a-Box for Haiti via Send a “Library in a Box” to children in Haiti via
Advent Shadowbox: Day 24, Carols to and from the Concert: Sing Christmas Carols to and from this afternoon’s Christmas Concert.
Handmade Holidays: Great Lakes Handkerchiefs: DIY Embroidered Handkerchiefs.
Advent Shadowbox: Day 25, Elvis Dog and Reindeer Cookies: Making Biscuits to lure the Reindeer and to keep the dog quiet once they get here.
Handmade Holidays: Bookplates for Children: How to make your own bookplates for the kids’ books.
Advent Shadowbox: Day 26, Santa Baby Cookies: A favourite recipe.
Homebaked Holidays: Buche de Noel : An easy recipe for a Christmas favourite.
Advent Shadowbox: Day 27, Allons au cinema: We go to see the new (excellent) Tintin movie.
Advent Shadowbox: Christmas Eve Checklist : Cookie baking, Feasting, and more….
Advent Shadowbox: Merry Christmas

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3 Responses to Advent Shadowbox 2012: An Introduction

  1. Nathalie Foy November 30, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    Roseanne, you are the bomb. I am borrowing ideas…. I love, love, love the day of giving.

  2. Roseanne Carrara November 30, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

    I can’t wait to hear how your book calendar: goes over!!!!!


  1. Advent Calendar Ideas | 4 Mothers - December 4, 2012

    […] Giving.  I got this theme from the wonderful Roseanne.  Check out her blog for her Advent Calendar activities. […]