I’ve been looking for a modern advent calendar that fits our minimalist style, and I ended up just making one! This easy-to-DIY modern Christmas countdown has a small footprint and easily blends into our home aesthetic.
Since we have 2 young children, I wanted our modern advent calendar to be faith-centered, versatile, and educational.
You can make the Christmas countdown as simple or creative as you’d like and put anything you want in it!
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Goals for our modern advent calendar
Same as last year, I wanted a modern advent calendar that met the following criteria:
- Fun for kids
- Recycled or reusable materials
- Encourage literacy
- Doesn’t take up much space
- No nails (we have no wall space!)
- Minimalist design (we aren’t really into the ornate, old-fashioned style of most advent calendars)
- Involve all 3 of our family’s languages (English, Chinese, Korean)
Last year’s Modern Christmas Advent Countdown with 25 Colorful Envelopes was a fun family project, but I don’t know how durable it will be over the years.
I also got feedback from parents that they only have time for low-prep activities, so I’m hoping this Christmas countdown can help more families!
Inspiration for this year’s new modern advent calendar came from our Montessori Korean Alphabet Phonics Boxes. I knew the 25-drawer box would be perfect for counting down to Christmas year-after-year!
Minimalist Modern Advent Calendar for Christmas Countdown: What you need
- Multi-drawer storage cabinet
- Free printable bible verses inspired by this Preschool Devotions book:
*Pinyin/Zhuyin and Korean versions pending
How to make glittery numbers
- Write each number with a marker of your choice
- If you want to create texture, such as for young children who are learning about numbers, trace each number with puffy paint or glitter glue and let dry.
With a Cricut machine
- With a Cricut maker machine, cut the numbers from glitter paper so that each number has texture.
- Affix each number letter to the box with glue stick
- To create a control, create a second set of numbers.
- Glue second set of numbers to the back of each space so that child can independently match each number. This will help the child know where to put back each box.
Here’s a look at the back of each space which has numbers that match the corresponding advent drawers.
Math and number teaching ideas
Since my younger child is 3 years old and learning how to count, I wanted to use the modern advent calendar to teach numbers.
For older kids, the alternating colors are a great way to teach even and odd numbers. Since there are 5 rows of fives, you can also teach skip-counting, adding 5, and multiples of 5.
For bilingual and multilingual families, which language should I teach numbers?
Although my children speak 3 languages, I decided to go with Arabic numerals (eg, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc) because these are the most commonly used digits.
However, we generally follow the one person, one language method, and Arabic numerals are used in all 3 languages.
To review Chinese and Korean number words, we are also doing our annual Paper Chain Snowman Christmas Countdown (free printable).
What to put inside the advent calendar boxes for Christmas countdown
Some fun and festive ideas that you can include in your advent calendar include:
- Bible verses
- “Tickets” or “coupons” to fun Christmas crafts and activities for each day of the month
- Stickers, mini toys (eg, Lego figurines, microcars), beads, cute erasers
- Cash (coins, dollar bills)
- Jokes or riddles
- Personalized greetings or prayers
Since our family is Christian, and we want our children to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, we started a tradition of writing bible verses for our advent calendar.
This year, my 6-year-old daughter is much more confident about writing. She enjoys copywork for writing practice, and she copied bible verses in English for 20 of the advent boxes! We are going to print the rest of the bible verses due to lack of time.
I’m still brainstorming what else to include in each advent calendar box. To encourage the minority language, I’m thinking about writing a message in Chinese to surprise my children with a sweet note. My kids especially love to read personalize notes!
I’d also like use the modern advent calendar to teach my son how to count up to 25, so I’m thinking about putting car stickers or pennies so that we can count them each day!
Did you make this modern advent calendar box for Christmas countdown? What will you put in each box?
If you DIY your advent calendar, please let us know in the comments below! We’d love to be inspired by your December advent plans!
Holiday shopping guide for kids
If you’re shopping for holiday gifts, check out our educational gift guides!
- 5 Reasons Books are the Best Gift for Multilingual Kids
- Favorite Educational Montessori Inspired Toys from Etsy
- Ultimate Gift Guide for Kids Learning Chinese!
- 10 Best Toys For Children That Promote Creativity and Learning
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