Family Life


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Reusable advent calendar

Nothing beats the excitement of counting down the days, or minutes, to the big celebration.

Reusable advent calender - reusable advent calendar


  • 1 piece of foamcore board or stiff cardboard, about 20” by 30”
  • 24 painted or decorated clothes pins
  • 24 mini paper bags
  • poster paint
  • white glue
  • seasonal stickers, wrapping paper or old greeting cards (optional)
  • letter and number stencil (optional)


1. Equally space and place 24 decorated clothes pins on the board, leaving room between each to allow the mini bags to lay flat when clipped in place by a pin.

2. Once you have each pin in position, mark and glue one flat side of the clothes pins to the board.

3. Stencil or paint a number from 1 to 24 on the front of each bag and decorate each with a sticker, or a cutout from wrapping paper or old greeting card.

4. Put a secret treasure inside each bag and clip in place on your calendar board. (We put the baggies in numerical order but you can place them randomly around the board to a make the search for each day’s treat more of a challenge.)

5. Pack your calendar safely away – minus the treats of course – after the holidays and use it again next year!


Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, December 2014.

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