Kids Eco Advent Calendar
Seasons Greetings! And Warm Festive Tidings!
Welcome to the Earth Cadets Education Kids Eco Advent Calendar!
I designed this Kids Eco Advent Calendar for my son to enjoy but thought I would share it on my blog.
Feel free to do all the suggestions for each day, or just one, or tailor your own for your child perhaps based on the ideas within the boxes.
Catch up with the calendar on days where you have more spare time. Or perhaps bookmark it or pin it on Pinterest for next year!
A virtual calendar is a novelty as there are no sweets!
But that also means its Eco as there is no packaging and unnecessary plastic waste!
However, there are 24 exciting activities for the month of December.
Kids Eco Advent Calendar
Please Note: The calendar contains a few religious references such as the Three Wise Men, the Christmas story, St Nicholas and Yule.
Happy Tree Dressing Day!
This celebration is a very old global custom. It's a day to appreciate your local trees and to say thank-you for keeping our air clean and providing shelter for lots of species. Today compose a poem or short speech of thanks to one of your local trees, or even better dedicate it to a special, favourite tree. Acknowledge everything the tree does for the planet within your poem. A traditional activity is to tie colourful strips of cloth or ribbon to tree branches. If you have a tree in your garden or close by your home, you could colour a long strip of recyclable paper, and tie this around your favourite tree as a gift. If you have any bird seed then scatter some under the tree to feed the tree's visitors.
In our home today is the day we dress our Christmas tree.
To extend the tree theme for today, learn about another festive tree: The Jesse tree.
Meet Santa's reindeer dog!
This amazing dog helps look after Santa's reindeer. Youtube Santa television channel
Now learn how to sketch a cute Christmas puppy with this art tutorial
International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer was ridiculed because he was different. He had a red nose that glowed! However this proved to be a beneficial difference as he lit up Santas way in the dark. Listen to the orginal Rudolph The Rednosed Reindeer song sung by Gene Autry and fill out the music response sheet
For a photography challenge go on a search for something bright red to photograph preferably outside and festive. If your lucky you might find some holly berries or even a red postbox, snap a selfie of yourself posting Xmas cards or even a letter to Santa!
World Wildlife Conservation Day
Animal habitats and the planet can be helped by choosing green travelYour family decides to visit the home of Santa Claus which is either the North pole or Lapland. Plan a green route from your home to Santas! Will you choose air,sea, underground,land? Combination? Hot air balloon, submarine?Or a new way that you invent? Describe the route your family will take, the transport and the fuel needed,considerations you need to think about while traveling, and why your green transport will help save the environment?
Today is St Nicholas eve or Sinterklaas
(In the Netherlands)
but it's fun to celebrate even if we are in a different part of the world
Learn all about St Nicholas
Place a carrot in your shoe this evening, leave it by your door or window and in the morning a small treat might appear! Common treats are gold chocolate coins!
St Nicholas was born in Turkey. Find out about the wildlife of Turkey. Are the species similar to your local wildlife or are there differences?
St Nicholas Day.
Letters to children from St Nicholas is a big part of St Nicholas day. But today write a letter of thanks for your parents and detail what you are thankful for. Fold your note up and present it to your parents as a lovely gift! Another idea is to compose a letter of thanks to the earth
Today learn about snowmen, snow and ice
Next learn how to draw a cool snowman Some great tunes to listen to Frosty the Snowman by Jimmy Durante and Bing Crosby's White Christmas Fill out the music response sheet for your favourite tune.
Today read the Christmas story comic
There was a spider in the barn when Jesus was born. Write a short story (can be just a paragraph) about 'what the Spider saw' detailing the Christmas Story events from the Spiders viewpoint. It can be as comical or as serious as you'd like! The wise men gave the baby Jesus presents. Find out here about frankensence and myrrh and gold Learn about the wise men and find out why we give Christmas presents
Today learn all about a Christmas flower known as the Poinsettia
Try one or both of these activities: Poinsettia paper flower tree decoration tutorial and
Draw a poinsettia tutorial with Kids Art Hub. A bunch of paper poinsettias with pipe cleaner stems, or a colourful poinsettia drawing would make a brillant Xmas gift for a loved one.
For a photography challenge snap a picture of either your friends or family's poinsettia plant or one for sale at the supermarket.
Write a creative short story about the adventure of a poinsettia plant, perhaps starring the one you photographed.
International Animal Rights Day
A turkey transport truck drives past your house on the way to a farm. Somehow a surprised turkey falls out of the truck, and makes its way waddling into your garden.
Your shocked and delighted to see the turkey as you'd written a letter to Santa asking for an animal companion despite your parents saying no to pets.
You ensure the turkey is snug and happy in the garden shed and get to work thinking up a plan to convince your parents that your new friend the turkey could become your family's beloved companion.
Carry out some research into turkeys: their dietary requirements, habitat/living arrangements and care needs.
How popular are turkeys as animal companions?
Prepare an information fact file for your parents that will convince them that turkeys are your friends!
Some websites to get you started: Pets4homes and petslady.com and all about the wild turkey.
International Mountain Day.
'Mountains Matter For Youth' is the theme of this special day. Today learn about the mountain in Kyrgyzstan that was named 'Santa Claus mountain!' It's where Santa is believed to begin his journey around the world on Christmas eve. Read this song about Santa Claus mountain and then using your choice of art materials illustrate a picture to go along with the song.
Gingerbread house day!(US)
Today is the perfect day to bake some festive plant-based based gingerbread men or cookies. Or this recipe if you'd prefer ordinary cookies. You could use a skewer and poke a hole through the top of each biscuit before baking, and then string them on to your Xmas tree as edible decorations.
Read the story of Hansel and Gretel.
Write a short, creative paragraph from the old lady/witch's perspective of how she felt when stranger kids began eating her house!
Draw a picture illustrating the witch's cottage but instead of sweets and gingerbread materials, use edible plants to create a whole food, plant-based witches cottage! Include fruits, vegetables,beans, grains, wholemeal bread,lentils, seeds and nuts for the design! Check out this kids guide to vegan nutrition
Xmas Jumper Day!
You are the boss of a save the reindeer charity. Design a Xmas jumper that raises awareness of the reindeers plight. If you own a Xmas jumper don't forget to show it of today!
International Monkey Day
Santa's elves unexpectedly come down with elf-flu! Santa recruits a band of monkeys to take their place and make Xmas toys! Write a short story about what happens with the mischievous monkeys and Santa's workshop! Which type of monkey will feature in your story?
International Tea Day
Today learn about Fairtrade tea, watch some fairtrade educationalvideos and play the tea farmer game
Invent a new festive flavoured tea tea that Santa would enjoy with the rest of the clan back at the North Pole.
Think up festive ingredients and compile a list.
If possible brew your new tea and have a Xmas poetry tea time.
Chai tea makes a lovely drink for the festive period.
Find an easy recipe for child friendly apple chai tea here
Today follow along with this kidsarthub tutorial and draw a cute Christmas penguin!
Learn about penguins and find out if any actually live in the North Pole. Compile a fact file for your favorite penguin species
Wright brothers Day!
Today in 1903 the Wright Brothers managed to fly the first airplane that was powered with gasoline.
Present day Santa has decided to give his herd of reindeer's a year off, as they have been working extra hard this past century. Santa has asked if you would be able to research another species that could stand in for the reindeer and fly his sleigh!
Sketch or paint a picture illustrating your chosen animal in action on Christmas Eve. Why would your chosen animal be good at flying Santas sleigh?
Check out this YouTube video video presented by Santa about his reindeer and discover what special food reindeer munch to help them fly!
Today have great fun printing off or making your ownChristmas gift 'cheques'!
This is where you gift an action or your time to your family or friends. For example a gift cheque could promise 'washing up the tea dishes' or 'taking the rubbish to the bin' or 'watering the plants'. Tailor your gift cheques to your recipient and it will likely be the best, most thoughtful gift they will have received. And no money needs to be spent and no waste generated! Good for you, for others and the planet!
It's the week before Christmas and your great aunt invites herself to your family's Xmas dinner!
Your super excited because you hardly ever see your aunt and when you do, something exciting always happens! The only problem is her dietary requirements mean that she is plant-based. So no meat, dairy, fish or eggs are allowed on her dinner plate. Design a plant-based menu that will delight your elusive great aunty. If possible have a go at preparing your menu one day over the festive holiday. If your family is already vegan or plant-based then you can still design an amazing new menu full of foods you haven't tried before or a new dish. To extend your fun write a creative paragraph or two, or a poem, about when your great, eccentric, plant eating aunt came to tea! Useful websites are noracooks.com and traditionalplantbasedcooking.com and onegreenplanet.org
International Human Solidarity Day
Today is a day for humans to think about joining forces to tackle some of the worlds issues together. Think up a Xmas present for the planet, a present that all humans together can jointly give to the earth on Xmas day. Describe the special gift and why do you think the planet will love it?
Today is the Winter Solstice/ or Yule.
Learn about the history and purpose of the Yule Log
Learn about ways tocelebrate Yule with kids.
Create your own Yule log centrepiece/decoration, you don't have to burn it! You could always collect small sticks and tie them together with ribbon/twine/wool and add other fallen greenery/nature items. Little mini stick/yule bundles would make lovely Christmas tree decorations.
Learn how to sketch a Yule log with this drawing tutorial If you'd prefer an edible Yule log then check out this amazing recipe Yule log cake I can't wait to try the Yule log my son bakes! If you bake a Yule log cake, post a picture of it onto the earth cadets education Facebook group I would love to see it!
Today learn about the 12 birds of Christmas the 12 days of Xmas and prepare some bird seed cakes as Xmas gifts for your local birds. You can be the bird's Santa!
Today learn about Xmas in Norway and find out why Norway gives the UK a Xmas tree each year.
Enjoy a Norwegian Mouse song/poem and make a Norwegian Xmas tree basket decoration Continue the fun and bake up some traditional Norwegian hole-cakes!
It's Christmas eve!!!
Xmas Troop Truce!
On December 24th, 1914 British and German troops had a cease fire for Xmas's sake. Watch this video clip and try some of the activities, especially the one designing tins of presents to give to the troops in the trenches. Imagine you are in a trench during Xmas what gifts would you like to receive? Sketch a picture of your little tin with illustrations and labels describing what is in the tin and why you've included the item. If you'd like an extra challenge, write a letter, from the perspective of a troop in the trench, for a loved one back home.
Don't forget to leave out Santa's treats and a carrot for Rudolph and the rest of the reindeer. Follow the link to learn about the reindeers personalities and see which reindeer you are most like!
And most importantly don't forget to track Santa's journey around the world with NORAD!
Hope you all have a Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year! Best wishes from Earth Cadets Education! See you all next year for more planet, people and plant-based learning fun!
Christmas stories, reading and educational ideas…and cosiness…don’t forget to add some hot cocoa and Christmas nibbles!
We will be enjoying 24 Christmas stories throughout Advent, though possibly more than 24 as we love reading and listening to stories.
I have found a selection from Project Gutenberg which can be downloaded or read online for free.
I love the language used in old, traditional stories, its proper soul food! Old books can open up the opportunity to discuss topics such as gender equality, stereotypes and values. Also how cultural ideas and language use changes throughout history. As well as lots of other topics discovered along the way.
A good idea is to keep a special Christmas vocabulary writing pad nearby when reading, and whenever a new word comes up that your child doesn’t know they could write it down.
The pad could be alphabetised with each page having its own letter. Look each new word up in the dictionary or google it!
My son will probably ask his Amazon Alexa device! Though, usually I ask him to try figure out the meaning of the word using the context of the sentence.
If you’d like to add dictation and copy-work then just choose a passage from any of the books, and then you can either read it out loud for your child to copy or your child can read and write down the passage.
Maybe your child could research one of the authors, perhaps Charles Dickens, Clement Clarke Moore , Hans Christian Andersen, or L. Frank Baum, and create an information/biography page or power-point.
Any of these ideas can be as simple or complex as you’d like. Just tailor for your child’s individual interests.
Doing these activities covers reading, spelling, vocabulary, research and writing whilst having Christmas fun!
Christmas Reading List:
There are selections of books suitable for all ages. Just precheck each book for its suitability for your child :
The Children’s Book of Christmas Stories Editors Asa Don Dickinson and Ada M.Skinner 35 stories by various authors
The Night Before Christmas and Other Popular Stories for Children by Various (includes The Night After Christmas)
Christmas entertainments by Alice Maude Kellogg Traditional Christmas entertainment ideas! Activities can be easily adapted to suit your child and family. Short plays, songs with actions, recitations, dances, etc. Book states for children age 5-15
Kids Eco Advent Calendar
Educational and fun resources:
The Institution of Science and Engineering’s festive 2019 video featuring Steve Backshall reading a story about Santa and how Science, engineering, technology and maths save Xmas! Not to be missed! Also check out the Santa Loves STEM activity sheet which includes a hot chocolate science experiment and poster competition. Also the STEM toys of Christmas guide which has festive science activities.
Meet Santa’s STEM children! From the Institution of Science and Engineering.
NORAD tracks Santa opens on December the 1st, 2019! We love tracking Santa’s journey across the world on Xmas eve!
WhyChristmas.com an amazing website where you can learn everything and anything about the festive season
Santa letters address from the Royal Mail my son sends a letter every year and receives a letter in return
Get out and about for some field work by accessing these biology lesson plans about the Holly leaf minor, which is a small fly that hatches its eggs in the holly leaf. Perfect for GCSE level, but can be adapted.
Download a free Christmas maths booklet on the TES website
Who Killed Santa free maths mystery on the TES website
Geography Santa Quiz free to download on the TES website
Christmas Chromatography! Create a coffee filter string garland using science!
20 Christmas Science experiments from Science-Sparks.com
Christmas budgeting lesson states for 9-12 year old, but could be adapted for older or younger kids. Another fun budgeting challenge is to give your child £3 and challenge them to find a great gift for a family member from a charity/thrift shop/store. If you have several kids then you could all do a Secret Santa charity shop challenge.
Collection of Christmas Poems from the Poetryfoundation.org perfect for Christmas poetry afternoon teatime
Collection of Christmas poems, songs, prayers and stories for kids from dltk-holidays.com many have associated crafts and colouring pages
For kids and parents who are up for a challenge, check out this list of 10 festive origami projects which includes Christmas crackers, trees and various stars