Christmas is coming! This year has FLOWN by, and I cannot believe that we are already planning the Christmas season. Every year, my boys look at the advent calendars in the LEGO catalog. It has never been in the budget to buy them, especially since I’d have to buy three (and soon four!). The advantages of the advent calendars that you can buy from LEGO are that they require no prep work, and they come with some exclusive figures and pieces. The downside is the cost – $30 for the City calendar and $40 for the Star Wars one.
Here are some ideas for using LEGO to countdown to Christmas without breaking the bank!
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Calendar #1: Gingerbread Path Countdown
Move Santa (or whatever figure you choose) down the path – one square each day. When he reaches the house, it’s time for Christmas! What I love about this calendar is that it’s easy for kids to see at a glance how much time is left until Christmas. And building it is such a fun family project – might be a good activity for Thanksgiving weekend!
For this calendar, we purchased:
- A Santa keychain ($5 at the Legoland Discovery Center’s Lego Store)
- Brown bricks (from the brick wall at our local Legoland’s Lego Store)
- Light green 2 x 4 flat bricks for the path
- Green and red 2 x 2 bricks for the date markers
We borrowed a few trees and a few circles (the ones on the roof) from my parents’ house (our childhood collection). Everything else we already owned.
I used mailing labels for the date markers.
Here’s a close up of the house:
Aidan built this Christmas tree. The center of the tree is a special 1 x 1 brick that has studs on all sides.
It would be fun to make this calendar a tradition and build a different gingerbread house and path layout each year!
Calendar #2: Decorate the Christmas Tree
This calendar is simple – add an ornament to the tree each day. Add a star on top on December 25th! Or make the star the 24th, if that works better.
We put the ornaments in a cute Christmas bowl – all ready to start decorating on December 1st! (My boys decided that we’re doing both calendars this year!)
I built the tree myself out of green bricks with a brown trunk. There is a 4 x 10 green flat brick at the bottom of the branches holding it all together. Here’s what it looks like undecorated:
Calendar #3: DIY Build-a-Set Countdown
I love this idea from Savor the Days to use a new LEGO set to create an advent calendar. You can spend what YOU what to spend. Read about how she did it here: LEGO Advent Calendar.
LEGO Advent Calendars
If you’re only doing this for one or two children, the LEGO advent calendars do come with some cool pieces! The Amazon listing shows exactly what’s included with the City Calendar or the Star Wars Calendar.