Does your family have a Christmas advent calendar tradition? When I was a kid I used to think opening a little paper door on a decorated piece of cardboard was exciting. And I never even got a piece of chocolate to go with a teeny-tiny surprise picture! But judging by Pinterest, those cardboard advent calendars just don't cut it anymore! Families are getting super fancy with homemade calendars with tiny little house, or strings of mittens.
And the diy calendars filled with a new activity you are supposed to do with your kids every.single.day in the run up to Christmas? Do I want to do that? And even though I love books, do I want to wrap 24 picture books for an advent book calendar?
No, I don't.
I am an old mama and I do not have the energy.
But still! I love advent calendars! What is a festive mom who doesn't like to plan ahead to do?
Then the answer came to me!
It was truly poetic.
Yes, I mean it is literally poetry.
A poetry advent calendar! (Wait! Wait! Stay with me here.) But I knew I needed to make it FUN, because I didn't think my kids wanted to read a Wordsworth poem every morning.
So I did what I always do when I want to make sure my kids like something.
I made it funny. Silly. Totally ridiculous!
I pulled out an embroidered advent calendar my mother made, printed out 23 limericks by the great Edward Lear, plus one surprise poem for the 24th and tied each tiny scroll to the rings on the advent calendar.
I will admit the rolling and ribbon-tying was a little more tedious than I had planned, but I wanted to impress you. I took my photos early. But for the rest of the calendar I just folded the poems in half before tying them on.
Here's why you should make a poetry advent calendar this year for your kids:
- Poetry is awesome, and when you introduce your children to poetry you are boosting their brains
- You can make it at the last minute
- It is free
- Reading poetry with your kids is a bonding experience
- It shares an experience without all the work of an activity-a-day
- There is no candy
- If you choose funny poems, it will make them laugh
- It's different than what all the other kids are doing!
Here's how you can personalize your poetry advent calendar:
Don't have a advent calendar like I have, or pre-made advent calendar "vessel"? Try one of these:
- Place poems in a jar and draw one out each day.
- Place poems in individual envelopes and number 1-24
Don't want to use Edward Lear limericks? Choose your own poems in the following ways:
- Go to the American Academy of Poets: Here is a list of the Christmas poems in their database
- Divide a large poem (such as "A Visit from St. Nicholas" by Clement C. Moore) into 24 parts so by Christmas Eve the poem is completed
- If you want faith-based advent poetry, try these poems.
- Visit your library for Christmas or winter-themed children's poetry. I like the following books: (affiliate links below)
- Santa Clauses: Short Poems from the North Pole by Bob Raczka
- It's Christmas! by Jack Prelutsky
- Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman
MORE: Christmas Poems for Kids
Do you want to use the Edward Lear limericks? I've got a printable for you - making it EVEN EASIER for you! There are 23 Lear limericks plus one surprise Christmas Eve poem. Enter your email in the box below and it will zip right to your inbox.