How to Make a Fitness Countdown Calendar With Your Kids
Do your kids love counting down to Christmas all month long?
In this article, I’ll show you how—with minimal supplies and investment—you and your kids can create a holiday countdown calendar that will bring the family together, get everyone active and build excitement for the big day.
Why Create a Christmas Fitness Countdown Calendar?
A Christmas fitness countdown calendar will help you get up, get active and have some quick family fun every day this holiday season.
We’re always looking for ways to boost kid’s excitement for the holidays without adding too much stress to ours. The problem is most holiday activities are costly, time-consuming or don’t encourage family interaction. How many Christmas movie marathons do we really need?
The Christmas fitness countdown calendar is a fun, healthy, holiday-themed project that will get the whole family involved and excited for the holidays.
It’s an Advent calendar with a lot less chocolate and a lot more family activities.
It’s also a great way to combat seasonal stress and keep cooped-up kids from going stir crazy during their holiday break.
You may hesitate to add another task to your already-overloaded December to-do list. A Google search of “Christmas stress” generates 109 million results in less than a second, so you’re definitely not alone.
Christmas can make people crazy, yo! Exercise can help.
A majority of those sites recommend that you do some physical exercise as a way to combat the effects of stress. And that’s where the Christmas fitness countdown calendar can help.
It’s an inexpensive, easy way to connect with the entire family this holiday season. You can create it together in as little as 30 minutes and enjoy the benefit of 25 planned fun physical activities to do with your kids throughout the month.
It’s a great way to stay active and excited about the holidays and to burn off some of those holiday treats.
#1: Prep It
Collect the poster board, construction paper (or ribbon) and a pair of scissors. Cut the construction paper into narrow strips. You’ll need to cut at least 10 strips of paper to make a 4-week calendar.
Add a title. It’s simple to write in with markers. You can also create a fun, festive title out of paper with the aid of a Cricut or a skilled hand on the scissors. Titles with alliteration are not necessary, but encouraged.
Lay out the poster board, strips of paper and letters for the title.
Don’t glue it yet. Experiment with the design. Space it out. Trace out the design you want. Try it in portrait or landscape orientation. Sketch your title lightly in pencil if you’ll be writing it. Get a feel for what it will look like. Be sure you have everything laid out and ready before you glue.
#2: Paste It
Once you’ve finalized the design and made sure everything fits, you can start to glue. Begin at the top and work your way down.
Position and paste the title first (or go over your sketches with markers). The size of the calendar squares can be adjusted.
Second, glue the horizontal lines of the calendar. There are only 4 or 5. This makes it easier to fix if you make a mistake.
Now, paste the vertical lines creating each individual day of the week. Remember if you mess up with glue stick you have approximately one minute to pull it up before it’s stuck.
Lastly, add any bling, bedazzlement, ribbon or pretty Pinterest ideas to accentuate the calendar.
When you finished beautifying your calendar, let it dry. Take this time to plan out the activities.
#3: Plan, Pen, Post It
Brainstorm with the kids about fun physical activities your family can do. Jot them down on a piece of paper. Be sure to include everyone’s ideas.
Take turns and pick which activities you’ll include on your calendar. The dogs even made it onto our calendar!
Increase the excitement by correlating the activity to the date’s numerical value. On December 1, do 1 minute of jumping jacks. The next day, schedule 2 laps biking around the pond. On December 3, dance to at least 3 songs. 20 minutes of Flag Tag on December 20. And so on through December 25.
When setting the dates, be sure to coordinate with your existing schedule. Make sure to plan shorter activities on busier days.
Plan special holiday activities on the days leading up to Christmas or when you’ll have family visiting for the big celebration. Sledding, a visit to the ice rink, a snowball fight or Santa’s sleigh ride are great ways to really pump up the excitement.
It’s time to fill in the dates. Check your “real” calendar to put the dates on the correct days of the week.
Next, write in the activities. Let the kids go nuts. Encourage them to include artwork. Have them really make it their own.
Find a spot to hang your calendar. The fridge. The door. The wall. Keep it easily accessible and visible to everyone.
#4: Play It
Let the fun times roll. The 30 minutes of planning creates hours of fun and activity for the whole family.
Dancing is great exercise. Check out this video to learn some dance moves.
Superman rolls are hardcore fun, so get rolling!
The countdown calendar removes the guesswork. Gather the family, check the calendar and get moving.
Some Final Thoughts…
The Christmas fitness countdown calendar is a great way to get the entire family connected and active and to relieve holiday stress. You can create a calendar like this for any major event: birthdays, Valentine’s day, last day of school, etc. Increase anticipation and excitement for your next celebration by creating a fun, themed countdown calendar.
What do you think? What types of activities will your family put on the calendar? Please share what active adventures your family is doing this holiday season. Share photos of your calendar. I’d love to hear from you and see what you create.
All photos are courtesy of Kristine Couchman.
Special Thanks to Kids Adventures and Michael Stelzner