Christmas Countdown Ideas: Punchable Homemade Advent Calendar

Christmas Countdown Ideas: Punchable Homemade Advent Calendar

I simply LOVE this homemade countdown calendar! You can fill the cups with a list of Advent items (see below) or chocolate or other trinkets. Each day your child can punch through the cup to reveal what is waiting inside. I made this for my son when he was 7 years old and it was the perfect countdown calendar for him…full of ninja moves, sweets, and Jesus…what more could you ask for?

I am pretty sure he would still go nuts for it now, but at age 13, with the skills of a 3rd degree black belt, I wonder if he would end up accidentally punching through the wall! You never know.

Christmas Countdown Ideas: Punchable Homemade Advent Calendar

Materials needed:

  • 25 eight-ounce styrofoam cups
  • an assortment of candy or other goodies
  • a sheet of poster board
  • a glue stick
  • a hot glue gun
  • number templates (click to download)


1. Print and cut out the circles from the number templates (click to download).

2. Section off twenty-five 4″ x 4″ squares on your poster board. Five across and five down.

3. Fill each of the 25 cups with Advent items, chocolate, candy, or other trinkets. Nothing too heavy, though.

4. Using a regular glue stick, attach the paper circles to the cup openings.

5. Using the hot glue gun, attach the bottom of the cups to the poster board, using the 4″ x 4″ squares as a guide. Make sure you attach the cup to the poster board immediately…hot glue dries very quickly.

Christmas Countdown Ideas: Punchable Homemade Advent Calendar

What I did when my son was 7:
I sealed 3 miniature chocolates into the cup. At the end of each day he practiced his TaeKwonDo moves on the cup of the day, and we ate the chocolates (one for each of us). Next I give him the Advent item to place back into the open cup as I read Scripture and explained how the item signifies the life of Jesus. It is really nice to view the rows of open cups containing items that remind us of our Lord.

Advent Items:

Download Scripture and instructions to go along.

  1. Quarter
  2. Grape candy
  3. Smiley sticker
  4. Toy fish
  5. Birthday candle
  6. Bell
  7. Fish crackers
  8. Cotton ball
  9. Piece of a map
  10. Soap
  11. Heart sticker
  12. Cross
  13. Packet of salt
  14. Sand
  15. Flower
  16. Raisins
  17. Seeds
  18. Christmas carol
  19. Rock
  20. Crumpled foil
  21. Mustard seed
  22. Dove (toy or photo)
  23. Small scrap of woolly material
  24. Blue marble
  25. Picture of a baby

Download Scripture and instructions to go along with the items above.

*This post was originally published on my blog back in 2008.

*Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links.

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