12 Days to Christmas: Help Animals With This Christmas Countdown Calendar
During the season of giving and compassion, it’s important that we teach our kids to be kind—not just to other humans but to animals, too! That’s why this animal-friendly “Countdown to Christmas” calendar is perfect to help get the whole family active for animals.
While you may already have a vegan advent calendar filled with treats, sayings, or trinkets, this calendar is focused on showing kindness to all. So use it in addition to or in lieu of a traditional advent calendar and count down to Christmas compassionately by encouraging the whole family to act selflessly and help animals.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get crafty!
- Construction paper in red, green, blue, and yellow
- Markers or crayons
- Glue stick
- Pencil (optional)
- Pen or fine black marker
- Draw the outline of a tree, and draw 12 circles on it.
- Cut out your tree and the 12 circles.
- Glue your tree to the red (or blue) piece of paper.
- Write each day’s activity on the paper that you just glued your tree onto—where the tree has openings:
- Day 12: While Santa visits SeaWorld, write a letter to him asking for freedom for the orcas.
- Day 11: Make an insect rescue kit.
- Day 10: Take your animal companion for an extra-long walk. (If you don’t have one, offer to walk a neighbor’s dog or visit an animal shelter instead.)
- Day 9: Make an “it” jar to show people that animals are someone, not something.
- Day 8: Donate vegan canned food to your local food bank.
- Day 7: Make some vegan holiday treats to share with friends.
- Day 6: Print some animal-friendly PETA Kids bookmarks and leave them at your local library.
- Day 5: Grab some gloves and trash bags and spend 15 minutes picking up trash in your neighborhood.
- Day 4: Gather any clothes in your home made of leather, fur, wool, or down and donate them to your local homeless shelter or secondhand store.
- Day 3: Print and color or decorate the “All Animals Deserve Peace on Earth” coloring sheet.
- Day 2: Read an animal-friendly Christmas book. (We love these animal-friendly books!)
- Day 1: Watch an animal-friendly movie.
- Depending on which paper you’ve already used (red or blue), use the remaining one to cut out 11 circles to cover the openings on the tree. (Make sure these circles are bigger than the openings on the tree so that each one can be properly covered.)
- Draw and cut out a yellow star big enough to cover the top circle.
- Write a number (2 through 12) on each circle, and write a “1” on the star.
- Either glue or tape the top part of each circle and the star to the tree to hide the writing for each day, making a flap.
- Decorate your tree using colored markers or crayons! (You can even get your kids to help with this part, since each day’s surprise is now covered.)
- Hang the calendar on your fridge, over your fireplace, in your kiddo’s room, or wherever makes the most sense for your family.
Already have a calendar that you want to reuse? Or maybe you saw a super-cute DIY one that you just have to try? No problem! Change the look and keep the message—and pick and choose what activity you do on what day, depending on your family’s availability and schedule.