Newsletter #13 : A Christmas Advent Calendar

[This is a back-issue of this website’s newsletter]
Well, I managed to do it.

As I mentioned in my last email, I planned to make an Advent Calendar for people to download and make. This meant (thinking of and) drawing 25 Christmassy clip-arty icons, and a big picture to hide them all behind. Since I’m more mathematically than artistically inclined, I dodn’t expect it to be easy. In fact, I nearly gave up the project after several failed attempts on the very first icon.

However, perseverance breeds success, so now, the promised Advent Calendar is available online!

You can get it at – alternatively, if you have to type the URL, try

If you aren’t familiar with Advent Calendars, they typically show a nice picture, with numbered windows from 1 to 25. The child opens one window on each day of December, and behind each window will be some Christmassy picture. Some Advent Calendars use pockets instead of windows, and each pocket might contain some small treat. I remember very fondly the Advent Calendar my parents got one year… all glittery in silver and red…

Young kids are looking forward to Christmas anyway, so an Advent Calendar is a good way for them to learn about counting or calendars – as well as fending off questions like “Is it Christmas tomorrow??”

At you will find instructions how to print and make your own Advent Calendars. There are downloads for the pictures (both the windows, and the hidden icons) and instructions on assembling it all.

In case you don’t have a good color printer,
* Soon, I’ll upload a black-and-white version, suitable for coloring in.
* I’ll also upload a version with each picture split over two pages, so that you can make a larger calendar using only normal-sized paper.
* In case none of these ideas help, There are links to a site where you can purchase professionally printed versions of the pictures. You’ll still need to assemble the calendar yourself, but at least it will be professionally printed (at a cost of about US$20-$30 ).

Of course, the versions you download and print yourself are as free as everything else on the site.

Anyway, in case I don’t put any new games on the site next month, have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Yours, Michael Hartley…
Dr Mike’s Math Games for Kids