The Best Advent Calendars for Kids

by | Oct 14, 2021 | 0 comments

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I love anticipating Christmas. We use all of December for the lead up and fill it with fun activities so it’s not just one day of holiday fun. One way we do that in our house is with kids advent calendars – we get a special one for each kid, that way they have a gift every day throughout December.

When they were little my mom used to buy them those cheap chocolate calendars that you open every day. While they had fun, we found that they didn’t love the chocolate and it wasn’t as fun as we wanted it to be.

If you know me, you know that it’s my absolute favourite time of year. Giving gifts, holiday spirit, all of it. I hate that it’s all over in one day. By switching to advent calendars that have small gifts we can start the gift giving on December 1st.

It also means my kids aren’t eating as much junk food, which is great when there’s already so many family dinners and we do our holiday baking.

Here in Canada, most “toy” advent calendars are about $40, but I got ours 25% off at Indigo with my Plum card to make them $30 each. I always think of this as part of my Christmas present budget for the kids so it’s not an extra expense.

Popular Toy Advent Calendars for Kids

Advent calendars are a great way to give your kids some small toys before Christmas so they can enjoy playing with them before getting their other gifts. It’s also something that can be enjoyed for a long time and won’t (hopefully) just end up in the landfill.

Mattel Minecraft Mini Figures Advent Calendar

Minecraft Mini Figures

If your kids are obsessed with Minecraft they’re going to love this advent calendar. It has 12 mini figures (the ones that come in those blind boxes) and 12 stickers.

See it on Amazon

PLAYMOBIL Advent Calendar Santas Workshop

Playmobil Advent Calendar

We actually had a similar one to this for my daughter last year. By the time you open all the doors you have an adorable Christmas scene that’s compatible with your other Plamobil toys.

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LEGO Friends Advent Calendar christmas countdown

LEGO Friends Advent Calendar

Every day is a new mini build with this advent calendar. Perfect for adding cute holiday themed items to your LEGO Friends village!

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kids advent calendars That Aren’t Just Chocolate mini brans advent calendar

Mini Brands Advent Calendar

This is the one I got for my 8 year old this year (and maybe grabbed a second one for myself.) Every day you get a new mini brand for your mini mart!

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militar advent calendar

Military Advent Calendar

They’re not the best quality but my kids have some of these army/military guys and they’re actually a lot of fun to play with.

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hot wheels advent calendar

Hot Wheels Advent Calendar

Who doesn’t love Hot Wheels? The 24 surprises include Hot Wheels cars and some accessories. The box itself folds out to be a racetrack too, which is a nice touch.

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POLLY POCKET Advent Calendar Winter Family Fun Theme

Polly Pocket Advent Calendar

With a new surprise each day kids will get to find a total of 34 pieces including people and accessories. There’s even a Christams tree!

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LEGO City Advent Calendar with city mat

LEGO City Advent Calendar

We’ve started getting these for my oldest son every year. Each day there’s a winter/holiday themed minifig or mini build to put together. They make a cute scene and also display nicely.

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Barbie Advent Calendar with Barbie Doll

Barbie Advent Calendar

I think they were pretty creative with this one since it’s tricky to turn Barbie into an advent calendar. On the first day you unwrap the doll and the rest are different accessories that she can wear.

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Squishy Toy Advent Calendar

These little squishy toys are great for older kids and teens who are a bit too big for something to play with. They’re cute, fun to squish, and make great bedroom accessories.

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dinosaur advent calendar

Dinosaur Advent Calendar

My youngest is going through a dinosaur phase right now so I just had to include a dino advent calendar for kids on this list. This set comes with 24 dinosaurs including big ones, smaller ones, fossils, and babies.

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Elf Advent Calendar

Elf Advent Calendar

You can’t have Christmas without Elf! This countdown has all your favourite characters from the movie and some cute Christmas accessories too.

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Mega Construx Pokemon Holiday Advent Calendar

Pokemon Mega Construx Advent Calendar

I gave last year’s version of this calendar to my Pokemon obsessed 13 year old and she absolutely loved it. Each day they get a little Pokemon build or cute themed accessory to assemble.

See it on Amazon

Advent Calendars for Toddlers

Toddlers are notoriously hard to shop for around the holidays. It seems like everything is made for older kids and it’s all a choking hazard. My preference for this age group is DIY or reusable advent calendars, but there are a few out there that are good for the under 3 crowd too.

Elite Holiday Products Advent Calendar Plush Toys

Plush Toy Advent Calendar

Every day toddlers can open up a cute Christmas or winter themed plush toy. Just be cautious about the hooks since they could pose a choking hazard if they break off.

See it on Amazon

Disney Storybook Collection Advent Calendar

Disney Storybook Advent Calendar

You’re never too small for story time! Toddlers will love getting a new Disney themed book read to them each night leading up to Christmas.

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Fisher Price Little People Advent Calendar

Little People Advent Calendar

Little People have always been one of my favourite toddler toys. They’re so cute, spark imagination, durable, and best of all – safe.

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rubber duck advent calendar

Rubber Duck Advent Calendar

These ducks are actually the biggest size, not tiny ones, so toddlers should be fine to play with them. You get 18 winter/Christmas themed ducks and 6 novelty ducks in this set.

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Craft and Activity Advent Calendars for Kids

Pop Fidget Toy fidget advent calendar

Fidget Advent Calendar

I can’t be the only parent whose kids are obsessed with fidgets. This calendar has one each day for them to unbox including a rainbow pop it.

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Advent calendar Beautiful DIY Arts and Crafts Ornaments and Decorations Handmade by your kids

Christmas Arts and Crafts Countdown

It comes with everything you need to do one easy craft each day. Perfect for kids who aren’t really into toys or if you need something to keep them busy during the holiday season.

See it on Amazon

make up advent calendar for kids

Make Up Advent Calendar

Lipstick, nail polish, eyeshadow, blush… Each day your kid will be able to unwrap some kind of beauty accessory. It’s actually really cute and good quality stuff, so you can feel good about letting your kids applying this kid-safe make up.

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twenty four magic tricks advent calendar for kids

24 Magic Tricks

I love this idea, especially for older/middle school aged kids. Each day there’s a new magic trick to learn which means they can spend time practicing before they get their next surprise.

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Advent Calendar with Wooden Brain Teaser Puzzles

Puzzle a Day Advent Calendar

I think kids and adults could enjoy this one. Each day there’s a different brain teaser for them to solve – some are wooden shapes, others rings to separate. They’ll be a pro by Christmas!

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Christmas Craft Kit Advent Calendar for kids

24 Days of Crafts

These crafts are mostly painted which is great for kids who like to let out that artistic side of them. Plus you’ll have cute decorations to hang around the house or on the Christmas tree!

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Slime Advent Calendar

If my kids aren’t making slime they’re spending all their money buying it. Let them open a new mini slime every day so they stop asking for it for a whole month at least.

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Crayola Christmas Countdown Calendar

Crayola Christmas Countdown

I got this one for one of my twins last year and he loved it. Each day is a new Crayola brand product like markers, crayons, paint, and modelling clay. There’s also colouring pages in the back that we totally missed pulling out so make sure you grab those!

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Play Doh Advent Calendar

Kids will slowly unwrap enough Play-Doh to create a snowy winter scene and all kinds of holiday themed creations.

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Reusable Advent Calendars

As a kid I had this homemade advent calendar that my mom sewed. It hung on the wall and every day you’d snap a decoration on the tree. I didn’t get my mom’s crafting skills so I prefer to buy my advent calendar instead – here’s some great options for kids that can be reused year after year.

Refillable Wooden Advent Xmas Gift for Kids

25 Drawer Christmas Countdown

You can fill each day of this 25 drawer countdown with anything you’d like. I would put little gifts, treats, or activities! The best part is you can change it up year after year.

See it on Amazon

Melissa and Doug Countdown to Christmas Wooden Advent Calendar with magnetic ornaments

Magnetic Christmas Tree

Each day kids can add another magnetic ornament to this Christmas tree as they count down to Christmas. Perfect for younger kids!

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Disney Christmas Tree Advent Calendar

Kids move the little bear from pocket to pocket each day as you count down to Christmas. It’s cute, safe for all ages, and Disney themed!

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Oh Christmas Tree Fabric Advent Calendar

Stuffed Christmas Tree Countdown

This one is so similar to the one my mom made me as a kid that I just had to include it. You keep the little tree ornaments in the pockets and add one to the tree each day as you count down.

See it on Amazon

Reusable Fabric Gift Bags for Filling advent calendar

Fillable Bags Advent Calendar

You can put whatever you want inside these bags which means it’s the perfect versatile advent calendar. They look nice hanging in your house and can be reused year after year with new surprises.

See it on Amazon

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Everett Franchuk

Everett Franchuk

Everett loves to plan parties and events, decorate, and make crafts/DIY projects. As a parent of 5 in his early 30s, he decided to start The Best Nest to offer practical tips and ideas.

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