25 Unusual Ideas for Kids Advent Calendars

by Mixed Up Mama
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Are you looking for an alternative to the usual chocolate kids advent calendar this year?

I love Christmas and I love the countdown but I do feel as if the chocolate can get a bit much. Plus, though they love opening up the little windows, it’s just nice to shake it up a bit every couple of years and see how creative you can get.

Thus began my search to find out if there were decent kids advent calendar alternatives that were as exciting as chocolate for three expectant little girls looking for their chocolate fix.

Thankfully, I wasn’t struggling for inspiration. There are loads of alternative kids advent calendar ideas.  From diy-ing it yourself to religious inspired pin ups, candle lighting, crafts and more.

Last year, I was so inspired in fact, I decided to do two. For the visual countdown that both my two year old and four year old could understand, I decided on a Santa’s beard calendar. Each day, they glued on a cotton ball to Santa’s beard marking one more sleep closer to Santa’s arrival. Click the photo below for an instant printable.

**NB: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.**

Kids Advent Calendars

Playmobil Christmas Nativity Stable with Manger

Then, to add some meaning to our Christmas and in hopes that the girls understood the Christmas story, we bought them the Playmobile Nativity scene. It doesn’t actually come as an advent calendar so I have been boxing one piece for them everyday to create the scene. But, it was a real hit and it was great to see the three of them excited to find what was waiting for them each morning, then being able to play with the miniatures each day.


Advent Around the World

Here is another idea from Thirdculturemama which is about exploring advent globally and remembering others across the world.


“So, each day in December, we will locate the country on a map, the kids will get unwrap one small object (tiny items from around the house..surprise, that’s where your toy orange was!) and if we can get our act together, we’ll complete the activity and outreach as well as pray for people we know in that country. You can see how this thing took on a life of its own. Oh dear. Time to recenter on the advent season again.”


Playinchoc Kids Advent Calendar

This PLAYin CHOC advent calendar is sooo cute! The advent contains 24 drawers, each calendar drawer contains: 10g organic chocolate with coconut + 3D puzzle & fun facts card. A sweet little 3D puzzle that the kids can play with and put together makes this soo worth it! Once each drawer is removed, replace back to front to form a new picture which will be completed on Christmas Eve.


The Make Arcade Craftvent Advent Calendar

Unusual kids advent calendars

The Make Arcade have teamed up with John Lewis to create this exclusive kit to celebrate the 12 DIYS of Craftvent! Each bumper box has 12 individually packed felt kits, each one containing everything you need to make a beautiful Christmas decoration for your tree.

The numbered kits will be a surprise as you work your way through December and create a selection of lovely homemade Christmas decorations! All the supplies, templates and instructions are provided.

What’s included:

  • 12x individually packed felt sewing kits (each one containing, felt and/or glitter fabric, ribbon, trims and instructions)
  • 1x sewing kit (with needle and threads)
  • A bag of lovely stuffing to fill each decoration with

Creative Kids GooZooKa Slime Advent Calendar – 24 Surprises

  • Countdown to Christmas! Make this a magical month with our holiday GooZooKa Slime Advent Calendar!
  • 🎄 Make endless combinations of beautiful slime with 18 Jars of Slime, 4 Jars of Glitter and 2 Jars of Sand!
  • 🎅 The perfect gift for any child anxiously awaiting Santa!
  • 🔔 Endless fun! Stretch it, squeeze it, poke it, squish it, swirl it, or let it drip and ooze!

LEGO City Advent Calendar Construction Toy

Kids Advent CalendarsCelebrate christmas with this LEGO city advent calendar 2018. The set includes five LEGO minifigures (including Santa) and a husky dog figure. Features 24 different buildable gifts including vehicles, seasonal items and more. Open a door each day to reveal the day’s present and collect all minifigures to add to your building sets. Celebrate the spirit of the season in LEGO city with the newest, fun advent calendar.


Seeds Advent Calendar: Beautiful Festive Garden Advent Calendars with Herb Seeds, Fruits, Vegetable Seeds

GROW YOUR OWN VEGETABLES, FRUITS AND HERBS: Our Christmas advent unusual advent calendarscalendar accompanies you through advent and gets you in the mood for a festive time. Plant seeds are beautiful natural gifts

It contains 24 VARIETIES each packed in a small paper bag. Selected, popular seeds as a lovely plant starter kit for your home. Wonderful as gardening gifts, advent calendar women and for men!

MAKE YOUR OWN ADVENT CALENDAR: In addition to the plant seeds in small paper bags, your advent calender includes a natural jute string and 24 wooden clothespins for decorative fastening of the bags

EASY TO GROW – on the windowsill, balcony or in the vegetable patch! On every plant seed package you will find detailed instructions how to grow your own herbs and veggies, incl. tips for cooking!

HEIRLOOM SEEDS: You find old, popular varieties and new ones! Our low waste products are made in Germany and lovingly packed by hand in a workshop for people with disabilities


Scandi Paper Houses Advent Calendar Diy Craft Kit

Create your own reusable Scandi style paper houses advent calendar with this easy to assemble CARTA & WOOD kit.

Choose from two colour schemes, the Rustic Scandi colour way or White Christmas (perfect for colouring in or decorating at home). Colour options are shown in labelled image.


Coppenrath Unique Vintage Musical Gramophone Advent Calendar

  • This delightful and alternative advent calendar is a minature working gramophone. It comes with 24 interchangeable vinyls, one for each day of advent, which can be swapped to play a different musical tune every single day. Simply move the stylus to the vinyl and it will begin playing! The whole family will love playing the mini vinyl to see which tune plays that day. Illustrated by Barbara Behr.
  • This beautiful advent calendar is designed by the lovely German company Coppenrath, a traditional Christmas goods maker since 1768. Beautiful illustrations and festive designs will delight you and your family the entire advent season.

The Plasticine Christmas Advent Calendar

  • Make a Festive model every day!
  • A fun and unique interactive Advent Calendar, ideal for the countdown to Christmas.
  • Hidden behind each little window of this advent calendar is a set of easy-to-follow instructions to create a whole host of festive figures
  • Festive figures including Santa, a snowman, holly and loads more festive decorations!
  • A perfect festive gift, the Calendar includes 450g Plasticine in various colours, sculpting tool, and daily instructions behind each day’s window
  • The Advent Calendar contains real Plasticine which never dries out, a childhood favourite with great nostalgic appeal for both children and adults.

Disney Christmas Advent Book

If you are looking for something a bit different than chocolate to countdown to Christmas this year, then this Disney Christmas Advent Book is perfect! Great value and fun, this lovely advent gift features 24 different mini-books from the Disney storybook collection in a cased wallet. Great for children aged between 6-10 years, this will be sure to give them hours of fun this Christmas!


Mouttop Kids Advent Calendars ,24 Charms DIY Necklace Bracelet 

Each day has a number and when you open it, there are have 24 pcs differnt charm for the charm bracelet & Necklace. Great advent calendar for adults or kids advent calendar. A fun Christmas countdown calendar. When you wear it, it promotes beauty, health, good luck, and healing. It is a great gift for your best friend, significant other, or anyone who enjoys handmade fine jewelry.


Cheese Advent Calendar 2020 – 24 Wax Truckle Cheeses – Merry Cheesemas

  • Beautifully presented advent calendar for cheese lovers!
  • A fantastic treat for yourself or the cheese fan in your life.
  • Put a cheesy spin on your Christmas countdown this year.
  • Enjoy 24 mini cheese truckles across 8 unique flavours!
  • All cheeses are individually wrapped in colourful wax.

Magic Advent Calendar

Find behind every door a magic trick. Easy to perform tricks for all ages. Celebrate Christmas with Magic. Total 24 doors.


Personalised Colour In Advent Calendar Poster

A BIG Personalised Colour In Christmas Tree Advent Calendar Poster is crammed with seasonal toys and decorations, topped with a festive star!

A twist on the traditional and great fun for all, but especially the children. A brilliant activity in the lead up to the big day and a fantastic addition to the family festive decorations.

The children can colour in and decorate a little bit each day ….and of course the grown ups can have a go too!

A fantastic scene setter and space saving tree …. You can personalise the poster, for example: ‘HAPPY CHRISTMAS MAX’ or ‘MAX’S TREE’.


Joe & Seph’s Popcorn Advent Calendar 2018 (Contains 24 x 5g bags of popcorn)

Kids Advent CalendarsA giant book advent calender filled with 24 bags of 12 different Joe & Seph’s customer favourite flavours. The advent calender is designed as the Joe & Seph’s popcorn shop, open the shop to see the jars of popcorn with 24 windows each revealing it’s own secret flavour.


Personalised Family Reusable Activity Advent Calendar

Get the family into the Christmas spirit with our personalised advent calendar packed with 24 fun festive activities suitable for all the family.

The traditional advent calendar features an original woodland themed illustration along with 24 activities – one for everyday on the run up to Christmas day. Along with your choice of personalised name(s), or surname – the personalisation is entirely up to you.

Comes with a traditional tartan ribbon.


Advent Candle

A grown-up version of the traditional advent calendar – the advent candle is lit every day on the run up to Christmas and burnt down to the following date. A lovely tradition for those chilly winter evenings spent in front of the fire.


Christmas Advent Calendar Mega Fossil Dig Kit, Mineral Gift Box Bombs Advent Calendar

Christmas countdown is an exciting time for children. One way to increase holiday expectations is the use of the calendar. The Christmas advent calendar contains 24 different minerals.

  • Children can feel comfortable by purchasing different small toys every day. When you gradually accumulate the well-being explodes at Christmas.
  • With the perfect learning toy, children can learn to wait, discover and learn. In addition to entertaining games and practical activities, children expand their knowledge through joyful educational energy.
  • This Christmas advent calendar is the best Christmas gift and a good Christmas gift for educational purposes, learning toys or rewards.
  • A must for all children this Christmas. This is an advent calendar 2020 that children will love with so many surprises.

VTech Toot-Toot Animals Kids Advent Calendars – Multi-Coloured

Kids Advent CalendarsCountdown to Christmas with the fabulous Toot-Toot Animals advent calendar. 24 fun play pieces including a cute Toot-Toot Animals Reindeer and baby, Christmas decorations and more. Reindeer includes 3 Christmas songs, 6 festive melodies and lots of fun sound effects. Reindeer responds to SmartPoint locations with different phrases, sound effects and more on all Toot-Toot Animals play sets.


Crayola Christmas Kids Advent Calendars Kit

Kids Advent CalendarsKeep kids creatively engaged as they wait for Santa with the Crayola Christmas countdown activity advent calendar. This kit includes a 24-day calendar of surprises that offers a daily dose of creativity for every day of the holiday season. Packed with craft projects, homemade gifts, finger puppets, and coloring activities, this set helps kids get into the spirit of Christmas and provides a positive outlet for their yuletide excitement.


24Pcs Brain Teaser Puzzle Metal Wire Puzzles Wooden Luban Locks 3D Puzzles IQ Test Advent Calendar Fillers for Kids and Adults

Advent calendar 2021 24 Pcs brain teaser metal puzzle set offers endless ways to learn & play, ignites passions and a sense of imagination in childhood, provides the space and freedom for children to explore their world and realize full potential and discover themselves.

Each door holds a different surprise each day to accompany your little angels to Countdown to Christmas from Dec 1st!

 24 pieces of different creative and advanced metal wire puzzles with assortment of designs. Wireloop will NOT go everywhere between doors in the Box. Wireloop and Unlock Tip are well packaged in a Ziplock Bag, and behind each door.

Perfect for leisure time, getting your kids away from gadgets and electronics

And finally… I couldn’t leave this one out!

Multicultural Book Kids Advent Calendars: Books for STRONG Girls

Kids Advent CalendarsFirst of all, If you haven’t done a Book Advent before, you have one book for each day of your countdown to the holiday of your choice. You can buy the books, check them out from your local library, or simply incorporate book titles already in your home library. If you want to add an element of surprise, wrap and date each book and let your child(ren) open one each day. These books are also critical for raising boys who believe in gender equality. Teachers and parents: we need to be explicitly teaching gender equality through reading aloud and the books we share with boys and girls. Every child needs to see everyday female role models, as well as on TV/movies. By doing this, we teach tolerance and empathy, while breaking down harmful stereotypes. This multicultural book advent list below is appropriate for ages 0-10.


50 Acts of Kindness by Kids for Advent

Kids advent calendarsFinally, this year I want to incorporate more of the giving part of Christmas than the receiving.  I found this list of 50 acts of kindness for kids at advent on pinterest which is great. It includes ideas like: bake  goodies and give them to your neighbours; write a letter telling your brother/ sister how much you love them and; make a christmas card for your teacher. I intend to add a few of my own and make it personal to my child(ren)

The kindest advent calendar in the world, Advent of Change is a memorable and meaningful experience for the whole family.

With this one single purchase you will be making a donation to 24 amazing charities – from feeding the hungry to looking after animals from around the world. Each of the perforated doors represents a 50p donation and will tell you how your contribution could be used.

It is designed for everyone to enjoy and understand – each door features a coloured shape to help little ones find the right one, plus child-friendly language is used throughout, showing younger family members that they have the power to make a difference. There is also a mini-game to find hidden reindeer over the month.


Advent of Change Calendar

unusual advent ideas

The kindest advent calendar in the world, Advent of Change is a memorable and meaningful experience for the whole family.

With this one single purchase you will be making a donation to 24 amazing charities – from feeding the hungry to looking after animals from around the world. Each of the perforated doors represents a 50p donation and will tell you how your contribution could be used.

It is designed for everyone to enjoy and understand – each door features a coloured shape to help little ones find the right one, plus child-friendly language is used throughout, showing younger family members that they have the power to make a difference. There is also a mini-game to find hidden reindeer over the month.

Happy making and buying and do share some of your own ideas for your kids’ Christmas countdown this year!

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