Types of advent calendars

In the past, my kids have had those commercial cardboard advent calendars with cheap and nasty chocolate inside. I’ve always wanted to do something better but it gets to 1 December and I haven’t set anything up so back we go to the easy but meaningless commercial stuff.

Advent calendar graphic

twenty-four surprises is the fun of an advent calendar!

There’s still a good chance I won’t do better this year but at least I’m thinking about it ahead of usual…

I know you can put chocolates in envelopes (one for each day) or stick little bags on a page instead, but I want a little more exciting than that. I’ve heard of good ideas in the past but nothing is coming back when I need it to. So what advent calendar ideas do you have? Which ones have worked well?


 *Image courtesy of iguanasbear, 123rf 

7 Responses to Types of advent calendars

  • Santa's Elf says:

    One I always loved the idea of, Jacinta, was a little message each day for the child to read – presentation could be anything that has the 24 compartments but I always “saw” it as pockets in a fabric wall hanging. I like the non-commercial aspect of it and the messages can be really important for the kids (messages like “I’m proud of how you…”, “You are so {clever, kind, loving, thoughtful, compassionate, generous, etc}” and “Well done for working hard at …” may be a rare chance to tell our kids how we feel and give them something to hold and reread for years.) Love it but admit to having never made the time to do it 🙁

  • RosemaryM says:

    This year I’ve bought a plastic box with compartments (like you’d use for nails and screws or fishing stuff) and we’re filling each one with little things so the kids are getting a small gift each day instead of cheap chocolates. For example, we’re giving our son a train set on Xmas Day so many of the compartments are filled with trees, signs and people that match the train set (I got a pack for $5 at Kmart and he would have gotten them as a gift anyway so no extra expense or stuff!) When my daughter is old enough, I could see me filling hers with beads and ribbons to make things from. BUt I may use Santa’s Elf’s idea and add a little message in each compartment too – better get writing I suppose…

  • Santa's Elf says:

    That’s a nice idea, too RosemaryM – more personalised and meaningful than chocolate in a flimsy cardboard box. This conversation is inspiring me to never buy those commercial advent calendars again so I’d love to hear of any other advent calendar ideas. Are these one helping you MariaLove?

  • Jack says:

    We have a fun advent calendar – well its something we do every night leading up to Christmas but doesn’t have a calendar as such (but you could do it that way). We have 24 bits of paper in a paper bag and take turns pulling out one piece each night. On the paper is a family activity we then have to do (e.g. walk around the block, read a Christmas book, watch the sunset together) that night. SOmetimes it is a little challenging if we have a social thing on so we can put back and try again if necessary.

  • Suz says:

    I just came across a list of virtual tools including an advent calendar app – apparently you hold the app over an image once a day and something magical happens. http://www.teachertechnologies.com/2011/12/a-very-augmented-reality-christmas/

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