16 Cool Advent Calendar Ideas for Kids

Excitement is in the air! It is time for countdown to Christmas with these fun advent calendar ideas for kids.

Whether you have toddlers, tweens or teens, I’ve got cool, easy, and DIY advent calendar ideas for you.

You wouldn’t mind having one of these Christmas calendars for yourself as well.

But what would the calendar be without awesome gifts! Check out also the Fun Advent Calendar Filler Ideas.

**This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links I might get a small commission at no extra cost to you.

I’ve done a couple of different kinds of advent calendars for my kids.

The one that they really like is our mailbox advent calendar system. Yes, it is quite the system or process I should say.

I’ll explain that after these other awesome ideas.

1. Pocket Advent Calendar

Pocket Advent Calendar, rustic (themakeryhandmade)
Pocket Advent Calendar from The Makery Handmade, Etsy

Lovely pocket fabric advent calendar.

The neutral colors go with anything so you can hang it up pretty much anywhere.

You won’t get tired of this one and can reuse it year after year.

And you know what, since it is so neutral you can use it any time of the year if you feel like having 24 treats 😉

Your teenage girl would love to have this Xmas calendar in her room! It is cool, rustic, not babyish and goes with trendy colors.

And why not get one for your best friend as well.

2. DIY Paper Bag Calendar

Easy DIY Advent Calendar Made With Brown Paper Bags
image credit: Canva

This looks awesome but is not hard to make. You can involve the whole family in making this paper bag advent calendar.

Not only will you get to enjoy seeing your kids sparkling eyes as they eagerly open the advent calendar but you’ll also experience the joy they have in preparing this with you.

DIY PAPER BAG ADVENT CALENDAR

* Lunch size paper bags
* Jute Twine or ribbon
* Yarn
* Cardstock
* Stickers, markers, scrapbook paper, paper doilies
* Glue
* Hole puncher
* Decorative paper edge scissors (optional)
* Paper edge puncher (optional)


1. Decorate the bags.
2. Punch a hole in the bag if needed.
3. Make number tags and attach with yarn or glue.
5. Cut the jute twine or ribbon to desired length.

6. Fill the bags.
7. Hang up with the twine. (Attach to a one long twine to form a garland or hang up from curtain rod)

For added fun mix with mini stockings or make bags from scrapbook paper.

3. DIY Box Advent Calendar

DIY Box Advent Calendar
Small White Boxes for DIY Box Advent Calendar from Amazon

The classic DIY box advent calendar is always a fabulous idea!

Fill them up with candy and trinkets, write numbers or attach number stickers. Easy, peasy.

Make the boxes extra pretty with ribbons, drawings, and number tags.

They fold for easy storage so no fear of finding crumbled up boxes next Christmas. Yay!

Get A Set Of White Boxes and start working on your design!

4. Gingerbread House

Wooden Gingerbread House Advent Calendar
Wooden Gingerbread House Advent Calendar from Amazon

Adorable! Can’t you almost smell the delicious aroma of gingerbread cookies.

This is cute and fun. The only drawback is that it might make you want to eat gingerbread cookies…

You can also use this as an inspiration for decorating a gingerbread house.

Hide treats, notes, and toys in the little wooden drawers. You’ll have so much fun watching your kids pulling out the drawers and seeing what’s inside.

Get your awesome reusable Gingerbread House Advent Calendar today.

5. Harry Potter Count Down to Xmas

Harry Potter Advent Calendar in Gryffindor colors (whimziequiltz)
Gryffindor Advent Calendar from Whimzie Quiltz

Any Harry Potter fan would find it magical to have an advent calendar in his Hogwarts house colors.

Get a Harry Potter Gryffindor (or any other house) Advent Calendar and fill with magical advent calendar gifts.

If that advent calendar is too pricey you can always easily turn cheaper ideas into awesome DIY Harry Potter calendars.

  • Brown or white boxes or bags and write the numbers with the house colors
  • House colored bags and boxes
  • House colored yarn or ribbon to tie fabric pouches
  • Numbered envelopes with a Hogwarts seal (attach the envelopes to clear cord and hang from the ceiling)
  • Twelve days of socks

6. DIY Note Advent Calendar (Activities)

Envelope Advent Calendar DIY
image credit: Canva

This looks amazing but is very easy to make!

You can achieve the look by cutting scrapbook paper into squares and attaching them to a twine with mini clothespins or paper clips.

Add other shapes like hearts or stars for variety.

This is more like an activity advent calendar. Write activities on the backside of the square. No peeking!

If you don’t want to just do activities but give treats as well, you could write the location of the treat on the note.

Make it into a scavenger hunt if you wish. Write the first clue on the advent calendar note.

You could also use envelopes this same way for a cute way to store activity notes or little treats.

Advent calendars are fun DIY projects. If you’re interested in easy DIY Christmas decorations, you’ll love these ideas.

7. Christmas Tree Advent Calendar for Toddlers

Felt Christmas Tree Advent Calendar for Toddlers. Cute ornaments included. No candy.
Felt Christmas Tree Advent Calendar from Amazon

If a “no candy” advent calendar is on your list for your little one, this is it!

Though the tiny tots don’t really know what all the Holiday stuff is all about, they can still feel the excitement in the air.

Your toddler will be delighted to decorate her very own tree. Every day she gets to put another ornament on the felt Christmas tree.

It actually comes with 32 ornaments so you can start countdown right after Thanksgiving. How cool is that!

Or simply store the extra ornaments for later.

Get the cute Felt Advent Calendar and let the fun begin!

8. Jewelry Advent Calendar for Teens

Christmas Charms Advent Calendar from Amazon

Though your little one is getting older and is now a tween or maybe even a teenager, she still enjoys the fun Xmas traditions like an advent calendar.

A charm bracelet or necklace with cute charms is a perfect way to count down the days till Christmas.

Each day she gets to add another charm to her bracelet. Sweet!

Grab the Charms Advent Calendar and make the holiday season pretty.

9. DIY Jar Advent Calendar

Plastic Jar With A Lid for DIY Advent Calendar
White Jars for DIY Advent Calendar from Amazon

Making your own advent calendar is so easy with these handy jars.

The great thing about these is they are opaque so you don’t need to cover the jar to keep the content as a surprise.

Embellish them in various ways:

  • put number stickers on the lid or the jar
  • tie a ribbon around the jar
  • place a piece of fabric over the lid and secure it with a rubber band or ribbon
  • attach a number tag to jute twine and tie around the jar
  • decorate the jar with permanent markers

10. Tree Advent Calendar

Unique Advent Calendar. Tree advent calendar. (pushkahome)
Unique Tree Advent Calendar with Bags from Pushka Home, Etsy

I like this unique way to display the advent calendar bags.

You’ll get the tree and 24 little bags and one bigger one (personalized) for Christmas morning.

What’s cool about this is that you can have the larger bag personalized!

And the numbers come in various colors which you can mix or match.

This tree advent calendar will bring joy to you all for many years to come. You’ll love the simple design and won’t mind bringing it out time after time.

11. Reindeer Advent Calendar

Reindeer Christmas Calendar with Chocolate. (etchtwentyeight)
Reindeer Advent Calendar from Etch Twenty Eight, Etsy

This is awesome!

If you’re looking for a unique advent calendar for someone who likes chocolate, this is the one!!

It’s fun, it’s unique, and it’s inexpensive. As an added bonus, it does not take much space when stored for next year.

Comes in two fun shapes reindeer and penguin.

Sometimes (most times for me) it is hard to buy stuff for a teenage boy but a reindeer advent calendar would be perfect for him.

Reindeer or Penguin Advent Calendar

12. Book Advent Calendar

Package Advent Calendar Idea.
image credit: Canva

Book advent calendars are fun and loved by kids. This is one of those awesome things I wish I had done when my kids were little.

Wrap books in cute or classy ways whatever suits your style. Place them under the tree in a basket or arrange in creative ways on mantle.

You don’t need to limit yourself to Christmas themed books, the kids will be excited to add new books to their year around collection too.

Christmas books for kids from Amazon.

13. Toy Advent Calendars

Your child will be thrilled to receive little toys each day leading to Christmas!

a. LEGOS – Star Wars

Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar
Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar from Amazon

Star Wars has not lost its appeal. It is still among the most popular themes for kids.

Surprise your kids everyday with Lego Star Wars themed gifts. They will play with these long after Christmas.

Check out all the awesome Lego Advent Calendars.

b. Horse Farm

Horse Farm Toy Advent Calendar
Horse Farm Advent Calendar from Amazon

Your horse loving kid is going to have so much fun with this set. Each day a new horse themed trinket is added to her collection.

She’ll have hours of fun taking care of the horses!

Horse Farm Advent Calendar

14. Mini Christmas Stockings

Christmas Stocking Advent Calendar for Kids
Christmas Stocking Advent Calendar

The all time favorite: Mini Christmas Stockings. Easy and fun!

Fill the stockings with candy and trinkets.

Attach to a ribbon to form a garland and hang up on the mantle or wall.

A large selection of Mini Christmas Stockings at Amazon.

15. Garland Advent Calendar

Garland Advent Calendar for Family

Get a beautiful garland and place it on a bookcase shelf or buffet table and turn it into a fun advent calendar by hiding in it:

* small boxes
* notes
* stockings
* envelopes
* ornaments

16. Bucket Christmas Calendar

Bucket Advent Calendar for Rustic Christmas. Fun Advent Calendar for Family
Bucket Advent Calendar from Target

What could be more rustic than this bucket advent calendar! A fun addition to your country Christmas home decor.

The buckets are labeled with red numbers to match the lovely frame. And they, of course, have room for special treats every day in December leading to Christmas.

17. Mailbox Advent Calendar

And here is our mailbox advent calendar system:

It all starts at Halloween…

After the kids come home with their giant bags of candy, they choose 25+ pieces of candy for the Christmas mailbox.

We start our Christmas countdown right after we decorate which is usually the day after black Friday. That’s why it is 25+ candies.

The kids wrap their candy and label them with their names.

I used to do that but though I like wrapping presents, wrapping close to 100 pieces of candy was not so much fun so the kids get to do that all by themselves.

Then after Thanksgiving the mailbox goes up. We have had this mailbox for years so it has seen its better days but here it is:

Mailbox Advent Calendar
DIY Mailbox Advent Calendar

Every day leading to Christmas I put one wrapped candy for each kid in the mailbox.

I do this at random times.

And sometimes I add a note about the day’s special activities. Or place a bigger present in the box or next to it.

My kids are older now so it is harder to sneak to the mailbox without them noticing but they pretend not to notice… for they still love this little tradition we have.

DIY CHRISTMAS MAILBOX

* Mailbox (dollar store, Target)
* Pole (I used a sturdy cardboard thing that came with wrapping paper)
* Stand (I used a cardboard box)
* Tape or glue

1. Draw a circle the size of your pole in the middle of the box.
2. Cut slits from middle of the circle to the circle line
3. Attach the mailbox to the pole. I used tape but if I redid it I’d use hot glue.
4. Push the pole into the hole. You might have to use some tape or glue to make it stand straight.

So, once I put the little gifts in the mailbox, I tiptoe away…

Then whoever sees the mailbox flag up takes the candy pieces and puts them in little stockings that hang by the fireplace in the formerly called play room now hangout room.

Then another kid discovers the candy in the stockings.

Here are the stockings. Notice the Veggie Tale nativity scene. Seriously, some kids just love the childhood stuff.

Fireplace with Little Stockings. Advent Calendar.

Why don’t I just put the candy directly in the stockings?

Or why don’t they just eat the candy after finding it in the mailbox?

Because it is more fun this way!

P.S. Christmas is even more fun with these ideas!

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Advent Calendar is one of those easy ways to create awesome memories with your kids.

A great family Christmas tradition you’ll fondly remember.

Simple joys with kids are the best. There is always time for little bit of fun. Sign up to receive easy ideas for making memories.

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Easy Advent Calendar Ideas

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