Excitement is in the air! It is time for the countdown to Christmas with these fun advent calendar ideas for kids.
Whether you have toddlers, tweens, or teens, I’ve got fantastic, easy, and DIY advent calendar ideas.
- This post has been updated. You’ll find here advent calendar ideas for kids. The advent calendar ideas for teens deserved their own post.
- If you are looking for advent calendar fillers for kids or advent calendar gifts for teenagers head over to those posts.
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1. Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar for Kids
The beautiful, engraved acts of kindness advent calendar encourages the kids to do something kind each day during December 1-25.
- hug someone
- help clean up after dinner
- donate toys to charity
- give someone a compliment
- bake cookies for a friend
Feel the Christmas spirit take over the whole family as you show kindness to those around you and even strangers.
2. Gingerbread House
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.
3. Sugar Cookies Advent Calendar
As the name says, this yummy advent calendar is filled with sugar cookies. 24 different Christmas-themed cookies.
What a fun sweet way to start the day!
4. Advent Activity Tokens
Give your child a special advent activity token each day leading to Christmas. He will have fun doing the activities and enjoying unexpected privileges.
- drink hot chocolate
- watch a Christmas movie
- make paper snowflakes
- late bedtime
- do a Christmas puzzle
5. Follow the Star Advent Calendar
I love the simplicity of this design. It is beautiful and unique.
A beautifully designed wooden bar with numbers and slots for a wooden star to move from days 1-24 (or 25, your choice.)
You can use the calendar as is. Or purchase little hooks to attach to the wooden bar.
If you get the hooks, you can hang up envelopes or little gifts.
Each day your child gets to move a wooden star to the slot for that day. And if you choose to hang up gifts, she will get the corresponding gift.
Read more about the wooden advent calendar and the accessories (envelopes with activity ideas) you can purchase separately.
Gifts for You
Before continuing to explore the advent calendar ideas, grab these free Christmas printables.
6. Hot Chocolate Advent Calendar
Your child will be happy to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate every morning.
These are some of the festive blends included:
- salted caramel
- chocolate orange
- cinnamon roll
- sticky toffee
- winter spice
This hot chocolate advent calendar makes the day delicious. It contains no dairy or milk powder.
7. DIY Paper Bag Calendar
Paper bag advent calendar is an easy and fun project for the whole family.
You will enjoy seeing your kids sparkling eyes as they eagerly open the advent calendar. And you’ll also experience their joy in preparing this with you.
DIY PAPER BAG ADVENT CALENDAR
* Lunch size paper bags
* Jute Twine or ribbon
* Stickers, markers, scrapbook paper, paper doilies
* 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.
8. Harry Potter Count Down to Xmas
You’ve got to see this Harry Potter advent calendar. It is spectacular with an illuminated Christmas scene.
This unique calendar is made of wood with 24 numbered wooden doors. Fill those with fun magical things.
9. DIY Harry Potter Advent Calendars
- Vintage craft envelopes (These are amazing!!)
- 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
10. Christmas Tree Advent Calendar for Toddlers
How exciting it will be for you kids to hang ornaments on this felt Christmas tree.
The calendar comes with 32 ornaments so you can give one everyday and some extras on special days like the advent Sundays and Christmas Eve.
11. Jewelry Advent Calendar for Older Kids
Though your little one is getting older, she still enjoys 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.
12. DIY Note Advent Calendar (Activities)
This one is easy!
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. You’ll love these ideas if you’re interested in easy DIY Christmas decorations.
13. Book Advent Calendar
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 them creatively on the 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.
14. Toy Advent Calendars
Your child will be thrilled to receive little toys each day leading to Christmas!
a. LEGOS – Star Wars
Star Wars has retained its appeal.
Surprise your kids every day 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
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!
15. Mini Christmas Stockings
Easy and fun!
Fill the stockings with candy and trinkets. And 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.
16. Garland Advent Calendar
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 gift boxes
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 each 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 wrapping nearly 100 pieces of candy was not so much fun, so the kids got 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:
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 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.
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!
Having and advent calendar is one of those easy ways to create awesome memories with your kids. It’s a great family Christmas tradition you’ll fondly remember.