The wonderful Advent season! Every year, we think about which smaller and bigger gifts we can fill our daughter’s Advent calendar with.
Our motto: it does not require sweets for our daughter’s Advent calendar.
Maybe you’re asking yourself right now: “Why is that? It’s so easy and convenient to buy a ready-made Advent calendar filled with candy. It’s cheap, and you don’t have to spend a lot of time on it! The child is happy to have sweets. So why should I leave them out?”
I agree with you in part! It’s cheap, easy, convenient! But also very impersonal! Is cheap, easy, and convenient what you want to give your child as a Christmas mindset, though? Especially during the holiday season? Wouldn’t it be nicer to take the time to think about other things that your child might enjoy?
Think about it: What does your child enjoy? What does he/she particularly likes to do? What does he or she gets something out of in the long term? For example, candy is excellent in the short term, but it doesn’t last long. As soon as it is eaten, it is gone again. And since there is a lot of baking during the Christmas season anyway, you get plenty of opportunities to snack. So maybe we should look for other gifts that are not edible.
Non-candy Advent Calendar gift ideas
Picture- and storybooks for toddlers and books to read for the older ones. You can find a variety of mini-books that are good to wrap in an Advent calendar, which you can adapt according to age. The first Advent calendar that our little daughter got from us was an all-books Advent calendar. The beauty of such a calendar is that the whole family gets something out of it because you can read this gift together after unwrapping it. And that over and over again. Our daughter liked it so much that we read these books even in the worst heat of the summer. I found this incredible, and I can highly recommend it to any parents of young children.
Oil crayons, colored pencils, markers
Crayons and drawing materials are always very popular with children. They come in a wide variety of shapes and styles. Even a simple pencil that looks cute can delight the little child’s heart! An example: My daughter loves unicorns. By chance, my husband and I, while shopping last year, found an adorable pencil with a chubby, charming unicorn attached to the end of it. Our daughter was so thrilled!
Beauty / Makeup Products for the older ones
Many young girls enjoy putting on makeup and painting their nails. This interest can awaken quite early, so the joy is great when finding nail polish and makeup in the Advent calendar. For the older ones, beauty products from Bodyshop are also marvelous. These are very high quality. I enjoyed it, too, when I found a hand cream or body butter in my Advent calendar. Especially in the Christmas season, you can find great, Christmas-scented creams at Bodyshop! Worth a look!
Another great place where you can find suitable children’s makeup is Kleenaturals.
When talking about drawing books, you have several options. Here, only the outlines of beautiful pictures are depicted, which your child can then color in. Or, to give your child’s imagination free rein, you can opt for one with blank pages. This way, your child can draw whatever he or she feels like without limitation. Finally, to spice things up a bit, make sure the envelopes have a beautiful design. These arouse just as much joy in children!
For many children, it is tremendous fun to stick temporary tattoos on themselves. I’m not a fan of it, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. My daughter got one at a party of her kindergarten friend, and she thought it was really “cool”! Especially when they saw each other again the next day in kindergarten, and all the kids were running around with awesome tattoos! I see these temporary tattoos just as a Christmas exception. Thus, you can keep the “burden” of the young children’s skin within limits.
This is my kind of stuff! I love hair accessories! And I think this enthusiasm is contagious because my little daughter is as excited about them as me. A great joy with children is all kinds of barrettes, hair elastics, small colorful braids to clip, ribbons, hairbands, and headbands! Claires has a variety of offers here that you should check out!
When it comes to toys, you’re spoiled for choice! They should be small, however, so that they can be beautifully packaged and hung up or packaged in the Advent calendar. A lot of joy can be spread here when you adapt the fillings to your child’s preferences. Suppose you do not have time in November to create an Advent calendar yourself. In that case, you can always fall back on prefabricated ones. In these, you will find 24 (or 25) matching toys.
Here are a couple of examples:
- Schleich Horse Club (11) (not available)
- Christmas Nativity Scene Set
- Fantastic Slime
Bath accessories – salts, bombs, paint
To provide entertainment while bathing, bath additives are something great for kids. The best I like the bath bombs with a toy (for example, a small sponge) inside. They dye the water in beautiful colors and spread a wonderful smell.
Christmas-themed socks are also an excellent little something to add. A large selection offers Happysocks here.
Warm scarf, hood, or gloves
Ever thought of wrapping a warm scarf, hood, or mittens as a gift in an Advent calendar? Why not? They’re small, and you can wrap them up quickly. If you are one of the handicraft artists, there is, of course, nothing to stop you from wrapping something you have knitted yourself here.
Mini ornaments or Unique Christmas tree ornament for the Christmas Eve
Mini Christmas tree ornaments or a unique Christmas tree ornament for Christmas Eve are also always welcome as a small gift. A particular joy is to hang them up together and admire them on Christmas Eve. This little present makes the decorated Christmas tree even more unique and personal. Children are always happy to discover their personal Christmas tree ornaments on the tree.
Craft supplies/craft kit
Since children enjoy crafting from a young age, craft kits and supplies are always welcome inside the Advent calendar. These supplies can start with simple things like glitter glue or zigzag scissors and continue to craft-, painting-, and sewing-kits. Many of these kits include lots of valuable items (crepe paper, stick-on eyes, colored paper, felt, and much more). You can divide them (if you want) as unique gifts in your Advent calendar.
Stamping and sticking stickers. Something that my daughter enjoys very much. In the last two Advent calendars we have made for our daughter, stickers and stamps (especially the self-inking ones) were a must-have. Particularly with these little things, there is a wide variety of topics, colors, and themes. The advantage on top: it is a very inexpensive gift that brings a lot of joy!
A unique cookie cutter for baking cookies together
Since we have a Christmas baking every year with the whole family, an individual cookie cutter for our daughter can not be missing in the Advent calendar. It’s so lovely to see the enthusiasm with which our little one then cuts out her “very personal” cookies with her new cookie cutter.
If you have a Toniebox at home, it’s a great way to include individual Tonies as gifts in your Advent calendar. I know so many children who love Tonies more than anything! Thanks to their small size, they make lovely gifts and are always appreciated by children. Who would like to have it here Christmas-themed can fall back on the “Classics Tonie” on which “A Christmas Carol” is included.
Coloring Book / Holiday coloring sheets
If your child loves doing mazes, dot-to-dot, color by numbers, spot the difference, or something like that, then coloring books or holiday coloring sheets will make a great gift. There are many different Christmas-themed books out there, but I especially like those that come with single side use. You can easily tear each side out and add it to the calendar.
Assembling the Advent Calendar
For this kind of Advent calendar, you’ll need a way to hang up those little gifts.
Many years ago, I gave my husband a wall-mounted wooden elk. This elk is equipped with 24 hooks on which you can hang up things. From that time on, this delightful piece adorns our wall and is decorated depending on the season. In Advent, it then turns into an Advent calendar for our daughter. (IMAGE WOODEN ELK)
Another option is a door swag or wreath. Here I would rather reach for a synthetic one. Even if fir smells terrific, it makes quite a mess when it gets dry.
On Etsy, I found another delightful option, which you might like. A wooden Christmas tree on which you can hang the small gifts.
So as you can see, there are a variety of options here.
If you are still looking for ideas for adults, you can find many ideas in my article “DIY and pre-made Advent Calendars for grown-ups.”
I hope you were able to find some ideas here for the upcoming Advent! Have fun with gifting and making joy!