Fa la la la all through December with a kid-friendly advent calendar. Packed with special surprises and treats to unwrap each day, this tradition is a popular way to make Christmas magic last all through December. Kate Middleton’s parents even stock advent calendars in their popular store, Party Pieces. But you don’t need to travel all the way to England to get some of the most in-demand advent calendars for the young ones in your life.
Below, find 15 advent calendars for kids that will surely spread Christmas cheer.
HABA Bear Cave Advent Calendar
This advent calendar is part game and part calendar. Each day, your child gets a new piece that they can use for telling stories, making observations, and counting. The calendar features the Bear family as they get ready to celebrate the holidays. There are helpful hints for parents each day to help you make the most of the educational activities disguised as play and bonding. It is best for elementary-aged kids who can follow along with the games and can keep track of the small pieces.
Although it might seem expensive, the price is on par with other high-end advent calendars for kids. The pieces are made of solid wood, and you can use them for additional play even once the holidays are over. One of the best aspects of this advent calendar is that it encourages kids to use their imaginations. It also provides opportunities for parents, grandparents, older siblings, and family friends to get involved in the fun. After all, creating lasting memories with the people you love is what the holidays are all about.
Price at time of publish: $39.99
Dimensions: Not listed | Days: 24 | Filled with: Wooden toys
At Dawn Dinosaurs Advent Calendar
This advent calendar is perfect for the kid in your life who loves dinosaurs (and who doesn’t?). It is budget-friendly, so you can even spring for multiple calendars for siblings to have epic dinosaur battles as they pull out the plastic toys each day in December. The dinosaurs included are T. rex, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, and others. There is even one special squishy dinosaur to celebrate the end of the season.
They are made of non-toxic, BPA-free plastic and are safe for kids. But you might want to keep them out of the reach of small babies and toddlers since they are small and spikey. If you can get your kids to keep them off the floor, your feet will thank you — but that might just be too much of a Christmas miracle to hope for.
Price at time of publish: $15.29
Dimensions: 14.41 x 12.32 x 1.89 inches | Days: 25 | Filled with: Plastic toys
La Maison du Chocolat Paris Holiday Gift Extravanganza Advent Calendar
With extravaganza right in the name, this advent calendar is a chocolate lover’s dream. It features 24 pieces of delicious chocolate. Each one is wrapped in its own tiny gift box inside the beautifully designed set. That means that your child gets to open a little present each day leading up to the big day. If that’s not luxury, we don’t know what is.
For optimum freshness, chocolatier Nicolas Cloiseau recommends storing the box in a cool space and keeping them sealed. But that means that your kids will need to wait the extra few seconds each day for you to get the chocolates out and accessible.
Price at time of publish: $90
Dimensions: 12.9 x 12.9 x 3.3 inches | Days: 24 | Filled with: Chocolates
Best for Toddlers:
Play-Doh Advent Calendar
Make fun creations with a Play-Doh advent calendar. Each day has a new jar of dough or tool that your child can use to create figures, scenes, and anything else that they dream up. These work with Play-Doh tools or sets that you already have. Plus, your child can also use household items or their hands to mold the dough into shapes. With some special holiday-specific jars, including glitter Play-Doh, this is a special way to celebrate holidays with open-ended play.
Like any other Play-Doh set, it’s important to keep the dough stored in its airtight container to prevent it from drying out. Mixing colors is fun for kids but don’t be surprised if you end up with a big, grey blob by the end of December. That can be a fun way to talk about the different colors and what happens when you combine them. Science, art, and design all in one activity!
Price at time of publish: $16.99
Dimensions: 2.36 x 14.02 x 12.01 inches | Days: 24 | Filled with: Play-Doh and tools
Best for Elementary-Aged Kids:
Paladone Minecraft Advent Calendar
If your child is obsessed with Minecraft, they’ll go nuts over this advent calendar. It includes little collectibles and figures of popular Minecraft characters, features, and tools. They have hanging loops so your child can use them to decorate the family tree with some of their favorite things, and they can also double as keychains after the holiday. For extra cool points, you can give your kid their own mini tree that they can make into a Minecraft-themed one.
The box is also shaped like a Minecraft object and has doors on all four sides that open to reveal that day’s surprise. It is filled with styrofoam, and the items are nestled inside. If you have small children or pets, make sure that any small pieces of styrofoam that come off are picked up before they accidentally eat them. If all of this sounds like gibberish to you or your child, chances are a Minecraft advent calendar is not the right option for you.
Price at time of publish: $49.99
Dimensions: 9.06 x 9.06 x 9.76 inches | Days: 24 | Filled with: Toys
Best for Tweens:
Ulta 12 Days of Beauty Advent Calendar
Tweens are at a tough age where they want to feel grown up but still enjoy the thrill of surprises like a kid. The ULTA advent calendar includes beauty products that they’ll think are cool while still holding on to that sense of wonder and Christmas magic. There are 12 products included from ULTA’s own line of clean beauty. For tweens who want to start trying out makeup, this is an excellent set to let them try small sample products.
This isn’t a fantastic set for younger kids because it includes some makeup that requires precision, such as eyeliner and highlighter. The makeup inside is real rather than play makeup but still simple and affordable enough to gift to a tween in your life. The lip glosses and lip mask are especially great and will be a hit with a tween who wants to start amping up their look.
Price at time of publish: $22.00
Dimensions: Not listed | Days: 12 | Filled with: Makeup
Best for Teens:
Pottery Barn Santa Advent Calendar
Teens can be hard to shop for but this fillable advent calendar lets you customize the special surprises to focus on their interests and passions. The top has a cheery Santa face and the long body of the calendar includes 25 small pockets where you can put little treasures. They fit candies and other similar surprises, but if you want to really connect with your teen, look for tickets to their favorite concert or another event you can experience together.
Because it is refillable, you can reuse this advent calendar year after year. As your teen’s interests change, it is easy to customize the year’s treats to what they are currently loving. They’re going vegan? Add vegan chocolates this year. If they want to try out Paleo the following year, individual packs of jerky are easy to add. This calendar lets you show your teen that you are listening to them, which is one of the greatest gifts you can give (even if they roll their eyes when you do it).
Price at time of publish: $29
Dimensions: 63 x 10 inches | Days: 25 | Filled with: N/A
LEGO City Advent Calendar 60352 Building Kit
Run — don’t walk — to get your hands on this Lego advent calendar. All of the Lego advent calendars are amazing this year, including the Marvel and Harry Potter-themed options. But the Lego city calendar includes the star of the show, Santa. There are also helpers from the Lego city TV Show, reindeer, and even a Christmas tree with a tiny Lego-shaped topper. You won’t be able to find some of these pieces at any other time during the year.
Lego advent calendars are in high demand and prices can get quite high at some retailers. It’s best to shop around to find the best deal, as well as places that still have them in stock. Because there are so many small pieces, Lego advent calendars aren’t the best choice for younger babies and toddlers. Lego recommends this calendar for kids over the age of 5.
Price at time of publish: $28.49
Dimensions: 14.5 x 10 x 2.5 inches | Days: 24 | Filled with: Lego pieces
Funko Pop Marvel Advent Calendar
Commemorate 80 years of Marvel comics with this Funko Pop advent calendar featuring some of the most recognizable characters. There are 25 pocket Pops, which are popular with collectors. Whether your child loves Marvel, Funko Pops, or both, this advent calendar is perfect for kids who want to display a new collection of their favorite things.
This advent calendar is a bit pricey, considering there is a non-anniversary edition for around half the price. If your child loves Marvel but doesn’t care about the special edition, you can opt for the basic Marvel advent calendar of Pocket Pops and still get the same enjoyment. The more expensive anniversary edition is great for kids who want to collect these limited release Pops.
Price at time of publish: $56.98
Dimensions: 15 x 3 x 5 inches | Days: 25 | Filled with: Pocket Funko Pops
Igloobooks Disney: Storybook Collection Advent Calendar 2022 Calendar
Enjoy a special story each night at bedtime in December with this storybook collection. It has 24 books with some of your favorite Disney characters, including princesses, classic Mickey Mouse, and ones that even parents grew up watching. The books measure just 3.94 by 4.72 inches and are perfectly sized for your pockets. As you travel around to different events during the busy holiday season, they can keep your child occupied.
Older kids may not be as excited about this advent calendar unless they are true Disney fans. If your child would rather read on their own than snuggle up for storytime, chances are they have outgrown these small storybooks. It is best for young kids who look forward to their bedtime story each night.
Price at time of publish: $28.79
Dimensions: 13.98 x 0.5 x 21.26 inches | Days: 24 | Filled with: Books
National Geographic Rock Collection Advent Calendar 2022
Each day of this advent calendar opens to reveal a new rock. While this may sound dangerously close to lumps of coal to some, for kids who love rocks (which is most), it is just perfect. The rocks, gems, and fossils come from all over the world and include some information about their origin and formation. This is a great way for kids to explore the natural world and learn about scientific specimens during the holiday season.
This calendar is not great for young toddlers who might mistake the rocks for treats. National Geographic recommends it for kids ages 8 and up. The very last day is something extra special. It has a rose quartz that your child gets to dig using included tools from a small dig brick. Not only do they get a fun surprise and activity, they also learn about the process of excavation and exploration.
Price at time of publish: $24.95
Dimensions: 7.28 x 1.69 x 10 inches | Days: 24 | Filled with: Rocks, gems, and fossils
Jazwares Pokemon 2022 Holiday Advent Calendar
Gotta catch ‘em all! This Pokeman advent calendar lets your child do just that. It has Christmas-specific pop-ups, including a tree, ornament stickers, and presents that can be used to build a holiday scene. Pokemon gather under the tree to celebrate as your child opens each day to reveal another holiday detail or Pokeman figure.
It is best for kids who love Pokeman, which usually means elementary-aged through middle school and early high school. That doesn’t mean that preschoolers and older teens can’t enjoy the calendar. Just consider your child’s interests and if this Pokeman advent calendar is something that they would like. It is a bit pricey so if they won’t get a lot of use from the pieces, it may be more than you want to spend.
Price at time of publish: $69.99
Dimensions: 17.6 x 12.4 x 2.91 inches | Days: 24 | Filled with: Pokemon toys
Barbie Dreamtopia Fairytale Surprise Box
This is the perfect doll set because it includes a Barbie and many accessories. On the first day, your child will unwrap a classic Barbie doll. Each day after that opens to reveal a mermaid tail, magic wand, fairy wings, or other accessories that will spark your child’s imagination. If your child already has a collection of Barbies, these items can be used on their other dolls as well.
With many small pieces, especially in the later portions of the month, this isn’t a good option for young toddlers and babies. Mattel, the makers of Barbie, recommend it for ages 3 and older. These tiny pieces are also easy to misplace or lose, especially the tiny shoes, teacups, and doll hair clips.
Price at time of publish: $33.99
Dimensions: 2.17 x 20.47 x 12.6 inches | Days: 24 | Filled with: Doll and accessories
Amigurumi Advent Calendar Crochet Pattern Book
Deck the halls and Christmas tree with these crafted Amigurumi figures in Christmas themes. From a crocheted Santa to his herd of reindeer, there are 24 fun patterns in this book to try out. Your child will need their own needles, yarn, and other materials since the calendar only includes the patterns. Each one is estimated to take around 2 to 3 hours to complete. Depending on your child’s skill and schedule, this may mean that they can do multiple in a single day or will need to space them out through the entire month and beyond.
This is an advent calendar meant for kids to work on independently. That means that they’ll need to be able to read and follow crafting instructions and patterns. If they have some experience with crochet or the patience to learn this new skill during the holiday season, that’s ideal. Some of the patterns are quite small and intricate, although they will be rewarded with a menagerie of adorable little crocheted buddies.
Price at time of publish: $29.99
Dimensions:8.5 x 0.32 x 11 inches | Days: 24 | Filled with: Patterns
Ten Acre Gifts 12 Cocoas of Grinchmas Holiday Hot Cocoa Advent Calendar
Your heart will grow three sizes as you enjoy 12 different flavored hot cocoas through December. This Grinch-themed advent calendar is sure to be a hit with the entire family, although you may want to opt for multiple sets to make sure that everyone gets to try out their favorite flavors. Fortunately, it is affordable enough to spring for two or even three calendars.
Each day shows the flavor so there isn’t as much mystery when you open them. But you may be surprised to find which new tastes you enjoy. Some flavors, such as candy cane and double chocolate, are popular during the holiday season. Others like toasted marshmallow or gingerbread might be new ones that you and your child get to experience together.
Price at time of publish: $22.94
Dimensions: 9.06 x 1.9 x 13.1inches | Days: 12 | Filled with: Hot cocoa mix
How to Pick the Right Advent Calendar for Kids
Kids love to see their favorite characters, activities, or interests represented all year long and a themed advent calendar is the perfect way to do it during the holiday season. It can also be a great way to show your child, especially tweens and teens, that you value their interests and passions.
The best advent calendars for young babies and toddlers aren’t going to be the same as those suited for older kids and teens. Look at the recommended age range before choosing, especially if the advent calendar comes with small parts. Activities are a great way to incorporate education, STEM, and bonding time. Just make sure that they are age-appropriate for your child to do independently. Otherwise, plan to assist them.
Advent calendars don’t have to cost a fortune but some can get quite pricey. If you opt for a more expensive advent calendar for your kids, look for one that comes with toys or surprises that they can enjoy after the holidays are over.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I fill my kids’ advent calendar with?
Fill your advent calendar with small treats, such as candy and chocolate, which are popular with kids because they are easy to find. You can also add in a couple of bigger surprises, such as tickets to an event that you can attend together.
Who has the best chocolate advent calendar?
La Maison du Chocolat Paris has a luxury advent calendar with delicious, handcrafted chocolates. Popular chocolatiers Godiva and Kinder have more affordable options that are also very tasty and easy to find.
What is a good age range for a kid to have an advent calendar?
Most advent calendars start with a recommended age of 3, but you can include young babies and toddlers in the fun by getting a fillable calendar. Customize it with their favorite toddler-friendly snacks, or just let them take in the magical Christmas scenes.
Take Our Word For It
Katie Melynn is a freelance writer who covers all of the best products for your home. She compiled this list by searching for advent calendars for kids of all ages. As a mother of three, she is very familiar with the competition for treats among siblings and made note of calendars that could be shared or were inexpensive enough to get multiple matching ones for siblings still learning to share. She also looked for activities that built in time for family bonding, which is one of her favorite parts of the holidays.