Saturday 19 November 2011

Ideas for filling a wooden advent calendar

Ideas for filling the boxes in a wooden Advent calendar

For an updated version of this post please visit Things to fill a wooden Advent calendar for lots more ideas!

I love the wooden Advent calendar that we bought a few years ago for Harry. I had wanted a wooden Advent calendar for a long time, but I wanted to wait until Harry was old enough to have a concept of Christmas, and so I decided that this was the year. After much deliberation, we chose a lovely Advent calendar, which comes from The Range. It wasn't too expensive, only £14.99, and so I'm hoping that it will last for a few years to come! So here are some ideas that I've put together for things to fill the little Advent calendar boxes with:

Homemade mini decorations - I made some mini tree decorations from felt. I'll spread them out, and when Harry opens one he can put it on the Christmas tree. They were really simple to make and all you need is few scraps of felt and some sequins or small beads.

Tiny felt Christmas decorations

Stickers - I found a sheet of Christmas stickers which I've cut up to put into the Advent calendar individually. Most supermarkets will sell sheets of Christmas stickers, and you probably want to look for fairly large individual stickers, or cut out several joined together.

Christmas stickers

Chocolate - I am expecting this to be the most popular gift! If you buy a net bag of small chocolates you can put a chocolate each day along with something else, or several chocolates each day. If you have larger boxes to fill, you might be able to fit some chocolate coins.

Christmas chocolate balls

Small toys - We had lots of non-Christmas related toys around the house which I can use. Some have come from crackers in previous years, some we just seem to accumulate. You can also have a look for toys which are sold as fillers for party bags. Here are a few of the things that I found:

Mini pencils or crayons, keyrings, marbles, a bouncy ball, small cars tiny cars, stickers, temporary tattoos, balloons, Christmas decorations, hair ties and bobbles, costume jewellery, coins, finger puppets, erasers, pencil toppers, sequins or metallic confetti, small toys from Christmas crackers or Kinder eggs, Christmas decorations, craft items (pop poms, foam stickers, googly eyes, pipecleaners, shredded coloured paper, felt shapes to stick together, ribbon, yarn, collage materials), fridge magnets, little animal or dinosaur models, plastic glow in the dark stars or planets, seeds.

Lego or Playmobil - When Harry is older, I will think about buying a larger Lego or Playmobil model and putting a few pieces in for each day so that he can build the model, a cheaper alternative to the Lego and Playmobil Advent calendars which you can buy.

Christmas craft materials - You could put all the craft materials that are needed to decorate something like a Christmas tree, which can then be added to each day.

Jigsaw - But a Christmas themed jigsaw, and put a few pieces in each day. This is best for older children that will have the patience to wait until they have received all the pieces!

Larger gifts - You can put clues inside the boxes to help children find a larger gift hidden somewhere in the house

Christmas activities - Write out a Christmas activity for each day, for example write Christmas cards, make decorations, buy the Christmas tree, watch the Christmas lights being turned on, late night shopping, visit Father Christmas, go to a Christmas Fair, ice the Christmas cake, write to Father Christmas, wrap presents, make biscuits, watch a pantomime - this would be a really good way to get into the festive spirit!

I'll be keeping an eye out throughout the year now for little things that can go in to the Advent calendar! If you have any more ideas, please feel free to add them into the comments!

If you feel like getting crafty you can also buy a plain Advent calendar to decorate yourself like I did here - Decorating a Hobbycraft wooden Advent calendar

Decorated wooden Advent calendar from Hobbycraft


  1. We have a wooden advent calendar too and my idea for in a few years time is to put some necklace cord in the first day, then a bead or two each day and the findings to finish the necklace on the 24th. This year I think it will be mainly dolly mixtures (or similar) and some Christmas stickers if I can find them.

  2. That's a lovely idea, and then they've got something new to wear on Christmas Day. You could put a hook up somewhere to see the necklace in progress as it grows.

  3. I was just thinking about this today, great post! I got as far as Lego figures! Love the decoration idea, anything to avoid loads of sweets everyday.

  4. Last year my friend asked the same thing and I suggested a treasure hunt one day. The first clue was in the box and then they charged around the house searching for the other clues and got a present at the end of it. This allowed the surprise for that day to be something bigger than would fit in the box.

  5. Some more great ideas, thanks for the suggestions!

  6. Fab ideas! We have reusable advents calenders and I'm always stuck for ideas for filling. Love the Christmas activities idea... Great idea x

  7. I typed up verses of the Christmas story to place in our wooden advent calendar with a small candy. Each day, the kiddies hear a piece of the Christmas story all month until Christmas day when we read the final verse and our story is complete.

  8. Those mini felt decorations are so cute! They'd be good for 'fill your own' Christmas crackers too.

  9. Love the idea of breaking up a Lego kit - I will definitely do that this year with ours

  10. Great ideas! Wish I'd thought of these when mine were little. I think I'll stick to sweets for mine though (well they are 20, 18 & 13!)

  11. I love the felt suggestions. I think that'd be great to do, so I might think about that. Then N can have a small tree for his room to put them on.

    I usually do activities written on paper, or stickers and chocolate coins.

  12. My daughter is 15, so I am doing fashion earrings, bracelets, candy, movie tickets, lipstick, lip gloss, Eos lip balm.

  13. I made 24 cloth bags last year with cross stitch numbers on them. I have just finished colecting goodies to put in. Ony a few sweets. Mostly thing's to make or games and books.


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