Are you on an advent calendar hunt? Here’s where to buy kids’ advent calendars that are not all about chocolate…
It can be hard getting Christmassy in the tropics but decorating your Christmas tree and getting an advent calendar is one fun way to get the Christmas feels. Instead of paying a fortune at the supermarket for overpriced chocolate calendars and doling out refined sugar treats every morning (call me a party pooper!), here are 8 alternative advent calendars, some as cheap as $8! Many of these kids’ Christmas advent calendars are reusable and some you can even make yourself!
Swipe through the gallery for where to buy chocolate advent calendar alternatives…
These bad boys are every LEGO fan’s dream! LEGO advent calendars (from $34.99) come in different themes from Harry Potter to LEGO City, LEGO Friends and even Star Wars, and they sell out fast! You can find them at Toys ‘R’ Us and often at the LEGO shop Secret Chamber in Holland Village. Littler hands may prefer the Playmobil advent calendar ($59.95) available on Amazon.
Looking for a reusable advent calendar that doesn’t get kids primed to expect a gift or treat every day up to Christmas? The super cheap “Sleeps Until Santa” Countdown Calendar from Next ($8) counts down the days until Christmas with a fun Santa display showing a new number in the belt.
From Next online
Smiggle’s advent calendar ($44.95) offers a count down of Smiggle fun by way of Smiggle stationery, including Glitter Glue, Rainbow Pencils, Notebook Keyrings, and 8 items exclusive to the calendar! Plus if your kid finds one of 30 lucky tickets inside they will win a HUGE Smiggle shopping spree!
From Smiggle, various outlets or online.
IKEA offers an affordable option for advent calendars at $9.90 with their VINTERFEST Advent Calendar, which comprises 25 cute Santa, Christmas Tree and Reindeer gift boxes that you can fill with treats for your kids to open. The set also comes with accompanying stickers to number each day for a count down to Christmas!
From IKEA, various outlets or online.
This is a great one for giving back during this time where it can seem like everything is about asking for treats from Santa! This idea works by giving the gift of food or staples to count down until Christmas. From 1st December, place one item (or one per child) into your box; feel free to get cutesy and decorate a box or hamper for this, or just have a plain cardboard box. Items that are good to include for food banks are tinned or non perishables like coffee, hot chocolate, long-life milk, canned food, cooking oils, rice, noodles, pasta, peanut butter, toothbrushes and toothpaste. Make sure products are within expiry and not rusting or opened.
A few days before Christmas pack up your box and head to a charity with your kids so they can see how they’ve helped. If you’ve chosen to put money in the box each day, take your kids to do a supermarket shop with the cash on day 22, then take your groceries to your charity. It’s useful to note the last day of food bank or charity collection so you can time your hamper drop off. Donate to a charity like the Foodbank or Willing Hearts
This sweet advent calendar idea scores for creativeness and affordability (absolutely no need to buy gifts or sweeties!). You’ll need some string, paper bags or envelopes, and pegs to hang up your creation. Just decorate the bags, number them, and fill them with little poems, heartfelt messages, religious quotes, experience-style gifts like “today we will play LEGO for an hour together” “A play at Jacob Ballas“.
This is a personal favourite, as my mother made us one when we were kids: a beautiful padded 3D Christmas tree from which she hung little wrapped presents to mark each day before Christmas. I distinctly remember Barbie boots on one day, chocolate on another! There are some great cloth advent calendars out there that don’t even promote presents each day, but are fun ways to mark each day’s countdown using the advent calendar itself.
This DIY option is the affordable choice and if you make it with your kids then that’s an afternoon of craft activities thrown in, too! You need a mini muffin tray of 24 spaces or two trays holding 12 muffins. Cut out circles from cardboard to cover the openings – draw festive pictures, then get your kids to colour them in, then add numbers for the countdown! When your kids are asleep fill each holder with pre-bought knick-knacks, or notes saying something fun like “after school we will do painting or play hide and seek”. Cover the spaces with your cardboard, tape shut, and you’re good to go!
Lead image via Pixabay
Next Countdown calendar via Next
Smiggle calendar via Smiggle
IKEA advent calendar via IKEA
Muffin Tin Advent Calendar image via Babble
Reverse Advent Calendar image via IHeart Organizing
LEGO Advent Calendar image via Hello Subscription
Paper Advent Calendar image via Tabula Rosi
Fabric Advent Calendar image via Balsam Hill