Our Top 10 Christmas Advent Calendar Ideas

Our Top 10 Christmas Advent Calendar Ideas

Christmas is around the corner and the countdown has begun. Christmas trees are slowly going up and you can start feeling the Christmas Spirit take over, and it’s just magical! One of our favorite Christmas traditions are the Advent Calendar – the sweet surprise you get to open every single morning as you excitedly count down the days to one of the best days of every child’s childhood. I still remember the excitement of getting our Christmas Advent Calendars on the 1st of December as kids, which was often accompanied with us paging through the toy pamphlets and circling what we would like to add to our Christmas wish list. When I became a mom, I couldn’t wait to buy A his very first Christmas Advent Calendar, so when the time came, I couldn’t help but be utterly disappointed with his reaction. Although he loved the surprise of opening the little door each day, he did not enjoy the sweet surprise and his chocolates were often given away or just left somewhere. It really isn’t that exciting when you can’t enjoy the surprise. I kept trying, every year, thinking that he is a bit older and would enjoy it more now, but he still has no interest in the special, sweet treat hidden behind the door with the number on. This year I decided to try something new and give him an advent calendar that he could find joy in, just like I used to as a child. I searched high and low for ideas and in my search I found so many fun and simple ideas for advent calendars – some you can DIY and others you buy – for kids of all ages, and I wanted to share my favorites with you!

Let’s jump straight into it:

6 fun, creative and simple DIY Christmas Advent Calendars:

1. DIY Christmas Tree

I saw this Christmas tree that were made out of pellets in a shop one day, and it just immediately sparked a fun idea in my mind. The tree is very easy to put together (see photo) and I love that little A can still decorate it as well. He has outgrown his felt Christmas tree, and loves to decorate our Christmas tree so this was just perfect. I bought some small bags from Westpack and I filled it with small toys or treats that I knew he would love like tiny little animals or dinosaurs, bath toys, bath crayons, etc. You can really get creative with what you choose to put in as the surprise which makes it perfect for kids of all ages. I also used @justamamas beautiful free Scripture printable and added the scripture cards to remind him of the reason for the season. You can download it here: https://justamamma.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Bible-verses-Eng.pdf

Please don’t forget to follow her on Insta and check out some of her amazing blogposts on Christmas! https://www.instagram.com/justamamma/

If you do not want to do the pellet one, I also really love the punch through one, especially for kids who are a little older. All you need are some polystyrene cups, and cover paper. You can also make the Advent Christmas tree with toilet rolls, which turns it into a super affordable activity.

2.Cookie Advent Calendar

This one can be made or bought. All you need to do is bake 24/25 cookies and decorate them to your taste or theme. You can either number them or leave them as is. If you want to be the fun mom, you could even add some sprinkles, sweeties and icing sugar and let them decorate their own cookie every day. The choice is really up to you! These also make for awesome teacher’s gifts. 

If you prefer to leave the baking for the pro’s like me, you can also support local and order them from the following local shops:

3. Activity Advent Calendar

This one is awesome, because it doubles up as a daily activity to keep the little ones entertained over the holiday and it makes for some special bonding time with mom, dad or between siblings. Find 24 easy Christmas themed arts and crafts, baking or activity ideas (there are thousands on Pinterest) or use the ones I mentioned below. Shop the materials in advance or collect them from home and place all the materials you’ll need for each activity into a brown lunchbag, box or anything else that isn’t see through. Number the bags and place them all together. Every morning your child can then pick a bag with a surprise activity for them to do with you or their siblings! How fun?!

Here are some fun arts and crafts ideas:

  1. Make a feet mistletoe painting
  2. Make a Christmas tree craft
  3. Make a paper plate Christmas wreath
  4. Make handmade Christmas tree ornaments
  5. Make a Christmas stocking craft
  6. Make some Christmas cards for family or friends
  7. Make paper plate reindeers
  8. Decorate their own cookies
  9. Wrap gifts in normal white paper and let the kids decorate them with some paint, koki’s, crayons or stickers.
  10. Do a Christmas scavenger hunt
  11. Go look at some Christmas lights
  12. Have a movie night
  13. Have a dance party
  14. Have a picnic under the stars
  15. Make friendship bracelets or jewelry (you can use colored pasta and pipecleaners too)
  16. Have a water balloon fight
  17. Make santa binoculars
  18. Make up your own bedtime stories
  19. Have a family karaoke
  20. Do a camp out in the backyard
  21. Have a pamper/spa day
  22. Family game night
  23. Have a family photoshoot
  24. Visit a Christmas Market
  25. Make your own Christmas Crackers
For more ideas tap the link to check out my 24 day Christmas Activities blogpost – https://letterstomywildling.com/2020/11/25/25-fun-christmas-themed-activities-to-do-over-the-december-holidays-2020/

4.Cup Advent Calendar

This one is very similar to the DIY tree advent calendar; the only difference is that you just hang the polystyrene cups as is. This is a great, and simple idea for parents who are on the go and don’t have much time to plan and spend hours on decorating. You can fill the cups with whatever you think your child would enjoy from sweet treats to small little toys or spoils.


5.Sweetie Advent Calendar

This is a wonderful idea for tweens and teenagers. The idea is to make an advent calendar from their favorite sweets and snacks. You can use whatever you have – little boxes, cups, toilet rolls, etc. Cups or little boxes work best, but as I said use whatever you have. Fill the boxes or cups with their favorite sweeties or snacks. You can put something different into each little cup or box, and if you want to make it extra special you could even add a cute little note saying what you love about them or add a quote. You know your child best, so do whatever you think they would appreciate or whatever would make them feel special.


6.Sticker Advent Calendar

This one is super simple and easy and I say would be best suited for little toddlers. All you have to do is print a Santa or Christmas tree advent calendar on one of the links. You can also go find your own one on pinterest if you’d like something different. Give your toddler some stickers – make it fun – and let them stick their sticker to their page every morning. You could even laminate the page to use it again the following year.

Free printable links:

  1. https://za.pinterest.com/pin/7036943155702078/
  2. https://za.pinterest.com/pin/46161964921598550/


If you are not that into DIY’ing then that’s perfect too! Here are 4 of our favorite advent calendars that can be bought for kids of all ages:

1.Book Advent Calendar

This is one of our absolute favourite kinds of Advent Calendars and one that I would love to implement every year. There are 2 ways you can go about this one:

  • Buy the complete Advent calendar book collection as is. I have seen some beautiful ones at Exclusive Books and you can find them on Takealot as well. The children can open the little door and find a special little book hidden behind that you could read together. Some even includes little activity books!
  • Secondly you can buy your own 24 books (or even use what you have at home) and wrap each book separately. Number them 1-24 and each evening your little one gets to open a book that you can read together at bedtime that evening.

2. Slime Advent Calendar

I love this because it is something unique for our tweens! Slime is very popular now and although I won’t give this to my 4 year old, I know that my 13 year old girl would be obsessed with it! I have seen the most amazing advent calendar sets – full of glitter, sparkles and all things girly! Below are links to some local companies that I’ve seen selling them:

3. Fidget Advent

Another calendar that I know would be a hit with the older kids is definitely the fidget/pop it advent calendar!

4. LEGO Advent Calendar

Lat but not least, the LEGO Advent! This is also one of our favourites! There are so many different themes and designs to choose from and it’s something they can collect and play with for years to come!

Whichever way you choose to count down to Christmas, I hope that it’s filled with magic, wonder, and excitement just as it ought to be and that you create memories that will last a lifetime! 



Lots of Love

~ A and Mommy ~


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