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Ideas for advent calendar ?

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#1 Sun kissed

Posted 02 November 2013 - 06:17 PM

I bought a wooden advent calendar we the intention of putting little surprises in it but the little boxes were actually too small

So I found today one that hangs so am after 24 ideas for little pressies for the kids - both boys

#2 CupOfCoffee

Posted 02 November 2013 - 06:21 PM

Depending on their age and size of the pocket
Farm animals
Yo yo
Matchbox cars
Hi bounce Ball
Colourful shoelaces

#3 Pssst...

Posted 02 November 2013 - 06:30 PM

I'm doing one for DD1 (3yrs) for the first time this year. I plan to do a mix of little chocolates/lollies and activities such as setting up the tree, having photo with Santa, going to carols/seeing lights, the tickets to the nutcracker concert we're going to etc

I'll probably include a few little toys like stickers and those mini bubble blowing tubs.

Am going to follow the this thread to see what others suggest too :)

#4 Chelara

Posted 02 November 2013 - 06:52 PM

Fridge magnet, erasers, badges, key ring, playing cards/snap Etc, slimy rubber insects/lizards, a whistle, army men, Schliek figurines or other plastic figures, play do, Lego men, temporary tats, yoyo, plastic watch, silly putty, slime, little water pistol.

#5 LynnyP

Posted 02 November 2013 - 06:54 PM

The activities idea is sheer brilliance.

#6 Loungelizard

Posted 02 November 2013 - 07:31 PM

I've made a calendar last two years and I started them from 24. The first year I did little notes with activities and only a few lollies, the second I added a couple of small presses. This year I am wrapping little matchboxes and sticking them to canvas in a tree shape.
I will put a little note saying ' you may get a present from mum ', let's do an activity or outing, get a lolly from the jar. The boxes will be too small for much hence the notes. I will have a bag with presents somewhere.

I am thinking of treating it like a Santa stocking and buying small present that they get in the lead up to Xmas.

Xmas coloring in
Xmas craft
Singing carols
Beach trips
Library holiday craft
Stretchy animals
Little animals
Hair clips
Matchbox cars

#7 SlightlyLeftFeral

Posted 02 November 2013 - 07:41 PM

DD4 and I are doing an activity based calendar.

It will include baking, craft, decorating the tree, making cards, Santa photos, daycare Christmas party, carols, Christmas books/movies, choosing a gift for the wishing tree and decoration shopping.

#8 Procrastinator5000

Posted 02 November 2013 - 08:02 PM

I can't think of anything worse than 24 little bits of (more) clutter in my house. I love the activities idea too! That, or edible treats.

#9 Wild Strawberry

Posted 02 November 2013 - 08:41 PM

My boys decorate 25 paper lunch bags and peg them on some tinsel/string.

Some days I put in a small Choc or an activity (depends what I feel like doing that day). On the 25th the bag is left under the tree with a small present each (thus year will be a Lego minifig) and they can open that before we wake up :)

Some activities are
write Xmas cards
Put up Xmas tree
See Xmas lights
Xmas craft
Xmad baking
Xmas sewing
Any Xmas parties we have on
Xmas photos
Park for a picnic lunch
Beach trip
Visit to friends

Anything I can think of doing on that day really :)

#10 Crombek

Posted 03 November 2013 - 07:26 AM

Our advent calendar has wooden drawers & I put mini baubles for the tree in each slot. DS is only 2, so too young to feel ripped off about the lack of lollies just yet.

#11 HRH Countrymel

Posted 03 November 2013 - 07:45 AM

Is it wrong to look back nostalgically on the days of yore when the excitement (and it was big excitement) was simply opening the day to see the picture?

I have a suspicion that Advent calendars have somehow got merged with the Hanukkah traditions along the way and now we think that they require a 'treat' each day!

My mother got away so lightly - 1. Let the kid open the little cardboard door 2. Watch the kid be wildly excited that there was a donkey/star/shepherd/etc behind it 3. Get on with day!

#12 FeralFemboside

Posted 03 November 2013 - 07:53 AM

I love the activities idea! My partner sewed us an awesome advent calendar but the little pockets are too small for much to go in them, especially now there's two kids.

#13 Dionysus

Posted 03 November 2013 - 07:56 AM

I have a wooden one, I think it's a train (DH bought it last year) and the boxes are very small

I did some activity notes and very small lollies - think one smartie

Good idea for some of the notes to say collect a lolly. Why didn't I think of that last year?! Lol

Activities included:
- decorate the tree
- visit the Christmas lights store
- go to Lobethal Lights with nanny and papa
- carols by candlelight
- Christmas baking
- Christmas shopping for the cousins

#14 Guest_skooch_*

Posted 03 November 2013 - 08:02 AM

Countrymel Im so glad that Im not the only one with such fond memories of the picture calenders!

I grew up with those in England,they were beautiful scenes with such delicate pretty pictures behind the doors. I have not seen them since we moved to Australia and I would love to have had the chance to get them for my children.

#15 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 03 November 2013 - 08:12 AM

Ours is a set of pockets below a felt tree. Each day the kids get an ornament to decorate the felt tree. Best thing is it is reusable, does not have the kids eating crap everyday and means we don't have lots of junk.

Like this


#16 FeralLIfeHacker

Posted 03 November 2013 - 08:15 AM

I'm getting 25 2ndhand xmas books and reading one each night. I don't want the clutter or the sugar.  I just need to find enough boook sin the 50cent opshop tubs!

#17 HRH Countrymel

Posted 03 November 2013 - 09:08 AM

View Postskooch, on 03 November 2013 - 08:02 AM, said:

Countrymel Im so glad that Im not the only one with such fond memories of the picture calenders!

I grew up with those in England,they were beautiful scenes with such delicate pretty pictures behind the doors. I have not seen them since we moved to Australia and I would love to have had the chance to get them for my children.

Ah that makes sense!  I can vaguely remember "with love from Grandad and Grandma" written on the back of ours so it would have come from the UK!

The pictures were so beautiful.

#18 Chelli

Posted 03 November 2013 - 09:20 AM

We have a felt one where I put activities in there. Things put in there are:
Tonight we are having a BBQ on the beach for tea.
Today is a pajama and Christmas movies day.
Tonight we are doing Christmas carols in the park.
Today we are Christmas shopping for Madeline (this is our Angel baby and we buy something for the wishing tree for someone her age if she was still with us).
The one for Christmas Eve is that they get to open one gift under the tree. Every year they know it will be pyjamas but they still get excited.

#19 TopsyTurvy

Posted 03 November 2013 - 09:45 AM

Some lovely ideas here ladies :)

I love the activities idea.

Already planning my list now, however my PIL already gave DS one of those cardboard with chocolate ones, so it's going to be 2 advent calendars here!

#20 Pssst...

Posted 13 November 2013 - 12:44 PM

Not sure if anyone is still reading, but I thought I'd post my list in case it helps anyone still stuck for ideas:

1st: Xmas PJs to wear for the month
2nd: little chocolate
3rd: bangle/bracelet
4th: stickers
5th: write Xmas cards
6th: little chocolate
7th: hair tie/clip
8th: put up tree
9th: little chocolate
10th: Xmas craft (eg paddle pop stick stars, toilet roll santas)
11th: stickers
12th: santa photo
13th: little chocolate
14th: hair tie/clip
15th: make Xmas biscuits
16th: choose a gift to put under the wishing tree
17th: see DJs Xmas window with Grampy?
18th: wrap presents for FDC carers
19th: bubble wand
20th: little chocolate
21st: make rocky road
22nd: nutcracker show
23rd: little chocolate
24th: put out treats for santa and reindeer

This is for DD1 who is 3. I have another calendar for DD2 but she'll only be 1 in December so I might not bother for her this year

#21 farfaraway

Posted 13 November 2013 - 12:50 PM

We have beautiful hand-sown calendars made by a friend that are for the girls every year. In the past I hve done stickers, Santa choccies, toys etc, but they've become obsessed by the sugar rush and turned into little nightmares over it! So this year I have 2 small Lego Friends kits. The instruction manual is going into day 1, and one piece of Lego each day until they have the whole kit by the 24th. Slightly evil, but hoping they will enjoy the process! And no flipping Santa chocolate wars at breakfast time!

#22 Tea and Biscuit

Posted 13 November 2013 - 08:37 PM

I saw picture advent calendars in Kids Stuff that were similar to the ones we had growing up. I Have also previously brought beautiful ones from book stores like Better Dead Then Read in Newtown, Nsw.
When i was growing up i shared an advent calendar with two siblings. We would take turns opening a door and were genuinely excited for each other. Can't imagine some kids being able to do that. I love the idea of the activity based ones though.

#23 Tender Heart

Posted 15 November 2013 - 12:08 PM

If anyone is still after ideas, I just came across these lists of activities on Pinterest.


#24 zosedesigns

Posted 17 November 2013 - 10:04 PM

What good ideas to have activities - crafts, trips, reading, coloring, baking, decorating, etc., - instead of the usual consumer-based gifts of "clutter" as one of the posters mentioned. Perfect suggestions! We will do this as well.

#25 sunflower07

Posted 28 November 2013 - 09:17 AM

Thank you for all the lovely ideas. This year I am crafting my own advent calendar for my daughter, using Kaiser MDF calendar base and scrapbook paper. Left it almost to the last minute though... Your ideas are great, this way my daughter will end up not only with chocolate but little things and activities as well. :-)For those of you who love the paper / cardboard calendars with little pictures in them - Phoenix Trading from the UK do a gorgeous range - some of them are collectables, others even reusable, where you add a little piece of decoration every day instead of opening a door. They are also available here in Oz through their independent traders.


Edited by sunflower07, 28 November 2013 - 11:58 AM.

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