Today I am sharing my favorite advent calendar fillers for kids. Advents, or countdown calendars are such a fun Christmas tradition. Kids just love the excitement of tracking the days until Santa arrives. If you are looking for practical and unique ideas for your advent calendar, that aren’t just a bunch of candy and plastic junk, you are going to love these!
I am a huge fan of simple Christmas traditions that create lasting memories for our children.
Keeping the holidays relaxed and stress-free has been life-changing for me as a mom and I try to spread the news that it’s possible to anyone and everyone who will listen.
It takes intention, practice and focus – but it’s SO worth it!
The holidays used to be a time of stress, overwhelm and debt that I basically wanted to avoid.
Related Post: How to Simplify Christmas this Year
Now, I look forward to this time of year knowing that my kids won’t be little forever and these moments are fleeting and precious.
If you are looking for a simple way to celebrate the holidays with your children you should definitely try an advent calendar.
You can definitely buy one (like these).
Or you can make your own DIY Advent Calendar.
Either way, you are going to need things to put into your advent.
That’s why I created this handy-dandy list!
What to put in an Advent Calendar
As a mostly minimalist mom, I hate the idea of giving my kids junk toys in the name of tradition.
When making this list of advent fillers for toddlers and kids I tried to think of items that would be useful, practical, enjoyable and fun!
As much as possible, I tried to avoid candy and other small plastic trinkets.
That being said, there is some candy on the list because it’s a fun and special treat that kids love.
With over 50 advent filler ideas on the list you can pick and choose what works best for your family and lifestyle.
The Best Advent Calendar Fillers for Kids
1) Lip gloss
Fun and practical, lip gloss makes the perfect advent calendar filler. Everyone from toddlers to tweens, boys and girls will love these classic LipSmacker Soda Pack flavors.
A simple locket, charm or bracelet makes the perfect advent calendar surprise.
3) Whistle Pops
These were some of my all-time favorite memories from childhood and love spreading the word about this interactive candy treat. Melody Pops are part candy and part musical instrument that kids will go crazy for….PROMISE!
4) Movie Theater Tickets
Hopefully movie theaters are open in your area, but even if they aren’t showing movies I know that many privately owned theaters are still selling gift cards to keep themselves afloat during the shutdown. Purchasing tickets or gift cards now is a great way to plan ahead for some future fun while supporting locally owned businesses.
These adorable activity cards were created by a friend of mine and they make for an awesome advent calendar filler. This free printable includes tons of simple holiday activities to do with your child each day during advent. Just print the cards and slide one of the paper slips into each advent slot.
This is our favorite brand of non-toxic nail polish for kids. The tiny bottles will fit perfectly inside the advent calendar. Use the rest of the set to put in their stockings!
This classic kid favorite is a no-brainer. Plus you can cut them apart and just put one in each day and have multiple days taken care of quickly and easily.
8) Thinking Putty Minis
This product is a staple in our house since it is useful and fun for everything from family road trips to time outs. This high quality putty comes in many colors and is a great stress-reliever and helps kids to calm down when they are having trouble regulating their emotions…plus it’s just fun!
Another mini idea that is sure to be a huge hit!
This hilarious and yummy treat is the perfect tiny treat to surprise your kiddo in their advent calendar.
This adorable holiday themed bottles arrive empty, ready for you to fill with your favorite brand of hand sanitizer, lotion or soap.
16) Play-Doh Minis
17) Ice Cream Shoppe Gift Certificate
21) Kid Coupons
22) Hot Wheels
23) Finger Boards
24) Locket Necklace
27) Hair Scrunchies
31) Kinder Joy Egg
33) Bouncy Balls
35) Mini Squirt Gun
37) Parachute Guy
38) New Toothbrush
40) A Christmas Ornament
42) Water Whistle
47) Pom Pom Keychain
49) Homemade Cookies
There you have it ya’ll. Tons of ideas of what to put in your child’s advent calendar this year.
Please comment below and let me know which ideas were your favorite.
FAQ’s About Advent Calendar Fillers
What do you put in a children’s Advent calendar?
Traditionally advent calendars are filled with small treats, images, toys, poem, bible verse, puzzles or games.
How Do You Do a Christmas Countdown or Advent Calendar?
This is entirely up to you. There are actually two different ways to do this.
If you choose to follow the original tradition of Advent, you will actually not be counting down, instead you will be counting up from the first day of advent to Christmas Eve. So, you would start with 1 and end at 24.
However, most children and families decide to do the opposite and countdown the days until Christmas because this makes more sense to them. Children often ask, “How many more days until Christmas?” and by doing a Christmas Countdown instead of the traditional Advent it allows children to understand when the big day will be arriving.
How do you make a homemade Advent calendar?
I’m SO glad you asked…..I have an entire post all about DIY Advent Calendars right here!