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 holiday season 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.
An Advent Calendar is a fun tradition where you countdown the days until Christmas with small gifts and tiny items that are opened each day. Personally, I love that the advent calendar is an easy way for the whole family to get into the holiday spirit and begin celebrating before Christmas day arrives.
You can definitely buy one (like these).
Or you can make your own advent calendar, with one of these easy DIY ideas.
Simply start with an empty advent calendar, and begin filling it with some of these awesome advent calendar gifts.
That’s why I created this handy-dandy list!
And even though I created this list with kids in mind, who wouldn’t love to get a fun surprise each day during the holidays? Adults and big kids love Advent Calendars too!
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 calendar gift 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 balm or Chapstick 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.
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.
Erasers are a great advent calendar filler idea. Kids love erasers and they are small enough to fit in advent calendars.
Paper bills and coins make the perfect Advent Calendar fillers for kids. Small enough to fit in anywhere and money is always appreciated by kids.
Place a couple candy cane spoons in an advent calendar for a fun treat that is yummy and fun.
This adorable holiday themed bottles arrive empty, ready for you to fill with your favorite brand of hand sanitizer, lotion or soap.
A small container of bubbles is a great advent filler. Bubbles are fun to play with, they come in tons of kid-friendly scents and colors and get kids moving around.
16) Play-Doh Minis
These small containers are the perfect mini-gift to put in an advent for kids.
17) Ice Cream Shop Gift Certificate
All kids love ice cream! Get a gift certificate or gift card from your local ice cream shop and surprise your little one with a fun treat.
Advent calendar fillers don’t have to be toys. Put a smile on your child’s face with these kid-friendly Christmas themed jokes. Print them out and fold them up for your kids to find in their Advent calendar.
These all natural bath drops are non-toxic and so much fun. Kids will love bath time when they can have fun mixing colors and watching the water bubble and change color.
These scented pencils are made from recycled newspapers are so much fun! This pack comes in holiday-themed scents that kids will love!
These vouchers are full of personalized rewards to recognize your kiddos for their good behavior or helping around the house.
22) Hot Wheels
A classic kid’s favorite – any child will be excited to add another Hot Wheel to their collection.
23) Finger Boards
Just like real skateboards, but miniature. Kids will have fun using their fingers to practice their riding, flipping and grinding.
24) Locket Necklace
A locket is a sentimental gift to give to your child in their advent this year. Place a small photo or memento inside to make it even more magical.
Tired of reminding your child to tie their shoes? Skip the battle with these laces that make it easy for kiddos to slip their shoes on and off.
I absolutely loved these as a kid. Watching them transform from tiny toys to monstrous giants was so much fun. I am sure your kids will love them as much as I did.
27) Hair Scrunchies
A practical staple for every girl right now. Perfect for messy buns, ponytails or just wearing them on their wrists like I see so many girls doing.
31) Kinder Joy Egg
Miniature puzzles are great advent calendar gifts. You could even give a few individual pieces of the puzzle each day to build the anticipation.
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
51) Christmas Cookie Cutters
These adorable cookie cutters would make a practical and useful advent gift. 12 cookie cutters are the perfect way to countdown the 12 days of Christmas.
52) Embroidery Thread
Used to make friendship bracelets, emroidery thread is a great advent calendary gift that is small and useful.
Crafting beads are tiny and can be used in so many ways; jewelry, art projects, ornaments, coasters etc.
These non-toxic, paperless crayons are perfect for toddlers and young kids. A special formulation makes them hard to break and so much better than traditional crayons.
Great for making bracelets and fun hairstyles!
68) Movie Tickets
69) Theme Park Pass
There you have it ya’ll. Tons of ideas of what to put in your child’s advent calendar this year.
I hope this post has inspired you to start an advent calendar tradition with your family. It’s the perfect way to get into the Christmas Spirit and countdown the days of Christmas.
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, poems, bible verses, 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!
There are tons of easy DIY Advent Calendars that you can make with items that you already have in your home, like a muffin tin or even brown paper bags.