I know. I knowww it’s too early for holiday stuff, especially before Thanksgiving, but advent calendars get a pass because you need ’em by December 1. Which is in a few weeks. And this year, I was looking for non-chocolate advent calendars for a few reasons: one, kids + chocolate before breakfast = no; two, toddler is woke to whatever big sis is eating and I don’t want to be painstakingly bisecting tiny candies before my eyes are even open, and three, the chocolate isn’t even good. There are so many fun options on the market, from pre-filled toy versions to gorgeous personalized – ones you can use year after year.
Our top pick in this house is the playmobil advent calendar – perfect for a toddler + kindergartener, but I found all kinds of cool, modern options for all ages & stages. We’re talking Star Wars to hand-embroidered heirloom pieces you can incorporate into your existing holiday traditions and fill with whatever you want. My absolute favorite idea, especially in light of recent events, is tucking a note with an act of kindness for each day of the month into the fill-it-yourself versions.
My Pick – Playmobil 123 (For The Littlest Ones)
Both girls really like playing with their dad’s playmobil stuff from the 70s but it has a million tiny parts that end up in the toddler’s mouth or stabbing my bare feet. (And I’m pretty sure BPA wasn’t a concern then.) I love that this playmobil 123 version is for younger kids but I know my older one will have fun with it too, and it’s a pretty open-ended theme so they can incorporate it into playing with the OG playmobil knights and farm stuff we have. (This guy likes it, too! He reviews the playmobil police & Barbie versions too, maybe more entertaining after some wine. I think he’s had some.)
An Advent Calendar Based on Books?
(photo credit: The Modern Mrs. Darcy)
Cam found this amazingly simple but awesome book advent calendar at The Modern Mrs. Darcy, totally customizable to your family since you choose the books. Raising two little bookworms, this is right up our alley. Totally doing this next year! Can you guys recommend any holiday kids book favorites or new ones that might be under the radar? (This Night Before Christmas pop-up book is simply amazing). Love that you don’t necessarily need to buy new books for this one, too.
The Best Non-Chocolate Advent Calendars
And finally, here are some ready-made, DIY-ish or toy-filled calendar versions that caught my eye this year: