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DIY Advent Calendar Filler Ideas

Are you looking to make an awesome advent calendar your kids will love? Check out these DIY advent calendar filler ideas!

DIY advent calendar ideas

I am kind of obsessed with advent calendars. I have a thing for organization and packaging, and advent calendars combine the two. Also, while I enjoy other holidays, Christmas is the only one I truly care about. Advent calendars extend Christmas into the entire month!

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Growing up, the lucky Christmases were the ones where we had a chocolate advent calendar. Usually I would share one with a sibling – one of us got to open odd-numbered days, and the other would get to open even-numbered days. I did those with my kids for a year or two, but the chocolate really isn’t that great. Then I gave LEGO advent calendars and Playmobil advent calendars a go. I would watch for sales on them during the year, because they don’t usually go on sale around Christmas. We like to keep presents on Christmas day really simple, and this was a way for the kids to get a toy for Christmas without adding toy clutter to Christmas day celebrations.

The problem was, those advent calendars don’t usually come with the pieces my kids would really love to have. I’m a fan of simple living, and we live in a pretty small house. I don’t want toys that my kids don’t love in the house.

How to Find the Best Advent Calendar Fillers

How to make an awesome advent calendar

So last Christmas I decided to create my own advent calendar. The kids had a couple of Playmobil sets they had been eyeing. I put together the advent calendar you see above using my Silhouette machine. Then I bought the sets, and divided them into the boxes. Each child got one piece of their set every day. You don’t need a very large Playmobil set to be able to divide it into 24 boxes!

You can do this with LEGO sets as well! Just look through the instructions and give the pieces for a new step every day. You can keep them organized in small plastic bags.

Not a LEGO or Playmobil family? You can do this with any of your favorite toys! Just divide the sets into pieces and then share them out among the different containers for the advent calendar.

The box I bought for our advent calendar is not longer sold, but Amazon sells nice wooden advent calendars, and Etsy sells lovely advent calendars. We are re-using our advent calendar this year, but I’m also sewing an advent calendar. We will use the fabric advent calendar for our Sing Your Way to Christmas advent cards. I also enjoy wrapping up picture books (usually books we already own!) for our picture book advent calendar.

Tips for creating the perfect advent calendar for your family

DIY STEAM Advent Calendar Filler Ideas

You can have an education Advent calendar with this fun STEAM advent calendar created by some of my bloggy friends. Just click on the image below to find their ebook:

25 Days of STEAM Activities for Kids

Do you have a favorite advent calendar tradition? What are your favorite DIY advent calendar filler ideas? Please share in the comments! You can also share a photo or post on my Facebook page, or tag me on Instagram

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

6 thoughts on “DIY Advent Calendar Filler Ideas”

  1. This was so helpful! I think kids should choose what they want to read to a certain point, but parents can still help guide their selections, and maybe you could give them a book for one of your advent calendar days.

  2. Natalie PlanetSmartyPants

    Your calendar looks amazing! We also did a DIY calendar by breaking a LEGO set into parts. Breaking instructions into parts and reprinting them was a major chore though! I like a DIY Playmobil idea better.

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