Opening the first advent calendar box on the 1st of December is the start of Xmas for many kids. Parents may want to put some thought into the types of calendars available to buy (or even make). There are plenty of options to choose from. Let’s take a look at some Christmas advent calendar ideas.
Traditional Advent Calendars Can be Less Commercial
In the not so distant past, advent calendars didn’t come with chocolates or toys. Traditional Christmas calendars showed a seasonal scene with inset tabs for each day of the month. Each day, children would open the relevant door to see a Xmas picture. For some parents, even today, this kind of calendar is appealing. It’s not as commercial as modern products, won’t involve eating chocolate for breakfast and costs less.
Chocolate Advent Calendars Appeal to Many Kids
This is the advent calendar of choice for most kids nowadays. The daily door opening principle still works but, behind each one, kids will find a piece of chocolate. These products are already on sale with many parents picking them up on special offer in supermarkets and stores. Unlike traditional Christmas calendars which tend to stop on December 24th, chocolate versions may also carry on into the New Year, making them even more attractive to kids.
Toy Advent Calendar Ideas: Playmobil and Lego
Kids that enjoy playing with Lego or Playmobil may really enjoy a toy-based calendar. Playmobil calendars usually build an advent tableau with a toy or accessory behind each day’s door. Over December, these can be put together and used to build the scene. This year, the manufacturer is offering five themes (all with RRPs of £14.99):
- Christmas in the Forest.
- Dragon’s Land.
- Pony Ranch
- Unicorn in Fairy World.
Lego also produces a couple of advent calendars each year. These give out a toy or a themed accessory each day. This year, there are two versions (Lego City and Lego Kingdoms) on offer, both of which retail for £24.99. Bear in mind that it can sometimes be difficult to find toy calendars in stores, especially as Christmas approaches, and it may be worth buying early.
Reusable Wooden, Fabric and Felt Advent Calendars
Some parents prefer to buy advent calendars that they can use year after year. These are most often made from wood, fabric or felt. Each will have pockets, boxes or doors marked with the date and parents choose the gifts that go inside. For many kids, using the same Christmas calendar each year becomes part of a family tradition. These products may be more expensive than a traditional/chocolate option but you’ll only need to buy them once and your annual costs will be limited to the gifts that go inside.
Parents Can Make Advent Calendars Using Free Online Patterns
Some parents like to make their own advent calendars. You don’t have to be particularly “handy” to do this as it is easy to find simple templates and patterns for free online. The AllCrafts website has a variety of different homemade craft guides that may be worth a look. Some involve sewing or knitting skills; others can be made by just about anyone with willpower and a bit of glue!
Find Free Advent Calendar Templates Online
Parents (and kids) could also look at making their own Christmas calendars online. There are many different templates that you can download and print. These are generally for traditional calendars although some are for online versions. The Advientos site adds a twist by allowing you to customise a calendar with photos and messages. These can then be emailed to family and friends or printed off to construct a paper or card copy.