The 9 Best Advent Calendars for Kids of 2022

Count down to the holidays with the Oriental Cherry Fluffy Slime Advent Calendar

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Counting down to Christmas is an exciting time for many kids. The best advent calendars make the lead-up to the holidays fun and rewarding with little gifts for 24 days before the big day. The one thing we advise when it comes to the best advent calendars; shop early! These often sell out every year.

Reviewed & Approved

The Oriental Cherry DIY Fluffy Slime Kit Advent Calendar is a set that has some fun mix-ins among 30 different surprises to get kids in the holiday spirit. For toddlers, we recommend the Play-Doh Advent Calendar.

Advent calendars are great for any age, but there are some aimed at younger children and some that are more universal. You’ll also want to consider themes, budget, and quality when deciding which calendar may be best for your family. We carefully considered disposable versus reusable, traditional versus trendy themes, age guidelines, design, value, and material when reviewing products.

Here are the best advent calendars for kids.

Best Overall: Oriental Cherry DIY Fluffy Slime Kit Advent Calendar

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Oriental Cherry DIY Fluffy Slime Kit Advent Calendar

Courtesy of Amazon

We named the Oriental Cherry DIY Fluffy Slime Kit Advent Calendar our top pick because kids are obsessed with all things slime-related. This advent calendar will play into their love for the ooey-gooey stuff. Filled with fun mix-ins, the set has over 30 different surprises that will help to ease the anticipation for the upcoming holiday.

Best for Big Kids: Funko Pop 2021 Pokemon Advent Calendar

Funko Pop 2021 Pokemon Advent Calendar

Courtesy of Amazon

Older kids will get a kick out of this calendar filled with 24 Pokémon Pocket Pops to add to their collection of these adorable vinyl toys. Cute, durable, and portable, the Funko series characters are fun for all ages. Be sure to preorder this calendar before it sells out.

Best for Toddlers: Play-Doh Advent Calendar

Play-Doh Advent Calendar

Courtesy of Amazon

Play-Doh is so much fun for toddlers and helps them learn, play and develop. This calendar comes with 5 cans of Play-Doh and behind each door is a new tool to create shapes and designs with.

This is great for younger kids as the numbers are in order so they won’t need to hunt for the next day. Fans of the product rave about how excited kids were to see what tool or shape cutter they would open up, and it left them playing and creating long after!

Best LEGO: LEGO City Advent Calendar

LEGO City Advent Calendar

Courtesy of Amazon

Every year there are a few LEGO advent calendars to choose from, but this City version has the most holiday spirit. It is a great introduction to the exciting world of LEGO City. Each day kids will add to the Christmas adventures with mini characters, a Christmas tree, Santa’s sleigh, and a snowy city play mat.

The best part is these LEGO pieces can be added to any collection and used year-round. Be sure to snatch one of these up as they sell out fast every year!

Best for First Christmas: Wee Gallery Festive Friends Advent Calendar

Wee Gallery Festive Friends Advent Calendar

 Courtesy of Maisonette

Your child’s very first countdown to Christmas is the perfect time to splurge on a beautifully designed advent calendar. This one from Wee Gallery is modern and neutral-colored with cute winter animals printed on the pockets. It’s handmade and made with 100% organic cotton—the perfect keepsake for a new baby.

Best Reusable: West Elm Wooden Tree Advent Calendar

Advent Calendar

West Elm

This wooden reusable advent calendar is well designed with drawers big enough to fit a few candies or notes with activities on them. The beautiful Christmas scene and neutral tones make it fit well with lots of decor styles. Made of wood, the book shape folds up nicely and stores easily for use the following year.

Keep in mind the drawers are too small for the average toy, so it may take some creative thinking to come up with unique ideas for each day.

Best Teens: Coogam Metal Wires Advent Calendar

Coogam Metal Wires Advent Calendar

Courtesy of Amazon

This brain teaser advent calendar is great for the entire family but especially good for those teens who are into STEM and building. The calendar includes 24 different style metal wire puzzles with no repeats. 

This is a great alternative to a candy advent calendar with each day posing a new challenge. Reviewers love the anticipation of the next day’s puzzle and parents are happy this calendar helps stimulate the minds of their children.

Best Wooden: Melissa & Doug Wooden Advent Calendar

Melissa & Doug Wooden Advent Calendar

Courtesy of Amazon

This wooden calendar can be used year after year with its 24 re-usable magnets and shining star. Kids can pick a favorite design to place on the tree each day, and they will love moving and rearranging the pieces to customize their own tree numerous times.

It even has a holiday poem on the back that encourages the family to get into the festive spirit as a read-aloud ritual.  This is a fun hands-on advent calendar suggested for kids ages 4 and up.

Best for Hanukkah: Fun Express Hanukkah Countdown Felt Calendar

Fun Express Hanukkah Countdown Felt Calendar

Courtesy of Fun Express

Celebrate Hanukkah in style with this high-quality felt piece themed like a menorah and filled with candles. You can pull out the felt candles and it is a great way to make kids feel like they are participating in lighting the menorah by having their own. If you want to add a sweet treat, the pockets are the perfect size for small candies.

It comes with a string and dowel that makes for easy hanging on a wall.

Final Verdict

For younger tots that can't fully participate in the countdown to Christmas, the Melissa and Doug Wooden Advent Calendar (view on Amazon) is a great way to get them involved, minus the candy and toys.

The DIY Fluffy Slime Kit calendar (view on Amazon) is ideal for the whole family, even your big kids who are aging out of some holiday traditions. They might not believe in Santa but this advent calendar will put them in a cheerful mood!

What to Look for in Advent Calendars for Kids

Traditional vs. Trendy

Breaking out the advent calendar on December 1 is a cherished Christmas tradition that has evolved over time from traditional paper calendars filled with chocolate to trendy options that fit today’s modern decor. The original advent calendar was a simple cardboard design filled with candy. Fast forward 50 years and some families opt for tiny toys and mini gifts over sweets.

While there are still many traditional advent calendars that feature chocolates for each day during the month of December, there are endless alternative options that won't cause a sugar rush. Depending on your child's age and your family's traditions, you may choose to opt for a trendy calendar like the Funko Pop! Pokemon Countdown (view on Amazon) or a traditional and customizable one like the gorgeous West Elm Wooden Tree (view on West Elm).

Disposable vs. Reusable

One of the best parts about some advent calendars is that you can reuse them each year. Considering your children's age and the construction of the calendar will ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. 

If you have older children who are close to aging out of the tradition, you may want to consider a disposable advent calendar. With so many fun themes to choose from, disposable options allow you to choose a specific calendar that your big kids will enjoy that year, depending on their changing interests and needs.

If you have smaller children, check out advent calendars made from fabric or wood so that the one you choose can be reused year after year. Reusable advent calendars can also be passed down to the next generation, so you may want to keep that in mind, too. 

Age Guidelines

Before purchasing an advent calendar, be sure to check the age recommendation. This will depend on what the calendar is made from and the surprise inside each day for the month. Older children may be thrilled to eat the chocolate while younger children may prefer a toy instead. But for small children, you'll want to make sure the toys (or treats) are not choking hazards.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the benefits of using an Advent calendar?

    Advent calendars offer a fun way to count down to a holiday. These products give a child a tiny treat or toy each day, building excitement for Christmas (or Hanukkah). This practice can also become a cherished family tradition.

  • What can kids learn from using an Advent calendar?

    Kids can learn a variety of important lessons from using an Advent calendar. They will count down from the first to the last day on the calendar, which helps develop counting skills and their understanding of calendars and the sequencing of numbers. They can also learn about patience, as they will need to wait to open each item until its designated day.

  • What is the purpose of an Advent calendar?

    The purpose of an Advent calendar is to celebrate the build-up to Christmas (or Hanukkah), marking the days leading up to the holiday. These calendars often become a fun holiday tradition that kids (and parents) look forward to each year. Plus, the candy and/or toys inside are lots of fun, too.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Deanna McCormack is a freelance writer who focuses on family, lifestyle, and commerce. She regularly tests and researches products for young children and parenthood and stays up to date with the latest technology for the home.

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  1. American Academy of Pediatrics. Choking prevention.