The 25 Best Kids' Advent Calendars of 2022

Build up holiday excitement with LEGO, Disney storybooks, chocolate, and more

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Verywell Family / Lecia Landis

Counting down the days until Christmas is exciting for many kids and adults alike. The best kids’ advent calendars make the lead-up to the holidays fun and rewarding with little gifts, like toys and books, for 24 days before the big day. The first thing we advise when it comes to the best advent calendars: Shop early! These often sell out every year (and fast).

Reviewed & Approved

The LEGO Harry Potter Advent Calendar covers all seven magical books with unique mini builds and doubles as a board game. If you have younger kids and are looking for a toddler-friendly option, we recommend the Play-Doh Advent Calendar.

Kids of all ages will enjoy counting down the days until Santa arrives with an advent calendar, but some are specifically designed for younger children, such as toddlers or preschoolers, while others are more universal. Consider the different types of advent calendars, themes, price, and age recommendations when deciding which calendar may be best for your family. We carefully considered design, value, themes, types, and material when reviewing products. 

Here are the best advent calendars for kids.

LEGO Harry Potter Advent Calendar

4.9
LEGO Harry Potter Advent Calendar

Courtesy of LEGO

Pros
  • Every three days represents new book/movie

  • Part of advent calendar is a board game

  • Mini figures included 

Cons
  • Storage for pieces not included

You don’t have to be a wizard to assemble this Harry Potter LEGO advent calendar (thanks to LEGO's detailed instructions), which is one of the many reasons it earns the top spot on our list. Aspiring wizards will love unboxing new surprises (334 pieces total) every day leading up to Christmas. For the first three days of December, kids will receive pieces to create scenes from the first movie, while the next three days create a scene from the second movie, and so on for all seven magical “Harry Potter” stories.

The LEGO advent calendar also includes seven mini figures, like The Chosen One himself, Sirius Black, Neville Longbottom, Lord Voldemort, Moaning Myrtle, and more. Once you reach the last box, the advent calendar doubles as a board game, so it can be used for the years to come. The advent calendar is recommended for wizards or Muggles ages 7 years old and up, and combines with other LEGO Harry Potter sets for endless play possibilities.

Price at time of publication: $45

Play-Doh Advent Calendar

Play-Doh Advent Calendar

Amazon

Pros
  • Two sparkle Play-Dohs

  • Five different colors 

  • Variety of molds

Cons
  • Could use more tools

If you’re looking for a toddlers’ advent calendar, you’re in the right place. This Play-Doh advent calendar is not only fun, but also helps toddlers learn, play, and develop fine motor skills. It comes with five cans of Play-Doh, and behind each door is a new tool to create shapes and designs. The days in this advent calendar are in order, so your toddler won't have a hard time finding their next surprise.

Price at time of publication: $15

Wee Gallery Festive Friends Advent Calendar

Wee Gallery Festive Friends Advent Calendar

 Courtesy of Maisonette

Pros
  • 100% organic cotton

  • Neutral colors

  • Adorable winter animals on pockets

Cons
  • Costly

  • Does not include daily surprises

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 with 100 percent organic cotton—the perfect keepsake for a new baby.

Price at time of publication: $80

West Elm Wooden Tree Advent Calendar

Advent Calendar

West Elm

Pros
  • Neutral colors

  • 25 boxes

  • Reusable

Cons
  • Drawers are small

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 thanks to its stunning wood design.

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.

Price at time of publication: $85

Melissa & Doug Wooden Advent Calendar

Melissa & Doug Wooden Advent Calendar

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Reusable magnets and shining star

  • Holiday poem on back

  • Hands-on

Cons
  • No cover on tray

This wooden calendar can be used year after year with its 24 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.

Price at time of publication: $35

Oriental Cherry DIY Fluffy Slime Kit Advent Calendar

5
Oriental Cherry DIY Fluffy Slime Kit Advent Calendar

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • 12 slimes included

  • Accessories mix with slimes for new creations

  • Vibrant colors

Cons
  • Slimes are all same consistency

  • Some accessories are messy (glitter)

Kids are obsessed with all things slime-related. The Oriental Cherry DIY Fluffy Slime Kit 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 of the upcoming holiday.

Price at time of publication: $20

Funko Pocket Pop! 2022 Marvel Advent Calendar

Funko Pocket Pop! Marvel Advent Calendar

Courtesy of Funko

Pros
  • Days organized in chronological order

  • Characters dressed in holiday-themed outfits

  • All days feature Funko Pocket Pop! Marvel characters

Cons
  • No accessories (only characters)

Kids will love this Marvel advent calendar with a twist from Funko. Each day reveals a fun Marvel Funko Pocket Pop! collectible dressed in holiday attire, like Spider-Man in a Santa Claus hat or Groot wrapped in Christmas lights. Collectibles vary in size, with the maximum height of 2.25 inches. So your eyes don't have to scramble to find the right day, this advent calendar is arranged in chronological order. Plus, the company is releasing three other new Pocket Pop! advent calendar themes: Disney, Star Wars, and Harry Potter.

Price at time of publication: $50

LEGO City Advent Calendar 2022

LEGO City Advent Calendar 2022

Courtesy of LEGO

Pros
  • Back of calendar is foldable playmat

  • Mini figures included

  • Detailed building instructions

Cons
  • No storage for pieces

LEGO City’s advent calendars were first released in 2005, and they continue to be a hit each year with families looking for a unique and fun way to count down to the holidays. This year’s City-themed advent calendar features a variety of surprises behind all 24 doors. Kids ages 5 and up will love the fold-out winter wonderland playmat that doubles as the city’s background.

There are 287 LEGO pieces included with this advent calendar, all of which create exciting mini builds, like a piano and a Christmas tree to spruce up the city for the holiday. Plus, this advent calendar comes with characters from the “LEGO City Adventures” TV series: Mr. Produce, Billy, Maddy, Raze, Tippy, and a Santa minifigure. Building instructions are included should kiddos need a hand.

Price at time of publication: $35

Igloobooks Disney: Storybook Collection Advent Calendar 2022 Calendar

Igloobooks Disney: Storybook Collection Advent Calendar 2022 Calendar

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • 24-page books

  • Holiday-themed and everyday stories

  • Disney and Pixar characters

Cons
  • Mostly classic characters

Count down to Christmas with dozens of familiar faces from classic Disney and Pixar stories. This advent calendar features 24 paperback books with magical tales and beloved characters like Mickey Mouse and Dory from "Finding Nemo." Each 24-page book comes wrapped in a paper sleeve so kids won’t know what story to expect next. Once Christmas Eve arrives, kiddos will have an impressive storybook collection to cherish for years to come. The company makes the same advent calendar for fans of Disney princesses.

Price at time of publication: $32

The Purple Cow Crazy Scientist Advent Calendar

The Purple Cow Crazy Scientist Advent Calendar

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Manual with step-by-step instructions

  • Each block covers different subjects (chemistry, biology, etc.)

  • Great for the whole family

Cons
  • Non-included items needed for some experiments

  • Adult help may be required for some experiments

Whether you have kids who naturally love science or you’d like to foster an interest in STEM, this kids’ advent calendar from The Purple Cow is fun (and educational!) for the whole family. Each day leading up to Christmas reveals an exciting science experiment. While the main components for the experiments are included, you’ll need to use household items for some. The calendar is recommended for children ages 8 years old and up, so keep in mind that younger kids may need assistance with their science experiments. Not a scientist? No problem. The company includes a manual with step-by-step instructions to make it easy. 

Price at time of publication: $35

LEGO Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar

LEGO Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar

Courtesy of LEGO

Pros
  • Mini figures included

  • Features several mini builds

  • Calendar cover acts as playmat

Cons
  • No storage

Fans of Marvel’s "Guardians of the Galaxy" will love this new advent calendar from LEGO that allows them to get creative. The advent calendar contains 268 pieces to create mini builds and accessories for the iconic (and included) "Guardians of the Galaxy" minifigures: Rocket, Groot, Star-Lord, Mantis, and more. 

The set is recommended for children ages 6 and up, and can be used even after the holidays are over. Plus, LEGO includes detailed building instructions to make it easier on kiddos (and helping adults).

Price at time of publication: $45

Fisher-Price Little People Advent Calendar

Fisher-Price Little People Advent Calendar

Courtesy of buybuyBABY

Pros
  • Little People and accessories included

  • Flaps easy to open

  • Safety cover to prevent pieces from falling out

Cons
  • Some pieces are difficult to remove

Made for children ages 12 months to 5 years old, the Little People advent calendar from Fisher-Price will have toddlers and preschoolers entertained through December and beyond. There are 24 doors to open leading up to Christmas, with each door revealing Little People friends and accessories. Kiddos will find Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus figures, and by the time Christmas arrives, they'll have an entire collection of holiday-themed friends.

Price at time of publication: $65

Insight Editions Star Wars: The Life Day Pop-Up Book and Advent Calendar

Insight Editions Star Wars: The Life Day Pop-Up Book and Advent Calendar

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Pop-up tree of life

  • Ornaments hang on pop-up tree

  • 28-page booklet for Life Day

Cons
  • Boxes aren't numbered

If you have a fan of "Star Wars" under your roof, this pop-up advent calendar is sure to be a hit. The theme is perfect for the holidays: Life Day, a Wookiee festivity that celebrates family, harmony, and joy. Inside the advent calendar, kids will find a 13-inch pop-up Tree of Life that serves as the centerpiece for the holiday ornaments in each compartment.

In addition to the pop-up tree and ornaments, children receive adorable trinkets of beloved "Star Wars" characters, like Chewbacca, Han Solo, and more. The advent calendar is reusable and comes with a 28-page booklet commemorating Life Day.

Price at time of publication: $45

Oriental Cherry Fidget Toys Advent Calendar 202

Oriental Cherry Fidget Toys Advent Calendar 202

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Includes a variety of fidget toys

  • Fun for kids and adults

  • Fidget toys made of non-toxic materials

Cons
  • Some fidget toys duplicated

Fidget toys are very popular among kids (and adults) and come in tons of different styles, like bubble poppers or stretchy noodles. This fidget toy advent calendar from Oriental Cherry includes those toys and many more (24 to be exact), like a sensory ball, fidget spinner, and marble mesh. It’s recommended for children ages 4 and up, but adults will likely find themselves playing with the toys, too. 

Price at time of publication: $25

LEGO Friends Advent Calendar

LEGO Friends Advent Calendar

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Mini- and micro-dolls/mini builds included

  • Build and play experience

  • Pieces pair with other LEGO Friends collections 

Cons
  • No storage

We love everything about this new advent calendar from LEGO Friends. Behind each door, kids will find mini-dolls, micro-dolls, and mini builds to create a fun scene with Olivia and her family while they visit the Christmas market.

The advent calendar includes 312 pieces and is recommended for children ages 6 and up. It’ll get plenty of use well beyond Christmas, and you can even add to the collection thanks to dozens of other fun LEGO options from the Friends collection.

Price at time of publication: $35

American Girl Pop-Up Advent Calendar

American Girl Pop-Up Advent Calendar

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • 12-inch pop-up tree

  • Calendar doubles as decor

  • Book included gives facts/history about American Girl

Cons
  • Some ornaments feature pets only 

This advent calendar, which will be available on October 18, 2022, is not only a beautiful collectible, but also doubles as holiday decor. The cover of the American Girl advent calendar opens to reveal a stunning pop-up tree that measures 12 inches tall. Underneath the tree are 25 compartments full of American Girl holiday ornaments, including 12 American Girl characters and their beloved animals, like Melody’s pet dog Bo. Plus, an included 28-page softcover book features interesting facts about the American Girls and their history.

Price at time of publication: $45

Insight Editions Dragon Ball Z: The Official Advent Calendar

Insight Editions Dragon Ball Z: The Official Advent Calendar

Courtesy of Insight Editions

Pros
  • 25 surprises

  • Some gifts are very handy

  • Company gives 30% off first order (with email sign-up)

Cons
  • Not all gifts are reusable (stickers, etc.)

  • Calendar doesn’t double as playmat

Ring in Christmas with Goku, Gohan, Vegeta, and other favorite characters from "Dragon Ball Z" in a new advent calendar from Insight Editions. Kids will love opening more than 25 surprises each day in December. Each pocket features keepsakes, collectibles, and exclusive gifts of the classic anime show, such as a cell phone card holder and tin button. Shoppers can sign up for the company’s email list and receive 30 percent off their first order. 

Price at time of publication: $30

Just Play Disney Junior Advent Calendar

Disney Junior Advent Calendar

Disney

Pros
  • 11 mini surprise figures

  • Mini sticker crafts

  • Ideal for toddlers and preschoolers

Cons
  • Covers only three Disney Jr. shows

  • Not all surprises are toys (some are paper pieces)

Whether your little one loves Mickey Mouse, “Puppy Dog Pals,” or “T.O.T.S.,” this Disney Junior advent calendar covers all three of the popular television shows for children ages 3 and up. Behind each window kids will find 11 mini surprise figures, card decorations, stickers, and more to count down to Christmas. Use the cover of the advent calendar as a place to play with their new friends.

Price at time of publication: $32

Igloobooks CoComelon Advent Calendar

CoComelon Advent Calendar

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • 24 books

  • All books come in paper sleeve

  • Each book contains 16 pages

Cons
  • Size of books is small

Count down to Christmas with JJ and his friends with this adorable “CoComelon” advent calendar. A variety of fun surprises lies in each pocket: song books, storybooks, coloring books, and more. Each surprise contains a 16-page book with a combination of holiday and everyday storylines. Plus, all books come individually wrapped in a paper sleeve to help build suspense each day leading up to Christmas. 

While this CoComelon advent calendar doesn’t release until November 1, 2022, you can pre-order it through Amazon to ensure it arrives just in time for the December countdown.

Price at time of publication: $32

National Geographic Rock Collection Advent Calendar 2022

National Geographic Rocks, Minerals, & Fossils Advent Calendar

Amazon

Pros
  • Dig out rose quartz on last day

  • Variety of rocks, gemstones, etc.

  • Storage bag and magnifying glass included 

Cons
  • Some fossils are difficult to identify

If you’re looking for an advent calendar that wows kids, this is it. Each window in the National Geographic advent calendar features an incredible mineral, fossil, gemstone, or special rock, like black urchins and geodes. On the last day, kids will be blown away by the stunning rose quartz specimen they get to dig out of a rock with the included dig tool and brush. The set also includes a magnifying glass that helps children explore all the pieces they’ve collected. After all 24 treasures have been revealed, kids can store their precious new finds in the included storage bag.

Not only is this an advent calendar, but you can help foster a love of geology in kids while teaching them about fossils, rocks, and more.

Price at time of publication: $30

Hot Wheels Advent Calendar 2022

Hot Wheels Advent Calendar 2022

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Box includes fold-out playmat

  • Playmat features tracks for pretend racing

  • Contains real Hot Wheels cars

Cons
  • Only eight cars included

Kiddos with a Hot Wheels obsession are in for a ride this holiday season. We love how this advent calendar is not only a fun way to count down to Christmas, but it folds out into a playmat that’ll be used long after the holidays are over. Kids will enjoy opening each door of the advent calendar to be surprised with one of eight Hot Wheels cars or holiday-themed accessories, like a Christmas tree or snowman.

Price at time of publication: $22

LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar

LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar

Courtesy of LEGO

Pros
  • 16 mini builds and 8 characters included

  • Use beyond Christmas

  • Pairs with other LEGO Stars Wars collections

Cons
  • Fold–out mat lacks design (only snow)

“Star Wars” is epic on its own, but this advent calendar takes the holidays to a whole new galaxy. The LEGO Star Wars advent calendar contains 329 pieces to create more than a dozen mini builds. From a moisture vaporator to the droid tri-fighter, the mini builds can be used with other LEGO Star Wars sets to add to the fun. The advent calendar contains 10 mini build vehicles, six additional mini builds, and eight LEGO Star Wars characters, including Darth Vader in a summer outfit. 

Price at time of publication: $45

Rhinehart Pop-Up Studio Harry Potter: Hedwig Pop-Up Advent Calendar

Rhinehart Pop-Up Studio Harry Potter: Hedwig Pop-Up Advent Calendar

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Pop-up tree doubles as place for surprises

  • 28-page booklet with movie facts

  • Advent calendar is stunning and can be used as decor

Cons
  • Best for older kids

Harry Potter’s cherished owl Hedwig takes center stage in this beautiful advent calendar that will wow kids of all ages. Open the advent calendar and watch as 25 presents turn into a stunning pop-up tree centerpiece with Hedwig as the topper. All 25 presents hold keepsakes inspired by the “Harry Potter” films, which kids get to open every day leading up to Christmas. Plus, a booklet filled with behind-the-scenes facts of the movies is also included.

Price at time of publication: $45

OuMuaMua Jewelry Making Advent Calendar

OuMuaMua Jewelry Making Advent Calendar

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Detailed charm beads/pendants

  • Two extender chains included

  • Reusable (every season or switch out charms)

Cons
  • Second bracelet opens later than first

Kids can end the year in style with this jewelry-making advent calendar that features two bracelets. The set includes 22 adorable charm beads with designs like Santa Claus, a snowflake, a wreath, colorful pendants, and more. Both bracelets measure 6.3 inches long and come with two chains to help kids find a comfortable fit. 

Price at time of publication: $19

Pottery Barn Merry & Bright Advent Calendar

Pottery Barn Merry & Bright Advent Calendar

Courtesy of Pottery Barn

Pros
  • Personalizable (name or monogram)

  • Reusable

  • 100% wool 

Cons
  • Spot clean only

  • Pockets are empty (you fill them)

This kids’ advent calendar is a festive and visually appealing way for everyone in the family to count down to Christmas. The days are in order, which makes it easier for kids to find their surprises each morning. Because the pockets aren’t filled with goodies, you’re in charge of what’s revealed each day. The calendar is made from 100 percent wool and can be personalized with a monogram or name, so you can cherish it for years to come.

What to Look for in Advent Calendars for Kids

Types 

There are two types of advent calendars: disposable and reusable. 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 calendars made from durable plastic, wood, or fabric, like the Wee Gallery Festive Friends Advent Calendar, that can be refilled and reused year after year. Good-quality reusable advent calendars can also be passed down to the next generation and become family keepsakes, so you may want to keep that in mind, too. 

Themes 

Breaking out the advent calendar on December 1 is a cherished Christmas tradition that has evolved over time—from 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 decades later and some families opt for tiny toys and mini gifts over sweets. 

While there are still many traditional advent calendars that feature sweets for each day during the month of December, there are endless options that won't cause a sugar rush. Depending on your child's age and your family's traditions, you may opt for a trendy theme advent calendar, like the Funko Pocket Pop! 2022 Marvel Advent Calendar, or a traditional and customizable one like the gorgeous West Elm Wooden Tree.

Price 

A kids’ advent calendar is like another Christmas gift, so factor that into your holiday budget. Advent calendars made of reusable materials, like the Pottery Barn Merry & Bright Advent Calendar, which is made of 100 percent wool, may cost you more upfront but will save you money for years to come, so the higher price tag may be justified.

Age Recommendations

Before purchasing an advent calendar, be sure to check the age recommendation. This will depend on the materials and the type of daily surprise. Older children may be thrilled to create LEGO mini builds, while younger children may prefer a fidget 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.

  • Do you start at 1 or 24 on an advent calendar?

    There’s really no right or wrong way to open an advent calendar. Typically, families begin opening day 1 on December 1, day 2 on December 2, and so on. This is an easy way for children to follow along each day during the big countdown, however, some advent calendars have days that are scattered or unnumbered. It’s really up to you and your family to decide, but taking your child’s age into consideration can make the exciting process easier. 

  • 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.

  • How much do advent calendars cost?

    Advent calendars for kids have a broad range of prices. Some disposable calendars can cost as little as $15, while some toy advent calendars such as those from LEGO or Funko Pop! have collectible appeal and cost more like $50. Reusable advent calendars that add to the holiday decor of your home are often more expensive, costing around $80.

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.

Additional reporting by:

Katrina Cossey is a commerce writer for Verywell Family with nearly eight years of experience under her belt. Katrina’s background in journalism began at an Emmy Award-winning news station in Oklahoma before she obtained her B.A. in professional media. Her love for service journalism and helping others led to her commerce writing role, which allows her to research and recommend the best products for families, pregnant people, and kids of all ages. When she’s not writing and researching, you’ll likely find her outdoors with her husband and their thrill-seeking toddler son.  

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  1. American Academy of Pediatrics. Choking prevention.