If you’re looking for stocking stuffers or ideas on what to fill your child’s advent calendar with, you’ve come to the right place! Whether you’re looking for advent calendar ideas for your baby, toddler, or child, I’ve grouped ideas below by age group for you!
As you may have seen from a previous post, we LOVE advent calendars in our house. When it was just my husband and I, I would create an advent calendar for him full of fun stuff every year. The list kept growing! Now that we have an active toddler on our hands, I thought I would start this list as a way for me to track some ideas I plan on putting in her stocking or advent calendar while also sharing them with you lovely strangers on the internet.
I’ve separated the ideas by age group with the top list including babies aged 0 to 18 months since there aren’t many toys in this age group that are only suitable for babies.
Have older ones at home? Check out our ultimate list of 90+ Advent Calendar Filler Ideas for Teenagers.
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Stocking stuffers/advent calendar fillers suitable for all ages (baby 0-18 months to just under a teen)
- Spinning Top
- Christmas Ornament
- Flash Cards
- Bouncy Light Up Balls (large ones for babies, smaller ones for older kids)
- Finger Puppets
- Books (This 3 pack mini board book set would be great for babies and toddlers)
- New Mittens
- Christmas slippers
- Yoto Cards
- Stuffed animal
- Sippy Cup/water bottle
- Toothbrushes and Toothpaste
- Wooden toy animals
- Baby balm or lip balm
- Play silks (Melodie silks are our fave)
- Teethers for baby
- Bath toys
- Magic washcloths
- Activity prompts
- No-tie Shoelaces
- Croc Charms
- Advent Tokens
- Personalized hot chocolate spoon
- Holiday-themed pasta
- An art apron
Fillers to put in your toddler’s advent calendar (1 year old – 2.5 year old)
*Please supervise your kids when they are playing with any of these! Though they will entertain a 1-3 year old, some toys contain pieces that can break off into small parts so supervision is always required!
- Pull back cars
- Goldfish cracker snacks
- Bath markers
- Character Bandaids
- Hot Wheel Cars
- Kinder Surprise
- Stamp Sets
- Crayons, Markers (these crayon rocks would be perfect for younger toddlers)
- Tempura paint sticks
- Bubble Bath (my favourite one for kids, which contains lavender – hello sleep!)
- Swimming bath toys
- Gummy Candy
- Dinosaur eggs that hatch
- Glow Sticks
- Kinetic sand (for older toddlers that are no longer mouthing)
- Bath bomb with sponge inside
- Play food
- Musical instruments (egg shaker, rattle, whistle, bell are great smaller fillers)
- Mini cooking utensils
- Character figurines (Like this cute Mickey Mouse set)
- Mitten clips
- Felt Christmas Tree
- Suction cup spinner toys
- Nesting dolls
- Toy Gliders
Advent calendar filler ideas for preschoolers and young kids (2.5 years+)
Great fillers include everything above in the babies and toddlers category and the following:
- Barrel of Monkeys
- A necklace or bracelet
- Hair elastics
- Piggy Paint
- Temporary tattoos
- Crazy Aaron’s putty
- Mineral rocks
- Mini Hand Sanitizer
- Magic 8 ball
- Clip-on earrings or kids jewelry
- Schleich animals
- Loose parts (seashells, stones, or Grapat mandala pieces)
- Peg people
- Playing card holder for kids
- Lip gloss
- Whistle pops
- Christmas “poop” mints
- Fun Erasers
- Chinese Jump Rope
- Seed packets (great to start planting indoors in the new year)
- Mini DIY bracelet-making kit
- Colouring sheets or this Jumbo colouring poster
- Conversation cards
- Scratch art
- Jacob’s Ladder
- Mini plasma ball
- Parachute toys (great for DIY Christmas Crackers as well)
- Flow Rings
- Walkie Talkies for kids
- Fidget toys like Fidget links
- Light up Gyro Wheel
- Snow building Tools
- Wrist Bells
- A pack of balloons
- Montessori Body Action Matching Game
Advent calendar filler ideas for older kids (5 years+)
- Mini Fiber Optic Lamp
- A Deck of Cards
- Infinity Cube
- Whoopie Cushion
- Light Sabers
- Stationery set
- Mini Dart Board
Looking for Advent Calendar ideas to put these fillers in?
We love the Gathre advent calendar because of the quality and large pockets.
Have older kids? Get over 90+ Advent Calendar Filler Ideas for Teenagers here.
FAQs about Advent Calendar for Kids
How do you do advent calendars with kids?
- Choose or Create an Advent Calendar: You can buy pre-made Advent calendars with little doors or pockets, or get creative and make your own! A simple DIY version involves using small envelopes or boxes, numbered from 1 to 24. We’ve done various things over the years from store-bought ones to ones we made with toilet paper rolls using our Cricut.
- Fill Each Day: Decide what you want to put inside the calendar. It could be small toys, candies, stickers, or even little notes with activities for each day. (Use the list above!)
- Plan Activities: Mix in some special activities alongside the treats. These could include things like decorating cookies, watching a holiday movie, or doing a holiday-themed craft together.
- Hang or Display the Calendar: Find a special place in your home to hang or display the Advent calendar. Make it accessible to the kids so they can easily find and open the day’s surprise.
- Countdown Ritual: Set a specific time each day to open a new day on the calendar. It could be in the morning, after school, or before bedtime. Gather around and make it a daily family ritual.
- Build Excitement: Talk to your kids about what’s coming up each day. Discuss the surprises or activities they can look forward to, and let them be involved in the process.
- Encourage Sharing: If you have multiple kids, take turns letting each child open the calendar on alternate days. This promotes sharing and reduces any potential conflicts. (Or just buy/make two calendars.)
- Keep it Fun and Stress-Free: Remember that the goal is to create joyful memories, so don’t stress if you miss a day or the surprises aren’t extravagant. The most important thing is spending quality time together.
- Adapt to Your Family: Tailor your Advent calendar to your family’s preferences and traditions. If you have specific holiday customs, incorporate them into the calendar.
- Enjoy the Journey: The Advent calendar is a way to build anticipation and excitement for the holiday season. Enjoy the journey and make it a memorable experience for your kids.
So, get creative, have fun, and make your Advent calendar a special tradition for your family to cherish every year!
Do you start an advent calendar at 1 or 12?
We typically start advent calendars on December 1.
It’s a countdown to Christmas, so the first day of December marks the beginning of the Advent season.
However, some calendars, especially those with religious significance, might start on December 1st and end on December 24th, while others may go all the way to Christmas Day on December 25th. So, it depends on the specific calendar and tradition you’re following.
If you are looking to make a smaller advent calendar though, feel free to start on December 12 instead! The main thing is that you’re creating great traditions with your family.
When should I give my child an advent calendar?
We like to display our advent calendar in the last week of November to generate some excitement.
Depending on what type of calendar you have, we would either fill it beforehand or fill it on the night of November 30 so it’s ready to go on December 1.