10 Ways to Fill Your Child’s Advent Calendar, Without a Chocolate in Sight!

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With the month of October here, and being immersed with cosy knits, pumpkin spice, and Wellington boot walks, I feel it is now an appropriate time to mention the festive season.

Christmas is filled with so many edible treats, that last year I decided to do a chocolate-free advent calendar for my daughter. There are so many DIY advent calendars to choose from, we bought ours from a Christmas market, but it is very similar to this fabric one from Amazon.

Or this little decorate-yourself calendar is lovely too.

When stocking your calendar, a great place to start is to check out your local online selling sites to keep costs small. Here are some ideas I have put together to fill your calendar.

1. Puzzle Pieces

I love the idea of putting a few pieces in each day so that by the 25th an entire puzzle scene has been created! Although, you will need to have a space in your house that you don’t mind a puzzle being in on the build up to Christmas day. Dividing the pieces between your children will mean teamwork is needed to create the final masterpiece!

2. Lego

Lego makes a great chocolate-free advent as it is small enough to fit in the sections of most DIY advent calendars. Lego do some great Christmas-themed sets, so you could give your child a few pieces each day and by the 25th they will have built a whole set!


3. Sweets

Hey, I said chocolate-free not sugar-free! When I was little my mum always used to fill my advent calendar with sweets from the pic’n’mix. It makes a nice difference from chocolate, and also is great if your child has a dairy allergy.

4. Books

You could buy mini books, such as this set here, or you could buy larger books and wrap them in brown paper and write number on each one (1-25). You could also use colouring books and accessories to go with them like colouring pens and a pencil case.

5. Jokes and riddles

I am not that creative, but there are loads that come up from a quick online search. Fill each day with a joke or riddle that you know your child will enjoy.

6. A play set

There are loads of play sets that you could divide up into each day on an advent calendar.


7. Sensory play

Depending on the age of your little one, you could fill it with sensory items for play such as tinsel, bells, pine cones. We created a sensory basket last year when Harper was a year old and it was a hit.

8. A nativity scene

This happy land set comes with 11 figures, so that only accounts for 11 days. I am still trying to consider something creative I could do to bulk out the additional days. Although Happy Land do also do a 25 piece set of Christmas themed figurines for £25.

9. Nick-Nacks

Why not fill it with items such as mini pencils, fun erasers, hair bobbles, clips, clip on Christmas themed earrings etc. You could pick these items up in packs and then split them, e.g. a set of three pencils could be split over 3 days.

10. Activities

We did a Christmas to-do list one year. I planned it from events we had coming up, such as going to a carol service or meeting Father Christmas. And then I filled in the other days with activities such as Christmas colouring, decorating the Christmas tree, making mince pies, having a Christmas movie night, reading a Christmas story, and decorating Christmas cards. You can really personalise this to your family and get creative!

If you create your own chocolate-free advent, I’d love to see your posts! Tag me on instagram!

Written by Jamie Sutton-Jennings for her blog Mama Bear of One!

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