Baby, Toddler and Big-Kid Advent Calendars for the Christmas Countdown

‘Tis the season for surprises, treats and cheer.
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profile picture of Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
November 10, 2021
Little boy with kids advent calendar at Christmas
Image: Courtesy Getty
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The countdown to Christmas is almost as fun as the holiday itself, and with every passing day, your kid’s excitement will escalate as Santa’s arrival approaches. Watching classic Christmas movies, working on festive craft projects and reading books filled with holiday cheer all add to the fun. Another way to have a merry moment? Interactive kids’ advent calendars will help you make the most of this special time. Advent calendars come in all shapes and sizes, but the concept behind each remains the same: Countdown the days in the run up to December 25th.

Celebrating baby’s first Christmas? Embrace tradition from the get-go and choose an heirloom-quality advent calendar you can reuse every year. There are also tons of age-appropriate toddler advent calendars on the market to browse—from toy advent calendars to options filled with sweet treats and festive books. And, of course, big kids will love a themed advent calendar too. Ready to start your search? With so many styles and brands to choose from, it’ll be hard to pick only one children’s advent calendar from the bunch. Check out a few of our favorites for babies, toddlers and big kids below.

Best Baby Advent Calendars

Want to DIY a toy advent calendar or fill your baby’s advent calendar with other age-appropriate treats? From super-cute decorative calendars that countdown the days in novel ways to empty options that can be packed with whatever your heart desires, these designs will serve you for years to come. Stuff the fill-it-yourself styles with bibs, teething toys or baby-friendly snacks.

Image: Courtesy Make My Day Stationery

Make My Day Stationery Christmas Keepsake Advent Calendar

Personalize this baby advent calendar with your child’s name and the year to create a lovely keepsake that celebrates their first Christmas. Jot down a note with your festive activities and precious memories in each daily section. It’s a lovely alternative to traditional advent calendars.

Buy it: Starting from $12,

Image: Courtesy Wee Gallery

Wee Gallery Advent Calendar

Searching for a newborn baby advent calendar? This pick by Wee Gallery is a safe bet. Newborns will be attracted to the high-contrast black and white colors, which appeal to infants that are still developing vision perception. It’s made from organic cotton and features a crew of winter woodland animals with a pocket for each of the 24 days leading up to Christmas.

Buy it: $80,

Image: Courtesy Mudpie

Mud Pie Reindeer Pom Countdown Advent Calendar

Make the countdown to the holidays even more fun with this reindeer baby advent calendar. It’s not a toy, but your little one will love to watch you add a pom-pom to Rudolph’s nose each day.

Buy it: $39,

Image: Courtesy Mon Ami

Mon Ami Angel Advent Calendar

Little girls and boys will love this magical advent calendar. Shaped like an angel, the plush style has numbered pockets just big enough for the attached star to slot into. Meanwhile, parents will adore the neutral colors and woven material that fit right into modern Christmas decor.

Buy it: $50,

Image: Courtesy Meri Meri

Meri Meri Festive House Paper Craft Advent Calendar

Next up is a unique advent calendar for crafty kids (and adults!). Made from eco-friendly paper, this house-design has numbered trays filled with festive, reindeer characters and cute accessories. By the time December 25th rolls around your family will have a fully furnished playhouse on your hands.

Buy it: $28,

Image: Courtesy Boden

Boden Baby Heirloom Advent Calendar in Green Christmas

Boden’s cotton-canvas baby advent calendar offers families a great way to build up to the big day. The appliquéd and embroidered pockets are perfectly sized for little treats, with slightly bigger pockets for special gifts on the last three days of the festive season. It’s finished with velvet ribbon hanging loops and comes with its own storage bag to keep it safe for the other 11 months of the year.

Buy it: $117,

Image: Courtesy HearthSong

HearthSong Wooden Gingerbread Advent House

You can reuse this gingerbread house-shaped advent calendar every holiday season. Fill the interchangeable drawers with candy, small toys or sweet messages, and rearrange them each year for an extra surprise.

Buy it: $40,

Image: Courtesy Pottery Barn Kids

Pottery Barn Kids Skinny Santa Advent Calendar

Make the wait for Christmas a lot more fun with this Santa-inspired advent calendar for babies, toddlers and big kids. Fill the pockets with little surprises, so that children look forward to every new day in December. Bonus: For an added fee, you can personalize this design.

Buy it: $49,

Best Toddler Advent Calendars

Once your kiddo graduates to toddler status, you might want to invest in an interactive advent calendar to keep them occupied. From buildable sets to wooden designs, here you’ll find the best advent calendars for one-, 2- and 3-year-old littles.

Image: Courtesy Fisher-Price

Fisher-Price Little People Advent Calendar

With this toy advent calendar, tots can peep behind a new door every day to reveal a fun surprise. Each window holds a Little People friend or a holiday accessory to add to their playtime story. Suitable for kids ages one and up.

Buy it: $69,

Image: Courtesy HABA

HABA My First Advent Calendar Farmyard Animals

The best advent calendar for toddlers are educational, festive and fun. We adore this farmyard-themed design by HABA. Designed for kids between the ages of 2 and 4, this set includes 24 wooden animal figures—plus, a book filled with questions that encourage children to engage with the story and strengthen literacy skills.

Buy it: $35,

Image: Courtesy Peppa Pig

Peppa Pig Holiday Advent Calendar for Kids

The toddler advent calendar lets eager kiddos open a new window every day. Each tab features a Christmas-themed surprise gift. When kids make it to the final day, they’ll have a ton of tiny toys to create Peppa-themed holiday scenes. Suitable for ages 2 and up.

Buy it: $43,

Image: Courtesy Melissa & Doug

Melissa & Doug Countdown to Christmas Wooden Advent Calendar

You and your kids can decorate this miniature magnetic tree by discovering a new ornament every day. The reusable wooden advent calendar, which comes complete with a Christmas poem on the back, will kickstart a fun family tradition to look forward to year after year.

Buy it: $25,

Image: Courtesy Play-Doh

Play-Doh Advent Calendar

A playtime staple is now more festive than ever before. With this Play-Doh toddler advent calendar (for ages 3+), children can mesh and mold their way to Christmas day as they sculpt festive designs. The kit comes with playmats, tools and all kinds of surprises, including a can of sparkly-white Play-Doh.

Buy it: $20,

Image: Courtesy Uncommon Goods

Uncommon Goods Buildable Train Station Advent Calendar

Shopping for a toddler train-enthusiast? Available for preorder, this set includes train tracks, characters, rail signs and more. Once Christmas morning arrives your kiddo will have a full train set to build and play with. All aboard for festive fun!

Buy it: $40,

Best Kids’ Advent Calendars

Keeping kids busy on cold December days isn’t always easy. Luckily, the perfect advent calendar for children can get the job done. From crafty picks to toy advent calendars, these picks will get them in a merry mood.

Image: Courtesy KiwiCo

KiwiCo Christmas Village Advent Calendar

We’re big fans of KiwiCo—especially the awesome play kits for babies and toddlers—which is why we were hyped to hear that they released a new kids’ advent calendar. Starting on December 1, kids open a new envelope each day and make the project inside. As each day passes, their winter wonderland display grows; by Christmas Eve, they’ll have made a whole festive village.

Buy it: $50,

Image: Courtesy Little Likes

Little Likes Kids Advent Calendar

We’re yet to find a kid who isn’t crazy about stickers—that’s why this pick earned a spot on our list of the best advent calendars for kids. Featuring an array of diverse Christmas characters, this illustrated design comes with 24 reusable stickers. Add a new sticker to the scene each day to build anticipation for December 25th.

Buy it: $13,

Image: Courtesy CreateOn

CreateOn Gingerbread Advent Calendar Magna-Tiles Structure Set

Build and rebuild your advent calendar each day with this cool Magna-Tiles construction set. The tiles of this jolly, gingerbread house reverse between multiple floors, roofs and walls, allowing children to build infinite designs.

Buy it: $45,

Image: Courtesy Igloo Books

Igloo Books Disney: Storybook Collection Advent Calendar

Encourage their passion for reading with this unique kids’ advent calendar. The collection comes with 24 different stories for 4- to 8-year-old bookworms to flip through. That’s one bedtime story for every night leading up to Christmas! Each small paperback tells a timeless Disney tale—some they may be familiar with, others will surprise and delight them.

Buy it: $30,

Image: Courtesy Disney

LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar

Are you and your kid Star Wars fans? Check out this unique LEGO set inspired by Star Wars: The Mandalorian. This toy advent calendar will keep little builders busy with 25 presents to unwrap and construct, including cool starships and ‘‘snowball’’-firing weapons.

Buy it: $40,

Image: Courtesy Playmobil

Playmobil Advent Calendar Santa’s Workshop

Get kids pumped for Santa’s visit by bringing his workshop home. This toy advent calendar reveals Santa, elves, reindeer and, of course, lots of toys. Once each treat has been unveiled, your child can help St. Nick pack up his sleigh for a Christmas ride. Suitable for ages 4 to 10.

Buy it: $50,

Image: Courtesy American Girl

American Girl A Dozen Delicious Days Countdown Set

What better way to countdown to Christmas than to celebrate with 12 sweet surprises? Starting in mid-December, open one drawer per day to reveal a fun baking accessory for your little one’s American Girl doll. By the time Christmas comes, they’ll have all the ingredients needed to make pretend cookies for Santa Claus.

Buy it: $50,

Image: Courtesy Signature Gifts

Signature Gifts 24 Sleeps ’til Christmas Personalized Activity Book

Creative Christmas gifts are always a winner in our book—and this kids advent calendar is no exception. The colorful countdown is packed full of yuletide activities, from color-in illustrations and puzzles to festive facts and figures. Better yet, it’ll keep little ones busy so you can prep for the holidays distraction-free (or close to it).

Buy it: $30,

Image: Courtesy FAO Schwarz

FAO Schwarz Dinosaur Advent Calendar

Searching for advent calendars for slightly older children? Check out this rawr-some pick by FAO Schwarz. The set is suitable for kids between the ages of 8 and 11, and includes 24 dinosaur-themed gifts. Behind each peel-back panel is a mini-experiment that will fascinate your child and spark a passion for paleontology.

Buy it: $40,

Image: Courtesy LOL Surprise

LOL Surprise Advent Calendar with Limited Edition Doll and 25+ Surprises

This pop-up advent calendar for kids is super-cool. It comes with Tricksta B.B, an exclusive LOL Surprise doll—plus, 24 fabulous fashion pieces to unbox throughout December. All that for $30? We’ll take two.

Buy it: $30,

Image: Courtesy Funko

Funko Pocket POP! Harry Potter Advent Calendar

Bring your kiddo the magic of Hogwarts this holiday season. This cute, limited edition kids’ advent calendar includes tiny toy versions of the most popular Harry Potter characters for them to play with for years to come.

Buy it: $40,

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