little girl opening door on advent calendar
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20 Last Minute Advent Calendars For Kids To Make The Wait More Magical

Let the countdown begin...

When I was a kid, the most I got out of an advent calendar was a waxy chocolate in the shape of Santa’s face. And that seemed like peak luxury. Who can forget the advent calendar from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation? I thought we were living large getting more than little images from our calendar. But my 90’s childhood is a far cry from the toy-filled liturgical season kids enjoy nowadays. To be honest, it makes my cold Millennial heart a little jealous. So I couldn’t help myself. I went ahead and gathered the 20 best toy advent calendars for kids (or kids at heart).

When I say there's an advent calendar for everyone, I mean it. Even Trader Joe’s is selling advent calendars this year, albeit the one I saw has mom more in mind. It a was a 12 Days of Beauty calendar (psst. Santa, please?). But the real boom is in the toy advent calendar department. There are Pokemon calendars and Hot Wheels calendars, Fisher-Price Little People calendars and Minecraft calendars. You name a toy, there’s likely an advent calendar to match. And much like Elf on the Shelf has become a common holiday tradition, so too has the advent calendar. Of course, if your fave toy advent calendar sells out, don’t fret. There are just as many DIY calendar ideas, so even if you miss the boat, you can create your own personalized advent toy calendar just for your favorite kiddo.

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For the Crafy Kid

Have a crafter on your hands? Encourage their creativity with this DIY advent calendar filled with 25 activities to do each day before Christmas.


For the Young Learner

Toy makers Melissa and Doug are experts at developing learning tools disguised as toys and this magnetic Christmas tree advent calendar is just that. Teach your little one to count while marking the days before Santa's arrival with this advent calendar.


For the Dino Obsessed

I thought my household had reached peak dino. I was wrong. After finding this calendar, I knew my son, a budding paleontologist, had to have it. So much for not stepping on anymore T-Rexes this year.


A Wannabe Wizard Must-Have

Hermione, Harry, and Ron, along with 21 other characters and accessories, make up this dazzling advent calendar perfect for the latest Hogwarts recruit. Spellbind your kids with 25 days of magic, mischief, and building.


A Squishy, Safe Advent Calendar

Some advent calendars just aren't appropriate for little hands. The toys are too tiny, the pieces too much of a choking hazard. But that's not the case with this FLY2SKY Advent Calendar 2020. The little mochi characters are super squishy, ideal for the littlest elves waiting on Santa's arrival.


The Ultimate Elf on the Shelf Accessory

Are your kids still totally obsessed with Elf on the Shelf? Well, toot toot, bring them all aboard the next level in elf innovation: The Elf on the Shelf North Pole Advent Train. The set includes a cardboard train engine sized for a Scout Elf plus 24 North Pole surprises in each of the four themed cars. Your kid will flip for this one.


A Charming Charm Bracelet Calendar

I remember my first charm bracelet. I never took it off and so heavily adorned it with charms from every gift shop on the West Coast it was like dragging Marley's chains from A Christmas Carol. Thankfully charm technology has evolved and this D-FantiX Jewelry Advent Calendar is a great example. Each day a kiddo gets a different charm resulting a darling adjustable necklace or bracelet by Christmas.


For a Frozen Good Time

Regardless of whether you're team Elsa or Anna, you'll agree that this Arendelle castle advent calendar is fabulous. The only catch here is that parents must fill the 24 doors with treats, so act fast if you want to give yourself enough time to pick items within the Frozen theme.


For the Slime Lover

Does your household need 24 pieces of fluffy slime and matching charms? I have a feeling your child would say yes. So give them what they want this slime-filled advent calendar.


A Toddler-Friendly Advent Calendar

Perfect for the littlest angels, this advent calendar features plush ornaments a child can decorate the tree with each day. A great option for toddlers just learning about the holiday, each ornament hooks on to the tree above.


The Artsy Advent Calendar

Leave it to Crayola to come up with a super fun, artsy calendar. This one feature 24 different craft supplies including crayons, paints, and glue and is designed for ages 3 and up.


A Nutcracking Good Calendar

As much an advent calendar as a darling holiday decor item, this fuzzy bearded nutcracker counts down the days until Christmas with a pocket watch children stuff into the appropriate day.


An Annual Tradition

If you're looking for a timeless piece you can bring out year after year, this gorgeous fir wood house from Pottery Barn will make a lovely seasonal addition. You have to add your own toys, but the benefit there is being able to pick all your kid's favorites (and maybe you can mix it up with a candy or two here and there).


A Calendar for Every Who Down in Whoville

The Grinch's heart may have been two sizes two small, but yours certainly will never be questioned if you give this end all, be all Grinch Advent Calendar. Filled with characters from the Dr. Seuss book, it includes 14 ornament-size figures and 11 accessories.


A Pocket-size Calendar of Fun

Remember Polly Pocket? The itsy bitsy dolls and their itsy bitsy accessories were all the range when I was a kid and they've held that position thanks to adorable packaging and the overwhelming allure of all things tiny. Give your Polly appreciator 24 pocket-size surprises with this advent calendar.


A Daredevil Christmas

If you're trying to keep your kid from jumping off the furniture (and bouncing off the walls) every day, this advent calendar will give them a way to channel all that daredevil-ish energy... and at the end, they've got an entire stunt show display. Designed to work with other Playmobil sets, too.


A McFly Calendar

Who wants this more? Your kids or you? That may be up for debate, but even a child who has never see Back to the Future can likely appreciate the fun toys tucked inside this nostalgic advent calendar.


A LEGO Winter Wonderland

LEGOs have kits for every scenario, the holidays included. But did you know you can build a winter wonderland from one of their advent kits? Give your LEGO lover 24 days of fun with this calendar.


A Fashionista Calendar

Minnie Mouse doesn't look great by chance. She puts effort into you. And your Minnie fan can help her with this Disney Minnie Mouse Collectible Fashion Doll Holiday Advent Calendar. It includes "10" tall Minnie doll in a fashionable holiday outfit along with 24 additional clothing items in decorative winter-inspired box" for a month of accessorizing.


A Pure Bred Calendar

Schleich Horse Club 2020 24-Piece Kids Advent Calendar with Horse Toys is the ultimate horse-lovers gift. Complete with grooming gear and even a few barnyard cats, it'll make your child feel like they're right on the farm tending to their favorite pure bred.

There really is an advent calendar for every kid, but act fast. These holiday items are hot commodities!