Calendar Fillers Ideas: What to Put in Advent Calendar

by Anne Clarke

In most case, what to put in Advent Calendar is way more complicated than buying the Advent calendar.

By choosing an Advent calendar, we just need to focus on the design and material to make sure it looks perfectly match your house’s decorative style. However, when it comes to the advent calendar fillers, we need to consider who’s this advent calendar for based on different ages, hobbies, and budgets. Things to put in advent calendar can differ. 

Looking for lots of fun little surprises to fill your calendar with? We’ve got you covered. You know what’s difficult than making a decision? Making 24 of them! I’ve gone through all these and definitely understand you. Please rest assured, in the coming paragraphs, I will list the popular advent calendar filler ideas in 2020 from different aspect.

You can get the complete downloadable checklist below or skip to the corresponding part in your case.

When seeking for Christmas Calendar filler fun ideas, we need to carefully choose the size of the gifts so that they fit in the advent calendar. As for me, to keep the advent calendar neat and well organized, I don’t put these advent calendar fillers in the calendar. Instead, I hide the gifts somewhere safe in the house and fetch some cute memo pad to write down the name of the gift, and add some lovely emojis or quotes etc. Therefore, we don’t need to care about the size and just focusing on shopping gifts as calendar fillers. 

In the previous article, Christmas Advent Calendar 101, we’ve introduced you that the very original Christmas advent was for Christians to countdown and expect the birth of Jesus.

Each year, people prepare 24 advent calendar fillers for their beloved ones and unveils one gift each day. Originally, things to put inside Advent calendar are nothing more than chocolate bars, candies, bible verses, Christian prayers and story of the Nativity of Jesus.

Years and years later, Christmas Advent becomes less religionary-related but more for countdown fun. Classic edible advent calendar fillers like chocolate and candies traditions are kept but religionary-related stories and notes are fading out. Edible advent calendar fillers we have got at our childhood are listed as below:

    - kisses chocolate;
    - cinnamon hard candies;
    - peppermint bark;
    - candy canes;
    - Christmas nougats;
    - Dum-Dum holiday pops;
    - chocolate Santas;
    - ribbon candy;
    - gummi bears;
    - hot chocolate packets;
    - peppermint bark tea bags


However, too much candies for kids will result in tooth decay and obesity. So, people are looking for a non candy advent calendar idea. So as to offer less sweets and diverse the calendar fillers with more ideas, I will pick one or two candies types and save the other 22, 23 for other gift ideas. Let’s check them by categories in the following parts.  

Part 2. Calendar Fillers by Age

1. For Newborns & Little Babies:
Newborns won’t remember what he/she receive on his/her first Christmas advent unless they check the memorible photo album years later. So, it’s more up to parents to pick up some that are more practical, daily-used, meaningful and lovely. Let’s just cut to the chase:

   
- first year photo frame;
    - fingerprint/footprint keepsake;

Baby Fingerprint Footprint Keepsake

 
    - Milestone age event blocks;
    - bib set;
    - rattles;
    - teether;
    - baby play mat;
    - plush toys;
    - DIY knitting hat;
    - baby booties/socks;
    - pajamas;
    - swaddle packs;
    - starry sky nightlight projector;
    - wearable blanket;
    - sleep soothing machine; 


Baby Sleep Sound Machine White Noise Sound

     
     - loungers;
     - baby monitors;

Wireless Baby Monitor Camera


    - bedtime book;
    - baby glooming kit;
    - hooded towel;
    - skincare set;
    - baby smart temperature monitor;
    - baby bathrobe;
    - nursery rocker;
    - moonlight soother lamp; 

Baby Soother Lamp Moonlight


2. For Toddlers:
As for the advent calendar filler ideas for toddler. We can start with something educating and inteligence developing. Also, some lovely daily-used bits and bobs work as well. And of course, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. So, toys as well.

    - alphabet wall chart;
    - cloth books;
    - sorting game;
    - learning walker;
     - story telling toys;
     - musical learning toy;
     - magnetic doodle board;
    - potty trainning;
    - balance bike;
    - cartoon plate & utensils;
    - fishing toy;

 

Kids Fishing Toys Water Game

 
    - toddler knee pad;
    - headband;
    - headclips;
    - water bottle;
    - toothbrush;
    - princess costume;

Princess Jasmine Costume Toddlers Holiday Costume

 
    - starter dollhouse;
    - jigsaw puzzle;
    - building block toys;
    - toy vending machine;
    - doll dress-up set;
    - bath toys;
    

6 in 1 Octopus Rubber Bath Toys


    - play tent;
    - play dough;
    - bath water squirter toy;

Baby Bath Animal Water Squirter Toy


    - toy snack catcher;
    - pretent play set;

Ice Cream Food Pretend Play Set


    - wind up toys;
    - matchbox cars;
    - finger puppets;



3. For School Kids:
If you are raising a child at his/her school age, you can never go wrong with some school supplies stuffs. Also consider STEM toys to broaden his/her mind.

    - crosswords games;
    - calculator;
    - pencil case;

Transparent Unicorn Pencil Case


    - animal erasers; 
    - map puzzle;
    - capsule-shaped foldable gel pen;

Capsule Shape Foldable Emoji Gel Pen


    - paper punch;
    - bouncy ball;
    - yo-yo;
    - 3D puzzle;
    - sticky note;

3pcs Galaxy Sticky Note


    - fossil dig kit;
    - novelty erasers;
    - abacus;
    - non-bleed highlighter;
    - journal;
    - eraser;
    - pack of cards;
    - cartoon lunchbox for school; 



Cartoon School Lunch Box


     - school backpack;
    - mini squishies;
    - finger puppets;
    - water-based nail polish set;
    - physics workshop;
    - drawing activity;
    - toy cash register;



4. For Teens:
Teens are more a big fan of accessories, beauty products, fitness or electronics. And some teens prefer gift cards or subscription as a gift because they are old enough to make their own decision as a grown-up. To name a few:

    - barrettes;
    - hairband;
    - bracelet;
    - necklace;
    - earrings;
    - hair curler;
    - hand cream;
    - lipstick;
    - lipbalm;
    - mascara;
    - nail polish;
    - nail art stickers;
    - ear buds;
    - 3D animal Christmas mug;

3D Animal Christmas Mug


    - manicure/pedicure set;
    - bath salts;
    - flash drive;
    - watch;
    - key ring;
    - compact mirror;
    - phone holder;
    - yoga mat;
    - team uniform of his/her Favorite Team;
    - tennis racquet;
    - jump rope; 


Part 3. Calendar Fillers By Hobbies

1. Arts & Crafts
If your kids are showing interest on craftings, these Advent calendar fillers ideas might inspire you:

   
- rubber stamps;
    - mini craft kits;
    - washi tape;
    - glitter;
    - pens;
    - crayons;
    - markers;
    - colored pencils;
    - origami paper;
    - modeling clay;
    - thimble;
    - toy knitting machine;
  

40 Needles Sentro Knitting Machine Toy


    - play dough;
    - slime;
    - embroidery floss;
    - felt kit;




2. Baking
This collection is both perfect as Christmas calendar filler as well as for family activities. You can bake together with your teenager son/daughter. If you are raising a smaller kids like toddlers and school-age, a kitchen pretend play set to play together under the Christmas tree will be cool.

    - cookie cutters;
    - measuring spoons; 
    - measuring cups;
    - spices;
    - sprinkles;
    - cupcake liners;
    - cookie cutters;
    - mini spatula;
    - cake decorating tips;
    - sprinkles;
    - piping bags;



3. Planting
If your kids are curious about how Christmas tree grows up, you can also include this into consideration, so that they can spreading seeds, watering, and observing how plants grow. My kids used to spent the whole afternoon playing their garden crafts on a large flowerpot and name their flowerpot Alice & Alex’s Adventure in Wonderland:

    - tiny fairy garden crafts;

Fairy Garden Crafts


     - air plants;
    - tiny succulents;


Tiny Succulents

 
    - seeds or bulbs;


Part 4. Lower Budget Ideas for Advent Calendar Fillers

Preparing for Christmas might costs us a big fortune. Our shopping list for Christmas is long: Christmas decor, Christmas tree & ornaments, gifts, food recipes and so on.

 Due to Covid 19, unemployment is rising steeply this year. Considering the unexpected economic impact the global pandemic has caused, many are reducing their spending.

Some gift options like electronics and toy sets are good for Christmas gifts but a little bit expensive for Advent calendar fillers. Even though an old saying goes, "you got what you paid for", a good advent calendar content doesn’t necessarily means expensive. Here are alternative solution for those on a low budget:

1. Inexpensive But will Make Anyone Smile:

    - mini journal;
    - fun socks;
    - glow-in-the-dark shoelaces;
    - Christmas postcards;
    - flash drive (preloaded with special photos or a mix-tape); 
    - bath bomb;
    - fake Father Christmas mustaches;
    - silly Bands;
    - seed packets;
    - Lego minifigures;
    - UNO card;
    - party popper;
    - dice games;
    - play dough;
    - invisible ink pens;
    - photo frame;
    - hairbands and clips;
    - scented candle;
    - balloon pack;
    - mini-stuffed animals
    - bouncy balls;
    - matchbook cars;

2. Memorable Advent Calendar Fillers:

    - handwritten notes;
    - baby minestone block;
    - fingerprint/footprint stamp;
    - photo frame;
    - concert ticket;
    - movie ticket;
    - cash voucher of a favorite restaurant;
    - games for their Nintendo;

Note: Remember to save the ticket stub, maybe it could be the Christmas gift for next year.

3. Family To-Do-Together Activities:

    - night driving to festive lights shows;
    - having dinner at your kids’ favorite restaurant;
    - picnicking under Christmas tree;
    - visiting Santa at the mall;
    - having breakfast in bed;
    - ice skating;
    - making snow angels;
    - tickets to live-action show;
    - write a letter to Santa;
    - staying up past regular bedtime schedule;
    - snowball fight in the backyard;
    - watching Christmas moving together;
    - having a craft day for DIY Christmas decorations;
    - baking together;
    - having a family housecleaning day;

4. Sharing Love Activities:
   
    - donating to Covid-19 Resonse Fund;
    - writing a greeting or thank-you note to neighbors;
    - baking goodies and giving them away to neighbors; gathering up items to take to local charity;
    - giving away unwanted toys to orphans in charity house;
    - picking out a gift for someone in need;
    - donate to Red Cross Charity;
    - pick up litter on a walk;
    - family volunteer night at a local homeless shelter;
    - bringing dinner and blankets to homeless;
    - volunteering at a local animal shelter;
    - visiting elders in retirement home and accompany them;

Part 5. Last-Minute Advent Calendar Fillers Ideas

Are you a procrastinator like me, shilly-shallying all the time and don’t make a decision till the very last minute? Better act fast because based on my previous shopping experience online, logistic gets busy and slow during the peak seasons between Halloween and Christmas Day. I really don’t want to suffer from that anxiety rechecking the shipping updates time and time again to make sure it arrives on time. If it is still too late when you read this sentence, these last-minute candy-free advent calendar fillers ideas that skip shipment processes will be recommended:

   
- Children magazine subscription;
    - Disney+ gift subscription;
    - Kindle unlimited subscription;
    - ChildAngle 2021 Special Edition E-gift card;
    - Game for Nintento;
    - Spotify Yearly Subscription;
    - Free popcorn voucher;
    - Digital Movie;


Part 6. Treasure Hunt Advent Calendar Content Ideas

I believe most kids love treasure hunt a lot. Solving puzzles one by one to get hints all around the house that lead to a big treasure. We can make our Christmas Advent a treasure hunting game. To focus more on setting puzzles and hints, we can simplifier the calendar filler things by just ordering some sort of holiday set with greater than or equal to 24pcs:

    - Lego minifigure set;
    - Kitchen pretend play set;
    - Board game pieces;
    - Vehicle carrier set;


Vehicle Carrier Set


On Dec. 1st, give your kids the treasure map with hints and the game just begin. Your kids will definitely enjoy solving puzzles and unveiling all these hidden Christmas Advent filler gifts.

Part 7. Pave the Way for Christmas Day Big Surprise

No matter what do you put in an Advent calendar, just stick to the only rule: Pave the way for Christmas Day big surprise. The reason why we elaborately prepare for Christmas Advent is all about maximizing the anticipation for the Christmas Day.

My practical tip is: Start with the small one and save the best for last. Trust me, Christmas Advent will be your little one’s top 5 favorite celebrations of the year (only after Christmas Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Easter and Birthday Party)! 

Final Lines: Are You Ready for Christmas Advent?

Pick out awesome Christmas Advent filler ideas will add more anticipation to Christmas 2020.

To choose the perfect Advent calendar contents that all will love depends on what this Christmas Advent calendar is for:
For newborns and small babies, something daily-used, lovely and memorial are ideal;
For toddlers, something educating and brain-developing are great;
For school aged, school stationeries and toys are popular;
For teens, personal cares, eletronics and fitness products are recommend.

If your little ones have some specific hobbies like crafting, baking and planting, you can include these items in their Christmas Advent calendar.

What to put in Advent calendar? Actually, Advent calendar fillers don’t necessaries need to be some gifts or toys. You can also fill with some family activities, treats and charity events to do together.

For those last-minute guys who don’t act fast until the very last time, a yearly subscription of digital items or brick-and-motar store coupon code are perfectly convenient.

Remember the golden rule of Christmas calendar filler ideas: Always leave the best to the last to maximize the Christmas Day surprise. If your kids are big fans of treasure hunting, buy them a 24pcs playset, hide the pieces in the house and give them one hint a day to find their treasure. Finally assemble the complete set on Christmas morning with their own efforts, which are more unforgettable.

Want a complete list of these 200+ Christmas Advent calendar filler ideas? Submit your email address and get a copy!

Checklist Catalog Count
1. For Newborns & Baby
25
2. For Toddlers   
31
3. For School Kids
26
4. For Teens 
25
5. Sort by Hobbies 
31
6. Low-Budget Ideas
57
7. Last-Minute Ideas
8
8. Treasure Hunt Ideas
4
9. Edible 
11

200+ Calendar Fillers Ideas
Free Checklist

Submit to Download PDF Checklist

Hope these Christmas Advent calendar content ideas inspire you. Do you have any other unique ideas for Christmas Advent calendar filler? Leave a comment and share with us.