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We can’t believe how quickly we're flying through this year and how close Christmas is!
It won’t be long until we’re counting down the days until Father Christmas delivers all his presents and you get to watch the magic in your little one’s eyes. Start the celebrations early by treating your baby or toddler to a gift every day in December, with a unique advent calendar.
Swap the traditional chocolate advent calendar for an alternative option, which range from toys to keepsakes and books. Did you know that there are even opportunities to build your own? You can tailor them to your child's (and your) taste – how exciting.
In the true festive spirit, here are the best advent calendars for toddlers that aren’t chocolate.
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Best toddler advent calendars
WOKKOL Felt Christmas Tree Advent Calendars
If you're looking for an advent calendar that can become part of your seasonal decorations then this felt calendar is perfect for toddlers. Set aside some family time every morning and get your child to pick out a surprise. The magic is that you put the gift in it yourself.
Review: "Lovely calendar. my son loves it. Different from any I have seen before."
VTech Baby Toot-Toot Drivers Advent Calendar
Countdown to Christmas has never been so adorable! Every day your little boy or girl can open the window and discover a cute Toot-Toot toy. Once all the windows have been opened, this will become an amazing play area. Just like everything on Christmas day, this requires 2 x AAA batteries.
Review: "What an amazing advent calendar! ! My nearly 1yr old loves it and the doors are really easy for her to open. My 4yr old wishes she had this one instead of her Lego one!! Day one had an amazing sleigh which talks and sings Christmas songs!! Then there are road signs, tree decorations, a trailer for the sleigh, items of cargo to sit in the trailer and a lovely little bag to store everything in!!"
Keepsake Personalised Baby's First Advent Calendar
Another advent calendar that you can keep forever is your baby’s first. This one from Not On The High Street has bags of charming character, as it’s beautifully illustrated and personalised for your child. If you have a toddler, they don’t have to miss out on the fun because they can fill out this beautiful piece themselves.
Review: "Beautifully illustrated, a great way to record a first Christmas! Love it!"
Disney: Storybook Collection Advent Calendar
Give the gift of learning this Christmas. It might sound like a cliché, but it’s a fantastic opportunity to bond with your little boy or girl. Behind each door, you’ll find a different Disney tale that you can use as a bedtime story. Cute, right?
Review: "Wow! What can you say... This is fantastic! Didn't realise the books were the size they are... Fantastic value!!"
Playmobil Christmas on the Farm Advent Calendar
Christmas will start from the beginning of December this year! The whole family will have that festive feeling with this cute advent calendar. Top tip: you’ll have to watch your kids around this one! They’ll be desperate to get their little hands on every surprise - it’s that good.
Review: "This calendar is amazing. My son absolutely loves it and has played with the figures every day since he started it, and it actually seems to be better value for money than the actual sets we got him for Christmas. I especially love the Santa figure. Highly recommend and would definitely buy another playmobil calendar."
Personalised Advent Letters – Fourth Edition Elf Letters
Gift your youngster a personalised letter from an elf friend on the run-up to Christmas, revealing their exciting adventures straight from Santa's workshop, detailing the mischief, mishaps and funny stories happening at the North Pole as the elves prepare for Christmas. Arriving in 24 individual brown envelopes, each dated and personalised with your elf and your child or children’s names, the personalised advent letters are ready to be smuggled among the post, hidden in a toy box, left on a pillow, on a mantel or tucked on top of the cereal box.
Review: "Fabulous! Service was excellent. Letters were read out every morning with lots of giggles, loved listening to what the Elves were up to! One very happy little girl. Would recommend this product, you won’t be disappointed".
BRIO World Christmas Advent Calendar
Fold down the packaging front cover of this BRIO World Christmas Advent Calendar to reveal a Christmas scene full of fun. Day by day, behind each door is a BRIO toy that is compatible with the BRIO World railway system. The calendar includes tracks, animals, accessories and exclusive seasonal content such as Santa Claus and a unique Christmas train. Suitable from ages three years and up.
Review: "Our first time buying an advent calendar for our 3 year old and this has been a huge hit! I'm so happy to have discovered BRIO make these for Christmas. He loves BRIO and all the pieces from the calendar will be used with his main play sets long after the festive season."
L.O.L. Surprise! Advent Calendar
Another favourite, the L.O.L. Surprise Advent Calendar is packed with 25 surprises including an exclusive L.O.L. Surprise! doll, Tricksta B.B. Pull up to pop up the new three-tier packaging, then follow the numbers to unbox Tricksta B.B., her fashions, shoes, and accessories.
Review: "My granddaughter loved this for advent this year. We were very pleased with the surprises and value for money."
Peppa Pig: Advent Book Collection
Which toddler isn't a Peppa Pig fan? This advent calendar offers a new mini storybook behind every door, plus a special one for Christmas Eve. Stories include: Peppa's Theatre Trip, Peppa Plays Football, Pedro's Pirate Treasure, Peppa Goes Swimming, Miss Rabbit's Day Off, George's Noisy Dinosaur, Tooth Fairy and Peppa's Special Christmas Eve.
Review: "So impressed with this advent calendar. It's lovely and the books are such a hit with my little Peppa fan. The books, while being tiny, are full stories and can be popped back in and reused."
Play-Doh Xmas Advent Calendar
Have an artistic advent with this festive calendar from play-Doh, which comes with a playmat, five tubs of Play-Doh and 24 surprises so your tot can get creative.
Review: "Really didn't want just a run of the mill chocolate advent calendar for my grandsons and they both absolutely love play-doh. The doh and shapes etc will be a great addition to their play-doh collection once the calendar has been opened at Christmas. Absolutely love this and would recommend to everyone."
Mr. Men Little Miss Advent Calendar
If your tot is partial to a Mr Men Little Miss storybook at night time, then they’ll love this advent calendar, which includes 24 mini Christmas themed stories - plenty to get you through the festive season!
Available to pre-order now.
Aquabeads Advent Calendar
Let your little one create their very own Christmas decorations entirely from aquabeads with this fun aquabead advent calendar. There’s a Father Christmas to be made, reindeer, snowman, candy cane and much more.
Review: "My daughter was over the moon with the calendar that I got her to go with her chocolate one. Exactly as stated. Great product. Once you’ve built the Christmas objects they are a nice keepsake!"
L.O.L. LOL Surprise Fashion Jewellery Advent Calendar
If your tot is obsessed with the L.O.L dolls then this is the advent calendar for them. It’s packed full of jewellery, hair accessories, keyrings, and much more for a special surprise every day.
Review: "My 5-year-old daughter loves LOL dolls, and she has been very impressed with what she has gotten so far, hair accessories, jewellery, stickers, snap band. Definitely worth it seeing her face light up every day."
Barbie Color Reveal Advent Calendar
This advent calendar comes with a lovely Barbie doll and pet husky puppy! Each day your little one will discover a new fashion or accessory item to dress her up in. It will feel like Christmas has come early.
Review: "Great item and very well presented, the doll is in the middle of the box with the calendar split on either side of her. My granddaughter is a great fan of Barbie and I think she will have fun with this as she is now 3 and sees the point of an advent calendar."
Peppa Pig Advent Calendar 2021
Help your little one count down until Christmas Day with this Peppa Pig Advent Calendar, which includes 24 cute accessories and jewellery pieces so they can feel extra glam for those Christmas photos in front of the tree.
Peter Rabbit Beatrix Potter Themed Advent Calendar
Wake up to a new wooden character piece hidden behind the advent calendar doors each day. By Christmas Day, your little one will have an exciting new playset, including a Christmas tree.
Thomas & Friends Minis Engine Advent Calendar
Celebrate Christmas with Thomas and his friends with this advent calendar. Young conductors can unwrap minis engines from all the favourite Thomas & Friends characters.
Review: "Any kids Thomas fans will love this, it's big and my son just can't wait until Christmas to get all the Thomas minis - great price too."
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