Last year I managed to get organised enough to put together our first advent calendar. I ended up doing a mixture of small toys, chocolate and activities – I had a small piece of paper put into each box with an activity for the day written on it. Most of the activities were things that we might have done anyway, like wrap presents, decorate the Christmas tree, or visit the museum. We had watching movies and reading Christmas books on there, and I planned ahead to make it a quick activity on daycare days (like reading books), and more time consuming activities on days when we were home.
What I did learn from this was not to fill the boxes too far ahead of time because the house will get raided repeatedly. I put the activities in ahead of time but only put the toys or chocolate in the night before. It was also handy to write the dates on the activities so I knew what boxes they were meant to go in when they all got scattered across the floor.
I saw when I was at Kmart earlier today that they have a similar advent calendar to mine, but not in kit form – if I’d seen this before I had mine, I’d just have bought this one instead. I also bought some alphabet self inking stamps to put into the advent calendar – they should fit (hopefully along with some chocolate coins) and there’s enough of them to do the whole advent count down.
Other ideas I had was Thomas mini trains, smaller sized Matchbox cars for the bigger boxes or Shopkins, but the stamps are the right size and were something that I would have bought anyway, so that worked out well (and lots cheaper). While I wanted something exciting to put in there, I also didn’t want to spent a huge amount of money, or have a lot of tiny little toys cluttering up the place afterwards.