Small gifts to fit inside Wooden Advent calendar - ideas needed please!

(67 Posts)
everydayaschoolday Sat 18-Aug-12 21:52:03

Last Christmas I invested in a lovely wooden advent calendar that can be brought out every year, rather hoping it'll become a beloved tradition that my children will grow-up with. I filled each drawer with a 'penny sweet' or Quality Street-type chocolate.

This year I was thinking of putting a small gift item in - like a small santa-face badge etc. But where do I find such tat lovely christmas items that my 4 year old would get genuinely excited about?! Don't get me wrong, I can find the tat, I just can't find small enough tat to get in the little drawer.

I have noted on MN last year to write an activity to do and put it in the drawer, and I think I'll do that for weekend days when I'm not working and we can bake cookies or something. All ideas really appreciated.

MrsTrellisOfSouthWales Sun 19-Aug-12 08:26:30

Lego, playmobil, Go go/bungees or anything they sell near the till in Toys R Us, minifigures, and www.Tickseed.co.UK

BiscuitNibbler Sun 19-Aug-12 08:29:51

Just remembered I bought some small My Little Pony figures for her stocking a little while ago, so I will see if these fit, as they would be perfect. Thanks Ismeyes.

Fuzzpig - I would say one each if you can manage it, as last year me and DD shared which meant I didn't get a look in! Hence buying DD her own this year!

everydayaschoolday Sun 19-Aug-12 09:00:22

valliumqueen thanks for idea on being flexible in the morning with what to fill it with - depending on how I'm feeling. I can always 'downgrade' an activity with a toy if weather not suitable etc. Good point.

Fuzzpig I agree with biscuit on having a calendar each. I need to get a second one this year for dd2 who'll be 1.5yo (I got away with just one last year). I imagine the 1.5yo will mostly have a milkybar button in her drawer (small tat not suitable at that age). I guess I need to get on ebay (ebay virgin here) and have a look at character figures.

Mrstrellis yes, of course - check out the area near the tills for impulse buys, which is normally small tat! thank you.

ValiumQueen Sun 19-Aug-12 09:07:27

Clearly I am mean for making three share one then grin <<disclaimer: it is big, and hand made>>

ByTheWay1 Sun 19-Aug-12 09:14:53

LOL V..Q..- I am even meaner..... the cheap tat goes in the stocking for christmas day - my fabric advent calendar pockets get a sweet for each in each pocket.

Last thing I need is the kids expecting presents every day...

ValiumQueen Sun 19-Aug-12 10:28:07

Thank you bytheway I feel better grin

I get what you mean about expecting gifts every day. It can get crazy if there are gifts every day, plus Christmas eve hamper plus stocking plus gifts. That is why I prefer to do activities when I can, as said previously it can be stuff you were going to do anyway. I do not do the hamper and buy very little for my kids as thankfully have family who are quite generous.

Another idea could be socks or pants, as they often get them anyway? I often put stuff they will need clothes wise in stocking or as a gift in its own right. DC3 was a bit of a suprise, so I need to be extra frugal from herein, and plan ahead as I will be a dairy cow from November.

everydayaschoolday Mon 20-Aug-12 21:02:38

Thank you everyone for all the super ideas. I got a couple of sets of Polly Pocket dolls and clothing sets at 'clearance' price in Argos today that I think will fit in the little drawer if I break all the clothes sets up and spread them throughout the calendar.

As kids get older, I'm definitely going to go with the genius idea of a raffle ticket and a christmas basket of small pressies.

ValliumQueen all the very best for the safe arrival of your early christmas surprise thanks. I too do all the pants, socks etc in the stocking (usually character type to make it 'special'). Top tip, also include character toothbrush and my kids think strawberry toothpaste (tesco own brand 99p?) is a treat grin. To fill stocking space at low price, include a carton of juice (my kids love juice cartons and rarely get them (another treat)) - or bottle of pop for teenagers. I think I'm off on a tangent now... sorry.

Anyway, thanks to everyone for all the ideas - I think I'm sorted (to DH utter amusement..."Christmas stuff, in August??!"). But happy to hear of more ideas for next year if anyone thinks of any more.

IWantToGoToThere Thu 23-Aug-12 21:24:25

Taking the raffle idea one step further, my DS is young enough to enjoy a 'treasure hunt' so I might leave a note saying 'look in the ...' and hide a trinket or chocolate around the house every night for him to look for in the morning. Thanks for the inspiration!

WaitingForMe Mon 27-Aug-12 20:58:16

I don't do an advent calendar as we only have my stepsons on alternate weekends (not that this stops MIL making a calendar for them here) but I just ordered loads for their stocking from Tickseed. Thank you MrsTrellis, I found loads of bits they've not had before!

£1 coin. Not in all, just one or two.

Lego figurines

hair clips

socks can be rolled up pretty small

choc

HappyAsEyeAm Tue 28-Aug-12 07:48:29

We were given a wooden advent calendarlast year in the shape of a lorry driven by santa with 24 boxes in the lorry. Inside were sweets, and also the little animals you can get in toy shops and ELC and The Entertainer by Schleich (sp?). The smaller ones that they do are about £2.50 each, but DS loves them and we have a veritable zoo of them. Some of the smaller animals fit, but some don't. The little dogs, frog and mouse definitely fit.

superdragonmama Tue 28-Aug-12 16:39:26

One year I put in beads and elastic 'string' for ds1 and dd, they were about 7 and 10, and she made 3 bracelets with the beads she collected during December, he made Xmas decorations for the tree.

All my kids have liked activity challenges and treasure hunt clues better than yet more tat especially as they got older. Cheap and fun!

mignonette Tue 28-Aug-12 16:45:21

Roll up a patterned pair of shoe laces
Put some cartoon sticky plasters inside
Cut up some sheets of stickers
Tiny pot of lipbalm for toddler chapped lips
Some cool animal shaped buttons to sew on a favourite piece of clothing
Shaped erasers from paperchase
Fridge magnets
mini coloured painting soaps from bodyshop
tiny pots of star glitter shapes from paperchase or art shop

hermioneweasley Tue 28-Aug-12 16:45:40

I love katymac's suggestions! Am stealing those

carolinecordery Fri 31-Aug-12 23:47:59

Great, can't believe there's a thread discussing exactly what I've been thinking about. My daughter is also 4 and has had her advent boxes for the last 2 years but now I've also bought one for DS (will be 20 months at Christmas)- is that too young? Shall I start his next year? And DO BOYS LIKE LITTLE PRESENTS TOO LIKE FIGURES AND BRACELETS? That's my main question. He's my first boy so I don't know what he'll like. It seems so easy to buy presents for girls, and women actually. I hadn't thought of the activities/ quiz questions idea to go in the boxes- brilliant. Last year I did some boxes with 'XYZ' in my pocket figures (mixed tubs of 11 of them £4.99 on ebay now), and some with a few tiny sweets and DD was disappointed when it wasn't sweets....

Watch the cost of filling these boxes- 2 kids could get up to £50!

BiscuitNibbler Sat 01-Sep-12 17:28:31

I went to Ikea today and they had little finger puppets in packets of ten for £4, so I got some of these as they will easily roll up and fit the little drawers.

I also got some Dairy Milk miniatures from the Cadbury shop because I think she will want chocolate in every drawer, rather than the odd few I was planning. These are tiny so I think I will manage to get one of these and a either a finger puppet, bobble or clip, plus the little decoration that is already in the calendar in without too much squeezing!

everydayaschoolday Sat 01-Sep-12 21:31:07

Hey Biscuit stop that! You're upping the stakes - I count that as 3 things in the drawer! I'll be skint before we get to Dec 1st at this rate!

Really just envy smile

BiscuitNibbler Sat 01-Sep-12 22:02:40

I know blush, I really did mean just to do one plus the decoration (which will be the same every year, so they don't really count - that's my excuse and I'm sticking with it!) but then I just thought I don't want to deal with the upset over no chocolate every morning!

BiscuitNibbler Sat 01-Sep-12 22:03:04

Mind you, I've still got to check they fit!!

everydayaschoolday Sat 01-Sep-12 23:41:55

I know. Really I'm just the same. I don't have a calendar that has the decs - just the empty drawers. I was going to do a small choc (like from a christmas net of choc snowballs - cheap n' cheerful) plus little toy (have stocked up on Polly Pocket and fingers crossed they fit). smile

sashh Sun 02-Sep-12 05:12:37

Don't forget pound shops. Have you seen the light up baloons? I got some for a friend's dc, and then had to go back and get another three pascks for the rest of the street. You can get them at tesco.

A lot of toy shops have a display with lots of tiny things, tiny note books, bouncing balls, plastic figures.

How old are dds? Maybe something special, a 'real' piece of jewelry for Xmas eve.

everydayaschoolday Sun 02-Sep-12 11:22:23

Hi sashh. DDs will be 4.5 and 18 months. I've kinda overlooked the 18 month old (but suspect milky bar button in each drawer for her will do).

I hadn't thought of doing a more special small gift for the 24th. Really good idea - thanks for that one. I do have a necklace in her christmas stash for her, so I might put that in the calendar instead. thank you

BiscuitNibbler Thu 06-Sep-12 16:15:06

I went to B&M Bargains today and they had packets of Squishies (is that the right name? The teeny tiny plastic toys in the clear plastic balls) for £3.99 instead of the usual £10 in the supermarkets. I got some Hello Kitty and Barbie ones as they will fit in nicely.

Tw1nkle Mon 15-Oct-12 09:13:28

So glad I found this thread!!!

OhTheConfusion Tue 16-Oct-12 20:02:10

DH and I got a wooden on for our god daughter, we bought a tub of mini dinosaurs from ELC and popped then in the spaces with a few choc coins.

They also do tubs of mini animals if your DC's are not dinosaur daft like our DGD.

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