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

(59 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.


mamalovesmojitos Mon 25-Nov-13 10:02:18

Great thread! KatieMac your ideas are just fantastic - thanks so much for sharing them thanks

losersaywhat Mon 25-Nov-13 09:52:09

I know it's an old thread but the raffle ticket idea has just solved my advent calender problem. Fantastic, I'm off to raid poundland.

Everhopeful Sat 05-Oct-13 15:38:36

Glad I found this thread!

I have been making eggbox advent calendars for DD and her godsisters for about 10 years, so proper tradition though not as flexible as Valiumqueen. I have been warned I am not allowed to stop, even if she is 11. Godsisters are 11 and 6, so need lots of ideas. I have used many of these suggestions in the past for younger ones (though not the activities, some of which would be really good), but have thought of a few new ones for older ones this year(aimed at girls, since that's what I've got - I agree that boys aren't as easy to get for):

- mini lippies (buy Avon samples on Ebay, they're pretty cheap)
- hairbands in school colours (DD goes through these like anything and is resigned happy with practical stuff)
- smelly highlighters probably will still go down well
- decorated stationery clips
- earrings are good
- hair braids

Yes, they do like the sweets, but I got fed up of DD having a sugar rush before school. Anyway, she also likes the variety and knows I'll bung in chocs at least once a week. GSs don't like choc confused so I have to find them something else anyway, the bought ones never work for them. I've managed never to spend more than c£4 per calendar and often much less. Mind you, leftovers from party bag fodder have been a strong standby wink

clarasebal Wed 18-Sep-13 19:34:27

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everydayaschoolday Sun 24-Mar-13 23:01:28

I see some christmas threads active, so feel justified in posting this (before Easter <wails>! Squinkies 16pk on half price at ToysRUs today, down from £10 to £5 - perfect size for advent calendar drawers.

2Young2B38 Thu 29-Nov-12 22:27:56

Fab thread! Am in minor panic mode now as I've left it all to last minute. Katymac brilliant ideas, think I'll do a combo of these plus the mini chocs and stickers/tatoos I did last year for DD & DS. Thanx everyone :D

Freyajane9 Sun 18-Nov-12 22:20:19

Stickers, tattoos, erasers, hair things, crystals. . Piece of jewellery on 24th.

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.

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

So glad I found this thread!!!

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.

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

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 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

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

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

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!

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 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!

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!

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

I love katymac's suggestions! Am stealing those

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

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!

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.

£1 coin. Not in all, just one or two.

Lego figurines

hair clips

socks can be rolled up pretty small


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