Mumsnet Logo
My feed

Mumsnet is supported by readers. All our writers obsessively research every product we recommend. When you buy through a link on our site we might earn commission but this never influences our product choices.

Best Advent calendars for kids 2022: treats, toys and traditional buys

Whether you want to go for a classic chocolate calendar or are looking for something with the 'wow' factor this December, we've found the 20 best children’s advent calendars for this year – whatever your budget.

By Gemma Lumley | Last updated Oct 19, 2022

Child opening Advent calendar

Children’s Christmas Advent calendars are a source of delight on a chilly December morning. They can contain anything from LEGO and jigsaws to chocolates and dolls. They may also be keepsakes that feature traditional snowy scenes or beautiful wooden chests full of characters from the nativity.

Sometimes, however, it can be tricky to select the right one that will actually be appreciated and not just contain overpriced tat. So, to make life easier, we've done the hard work for you and have researched the very best kids' advent calendars to buy this year, taking into consideration the products parents and their children have tried, tested and loved.

Whatever your budget, the age of your child and their interests, our pick of the best children’s Advent calendars in 2022 will deliver fun and festive memories.

1. Best overall children’s Advent calendar: Playmobil Santa’s Workshop Advent Calendar

Playmobil Advent calendar

Price: £29.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“Playmobil does some great ones, we have years of toys from them from Christmas Advent calendars. Every year the kids would haul out the box of toys from the previous Christmases and then add to them with the current year's.” (Enjoyed by the family of Mumsnet user SonjaHeniesTutu)

The Playmobil Santa’s Workshop Advent Calendar features 24 festive figures to create a fun and seasonal scene that your little one will adore playing with. They will also make cute decorations you’ll love reminiscing with in the future.

Each figure, from Santa to the elves, is robust and beautifully detailed and can be placed against the colourful cardboard background. It even has a small working lantern to add to the scene, and we love that the batteries for this are included in the pack.

Key specs

  • Ages: From four years
  • Release date: Available now

2. Best budget Advent calendar for kids: Cadbury Dairy Milk Advent Calendar

Cadbury Advent calendar

Price: £2 | Buy now from Ocado

For some, chocolate for breakfast is an essential part of Christmas, and the Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Chocolate Advent Calendar delivers a tasty morsel every day.

Unlike some brands, the chocolate is scrumptious and satisfying, and you get a bigger treat on Christmas Eve. The picture on the front is bright and cheerful and will look great when on display. Happily, it is also fully recyclable and suitable for vegetarians too. 

Key specs

  • Ages: From weaning age
  • Release date: Available now

3. Best children's chocolate Advent calendar: Divine Fair Trade Milk Chocolate Advent Calendar

Divine Fairtrade Advent calendar

Price: £8.45 | Buy now from Amazon

“Another vote for the Divine ones. They're great.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user Sarcobaleno)

The Divine Chocolate Fair Trade Advent Calendar is an excellent choice for kids who love chocolate and parents who want to buy sustainable products. The bright cartoon design will look gorgeous in any home, and behind each door, there’s a delicious fair trade chocolate shape. In addition, buying one of these fantastic calendars will help support Ghana's female cocoa farmers. 

Key specs

  • Ages: From weaning age 
  • Release date: Available now

4. Best children's toy Advent calendar: Schleich Farm World Christmas Advent Calendar

Animal toy Advent calendar

Price: £35.94 | Buy now from Amazon

The Schleich Farm World Advent Calendar is an excellent choice for children who love animals. Each door has a farm creature or accessory behind it, all of which are beautifully designed and durable. It’s not a cheap option, but thanks to it not having a Christmas theme, these lovely toys can be played with and be a source of education all year round and for many years to come.

Key specs

  • Ages: From three years 
  • Release date: Available now

5. Best book Advent calendar for kids: Tom Gates Advent Calendar

Tom Gates calendar

Price: £10.58 | Buy now from Amazon

“I've bought my daughter, who is 10, the Tom Gates Advent Calendar. She loves the books and they are very popular amongst her friends. You get a mini book with an exclusive story and activities each day.” (Suggested by Mumsnet user Nocutsnobuttsnococonuts)

The Tom Gates Totally Brilliant Advent Calendar is a wonderful festive choice for creative kids. It is also fantastic value with 24 hardback mini story books and activity books for your child to enjoy. Tom Gates has an irreverent, witty comic book style tween kids will love. Each book also has its own pocket, and the whole thing can be tied securely together with a bright red ribbon.

Key specs

  • Ages: 7-11 years
  • Release date: Available now

6. Best Advent calendar for kids who love cars: VTech Toot-Toot Drivers Advent Calendar

V Tech Advent Calendar

Price: £39.99 | Buy now from Amazon

The VTech Toot-Toot Christmas Advent Calendar will be a source of daily excitement for your child. Each day they will receive a fun play piece that will come together to create an interactive roadway with sound effects. In addition, the decorative box flap can be pulled down to display the cars and accessories. If you already have Toot-Toot toys, this brilliant Advent calendar will make a great addition to your collection. 

Key specs

  • Ages: From 12 months
  • Release date: Available now

7. Best children’s reusable Advent calendar: Melissa & Doug Countdown to Christmas Wooden Advent Calendar

Melissa and Doug Advent calendar

Price: £18.49 | Buy now from

“We've got this one. The kids love the tradition of seeing it coming out every year. I just can't bear the thought of 24 bits of plastic tat coming out daily in preparation for the present fest on the 25th.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Haudyourwheest)

The Melissa & Doug Countdown to Christmas Advent Calendar is a beautiful keepsake that your children will look forward to seeing every year. It's made from robust wood and decorated in festive red and green. Each day your little one can remove a magnetic ornament from the tree to reveal the dates as they countdown towards the big day. The bottom of the tree is a handy bauble storage box too, so you won’t lose any. 

Key specs

  • Ages: Three years and up
  • Release date: Available now

8. Best first Advent calendar: Peter Rabbit Advent Calendar

Peter Rabbit Advent calendar

Price: £31.80 | Buy now from Amazon

This lovely set would make an ideal first Advent calendar for babies (though they shouldn’t play with it until they are a year old). Peter Rabbit is a classic storytime favourite for children, and the gentle colours and whimsical Beatrix Potter characters are timeless. Each day will reveal a play piece made from sustainable wood, and by the time Christmas Day arrives, your baby will have a beautiful festive play set. 

Key specs

  • Ages: 12 months plus 
  • Release date: Available now

9. Best free-from Advent calendar: Moo Free White Chocolate Advent Calendar

Free From Advent calendar

Price: £5.72 | Buy now from Amazon

“You can get 'free-from' calendars like Moo Free.” (Suggested by Mumsnet user TicTacTwo)

Little ones with food allergies shouldn’t have to miss out on the fun of Christmas. Happily, more and more brands are making Advent calendars that suit all dietary requirements. MooFree is one of our favourites, and the delicious chocolates in this cute calendar are sure to make your dairy-intolerant child smile. Kinnerton is also a fantastic brand to look out for if your child has a nut allergy. 

Key specs

  • Ages: From weaning age 
  • Release date: Available now

10. Best Advent calendar for preschoolers: Paw Patrol Advent Calendar

Paw patrol

Price: £37.50 | Buy now from Amazon

Fans of Rocky, Everest, Rubble and the rest of the Paw Patrol team will love this themed Advent calendar. Cute characters and festive accessories like Christmas trees will pop out from behind each door to create a delightful seasonal scene. Once complete, on Christmas Eve, this fun and durable set of toys will provide the opportunity for imaginative play and storytelling in the magical world of Adventure Bay. 

Key specs

  • Ages: Three years plus 
  • Release date: Available now

11. Best traditional Advent calendar: Winter Village Traditional German Advent Calendar by ‎Richard Sellmer Verlag

Traditional Advent calendar

Price: £10.49 | Buy now from Amazon

“Recommend searching for Sellmer Verlag on Amazon – their Advent calendars are the real thing.” (Brand suggested by Mumsnet user footchewer)

A traditional illustrated Christmas Advent calendar without chocolates or toys can be a source of nostalgia and joy. They are also beautiful for celebrating the festive season without adding extra ‘stuff’ to your home. This Winter Village Traditional German Advent Calendar features a gorgeous detailed snowy scene that children (and adults) will enjoy looking at, plus it's more sustainable than opting for a toy Advent calendar. Open the doors carefully, and this excellent value calendar will last for years. 

Key specs

  • Ages: From birth 
  • Release date: Available now

12. Best LEGO Advent calendar: LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar

Star Wars Advent calendar

Price: £38.94 | Buy now from Amazon

“My teens still want the LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar – when I tentatively asked last year if they still wanted it they were faux shocked and insisted it was part of the Christmas tradition.” (Rated by the children of Mumsnet user PassMeAnotherCoffee)

LEGO toys have long been a family favourite, with everyone from the age of six to 96 able to join in on the fun. This fantastic Star Wars and Mandalorian-themed LEGO Christmas Advent Calendar provides the absorbing task of building a character, vehicle or accessory every day, including Christmas Eve. This fab space-age play set can then be displayed as part of a broader collection or played with. 

Key specs

  • Ages: Six years plus 
  • Release date: Available now

13. Best educational Advent calendar: Eight Innovation Electronic Games Advent Calendar

Electronic games advent calendar

Price: £21.99 | Buy now from Amazon 

“I got my son a build your own electronic games calendar. You have to wire all the components to make the games.” (Vetted by Mumsnet user Snoopsnoggysnog)

This Eight Innovations Electronic Games Advent Calendar is ideal for gaming enthusiasts, young scientists and kids who adore computers. Each December day, your child will discover an electronic component that will help them to build various computer games, including Whack-a-Mole, Codebreaker and Ping Pong. This is an excellent choice for teenagers and adults alike. 

Key specs

  • Ages: From 12 years 
  • Release date: Available now

14. Best doll Advent calendar: LOL Surprise Dolls Advent Calendar

LOL Doll Advent Calendar

Price: £29.89 | Buy now from Amazon

The LOL Surprise Doll Advent Calendar is perfect for children who love fashion and these collectible dolls. The brightly patterned and sturdy box unfolds into a large stage or dressing room for display or play. Each day in December, including Christmas Day, reveals a funky new piece of an outfit, a pair of fun shoes or an accessory for the fabulous Tricksta B.B. 

Key specs

  • Ages: From four years 
  • Release date: Available now

15. Best stationary Advent calendar: Smiggle Advent Calendar

Smiggle Advent calendar

Price: £31.95 | Buy now from Amazon

Pens, pencils and erasers are always useful, and Smiggle is a stationary brand much-loved by children who adore bright colours, quirky shapes and a funky look for their school bag or desk. The calendar is beautifully designed, with Santa celebrating the festive season with his animal friends. It will look great with the rest of your Christmas decorations and reveal a fun surprise that your child can use to draw a picture, write a poem, or complete homework. 

Key specs

  • Ages: From six years 
  • Release date: Available now

16. Best puzzle Advent calendar: Gibsons Merry Mischief Jigsaw Advent Calendar

Gibsons Advent calendar

Price: £19.99 | Buy now from Amazon 

“Gibsons do a jigsaw one, depending on the age of the children.” (Suggested by Mumsnet user Floralnomad)

The intricately illustrated puzzles in the Gibsons Jigsaw Christmas Advent Calendar will fascinate kids and adults alike and make a tremendous absorbing task for a quiet breakfast time. The attractive blue and green box is sturdy and will look great with the rest of your seasonal decorations. Even better, the high-quality festive puzzles are made from strong, sustainable recycled cardboard, FSC-certified paper, vegetable-based inks and biodegradable labels. In addition, the puzzles come in different shapes and sizes and can be glued together with the adhesive provided. 

Key specs

  • Ages: From three years
  • Release date: Available now

17. Best nativity children's Advent calendar: The Story of Christmas Story Book Set and Advent Calendar

Nativity Advent Calendar

Price: £12.79 | Buy now from Amazon

“We have this one. It's an Advent calendar with a little book each day telling the nativity story which you can then hang on the tree. They also do the Nutcracker story in the same format, if you didn't want a religious calendar.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user BlackLambAndGreyFalcon)

Any parent who wants to share the story of Christmas with their children will appreciate this versatile and excellent value Advent calendar. Each day reveals the gift of a small book that contains a short chapter in the story of the birth of baby Jesus, and you can read it to them over breakfast or at bedtime. Once read by you or them, it can be hung on the Christmas tree as a lovely decoration. Then, pack it away once the festive season is over and enjoy your new tradition again next year. 

Key specs

  • Ages: From 12 months
  • Release date: Available now

18. Best DIY Advent calendar: LIVAIA DIY Advent Calendar Kit

DIY Advent calendar

Price: £7.99 | Buy now from Amazon

This DIY Advent calendar craft set is a wonderful idea for creative parents. It’s excellent value too. The tough, foldable cardboard makes 24 boxes that can be decorated with festive stickers, filled with the fun gifts or tasty treats you know your children will love and then stacked ready for the 1st of December. The overall effect has a rustic feel and will look great as part of your overall Christmas theme.

Key specs

  • Ages: It depends on what you choose to fill the boxes with
  • Release date: Available now

19. Best keepsake Advent calendar: Bethlehem Advent Stable

Bethlehem Advent calendar

Price: £99.99 | Buy now from Lakeland

“We have this. We've had it for years and years and are all extremely fond of it.” (Loved by Mumsnet user FourSeasonsTotalLandscaping)

Lakeland’s Bethlehem Advent Stable will become a cherished part of your family’s Christmas traditions. It’s an investment piece, but it would make a gorgeous, long-lasting gift for a baby’s first Christmas. Crafted from hard-wearing wood, this miniature chest has a beautifully carved part of the nativity scene in each of the 24 easy-to-open drawers. The sturdily built donkey stable sits on top of the drawers and can be spun around to reveal the dates for the second half of December. 

Key specs

  • Ages: Not suitable for playing with
  • Release date: Available now

20. Best Advent calendar for tween girls: The Body Shop Box of Wonders Advent Calendar

Bodyshop Advent calendar

Price: £95 | Buy now from The Body Shop

“The Body Shop is great for that age group. No makeup, [it includes] bath stuff but also hair bands, body polisher etc.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user Londoncatshed)

The Body Shop Box of Wonders is possibly the best beauty Advent calendar for 11-year-old girls plus who love richly scented bath stuff and self-care tools such as cute hair bands and body puffs. It’s not cheap, but the fair trade products included are worth over £150. This fab box will also educate your child about the countries from which some of the ingredients are sourced and the Ghanaian women you’ll be supporting by buying The Box of Wonders. 

Key specs

  • Ages: Best for tweens
  • Release date: Available now 

When will kids’ Advent calendars go on sale?

Many parents like to be super organised about Christmas, so many online retail sites such as Amazon already have children’s Advent calendars in stock. In addition, independent retailers and high street shops such as Lakeland and John Lewis started to sell their Christmas stock in September. 

What to look for in an Advent calendar for kids

  • Keepsakes: A beautiful Advent calendar whose appearance signals the start of Christmas will be a cherished keepsake that your children will love into adulthood. From small wooden chests of drawers that reveal a new part of the nativity scene each day to gorgeous illustrations of festive scenes that can be reused year after year, there’s a wonderful keepsake out there for every family. 
  • Chocolate: A small sweet treat as part of breakfast is a memorable part of Christmas for many. Chocolate Advent calendars are available in most supermarkets from the end of summer until the early days of December. Cheap and cheerful, they may feature popular children’s TV shows, contain favourite types of chocolate, and hopefully be recyclable. MooFree and Kinnerton are great brands to check out if your child has food allergies. 
  • Toys and activities: Alternatively, whatever your child's interests, there will be a non-chocolate Advent calendar to suit them too. However, to avoid filling your house with plastic tat, it’s a good idea to check what is included to ensure it will be useful or enjoyable to your child. LEGO, LOL Dolls, cosmetics, electronic game components and puzzles are all excellent options. 
  • Traditional: A beautifully illustrated Advent calendar that simply counts down towards the 25th without any kind of ‘treat’ is a lovely way to build excitement the old-fashioned way. If the doors are opened carefully, they can be reused and make great gifts. 
  • DIY: Some lovely craft sets can be used to make your own bespoke Advent calendar that will be perfect for your child. They are usually cheap, so you can buy food treats or small gifts that suit your budget. 
  • Age recommendations: It’s essential to buy an Advent calendar that suits your child's age. For example, LEGO, Playmobil and other toy-based products will contain small pieces that won’t be suitable for under threes. 
  • Price: Christmas is an expensive time, and you should only spend what you can afford. Remember, your children will receive gifts on the 25th, so don’t feel you need to spend lots. However, if you have the budget, purchasing a keepsake Advent calendar that may still be in use by your future grandchildren is a lovely idea. 

How we chose the best Advent calendars for kids 

To bring you our helpful summary of the best children’s Advent calendars, we carefully evaluated the suggestions made by Mumsnet users. It is parents, after all, who know best which products will be loved by a wide range of children. We also investigated the recommendations of specialist retailers, independent childcare experts and education specialists, as well as analysing authentic consumer reviews. 

Our pick of the top 20 children’s Advent calendars includes various fun themes, foods (including free from), popular toys and activities. You’ll find a festive countdown to suit all budgets, interests and age ranges. 

Why you should trust us

Mumsnet has been helping parents make their lives easier since 2000 and, in that time, we've analysed, tried and reviewed thousands of products.

As the mother of two children, Jasmine and Liam, and a lover of the festive season, our writer Gemma was determined to provide honest and independent advice on the best kids' Christmas Advent calendars that your family will enjoy throughout December.