non candy advent calendars

The 25 Best Non Candy Advent Calendars For Kids in 2023

Non-Candy advent calendars, offering unique and personalized experiences, are just as fun as candy ones and their gifts last longer!

Our 2023 favorites include a variety of ideas on non-candy advent calendars, which can also be DIY’d or reusable from year to year.

Toy Advent Calendars

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This list includes popular brands such as Lego®, Crayola®, Paw Patrol, and Little People.

Toy Advent calendars offer lasting enjoyment beyond the holiday season, unlike candy calendars that are quickly gobbled up and forgotten.

Not to mention there are already enough sweets floating around during the holidays!

Fisher-Price Little People Advent Calendar – Ages 1+

I absolutely love this Advent calendar! It’s the perfect gift for little ones! It’s not just adorable, but the quality is top-notch. The toys are safe and well-made, offering hours of imaginative play for kids. Each day brings a new, fun toy that’s just right for daily play and keeping the festive spirit alive.

One thing that really stands out is the calendar’s design. It’s durable and thicker than most, making it great for younger children who might be a bit rougher with it. The calendar doesn’t tear easily, and the kids can punch in the days without any hassle. It’s also a nice size – not too big or small, fitting perfectly in our holiday setup.

Lego City Advent Calendar – Ages 5+

My sister-in-law bought this kit for her 5-year-old and shared these thoughts:

“I recently introduced my 5-year-old to the LEGO City Advent Calendar, and it’s been a wonderful addition to our December routine. Each day brings a new surprise, from adorable mini-builds to characters from the LEGO City Adventures TV series. The quality and creativity of each piece have captivated my child’s imagination, making each morning an exciting experience.

This advent calendar is more than just a countdown to Christmas; it’s a fun, interactive way for us to bond and enjoy the holiday spirit. Despite being a bit pricey, the joy and educational value it brings make it a worthwhile investment. It’s the perfect blend of holiday cheer and creative play for my little one.”

Lego has lots of other choices for Christmas Calendars

Bluey Advent Calendar – Ages 3+

I absolutely adore the Bluey Exclusive Advent Calendar Pack! It’s a fantastic way to countdown to Christmas with my family. The calendar is filled with 24 amazing surprises, which is perfect for building up our excitement for Christmas Day. The pack includes toy figures of Bluey, Bingo, and Bartlebee, and it’s so cute to see Bluey and Bingo in their festive Christmas jumpers.

I’m really impressed with the quality of the calendar. The cardboard is much thicker than I expected, which is great because I don’t have to worry about my son accidentally tearing it. It’s the perfect size, too – not too big and not too small. Considering the price of Bluey toys, this feels like a great deal!

Crayola Christmas Countdown Calendar – Ages 3+

This non-chocolate advent calendar is for the little artist in your family.

Crayola Art supplies & activities: Each numbered door on the Christmas Advent calendar reveals a Crayola product and corresponding activities.

Paw Patrol Advent Calendar – Ages 3+

The well-formed, sturdy figures complement the winter-themed play set beautifully. It’s great to see my children’s imagination take off as they create snow day adventures in Adventure Bay with their favorite pups and animal pals.

This advent calendar not only added to our Paw Patrol collection but also provided a fun and creative way to count down to the holidays. It’s a fantastic way to encourage imaginative play and bring joy to the festive season. Definitely a great value and a hit with my Paw Patrol-loving kids!

PLAYMOBIL Advent Calendar – Santa’s Workshop

The Advent calendar “Santa’s Workshop,” with lots of exciting presents, contains twenty-four surprise items for each day leading up to Christmas.

The pieces can come out each year and be built again. Perfect for ages 4-10.

Here are a few more Playmobil sets:

Puzzle Advent Calendar – Ages 2+

My friend purchased this puzzle set for her kids last Christmas and had this to say when I asked:
“This cool Toddler-Friendly Puzzle Advent Calendar we got for my 3-year-old. It’s perfect for kids aged 2-5 and each day of December, there’s a new 9-piece animal puzzle to discover. It’s like a daily mini zoo adventure at home, and my kid is absolutely loving it. These puzzles are not just fun; they’re educational, promoting brain development and coordination in a playful way.

I especially value the calendar’s eco-friendly design. The puzzles are made from safe, toxin-free cardboard, which is great for both my child’s safety and the environment. Definitely a hit for the holiday season and a great pick for little explorers.”

Wooden Advent Calendar

Melissa and Doug continue to make timeless toys! While this one doesn’t contain small toys or trinkets, it’s a smilple and effective way to bring some excitement and anticipation to the holidays!

Especially if you don’t want or need any more little toys floating around the house!

STEM Advent Calendars

Introducing a STEM-focused advent calendar to older kids or your budding scientist can transform the holiday countdown into an enriching and exciting educational journey. Each day unveils a new challenge or experiment, sparking curiosity and the joy of discovery in young minds.

These calendars are not just about opening doors to tiny surprises; they’re about opening doors to knowledge and critical thinking!

Family Fun Advent Calendar

Personalized/Hand-Made Advent Calendars

Personalized or hand-made Advent Calendars offer an eco-friendly and customizable way to celebrate, allowing for a variety of treats and reusable use each year.

Personalized Fill Your Own Wooden Wreath Advent Calendar Light Box

Made from wood with a natural finish and filled with sparkling twinkle lights, this is a truly wonderful wooden advent calendar to enjoy on the run up to Christmas!

This unique advent calendar features 24 numbered boxes around the box frame and is finished in the center with a carved winter wreath.

You can add your child’s name or a simple message like “Be Merry”. Add some batteries and it becomes a light box!

Quilted Advent Calendar

This hand-made calendar can become a cherished heirloom. The pockets of each day can be filled with the treats of your choosing.

Woodland Wonder, Reusable Heirloom Advent Decor Boxes

Woodland wonder animals decorate this unique handmade heirloom quality advent calendar.

Reusable year after year countdown to Christmas set of mini drawers will be a favorite decoration for years to come.

Personalized Merry Little Minty Christmas Quilted Advent Calendar

Another fabric calendar, this one is a bit more trendy with their choices of fabric.

Adding your child’s name to it makes it even more special.See it on Etsy

DIY Advent Calendars

basket of DIY non candy advent calendar

Puzzle Piece Advent Calendar

Create an advent calendar where each day reveals a puzzle piece. By Christmas, kids can complete the puzzle. This encourages cognitive development and problem-solving skills.


  • Choose a 24-piece puzzle.
  • Number the puzzle pieces from 1 to 24.
  • Place each piece in a small envelope labeled with the corresponding day.
  • Hang the envelopes on a string or place them in a box.

Book Advent Calendar

Encourage reading by wrapping 24 children’s books in festive paper. Each day, a new book is unwrapped and read.


  • Select 24 children’s books.
  • Wrap each book individually.
  • Number the books from 1 to 24.
  • Stack or arrange them in a basket.
young child making a diy advent calendar

DIY Christmas Ornament Calendar

Make a new, simple ornament each day to hang on the tree.


  • Gather supplies for 24 small crafts.
  • Place each day’s materials in a numbered envelope or box.
  • Include instructions or a picture of the finished craft.

Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar

Promote empathy and social skills with daily acts of kindness.


  • Write 24 acts of kindness on slips of paper.
  • Each day, kids pick a new act to perform.
  • Discuss the impact of their actions.
mom creating a non candy advent calendar

What To Put In An Advent Calendar?

Here are a few non chocolate advent calendar filler ideas if you decide to get a hand-made/personalized or DIY Advent Calendar:

  • Stickers
  • Hot Wheels
  • Legos/Duplos
  • Hair Accessories
  • Socks/Mittens
  • Mini Figurines
  • Jewelry/Beads
  • Doll Accessories
  • Coupon for a day out (zoo, aquarium, etc)
  • Movie Tickets

The 25 Best Non-Chocolate Advent Calendars

No matter the reason you are looking for a non-chocolate advent calendar, the above ideas hopefully filled your imagination.  I’d love to hear what you ultimately picked.

Happy Shopping!

Related Christmas Posts:

5 Rookie Mistakes Parents Make Pretending to Be Santa

8 Awesome Personalized Gifts for Kids – Christmas Gift Guide

25 Unique Christmas Ornaments