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The best advent calendars for children 2021

Celebrate the run up to Christmas with these sustainable, eco and heirloom ways to countdown the advent... and, all without a chocolate in sight (ok, so there may be some vegan treats!)

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How many sleeps until Christmas?

Gone are the days of a cardboard fold-up advent calendars (who remembers those?). Today, its all about stationary, small sustainable toys and crafts hiding under those 24 little windows and doors (or neatly packed into pretty boxes, hanging from brown paper bags…) before we all get ready to count down until the big day take a look at our luxe round-up.

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And, get a little head start by buying them now (so no last minute dash on November 30th) –  as really you need to get your skates on – the best ones do sell out fast!

Here’s our pick of the best advent calendars for children for 2021…

  • Nutcracker Theatre Advent Calendar by Meri Meri
  • For those who love: The classic Nutcracker story and crafts
  • Ideal for: age 8+

Watch the classic ballet in the comfort of your own home with this amazing Nutcracker Theatre Advent Calendar by Meri Meri made with eco-friendly paper and glitter. Every year Meri Meri blow us away with their creative calendars and this is no exception. Children open the box to reveal the theatre, orchestra pit and 3 scene changes – and each day they will receive the main characters and props, beautifully wrapped in numbered envelopes. Then on day 24 they will be delighted with a sensational gold tone charm bracelet with acrylic charms, tassels and bell. A truly special gift that will keep on giving for years to come! >> BUY HERE

  • Keepsake Advent Calendar by STYCH
  • For those that like: accessories addicts
  • Ideal for: older kids and tweens

This woven signature STYCH pink keepsake calendar is ideal for those tweens and young teens who prefer little girly treats like hair clips, slides and accessories. This advent will make make the lead up to Christmas day extra special with each expandable little pocket edged in grosgrain – we love the grosgrain hanging tabs and ribbon to roll up and recycle and keep for each year too. See why they scooped gold in this years Junior Design Awards too >> BUY HERE

>> Also, check out their 12 day Count down to Christmas charm and pin badge jewellery calendars in either She-Rex (below) or Fruit Salad. The mini accessories are ideal for jackets and school bag.

  • Gibsons Merry Mischief puzzle advent calendar at Selfridges
  • For those that like: accessories addicts
  • Ideal for: children aged 8+

This 100% board Merry Mischief puzzle advent calendar is part of Selfridge’s PROJECT EARTH edit featuring a selection products that are better for people and the planet. Fun for all the family it includes puzzle glue, ribbon, 6 x stocking-shaped puzzles, 6 x snowman-shaped puzzles, 6 x Christmas tree-shaped puzzles, 4 x bauble-shaped puzzles – great for some easy daily Christmas activity. >> BUY HERE

  • Florence by Mills 12 days of Beauty Advent at Beauty Bay
  • For those that like: make-up treats
  • Ideal for: tweens and young teens age 9+

Tweens and teens will be happy to swap chocolate advents this year for this Florence By Mills Advent Calendar. This vegan and cruelty-free beauty collection by the Stranger Things actress is so popular – so snap this skincare and makeup goodies advent up while you can. With 12 products to discover including Built to Lash Mascara, Get Glossed Lip Gloss Modern Mills, Mind Glowing Peel Off Face Mask and so much more including a holiday ornament. >> BUY HERE

  • KalenderHaus Klassic by Clever Greta
  • For those who love: Scandic-Chic (& easy baking)
  • Ideal for: the whole Family

KalenderHaus Klassic by Clever Gretal is a beautiful pre-baked gingerbread house that you put together and decorate each day of advent. And, hello how beautiful is the packaging for a start? Presented in a keepsake wooden box. The inside of the box then becomes the advent calendar – where you can place the 24 pre-packed and numbered bags that each contain a little treat to decorate your house with – and the lid is your cake board to build the house on. Still with us? KalenderHaus also come with a pliable ready-made icing tub and icing bag – that you just need to load up and keep in fridge so it’s ready to use each day when you need to ‘glue’ on/down either an edible treat or a special hand-selected decoration. Creative and editable come Christmas Eve. A win–win. >> BUY HERE

** Also check out the KalenderHaus II offers all of the above except for the wooden presentation box (comes in a card box) – or, is a great refill if you have the original wooden box already.

The best advent calendars for children 2020
KalenderHaus Klassic by Clever Greta

  • Advent Calendar by Milledeux
  • For those that love to: accessorise
  • Ideal for: girls aged 3 + and tweens

As big fans of Milledeux hair accessories (remember the pencils and the lobsters?) could we be any more excited that they have continued their accessories advent launched last year? The Milledaux advent calendar is a beautifully presented cardboard advent box filled with 24 little drawers that each contain a cute bow hair accessory. With a selection of slides, alligator clips, snap clips and hair bands (in either silver or gold versions) this is the stuff of every little girls dream. The box also make a sweet jewellery box afterwards. >> BUY HERE

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Advent Calendar by Milledeux
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Inside the Advent Calendar by Milledeux

  • 24 Days Of Stationery Advent Calendar by Martha Brook
  • For those who love: Stationery
  • Ideal for: tweens and younger teens

… and, anyone who loves stationery and, frankly who doesn’t? For 24 days filed with pens, pencils, notebooks, paperclips, stickers and more than you should look no further than this advent calendar from Martha Brook. This personalised 24 Days Of Stationery Advent Calendar is top notch. And, what’s more the lid and 3 of the advents contents will be personalised. This advent is also 100% reusable and recyclable. >> BUY HERE

  • BRIO Advent Calendar by BRIO
  • For those that love: wooden toys and train sets
  • Ideal for:  toddlers and children ages 3+

The perfect introduction to the joy of wooden train sets for younger children with this Brio Advent. Encouraging creativity, imagination and gross motor skills. Each day a doors open to reveal a classic BRIO toy that is compatible with the charming BRIO world railway system. >>  BUY HERE


  • Countdown to Christmas Wooden Advent Calendar by Melisaa & Doug
  • For those who love: sensory play
  • Ideal for: toddlers

This Melissa & Doug Countdown to Christmas Wooden Advent Calendar is a timeless keepsake that will delight children for years to come. With 24 magnetic baubles and a shining star for the top of the tree – small hands can re-arrange them over and over again. >> BUY HERE

  • City Advent Calendar by LEGO
  • For those who love: Lego or building toys
  • Ideal for: Age 5+, Lego addicts as well as  the whole family

Each year the Lego advent calendar offering gets bigger and bigger – and each promises to be as collectable as the next.  If you have kids addicted to Lego (and who doesn’t?) then they will enjoy a little daily ‘buildable treat’ and watching the Christmas scene come together in the festive run-up. We love this years LEGO City Advent Calendar, where as well as seasonal mini-builds and a snowy city play mat (to build their own Christmas scenes) you also get 6 LEGO City character mini-figures. >> BUY HERE

  • Quentin Blake 3D Advent Calendar by Woodmansterne
  • For those who love: the original story of Christmas, crafting
  • Ideal for: all the family and especially younger children

This fun advent Quentin Blake 3D Advent Calendar by Woodmansterne features one of our best loved children’s illustrators, Quentin Blake with his illustrations featured in a busy Christmas scene with a reindeer taking the place of a festive candelabra. >> BUY HERE

  • Limited Edition Advent Calendar by Biscuiteers’ and Sophie Conran
  • For those who love: a touch of luxury
  • Ideal for: all the family and biscuit lovers

For the third year in a row the Biscuiteers’ limited edition advent calendar is possibly our favourite. Again, created in collaboration with luxury designer Sophie Conran this hand-embroidered cloth calendar is the ultimate in luxury. An investment buy that will soon become part of your Christmas year after year (as it comes complete with its own cotton bag, perfect for keeping it safe)

inspired by traditional gingerbread houses style and each of the 24 little pockets can be filled with sweets or treats or, why not go for the full Biscuiteers’ experience and add its luxe advent calendar biscuit tin of cute animal designs in each pocket? >>BUY HERE


  • The Elf on the Shelf North Pole Advent Train
  • For those who love: Elf on the shelf
  • Ideal for: Ages 3 +

Little ones can count down to Christmas with a train-shaped Advent calendar filled with daily surprises that create a colourful, playable Christmas tree farm and railway – and these are elves they can touch! (if you know, you know). >> BUY HERE

>> READ MORE: Elf on the Shelf : Stylish Elf on the Shelf fashions and accessories

  • Noahs Ark advent Calendar by Orange Tree Toys
  • For those who love: a classic advent that lasts beyond Christmas
  • Ideal for: Ages 12 months+
What’s not to love about this Noahs Ark advent Calendar from one of Junior’s favourite toy brands Orange Tree Toys? Filled with 24 beautiful wooden pieces for each day of advent – that then make up a beautiful Noah’s Ark play set for Christmas Day (and beyond)! Maybe the only time the animals don’t come in two-by-two! >> BUY HERE

  • Festive House Paper Craft Advent Calendar by Meri Meri
  • For those who love: Crafts, dollhouses and imaginative play
  • Ideal for: Children aged 5+
Furnish a delightful little eco-friendly Paper Craft Advent Calendar for the reindeer family. Day by day open a box to reveal numbered trays with house furnishings and characters. With two bedrooms, a dining room and a lovely sitting room complete with a Christmas tree and gifts  – plus, lots of signature Meri Meri neon colours and foil touches – this house will bring hours of imaginative play as well as being a lovely keepsake. >> BUY HERE 
meri meri advent calendar house | 2020
Festive House Paper Craft Advent Calendar from Meri Meri

  • Toy Workshop Advent by JoJo Maman Bebe
  • For those that love: wooden toys that last
  • Ideal for: toddlers aged 3 +

This keepsake and reusable advent calendar features 24 little drawers with wooden figures inside – all easy for little hand to open too! The sides open out as a play scene to use with the little wooden little toys where tots can glide Rudolph and his friends through the snow and put the elves to work in the workshop. >> BUY HERE

  • Colour In Christmas Advent Calendar by Selfie Clothing Co.
  • For those that love: crafts and colouring
  • Ideal for: pre-schoolers

The Selfie Clothing Co.Colour In Christmas Advent Calendar will bring days of crafty Christmas fun colour. Coming with 8 fabric pens (and a practice sheet) this fabric printed calendar makes for a few minutes quiet each morning (or evening) as children can colour and create to their hearts content. What’s more we love that there is no waste as the fabric pens will be clipped together to form a rod, which is then inserted through the hem at the top of the calendar – allowing the calendar to be hung in the family home, making a display that children will be proud to show off! This can also be personalised (fee applies) for an extra special touch. >> BUY HERE

Or, this cotton Colour-In Pillowcase Advent by Eggnog is another option. Maybe the kids can colour before bedtime (for a calming activity) or, even when they wake -up – allowing you a few extra minutes in bed (we can dream!) >> BUY HERE

The best advent calendars for children 2019
Colour-In Pillowcase Advent by Eggnog

  • Keepsake Baby’s First Advent Calendar by Max Made Me Do It
  • For those who love: vintage and nostalgic designs
  • Ideal for: babies first Christmas (or, the whole family)

This charming illustration and personalised Keepsake Baby’s First Advent Calendar Junior Design Awards winners Max Made Me Do It is the perfect babies first Christmas advent – and for the memory box. More than just an advent this is a wonderful way for parents to remember special moments and occasions in the run up to their baby’s first ever Christmas. With a little compartment next to each date you just jot down little anecdotes, notes, sketches about your babies festive activities, days out or, family events throughout December. >> BUY HERE

  • Eco Advent Calendar by PLAY in CHOC
  • For those who love: to be eco conscious or, want a ‘healthier’ treat
  • Ideal for: childen ages 5+

Having previously scooped a Junior Design Award we were bound to love the PLAY in CHOC Advent Calendar. With 24 drawers each containing a 10g organic (and vegan friendly) chocolate with touch of coconut, a 3D puzzle and fun facts card. This environmentally responsible calendar then becomes an eco toy to play with on Christmas eve or some extra decorations – also if you replace the drawers (back to font) it forms a new picture and open out the outer sleeve to create a landscape. >> BUY HERE

Or, if you prefer, Play in Choc offer a smaller 12 day Advent Calendar. >> BUY HERE

  • Wild Life Advent 2021 by Schleich
  • For those who love: classic toys
  • Ideal for: Children aged 3+

Fans of Schleich figures will delight at this advent especially all those wild animal fans. Delightful hand-painted, sculpted figures and accessories. The Schleich Wild Life Advent is new this year and encourages learning through imaginative play – and what’s more it offers repeat play once the Christmas tree is down. There is also a new Farm World version for 2021. >> BUY HERE

  • Plasticine Advent Calendar at Menkind
  • For love who love: to mould, crafts and an activity
  • Ideal for: pre-schoolers
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Remember plasticine? Long before play dough this was the stuff of kids dreams (and parents nightmares) but, now this more modern take on a party bag fave never dries out – so offers hours of fun. Just open a window every day discover 6 fun festive plasticine colours to mould, blend and shape. With easy-to-follow instructions and modelling toy – you may come over all nostalgic and have a go yourself! >> BUY HERE