Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ideas for filling Advent calendars for little ones

Advent calendars play a big part in my childhood Christmas memories. When my nephew was born last year I thought it would be fun to make his family an Advent calendar.  My childhood memories of Advent calendars are mostly of paper chain calendars with an activity listed inside.  I didn't think an experiential Advent calendar would be practical for a three month old so I decided to go with a pocket style Advent calendar and fill it with items for celebrating the holiday season.  Last year I followed the Advent calendar tutorial at Sew Mama Sew I loved it, but lots of my items were a bit too big for the pockets.  This year I made a over the door shoe holder style Advent calendar to give me a bit more room for my gifts.

Some of my ideas for filling an Advent calendar for a baby or toddler include

pieces of a child friendly nativity scene (spread out over multiple days)
soft toys made by sewing together Christmas symbols and stuffing them
holiday related board book
ball sewn from holiday fabrics
sippy cup leash  made with holiday ribbon
fabric ornaments
felt ornaments
stroller blanket made from festive material
socks - I like the idea of red socks because they are festive and can be worn any time
bib  - I love making washcloth bibs one in holiday colors would be fun
leg warmers
holiday hat
onesie or shirt with holiday applique
a holiday outfit
holiday pjs (a perfect Christmas Eve gift)

Because I did my Advent calendar as a gift to a family I made some days treats for the parents and included chocolates, gift tags, and ribbons.  What would you put in a family Advent calendar?  Do you have any favorite Advent traditions?


  1. These are some fabulous ideas, Louisa. I think we have a lot in common! We give pajamas to our children each Christmas Eve, and we have special Christmas pillowcases, too. So fun to find a kindred spirit.

  2. Love your ideas! What a lucky family to have you as an Auntie! Wink, wink!

  3. Louisa, your nephew is one lucky little boy. Last year, I made the pocket advent calendar below. I filled the pockets with things such as bouncy balls, animal figurines, a whistle, a tiny music box and assorted stickers. It got to be a little expensive, so this year, I decided to make a little Santa that travels from pocket to pocket each day. Every few days, I'll add a little surprise. I'm a bit at odds about not having a "surprise" each day because the surprises were such a hit last year, but I'm trying to keep the focus on the spirit of Christmas. Who knows, though, I might cave next year. lol!

  4. I love the Advent calendar you made. I think it is a nice idea to have a figure that moves from one pocket to the next. I was thinking about incorporating something like that to denote the passage of time. I began making and gathering gifts for this year last December or January. that gave me enough time not to feel rushed or like it was at all expensive. My goal was to make or buy two or three items a month.

  5. Thanks, Louisa. I stumbled upon your blog through a post at Apartment Therapy. I'm looking forward to checking out the rest of your fabulous creations. Best of luck with all of your holiday crafting! Sounds like you're really on top of it. Can't say the same for myself. I'm a hopeless procrastinator who has a million unfinished crafts lying around.