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Advent calendars are a time-honored tradition, proving that sometimes the days leading up to Christmas are more exciting than Christmas itself. While your standard options might include candy, cookies, or other perishables, these options instead come with toys and accessories that will keep kiddos engaged long after your winter festivities. Some even come with more than one item per day—ideal for siblings or cousins who might otherwise fight over who gets the day's prize.
No matter their interests, here are the best toy advent calendars for your child this season:
Best Overall: PLAYMOBIL 1.2.3 Advent Calendar - Christmas in The Forest
Whether or not your child is already a fan of PLAYMOBIL, she'll love the colorful toys in this calendar, which includes a new figure for every day leading up to Christmas. Kiddos ages 18 months and up will uncover reindeer, rabbits, and other accessories—all thoughtfully arranged in an order that'll encourage play even before the big day.
Best LEGO: LEGO Star Wars Toy Advent Calendar
The LEGO Star Wars advent calendar is perfect for LEGO and Stars Wars toy fanatics.
This Star Wars-themed set includes Slave I, a TIE Interceptor, AAT, T-16 Skyhopper, Sleigh, Republic Cruiser, Droid Gunship, Jedi Interceptor, Skiff, and an Imperial Landing Craft. It also includes eight mini-figures, a Battle Droid, and various weapons like Luke Skywalker's Lightsaber.
There are three different LEGO advent calendars. In addition to the LEGO Star Wars advent calendar and the LEGO City advent calendar, there is a LEGO Friends advent calendar, too.
Best for Toddlers: Fisher-Price Little People Advent Calendar
This calendar is a great way to re-introduce your little person (ages 1-5 years old) to all of his favorite Christmas season characters. On each of the 24 days leading up to Christmas, your kiddo will unveil winter animals, a snowman, and other critters. The bigger and smaller toys are evenly spaced out, so every day is a surprise.
Best for Young Kids: Melissa & Doug Countdown to Christmas Wooden Advent Calendar
The Melissa & Doug Countdown to Christmas Wooden Advent Calendar is truly one of the most festive advent calendars available today. Shaped like a giant Christmas tree, the calendar comes with glittery magnetic ornaments, a shining star to place atop the tree, and an attractive wooden box for easy storage. In addition, there’s a heartwarming holiday poem on the back, which provides the perfect yuletide ritual for families who enjoy reading aloud together.
Best for Car Lovers: Hot Wheels Advent Calendar
The Hot Wheels Advent Calendar is a great gift for any kid that loves playing with toy cars. With it, you'll get eight Hot Wheels cars and sixteen accessories, plus an included foldout playmat where kiddos can play with all of their new goodies. The cars in this set are the same size and quality as your standard Hot Wheels, so they can be easily mixed into an existing collection once the holidays pass.
Best for Disney Lovers: Disney Pixar Minis Advent Calendar
Pull your kiddo away from the TV with the Disney Pixar Minis Advent Calendar, which brings all of their favorite characters together in one festive setting. In this set, you'll get 14 character mini figures (including Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl from The Incredibles and Sulley and Mike from Monsters, Inc) and ten character stickers, plus a mini Christmas tree. The calendar is recommended for ages three and up.
Best Accessories: Hatchimals Advent Calendar with Exclusive Characters & Paper Craft Accessories
If you're looking for a calendar that includes even more surprises, this one from Hatchimals is a great option. Filled with over 50 surprises—ten Hatchimals and an array of accessories, sticker sheets, and more—this set will keep multiple kiddos happy (no more fighting among siblings!). Be warned that some of the parts are quite small, so this calendar is best for those 5 years and up.