24 Alternative Advent Calendar Fillers

When John was a child his mum made him his own hand sewn fill-it-yourself advent calendar. She has since made Squidgy one; and previously we have filled it with chocolate, simply because it was easier. This year I decided that we would fill each pocket with an alternative idea, and to try and steer clear of the junk. I have written this post about the twenty four things I have chosen. Obviously if you don't have a fill-it-yourself advent calendar then these items would make fabulous stocking fillers!

Personalised Christmas Decoration

On the first of December we crack out the Christmas decorations and my house goes from a simply family home to a slightly over the top Christmas grotto that would rival even Santa’s own workshop. Each year I purchase a personalised decoration, and usually I would order from a small business however this year I left it a little too late so instead purchased some angels from our local Notcutts garden centre. Unfortunately they don’t have Squidgy’s name so instead I bought a “Special Daughter” one, and that is inside pocket number one of her advent calendar!

Pencil Toppers

Squidgy is getting to an age now where she is beginning to move on from the standard old school mini Crayola crayons and use other mediums to create her art. She loves to use coloured pencils and paints and something like these really cute pencil toppers from Stich Love by Hazel* make a perfect alternative to chocolate (although they could also be candy cane toppers if you want to sneak a little sweet treat in!)

Crayons

Just because Squidgy likes to try out different mediums to create her “artwork” doesn’t mean that crayons aren’t a great idea too! Adding Fun Little Creations Christmas character shaped crayons* into the advent calendar is sure to be a hit with her, and they are adorable too!

Miniature Rubbers

When I was out and about doing the last of my Christmas shopping in town last week, I popped into The Works to have a look for some paint for some Christmas crafts I have planned with Squidgy. When I saw the super cute Christmas Tree filled with miniature rubbers I knew they would make a perfect advent calendar filler. I have begun to teach Squidgy to write and having little rubbers is a fun addition to our learning.

Stickers

Squidgy loves stickers. Big stickers, glitter stickers, 3D stickers, mini stickers, princess stickers... you name it, she has probably had them and stuck them all over everyone and everything around her. These fab Emoji stickers from Lost World Gifts* (once cut into smaller squares from their original larger sheet) fit perfectly into the advent calendar squares and I am pretty sure that my technology loving daughter is going to think these are amazing.

Stamps

Stamps are a new item for us here, we have probably done every form of arts and crafts from drawing to painting to sticking but have not tried stamping before. I am exciting to try out these new Christmas shaped foam stamps from Amazon with Squidgy, an extra thing to add to my list of things to do before Christmas.

Candles

I am not the only person in my house hold that is a fan of candles, John loves Yankee Candles and Squidgy thinks they are amazing too. The diddy candles from Beeautiful Candles* make a lovely addition to the advent calendar, and I get to enjoy them too! There are other options are available too, including some super cute Christmas shaped wax melts which I am trying to convince my hubby to buy!

Playmobil Special Plus

Until recently Squidgy hasn’t really had a chance to really enjoy Playmobil, but she is at the age now where she had found a real love for it. When looking on Amazon for a smaller set to include in her advent calendar I came across the Special Plus series, which has such a fantastic range of products available. I chose the Mother and Child with Changing Table set to include this year, because I know how much Squidgy loves all things family related. For now I have hidden the smaller parts, just to ensure there isn't an obvious choking hazard for Little L; but I know she will love it.
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Play-doh

Play-doh is always a good call when it comes to children, especially those that are around Squidgy’s age. It is not easy to purchase just one pot and actually works out cheaper in the long run to buy a pack anyway, so I picked up these sparkle Play-Doh pots on Amazon and just took one out for the advent calendar along with a cutter. The others will make a perfect stocking fillers.

Light-up Butterflies

There is something about colour changing light up products that gets both my girls all happy and excited. Popping a light up butterfly from Lost World Gifts* into Squidgy's advent calendar seemed like the one of the best fillers to tick the fun box. The fact that they have a suction cup on the back means that they attach to pretty much any surface from their bedside lamp to the light switch, to a window or a mirror!

Mini Bath Toy

Bath time is one of my favourite times of day. I’m not saying that because it is the countdown to my girls heading off to be (although that is of course a good reason to enjoy it!) but I am saying that because it is always a fun, joy filled experience. No matter what we have dealt with that day, we end the day on a happy note before heading off to bed. Popping a cute little bath toy into the advent calendar means that there is something extra to help us enjoy that time. Whether you want to get Christmas ones like the set I bought in the post-Christmas sales last year, or order something that can be used all year round like these Rcool squeaky animals on Amazon they make a great advent calendar filler.
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Badges

If you saw my Christmas gift guide for preschoolers you will have seen the unique matching tees that my girls have from the lovely lady at Milksok. Not only are there a lovely range of tees on offer but these Milksok badges* are another product on the website, and they make a great addition to fill Squidgy’s advent calendar this year.
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Magnet

Everywhere we go on holiday, or out for the day we try and pick up a magnet to add to the collection we have at home, and so Christmas is a great time to add yet another one! Using it to fill a pocket on Squidgy’s advent calendar is a great excuse to fit it in, and I can’t wait for her to find it and pop it next to the others she already has!

Finger Puppets

Finger puppets and hand puppets are always a fun addition to story time when we are heading to bed and both girls love them. It makes it good for me too, as they can become the character from the story, and I try (probably badly!) to use different voices and it is always a good laugh (especially for John if he over hears!) Lost World Gifts offer a budget busting selection of animal finger puppets* which fit just right into those mini advent calendar pockets and the rest of course can top up the girls stockings.
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Mini Characters

Pretty much every child in the generation my girls have been born into has been exposed to a whole plethora of children’s TV programmes, and you can’t go wrong by adding a little character from one of their favourite shows into a pocket of their fill-it-yourself advent calendar. Duggee and the other characters from Hey Duggee are bound to go down well here, and the Squirrel Club characters from Jazware’s Hey Duggee collection* drop into the pocket snug as a bug in a rug. I know Squidgy is going to love adding Squirrels to her collection, I give it mere minutes before she cracks out the others and plays with them all together.
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Head Bands

There is an amazing range of headbands available from Madison’s Beautiful Bows*, a small business run by a fellow mama who is actually local to me! She has just launched a few super cute Christmas designs on her Etsy store so be sure to go check them out (I kind of wish they came in my size, although they will look so much better on my girls than on me!)

Hair Clips

You can pick up hair clips from pretty much everywhere these days, whether you want small plain ones or awesome bows there is something for everyone available. I love putting stuff in my daughters’ hair, however both of them have to be in the right mood to let me play and Little L is likely to pull them out as soon as I put them in. If you have a scroll through Instagram you can find some lovely small businesses that sell handmade bows and clips, or alternatively pop to your local Primark just like I did and grab some bows or Disney clips (I got both!)

Hair Ties

Carrying along in the same theme as the last couple of advent calendar filler ideas, I have added hair ties into one of the pockets. Squidgy likes to have a plait or two, and occasionally a pony tail, in her hair when she goes to preschool (not that we always have time for putting her hair up in the morning rush!) and so hair ties are a great idea to add in to the mix.

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Nail Varnish

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John wasn’t so keen on this idea when he saw that I had bought Squidgy some nail varnish from Primark last week. To be fair though, I get mine done every two weeks, it was inevitable that she would want to do her own at some point. My Little Pony is one of her favourite things, along with pink and purple being her favourite colours, so the two pack of nail varnish I bought is right up her street. Adding just one layer on means it dries quicker and by the end of the day it had practically all rubbed off, so I don’t know why John was so worried! I think it’s cute and Squidgy thinks it’s the best thing ever!

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Rings

Accessories are a typical addition to any outfit for pretty much everyone, and my daughter is no different. I am certain that I am to blame for the majority of the things like this that she loves due to the fact that I wear necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings on a daily basis. The flower set heart rings from Primark are a beautiful and sweet addition to Squidgy’s advent calendar and the smile on her face when she first saw the sneaky one I gave her from the set to take this photo melted my heart.

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Lip Balm

As well as accessories, I also like to wear a bit of make-up here and there and Squidgy is always asking me if she can wear some too. Although I am not a fan of putting make-up on children, the Disney Frozen children’s lip balm set from Primark make a good compromise. They are designed for and thus safe for children and it makes her feel like she is joining in with something she always wanted to be a part of. She already has one with Anna on, but of course Elsa is in her advent calendar ready to be found!

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Knickers

Let’s be honest, a girl can never have too many knickers; plus when you are buying age 5-6 you know they will fold up small enough to fit in the pocket of an advent calendar. No doubt on the day that these are pulled out, Squidgy will want to pull them straight on, thanks to the theme being one of her other favourite things, Paw Patrol. The fact that there are female heroes as part of the Paw Patrol team has always made Squidgy happy as Larry and she often talks about them being her friends.

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Socks

I love socks, especially at this time of year, when the cold winter months close in. Buying a pair of cozy slipper socks (especially in a Christmas design!) seemed like an obvious choice to add to the advent calendar fillers. The penguin ones that I got from Matalan for Little L just about slip part inside of one of the pockets; however Squidgy’s had no chance. Instead I printed a little note for her with a picture of a sock on it and she will have to come to me and exchange the note for her socks!

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Christmas Eve Box Token

Number 24 on an advent calendar obviously means that you have hit Christmas Eve; and thus things start getting really exciting! We love to have a variety of items in our Christmas Eve box including activities for the day and items for Santa. I will of course be sharing a post soon with all the items that we have included in this year’s box. For the final pocket on Squidgy’s advent calendar I have included a small “treasure” map; and the first activity of the day will be to find our Christmas Eve box and get ready for Christmas. An alternative option would be a simple token that in the same way as the socks can be exchanged for the box.

I am so happy with this year’s advent calendar fillers, and I hope that Squidgy will be too. Not long until we find out as we head into December at the end of this week! I hope that I have given you a few great ideas for alternative advent calendar fillers; and if you do choose to use a traditional chocolate option, maybe instead you can try some of these out as stocking fillers!

The countdown to Christmas has officially begun.

 

Disclaimer: Although this post is written of my own volition, some of the products I have been sent for the purpose of testing them out for review. These products are highlighted by the use of an asterisk (*) beside them. All views and opinions are my own. This post may also contain affiliate links. All photos are copyright property of Me Becoming Mum.

 
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