I love a good advent calendar and I find that a toy calendar for kids is a great way to spread the joy of Christmas throughout the month instead of just focusing on a day. So here are the ones that I think are worth it
I love a Chocolate Advent Calendar, but when I was looking for an alternative when I wasn’t yet giving chocolate to my kids, I stumbled upon toy advent calendars. And even though I now give them the chocolate ones, it has become a tradition in my house that I really love
The offering now is bigger and I’m quite picky on what calendar I get them because it needs to be worth the money. It cannot just be a calendar with a theme they like, it needs to be that AND it needs to be things that will be played with over time.
So here are my findings for this year a my opinion on them.
I will be creating a couple of other posts on this year’s Advent Calendars:
- DIY Toy Advent Calendars ideas for kids 2023
- Best Adult Advent Calendars 2023
If you’re interested please subscribe to the blog to be notified.
What I look for in Toy Advent Calendars
This is what I look for in Advent Calendars:
- Price VS what you get – I look for advent Calendars around £20 ideally, but I will make exceptions if the Calendar is of really good quality and I have been wanting to get such items for my kids.
- Variety of items included – I don’t like calendars that have 5 of the same items in different colours, especially if they cannot be used independently.
- Daily play-ability of the items – Kids want to play each day with the item they get. If alone they amount to nothing, or can’t be played on its own or with other things we already own, it gets boring quickly. Especially for younger kids.
- Overall quality of the items – If half of the “toys” are cardboard accessories, unless all the toys are made of cardboard, I’m not interested in it.
I have chosen the following advent calendars as great options for this year.
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Best Advent Calendars for Toddlers
Play-Doh Advent Calendar – Get it here
I’ll start with the one I got for my 2-year-old and I must say this Play-Doh Calendar is my favourite calendar of the ones I’ve found this year. It has a tool or cutter for every day and a small tub of Play-doh for each day. It’s just perfect as it’s playable independently each day and can be played with at the end of the 24 days and every year. Super cool.
PLAYMOBIL 71086 1.2.3 AQUA Bath Time Fun Advent Calendar – Get it here
I love bath toys. I loved Playmobil as a kid and I didn’t know they had a toddler-friendly version. It is on the pricier side of my list, but honestly, looks really good value for money and allows for all-year-long play.
PLAYMOBIL 1.2.3 Advent Calendar 71135 Christmas on the Farm – Get it here
Another Playmobil Advent Calendar that I think might be worth the price tag. There is just so much play in it and really cute characters.
Happyland Advent Calendar 2023 – Get it here
These toys are very cute. We don’t own any of them yet, but the youngest has played with it in a couple of playgroups and loves it. I think it’s a good option for a kid who is into play pretend.
Best Calendars for Animal Lovers
Schleich 2023 Horse Club 98982 – Get it here
We love the Schleich animals, they’re such good quality. This version is the 2023 version that is super cute, perfect for horse fans. There’s also this a 2022 version with a lovely white horse, but it’s not guaranteed that it will arrive before the 1st of December. I’ve listed it below nonetheless.
Schleich 2022 Horse Club 98642 – Get it here
Schleich 2023 Dinosaurs 98984 – Get it here
This Dinosaur set is a really good one with plenty of little dinosaurs. Considering the price of individual schleich pieces, I think it’s quite worth it. In case you like the 2022 version more, I’ve listed it below, but it’s not as good in my opinion.
Schleich 2022 Dinosaurs 98644 – Get it here
Schleich 2022 Farm World 98643 – Get it here
There’s also a Farm version, and I prefer this 2022 version to the one this year’s one as the animals are less common. The 2023 is also cute and I’ve listed it below but this is my favourite out of the two.
Schleich 2023 Farm World 98983 – Get it here
Zoo Animals Advent Calendar – Get it here
f you don’t own any animals yet, this also looks like a brilliant option at a cheaper pricetag. This is going to the top of my list for next year for my youngest. Of course, the trees and stones are not as exciting, but there’s a lot of animals to compensate and as an overall “toy” to play with at the end, it looks very complete.
Toy Rubber Ducks Advent Calendar – Get it here
This bath toy is more on the inexpensive side, it’s just for a bit of fun and looks really good with great reviews. And apparently looks like a fun calendar for older kids (adults) too.
Dinosaur Advent Calendar – Get it here
If your kid is into dinosaurs, this one looks like one of the best ones (outside of the Schleich ones). It feels like a good ratio of accessories and actual-themed toys, and the dinosaurs have a decent look to them.
Playmobil Wiltopia 71006 DIY Advent Calendar – Get it here
I never knew about this Wiltopia Playmobil collection, but it looks really good. You have to put it together (probably to save on the package), so you can probably decide on which order you want the animals to be taken out each day, and the animals are really cute.
Best Calendars for Vehicles Loving Kids
Hape E3770 Main Station Advent Calendar – Get it here
This was last year’s calendar and it is the best calendar we’ve had so far. I know it’s on the expensive part, but it’s truly great. If you want to start building or if you want to add some items to your wooden train collection, this is a really awesome set. I cannot recommend it enough despite the price tag.
BRIO World 2023 Christmas Advent Calendar – Get it here
If you’re more into Brio, this is their calendar. To be very frank, I find the Hape version more value for money than this one because there’s a complete track at the end, but if you like and already own Brio, this will be a good addition to your current sets.
MDINGTD Kids Advent Calendar Vehicles 2023 – Get it here
Really Cute Advent Calendar with great reviews. These vehicles look quite good, to be honest, and it looks like a lasting toy. I know that my son would love this one so I’m hoping there’s a similar one for next year.
Thomas & Friends MINIS Advent Calendar – Get it here
If your kid is into Thomas the Train Engine, this is a great option. These will be the mini ones (I’m assuming they’re the same size as the magazine ones) so they will not fit most train tracks (whether Thomas or wooden) but my kids play with the small magazine ones as well and doesn’t complain about them not fitting perfectly, so I think it’s a great option.
Hot Wheels Advent Calendar – Get it here
Look, I’m not too mad about the Hot Wheels calendars… My kid loves Hot Wheel but doesn’t care about the accessories, he just loves the cars. And I don’t think their calendars have enough of them. They have two versions and one is cheaper than the other. If your kid wants the accessories it might be worth it, but I prefer to buy the random car here and there to add to his collection.
Hot Wheels Advent Calendar Version 2 – Get it here
LEGO Advent Calendars
LEGO 60381 City Advent Calendar 2023 – Get it here
This is the one I got my eldest this year, and I’ve got to say, I’m a little picky with LEGO Calendars. I absolutely love LEGO (I’ve got a little addiction going on at the moment to be very honest), but when it comes to Advent Calendars, I find some of them very boring with not enough build on it. Saying that I found this one looks like a really good balance between daily build and mini-figures.
LEGO 10976 DUPLO Santa’s Gingerbread House – Get it here
Completely forgot to add this LEGO Duplo the first time I posted this list, but this is super cute! Now, it does frustrate me slightly that they get one piece per day (probably) BUT I’ve noticed both of my kids (2 and 5) started playing more with DUPLO once there were more accessories. And these are a really cute addition to sets you might already have.
LEGO 75366 Star Wars Advent Calendar 2023 – Get it here
Not a Star Wars expert here so I don’t know if previous years were better or worse. But if your kid is into Star Wars, I think this feels like a great ratio between cool characters and build.
LEGO 76418 Harry Potter Advent Calendar 2023 – Get it here
As someone who read all the books and loved the storyline, I’d get this advent calendar for the figures alone. Maybe that kind of contradicts what I’m saying about daily build, but I find the ratio build/mini figures quite good on this one. On some themes and some ages, minifigures will probably matter more than the builds. If my kid was into Harry Potter I’d definitely get this one.
LEGO 41758 Friends Advent Calendar – Get it here
I’m not very impressed with this year’s Friends Advent Calendar. There’s not enough build for me. Last year’s one is better, so despite it being double the price, I have included the link below.
LEGO 41706 Friends Friends Advent Calendar – Get it here
LEGO 76267 Marvel Avengers Advent Calendar – Get it here
My kid is not into Marvel, but this has 7 minifigures on it. If your kid is into the Infinity series and loves the characters it’s worth it. But again, I’d get it for the figures, not for the build.
LEGO 76196 Super Heroes The Avengers – Get it here
This one is from 2021 and it is more expensive than the other ones. But it honestly has some really cool builds and accessories in it.
Building Blocks Advent Calendars (Non-LEGO)
Engineering and Fire Truck Building Blocks Advent Calendar – Get it here
If you’re ok with getting non-Lego building blocks, this looks quite good and it has a build for every day. Please note that the instructions on non-LEGO are not very young-kids-friendly and they might need a bit of support. I have seen some adults struggle too. That’s where LEGO takes a big lead (and on the quality of its pieces). But this looks really good and fun.
HOGOKIDS Advent Calendar 2023 Christmas playset – Get it here
Another very cute LEGO alternative with 4 bigger builds that can be done at the end. Quite cool. Again, as per the last one, the instructions for these sets tend to be not as good as the LEGO ones.
HOGOKIDS 2023 Christmas Advent Calendar version 2 – Get it here
HOGOKIDS 2023 Christmas Advent Calendar version 3 – Get it here
Insect Building Blocks Advent Calendar – Get it here
This one has quite a few cool builds too and steps aways from the Christmas theme. As per my previous suggestions, the instructions won’t probably be the same quality as the LEGO one so they might not be very young kids friendly. But the builds look quite fun.
Best Advent Calendar for Disney Lovers
Disney Advent Calendar 2023 Kids – Wooden – Get it here
I don’t think this is an official one, but it’s so cute and suitable for younger kids.
Disney and Pixar Cars Advent Calendar – Get it here
This looks like a brilliant option, to be honest. They can be played with quite a bit. If your kid is into the film or just vehicles in general, it’s a great option despite the more expensive price tag.
Disney Princess Advent Calendar – Get it here
This Disney Princesses calendar would be a total hit with my niece, I’m sure (and my son just said “wow” to it when he saw it open on my computer). It does disappoint me personally that it only has 4 dolls, but it has some really cute accessories.
Disney Official Christmas Board Game Advent Calendar – Get it here
I wasn’t too sure if I liked this one, but I think it’s actually a great idea as it can be played with the family on Christmas Day (and beyond). Although it will not be playable until the end of the Advent Calendar. I’d say it’s for older kids who can already wait for things to be complete.
Disney: Storybook Collection Advent Calendar – Get it here
A book is always a great idea, and the reviews on this were very positive. From what I can gather though, the stories don’t change from year to year, so this should be a one-off buy. A couple of people have complained that the storylines are a little boring (probably for younger kids), but that was 2 comments out of about 300, and one complained about the stories not being Christmassy. Just helping you adjust expectations.
I’m a little critical of these books because they tend to be a mini version of the original so the print is sometimes unreadable without a literal magnifier. But it doesn’t seem to be the case here.
Disney Advent Calendar Frozen Jewellery – Get it here
This is such a cute Calendar for kids who love Frozen and jewellery.
Disney Princess Advent Calendar 2023 Kids Stationery – Get it here
I’m not very keen on the calendars that give out a coloured crayon per day. It’s a bit odd. But this collection looks quite cool. The only thing that bothers me is the second pencil, but apart from that, it looks like a good collection.
Marvel Avengers Advent Calendar 2023 – Get it here
In the same line as the above, here is the Marvel one.
TV Show themed Advent calendars
PAW Patrol Mini Figures and accessories Advent Calendar – Get it here
Really cute PAW Patrol calendar for 2023. Really good mixture of figures and accessories I find. I also thought this Stationery that I’m listing below was worth the money.
PAW Patrol Stationery Advent Calendar 2023 – Get it here
Bluey’s Family Christmas Surprise Advent Calendar – Get it here
Only 2 characters and some really small accessories. It didn’t make the cut for me, unfortunately. But it’s Bluey, so I think that if your kid likes Bluey and does a lot of pretend play, it might be worth it to them. There is also a Book Calendar which I have linked below in case you’d prefer that.
Bluey: Awesome Advent Book Bundle – Get it here
DreamWorks Gabby’s Dollhouse Advent Calendar – Get it here
Again, I have the same issue with this one that I have with the Bluey one. I’m not sure how many characters come in the calendar and whether the accessories are worth the price of the calendar. But again, if your kid is obsessed with it and does a lot of Pretend Play, they will surely find a lot of joy in it. From what I can gather, the cardboard bits are extras to the accessories.
Peppa Pig Advent Calendar – Get it here
I’m not very crazy about this Peppa Pig calendar because of the format of the figures. But it’s Peppa Pig. If your kid loves pretend play and Peppa Pig, they’re probably going to love it. And it does have a lot of characters in it, which is a good thing. There is also a Book Calendar which I have linked below in case you’d prefer that.
Peppa Pig: Advent Calendar Book Collection – Get it here
Hey Duggee: Advent Calendar Book Collection – Get it here
Here is a book collection calendar with brilliant reviews. I confess I’m a little disappointed that there isn’t a toy Hey Duggee toy calendar.
Super Wings Advent Calendar – Get it here
One of our friends’ kid loves Super Wings and will be delighted to get one of these this year. With a figure per day it’s really worth it.
Pokémon PKW3066 Holiday Calendar – Get it here
Super cute mini Pokémon Figures in this kit. The cardboard Christmas accessories are super frustrating for me as they are so random, but the mini figures make it worth it. There’s a second version that I’ve listed below but it’s more expensive and I don’t find more value in it.
Pokémon PKW2689 Holiday Calendar – Get it here
Pokémon TCG: Holiday Calendar with Cards – Get it here
OK, now this is an awesome one. It is expensive, but those cards are not cheap. I’m sure my brother (adult) would freak out about it even today. If you have a kid who is into this, he would love it.
Sonic The Hedgehog Stationery Advent Calendar – Get it here
All the other calendars I’ve found are a lot more expensive. They look quite cool, so I will list them below, but they have a steeper price tag. So it depends on how much you’re willing to spend. This stationery calendar is a decent-priced one for what I would spend on an advent calendar. But the end result of these other ones is quite cool.
Sonic by Numskull 2023 – Get it here
Tails by Numskull 2023 – Get it here
Sonic the Hedgehog 414454 Action Figures – Get it here
BANDAI Sonic Prime Collectable Figures Advent Calendar – Get it here
Again, not on the cheap price range, but the figures would get a lot of play and display too.
Best Advent Calendars for Young Kids
Polly Pocket Advent Calendar, Winter House Design – Get it here
Alright. As a little girl from the 90’s, this is the dream! An advent calendar with all the Polly Pocket accessories that turns itself into the house to play with the accessories in, is awesome. For £24 pounds? Well worth it.
Playmobil Christmas Advent Calendar 71088 – Get it here
The Playmobil Calendars are filled with goodies. Super cute accessories on this one. I loved to pretend play when I was younger and this would definitely be a hit for me. It just has a lot of play in it.
Playmobil 9485 Advent Calendar – Christmas Ball – Get it here
Another super cute Playmobil Calendar. I find that borht this one and the one above, are great value for money.
The Elf on the Shelf and Elf Pets Minis: North Pole Advent Train Advent Calendar 2023 – Get it here
For those of you doing Elf on a Shelf or wanting an alternative, this looks like a really good idea.
Barbie Advent Calendar – Get it here
Barbie is a classic and this is quite a cool calendar with lovely accessories on it. Again, a 90’s girl dream.
Best Advent Calendars for older kids
The Purple Cow Advent Calendar My World – Get it here
Welcome to my favourite calendar for older kids. This looks absolutely brilliant. It’s crafts and learning at the same time. It’s even brilliant for me as an adult!
The Purple Cow Advent Calendar Amazing Magic – Get it here
These guys have brilliant calendars to be honest. This is perfect for magic lovers.
The Purple Cow Advent Calendar Family Games – Get it here
Here’s another one from the same brand that looks brilliant fun.
The Purple Cow Advent Calendar Shocking Science – Get it here
I bought a Science one last year in a charity shop and I’m so excited about it. My son is still too young for it, but I thought it was worth it for the future. An experiment a day looks like so much fun.
Topps Match Attax 23/24 – Advent Calendar – Get it here
We’re not into football in the house (I know, shocking!), but if my kid was into it, I would definitely get it for him, 120 cards is a pretty good calendar!
Advent Calendar DIY Charm Bracelet – Get it here
Really cute Charm Bracelet not just for kids but adults too.
Advent Calendar Fidget Toys Set – Get it here
This fidget toys calendar looks like a lot of fun and becomes very handy for Christmas (and non-Christmas) travels.
Kids Art and Crafts Advent Calendar 2023 – Get it here
Really cute idea for kids that love to arts and crafts. Quite a mindfulness one.
Brain Teaser Puzzles Advent Calendar – Get it here
This is both a kids’ and grown-ups’ cool calendar. Perfect for persistent kids who love a challenge.
Advent Calendar Unicorn Jewelry Set – Get it here
Really cute for unicorns, jewellery, and accessories fans.
Tom Gates Advent Calendar: 24 mini-books – Get it here
To be honest, we don’t have older kids, so I’m yet to know Tom Gates, but for any fans out there, the reviews are pretty amazing on these.
Will you get one of these for your kids this year?
Have you gotten a different one that I didn’t mention and are excited about?
Have I missed an important one?
Please let me know!