Cool and quirky advent calendars
Round about now is when most humbug grown-ups start cursing themselves for not starting the Xmas prezzie shopping back in October like we swore we'd do this last time last year. But for our kids, 25th December can’t come soon enough, so we’ve found some fun-packed advent calendars to help keep even the most impatient of Santa’s boys and girls entertained during the countdown to Christmas…
The Doodle Advent Calendar Bunting
This quirky calendar is a great way to keep fidgety digits out of trouble – and off the mince pies – whilst also creating a truly unique Chrimbo decoration. The Doodle Advent Calendar Bunting has 24 cotton mini-stockings hanging from it – each one with just enough room to hide away a wee treat of your own clever choosing (small toys, clementines, promise from Dad to take kids sledging…). What’s more, the set includes 10 double-ended (one thin end, one thicker) pens, so artistic little mitts can design each of the stockings with the date, snowmen, trees – whatever festive stuff they fancy. And as the pen inks can be washed out, the bunting can be redesigned all over again next year. So get set to deck the halls with doodles!
The Doodle Advent Calendar Bunting (age 3+): £18.95. prezzybox.com
1.2.3 Advent Calendar Christmas in the Forest
Featuring a snowy outdoor scene with Santa and his forest friends, this seriously cute advent calendar is perfect for pint-sized kids (and their ‘cooler’, bigger siblings who will admire it on the quiet). The 1.2.3 Advent Calendar Christmas in the Forest contains the expected 24 surprise items, and as all the colourful goodies comes in large, rounded pieces, they’re made for toddler-sized hands to play with. Behind the doors, they’ll discover a whole forest of treasures, including an elf, angel, reindeer, sleigh, gifts, dog, bunnies, fox, animals, and the big man himself. Everything you need, in fact, to create a wintry woodland scene with a good smattering of Christmas magic.
1.2.3 Advent Calendar Christmas in the Forest (age 2+): £19.99. playmobil.co.uk
Balloon Advent Calendar And Activity Kit
How to make every sleep until Christmas Day go with a bang? Just treat your festive-frenzied kids to the Balloon Advent Calendar. This activity calendar includes 24 red balloons, with numbers 1 to 24 on each one. The balloons can be filled with tiny treats and activity notes, then blown up, fastened securely, and strung from the ceiling or bannisters – pretty much anywhere that isn’t near a source of heat or anyone with a nervous disposition. Then each day, your happy, shiny kids can pop a balloon and discover what’s inside. The kit comes with a chocolate for each day, plus two activity and joke sheets for you to cut up and roll into each balloon, plus blank activities for you to fill out yourself. You can blow up all the balloons on 30 November if your lungs or up to it, or surprise your little ’uns each morning with a new balloon hanging outside their bedroom door, ready and waiting to be POPPED!
Balloon Advent Calendar And Activity Kit (age 3+): £16. Notonthehighstreet.com
LEGO Friends Advent Calendar
The advent calendar of choice for LEGO lovers, this set lets them recreate LEGOLAND’s latest attraction, Heartlake City, from the comfort of their living room. With a new buildable piece to add every day, your Friends fan will find winter sports kit, such as ski poles, hockey sticks and ice-skates, plus fairground games, Christmas cakes and sweets (sorry, ‘candies’). Of course, the set also comes with a couple of the Friends stars themselves, Andrea and Liza. These uber-cool teens come with swanky on-the-slopes outfits and a suitcase-load of accessories, including a, er, saxophone (it’s not hard to see how these young ladies are fashion and life gurus to real little girls everywhere). And this is the calendar that keeps on giving – send your little LEGO builder along to LEGO.com/Friends each Sunday in December and on Christmas Eve to find new building instructions for a mini build with all the goodies they’ve opened that week. What a jolly good idea!
LEGO Friends Advent Calendar (age 5+): £19.99. shop.lego.com/en-GB
Twenty Four Days to Christmas
As a dad, you’ve no doubt lost count of the times you’ve entertained your children with fun, scary or just plain bonkers stories, using an imagination you thought you’d lost when you first started shaving. One such dad, Pincher Martin, found himself regaling stories not just to his own little girl but also to all of her pals, and as a result, the idea for Twenty Four Days to Christmas was born. Fresh from the printers (the book only came out 10th November), the story follows the impatient Poppy who’s going crazy at the thought of a whopping 24 sleeps to go before Christmas finally arrives. So her savvy folks come up with a sleigh-load of fun things for her to do for each day of Advent. From making her own Christmas cards and riding the Santa Express to building a bug-eyed Rudolph and a snowman sans snow, Poppy’s activities are a cool mix of of indoor and outdoor fun that can be tailored to suit all budgets, and – most importantly – help keep your own little elves thoroughly entertained during those 24 sleeps until Father Christmas comes calling!
Twenty Four Days to Christmas (age 3+): £5.99 (£2.99 ebook). amazon.co.uk
As an early Christmas present, we have five copies of Twenty Four Days to Christmas to be bagged. For your chance to win a copy, click HERE