Advent Calendar Gift Ideas: 5 Fillers That Aren't Candy or Toys

Advent Calendar Gift Ideas: 5 Fillers That Aren't Candy or Toys

‟The waiting of Advent teaches us to live in increments, in small pieces rather than large chunks.” ~ Rev. Holly W. Whitcomb, author and speaker

Oh, the anticipation, the excitement, the frenzied atmosphere of December!

Christmas is coming, bringing joy-filled family gatherings, special events, and of course, highly-anticipated gifts.

For some, Advent is the season of anxiously waiting for that blissful Christmas morning when the presents are finally opened. For others, Advent is a time of preparation, to have everything in order for the "big Day." And for others, it is a sacred time for family and faith.

One of the common threads among all these different ways of looking at Advent is an Advent calendar.

Whether it starts on the 4th Sunday before Christmas, or the 1st of December, an Advent calendar, with its daily surprise, is a fantastic child's countdown to the holiday.

Many pre-made Advent calendars, especially for little girls, are filled with limited-use little plastic toys. Others are a 24-day sugar rush, filled as they are with candy, especially chocolates.

At Purple Ladybug, we're all about wholesome family fun. Low-quality toys and sugar for days don't match up with our philosophy. That's why we're going to give you 5 alternative Advent calendar gift ideas, to create a safer, more fun family tradition this year.

Fill your child's waiting with joy, laughter, and the true sense of the season with these Advent calendar gift ideas. Leave the toys and sugar high behind.

1 - Use Your Advent to Give to Others

Rather than fill 24 tiny boxes with gifts or candies, families can use Advent as an opportunity to give to others. This can take many forms. Some of the more popular "service project" Advent calendar gift ideas include:

  • Filling a basket or box with items for a local food pantry or homeless shelter.
  • Creating a box or basket of gently used toys, games, and books to give away (added bonus: this makes way for the new toys, games, and books.)
  • Create a "thank you" box at the start of the season with small gifts and cards to give away, one a day, to service people like the mail carrier, teachers, bus driver, delivery personnel, store clerks, wait staff, and other people your child comes into contact with on a daily basis.
  • Fill a jar with slips of paper with different ideas for service projects for each day and simply pull one out each day to complete.

Using service projects as Advent calendar "gift" ideas teaches your child that giving can be just as much fun as receiving. It also helps them to focus on others and on doing rather than just on anticipated presents.

2 - Create a Storytime Advent Calendar

mother and child reading together

Give the gifts of reading together, reading aloud, and treasured stories with an Advent calendar of books. This unique Advent calendar gift idea can be both enjoyable and educational, easily customized, and believe it or not, completely free.

The idea is simple, yet adds a very meaningful aspect to your child's Advent season.

Here are the steps to creating a storytime Advent gift calendar idea for your family:

  1. Choose the appropriate number of children's picture books or chapter book(s) with the appropriate number of chapters, one for each day of Advent. You can purchase them OR borrow them from your local public library.
  2. If using multiple books, wrap them in holiday wrapping paper so that their identity is a mystery.
  3. Place them in a basket, box, or stack in a cozy place for reading, like near your sofa or beside the child's bed.
  4. Each night, let the child choose a book, unwrap it, and then read the story to them.

For a chapter book, you can simply wrap the book and allow it to be unveiled the first night. You may want to fashion, or have your child fashion, a special bookmark to use. Read one chapter a night while nestled into your cozy, comfy spot.

Don't limit yourself to just holiday-related stories unless you want to. Maybe your child is obsessed with kittens, or fairy tales, or Norse mythology. Great! A storytime Advent calendar can be easily customized to their interests.

3 - Fill an Advent Calendar With Art and Crafting Supplies

At Purple Ladybug, we're all about creativity, quality time and innovation. So, naturally, we're suggesting creating an Advent calendar with crafting and art supplies.

From our SunGemmers kits to our personalized water bottles, from mosaic photo frames to everything you need to make your own glitter bracelets, we've got your family covered.

Imagine their delight when they open up those boxes in their Advent calendar to discover another project to stretch their creativity and imagination. Imagine their thrill in giving some of their projects away as gifts to family and friends.

The table below gives you an idea of how many items some of our kits make. Just using the four kits in this table could supply you with 12 days of Advent activities if you packaged them separately.

Purple Ladybug Craft Kit Number Of Finished Items
Liquid Glitter Jelly Bracelets 6
Red and Green Crystal Growing Kit 2
Mosaic Photo Frame 1
SunGemmers Mermaid, Turtle, and Dolphin 3

We also sell mega-packs of stickers! You could gift one sheet a day of 3D puffy or scented stickers for a sticker-loving little one. Our 3D Puffy stickers come in packs of 40 sheets or 80 sheets, you could make multiple advent calendars for different children by including sheets of stickers!

A crafting and arts supplies Advent calendar gift idea can bring many enjoyable "small pieces" of the season, as well as many big memories to go with it.

This video shows just a little of what we have to offer your artsy girls, starting at age 6.


4 - An Advent Calendar Filled With Family Fun

This one can be as random or as "rigged" as you want it to be.

The basic premise is this: Each night, an envelope or box is opened to see what fun family activity you'll participate in that evening.

Some of the ideas may include:

  • Baking cookies
  • Holiday movie night
  • Gift making session
  • Caroling in the neighborhood
  • Going out to see Christmas lights
  • A visit to Santa

You can simply allow your child to randomly choose the envelope or box OR you can number the envelopes or boxes so you can be properly prepared.

This ensures you have all the cookie ingredients on hand, and allows for planning for special holiday events like a concert, parade, or family gathering.

5 - Our Purple Ladybug Advent Calendar

One of our company's missions is to make family fun available and affordable. To that end we've taken some of the work of finding just the "perfect" Advent calendar for your girls.

We've created a brand new Purple Ladybug Advent Calendar already filled with hours of fun and seasonal joy.


Our Advent calendar combines many of the Advent calendar gift ideas we've presented here, too. It's filled with crafty projects and supplies. Some of those projects make wonderful gifts to give away. And it provides hours of creative fun and play.

Here's some of what it's got for your girls (recommended for ages 6+):

  • Lip balm and lip gloss
  • Hair accessories
  • 2 Mini SunGemmers sun catcher craft kits
  • 3 Shrink crafts
  • Jewelry items
  • 2 clay ornament kits
  • Notebook and scented markers
  • Mini Scratch Notes
  • And more!

All of the toys and items in our box are tested for safety, and kid-approved. It's an impressive gift and one you'll be proud to give.

Here's what some customers who bought our 2021 Advent Calendar had to say:

Purple Ladybug Advent Calendar review
Purple Ladybug Advent Calendar review
Purple Ladybug Advent Calendar review

Purple Ladybug, Advent, and Your Family

Whether you turn to our wide assortment of kids' craft kits to add some fun to your Advent plans, or choose to purchase our ready-to-open Advent 2022 Calendar, we'd like to be your source for Advent family fun.

We have craft kits available for teens and adults, too! Make and give away your own soy candles or lip balms. Or decorate your own gift bags with personalized messages.

Fill your Advent season this year with big memories from Purple Ladybug!

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