Traditionally, advent calendars were used in the Christian faith to count down the days during Advent until Christmas. An advent calendar has 24 little numbered flaps that children can open on each day in December. It’s since morphed into more of an agnostic concept, and one that can teach excited children about more than just religion.
Janene Russell, senior product development manager of preschool toys and games for Educational Insights, is a former elementary school teacher and a mom herself. She likes advent calendars for their ability to help children with timelines.
“Time is such an abstract idea to kids and advent calendars make time visible while counting down to a big holiday. To level up from the traditional chocolate candy and picture calendars, the rise of unique toy advent calendars has been making its way onto kids’ wish lists.”
Advent calendars can help children build patience, teach children variety and help them channel the excitement that comes along with delayed gratification. Russell has even seen recent advent calendars that don’t focus on toys, such as ones that promote self-confidence and kindness.
“Parents are always looking for more tangible tools to foster mindfulness and empathy and I think advent calendars provide a magical experience to learning such crucial skills,” she says.
Our favorite kids advent calendars 2023
Get that festive, faithful feeling—we rounded up all the best kids’ advent calendars for 2023. They’re popular picks that may sell out though, so hurry up! Most of these are available through Amazon and offer free shipping with Prime.
Play-Doh Advent Calendar
Take the classic preschool toy Play-Doh and up your child’s excitement by offering it every day during the month of December. The advent calendar includes everything your child needs to complete two scenes from the box, a snowman one and a gingerbread one. Expect molds, tools and of course, Play-Doh.