The Perfect Filler Items For Your DIY Advent Calendar-by Age

Wrapped gifts Advent calendar with Christmas tree branches decoration on bright wooden background.

DIY Advent Calendars are so much fun! You can be creative and personalized with each one. But they can be a bit tricky to fill. I’ve got you covered with the following recommendations by age below.  

If you find yourself getting stuck consider the following:

Repeat items with a similar theme – 

  • give chocolate candy one day and candy canes another
  • give crayons one day and colored pencils another
  • give pre-packaged holiday cookies one day and a coupon to make cookies on another etc. 

Mix in food and non-food items

Consider 12 days instead of 24 – you could call it the 12 Days of Christmas Calendar 

If you’re looking for other advent calendar information be sure to visit 14 Advent Calendar FAQs for lots of helpful tips.

Now let’s get to those filler items!

Toddlers (Age 2-3)

Toddler with crayons, rubber duck and cookies
  • Box of Crayons 
  • Stickers
  • Reusable sticker books
  • Craft paper
  • Coloring book
  • Holiday board book (there are so many you could do several days of these!)
  • Christmas shirt or outfit
  • Christmas pajamas
  • Ornament for the tree 
  • Holiday cookies (homemade or pre-packaged)
  • Play-doh
  • Hair accessories 
  • Winter hat and gloves 
  • 8 or 9 inch bouncy ball 
  • Toddler dishes or placemats 
  • Special treat (holiday goldfish crackers, holiday candy, etc.)
  • Bath tub toys
  • Stuffed animal 
  • Plastic animal figurines 
  • Puzzle 
  • Cookie cutter 

Little Kids (Age 4-10)

2 children with candy canes, crayons and cookie cutters
  • Candy
  • Gingerbread house kit
  • Box of Crayons
  • Box of colored pencils
  • Box of markers
  • Paint brushes
  • Craft paper
  • Coloring book 
  • Stickers (holiday or everyday)
  • Coupon for an at home movie night/afternoon with popcorn and candy-they choose the movie
  • Coupon for Holiday Light Night-grab some snacks and hit the road to see the lights in your area
  • New book (bonus points for a holiday theme!) Our family favorite from last year is ideal for this age group-mouse book!)
  • Play-doh
  • Clay
  • Kinetic Sand
  • Ornament for the tree 
  • New toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hair accessories 
  • Holiday cookies (homemade or pre-packaged)
  • Cookie cutters 
  • Coupon for their favorite dinner at home 
  • Holiday shirt 
  • Holiday pajamas
  • Socks or holiday socks 
  • Reusable sticker books 
  • Make your own ornament (lots of pre-packaged kits or get out the craft paper and glitter!)
  • Puzzle 
  • Lego or PlayMobil pieces/sets 
  • Bracelets, necklaces or rings 
  • Funko Pop figurines
  • Plastic figurines 

Big Kids (Age 10-12)

2 kids with gift cards, ornaments and nail polish
  • Lip balm or lip gloss
  • Candy 
  • New book or magazine
  • Key chains/backpack clips 
  • Gift card to a local movie theater, mini golf, bowling etc. 
  • Coupon for an at home movie night with popcorn and candy-they choose the movie
  • Hobby items (Legos, arts and craft supplies, etc.)
  • Nail polish 
  • Coupon for Holiday Light Night-grab some snacks and hit the road to see the lights in your area
  • Hair accessories
  • New toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Package of socks or a Christmas pair of socks
  • New pajamas
  • Holiday cookies (homemade or pre-packaged)
  • Coupon for their favorite dinner at home (my kids would choose breakfast for dinner!)
  • Coupon for a donation to a local charity of their choice (you choose the dollar amount) note with a special holiday memory you enjoy and why 
  • $5 gift card for fast food or their favorite spot for a treat (ice cream, candy, bakery etc.)
  • New holiday ornament for the tree 
  • New craft supplies that need to be replaced (pencils, pens, notebooks etc.) 
  • Gingerbread house kit 
  • Costume jewelry 
  • Funko Pop figurines

Teens

2 teens with gum and pencils
  • Gift card for fast food or their favorite restaurant
  • Gum and candy
  • Microwave popcorn and candy for an at home movie night
  • Hair accessories 
  • Key chains/backpack clips
  • New toothbrush and toothpaste
  • A family photo from a Christmas when they were a child 
  • A note with a special holiday memory you enjoy and why
  • Gift card to the local movie theater, mini golf or similar attraction 
  • Travel size first aid kit for their car or backpack
  • Package of socks or a holiday pair of socks
  • Lip balm or lip gloss 
  • Travel tissue packs for their backpack
  • A package of their favorite pens,highlighters, or pencils
  • Package of reusable plastic bags or decorative ziploc bags to keep their backpack organized.
  • Travel size toiletries for their backpack or locker (deodorant, body spray, floss, disposable toothbrush, comb, hair spray etc.)
  • Holiday cookies (homemade or pre-packaged)
  • Coupon for their favorite dinner at home (Mom’s spaghetti would be my choice!)
  • Coupon for a donation to a local charity of their choice (you choose the dollar amount)
  • Travel size perfume or cologne 
  • Gingerbread house kit 
  • Nail polish
  • Funko Pop figurines

College Crowd

4 students with paper, gloves and gift cards

An advent calendar for this group can be challenging as they likely do not live with you for part of the advent season.  You may even need to mail the entire calendar or the first several days before they return home for winter break. 

For more details check out my post, 5 Fun DIY Advent Calendars for College Students! I included a digital/email version and filler suggestions.  

If you’re gifting a physical calendar (not email) consider the following:

  • Gift cards for coffee, fast food, their favorite restaurant-Free food is always a treat! 
  • Gift card for car wash
  • Gift Card for laundry service- yes please to clean clothes! 
  • Gum and Candy
  • Microwave popcorn and candy for an at home movie night
  • Hair accessories 
  • New toothbrush and toothpaste
  • A family photo from a Christmas when they were a child 
  • A note with a special holiday memory you enjoy and why
  • Gift card to the local movie theater, mini golf or similar attraction 
  • Travel size first aid kit
  • Package of socks or a holiday pair of socks
  • Lip balm or lip gloss 
  • Travel tissue packs for their backpack
  • A package of their favorite pens,highlighters, or pencils
  • A package of sticky notes 
  • Packets of EmergenC or vitamin C tablets to keep winter colds away
  • Package of reusable plastic bags or decorative ziploc bags to keep their backpack organized.
  • Pencil case or pencil bag
  • Mini stapler (I worked on a college campus for 12 years and my students were constantly asking to borrow a stapler. Get them a stapler-and an extra box of staples while you’re at it!
  • Mini hole punch
  • Travel size perfume or cologne 
  • Gloves 
  • Ice scraper-if they have a car 
  • Coupon for a donation to a local charity of their choice (you choose the dollar amount)

Adults

illustration of 2 adults with cookies, wine, and gift cards
  • Candy 
  • Travel perfume or cologne
  • Travel first aid kit
  • Holiday cookies (homemade or pre-packaged)
  • Coupon for holiday baking party-fudge, cookies, candy, pie, whatever you enjoy! 
  • Gift card or coupon for happy hour at their favorite spot
  • Gift card for dinner for two at their favorite restaurant
  • Coupon for their favorite meal at home 
  • Coupon for breakfast in bed
  • Gift card for a massage 
  • Bottle of wine or a box of their favorite tea, coffee etc. 
  • Shared playlist of holiday tunes 
  • Coupon for holiday movie night at home with popcorn and candy
  • Coupon for Holiday Light Night-grab some snacks, some holiday tunes and hit the road to enjoy light displays in your area 
  • Lip Balm 
  • Hand lotion 
  • Gloves
  • Small ice scraper to keep in the car 
  • A note with a special holiday memory you enjoy
  • Ornament for the tree 
  • A framed holiday photo (one from their childhood or one that’s more recent) 
  • Coupon for a donation to a local charity of their choice (you choose the dollar amount)
  • Coupon for an indoor picnic-  (cozy by the fire or candle lit with lots of pillows and blankets)
  • Gingerbread house kit 
  • Christmas socks
  • Gift card for car wash

To learn more about all things advent calendars be sure and check out 14 Advent Calendar FAQs.

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