If you’ve bought or made a fillable advent calendar, you’re going to need something to put in it. You can, of course, put chocolates in, but it’s a great opportunity to build a playset. Here’s some inspiration for you.
Vintage Lego Fabuland figures
Last year, after spotting Fabuland figures on boutiqueÂ Cissy Wears’ Instagram, I snapped up enough figures to fill most of the girls’ advent calendar on eBay. Fabuland was introduced by Lego in 1979 and was around for about a decade and is perfect for the nostalgia fiends among us. My girls loved them and play with them all the time.Â Other optionsÂ Vintage Playmobil or Sylvanian Family figures.
Tiger Stores wooden nativity set
This was hugely popular in our house when I included it in the calendar a couple of years ago and is an absolute steal at Â£3. Available in store only.
Finger puppets are perfect for little advent calendar pockets. We got most of ours from Ikea where a set of ten animal friends is Â£4, the 7-piece set of fairytale puppets with a cardboard castle backdrop perfect for plays is Â£5, plus you can buy individual ones like a frog, dragon or squirrel for 80p each. Grab them in store. Tiger Stores also does a finger puppet set,Â plus lots of independent retailers tend to have their own quirky buys as well. Enjoy the hunt.
Scratch and Sniff stickers
Ah this brings back memories of my youth, although these scratch-and-sniff stickers by Peaceable Kingdom are even cooler with scents like stinky creatures, pizza, popcorn, cake, rubber tyres and more. They come in sets of 40 so you could spread a set or two over the calendar. Â£1.72-Â£2.15 at Igloo Kids
Keep your eyes peeled for wind-up toys in the pocket money section of toy shops and departments. Great fun for racing as well. The Museum of Childhood has a great selection including this penguin and vintage style clockwork bird.
Flexible wooden dolls
There are lots of flexible wooden doll sets out there in a variety of themes. Last year we got the Red Riding Hood set from Tiger Stores plus we’ve had the fairytale set from there, as well as the cute family sets that you typically get for dolls’ houses. ThisÂ Legler Bendy set of 6 pirates is Â£10.99 on Amazon.
We’re very partial to a temporary tattoo here at BG. Buy a set and spread them out over the calendar. Molly Meg have tattoos by Tattly and Wee Gallery. The jungle set shown isÂ Â£5 for a set of 12 and they look lovely on.
We included this Charlie and Lola mini figures set in Saria’s (now 7) advent calendar when she was three. She adored it and a couple of them have managed to survive but sadly they don’t do the set anymore.There are lots of character sets out there. Look for the stuff that’s not garish or go down the nostalgia route – I spotted Snoopy figures on eBayÂ and I know Lu is planning to get this Totoro set.
If you don’t have an advent calendar and you have a Playmobil fan, they have a lorra lorra advent calendars to choose from in a variety of themes. Or buy a set and – you guessed it – spread it out over the calendar. From around Â£14.24, Amazon.
Animals and dinosaurs
Always a winner – add to their animal collections with figures from brands such as Schleich (currently on 3 for 2 at Mothercare) or Holztiger or, for a much cheaper option, buy a set and split it – try Safari Toobs or GoKi farm set.
Some last suggestions
You don’t need to put a toy gift in every day (although of course you can if you want to!). We mix in chocolate coins, love notes, badges, Bear fruit snacksÂ (jaysus I love those things possibly more than the kids) and bits and bobs to add to the crafting collection. Also check out last year’s selection of over 100 stocking fillers for under sevens.
Still not got your advent calendar? Check out our recent roundup of our favourites.