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Advent calendars have come a long way since the holiday-themed supermarket chocolates we had as kids. The Advent calendars of 2019 have taken things up a notch with pop culture figures, jewelry, and trendy toys. Whether the kids on your gift list prefer science, Star Wars, or sparkles, we've found an Advent calendar that's sure to fit their taste and make every day leading up to Christmas surprising and fun.
1. An Advent calendar full of their favorite characters
From Fortnite to Marvel to Harry Potter, Funko has the market cornered on Advent calendars filled with cool collectibles. Each one pops open to reveal an impressively detailed keychain-sized action figure from your kiddo’s favorite books, video games, or blockbuster movie. After you pull all 24 days of pops, you can display them for the holiday season, or just use them for imaginative play.
2. An Advent calendar filled with vintage-inspired paper dolls
The classic Christmas story of the Nutcracker will come to paper doll life in this gorgeous Advent calendar. Your child will be able to recreate the Nutcracker tale with elegant paper dolls and story props, all in colorful and shiny detail. This is a really breathtaking gift that will transform from a magical gift kids will love, to a lovely and festive display for Christmas day.
3. An Advent calendar for Star Wars fans
You haven’t seen cute until you’ve seen a Porg in a Santa hat or Chewbacca enjoying his holiday turkey leg. Behind each door is a LEGO brick character, starship, vehicle or other themed collectibles, and the LEGO Star Wars Advent calendar includes two exclusive, Christmas-themed LEGO figures. When all the doors have been opened, use the foldout Ahch-To Island playmat to play out epic Star Wars adventures.
4. An Advent calendar for budding artists
Your kids will love getting crafty for 24 days with this Crayola Countdown to Christmas, which will give them a reason to create and play each day. With everything they need to create ornaments, finger puppets, decorations, and holiday-themed coloring projects, this calendar lets kids make crafts they can give as gifts or keep as mementos for years to come.
5. An Advent calendar for little princesses
Kids can imagine a sparkling winter ball in a festively decorated crystal hall with the Playmobil Holiday Ball Advent calendar. Filled with whimsical miniature accessories like a snow-covered tree to be decorated, holiday gifts, a cat and kitten, a violin, a sleigh and tons more, this will provide lots of fun even after Christmas is over.
6. An Advent calendar with a pirate theme
All I want for Christmas is me buried treasure! Playmobil has about a dozen Advent calendars on the market, but the Pirate Treasure Island one is certain to spark the imagination of kids the entire year through.
7. An Advent calendar that cultivates kindness
If holiday consumerism has you down, the Be Kind Advent Calendar is just what Santa ordered. This sweet and sentimental calendar focuses on good deeds and teaching kids a bit about being grateful and introspective during the holidays. 35 tokens all inscribed with little acts of kindness are meant to be used year after year to create an ongoing tradition of charity, community, and gratitude.
8. An Advent calendar to share with their American Girl doll
Before you take them to see the Nutcracker, kids can count down the 12 days before Christmas with their American Girl dolls and open a surprise each day. The 12 Days 'Til Christmas set comes with an invitation card to attend The Nutcracker ballet, as well as everything their American Girl doll needs to be the belle of the Christmas ball.
9. An Advent calendar full of LEGOs
Use the LEGO Friends Advent calendar to build excitement as well as holiday-themed projects. The daily projects that emerge from this calendar can be turned into holiday ornaments, stocking stuffers, or used as gift wrap embellishments for fellow brick-loving friends.
10. An Advent calendar made for car racing
It’s a holly, jolly Hot Wheels kind of Holiday. The Hot Wheels 2019 Advent calendar includes eight Hot Wheels vehicles, a foldout winter-themed play mat, and sixteen accessories for each day leading up to the holiday. Turn your hot rod into Santa’s sleigh or give Frosty a ride to the Abominable Snowman’s holiday party. One thing is for sure, Santa has never looked so speedy as he does behind the wheel of a sports car.
11. A classic wooden Advent calendar
The Melissa & Doug Wooden Advent calendar has been a continual best-seller, and it’s for good reason. Filled with glittery magnetic ornaments and a holiday star to top the tree, this Advent calendar is a winner with kids of all ages. Once each magnet is mounted the classic wooden tree becomes a lovely decoration worthy of any holiday mantel.
Get the Melissa & Doug Wooden Advent Calendar at Target for $16.99
12. An Advent calendar packed with cosmetics
The tweens and teens in your life will swoon over Sephora's 24 days of frosted beauty surprises. The Frosted Parties Advent collection features a combination of beauty, skincare, body, and accessories products—11 of which are limited-edition beauty surprises—to get her primped and primed for the holiday parties.
13. The trendiest toy Advent calendar
It’s a winter wonderland right out of Hatchtopia. The Hatchimal-obsessed will get a daily dose of hatchimania with the Hatchimal CollEGGtibles Advent Calendar. Filled with “collEGGtibles,” this calendar is a perfect introduction to the main event: the Hatchibabies Chipadee that awaits them underneath the Christmas tree.
14. An Advent calendar for curious scientists
What could be more fun than 12 days of crystals, creatures, slime, and science experiments? Everyone knows that there is real magic in science, so bring the wonder of the season to your budding chemist with the 12 Days of Discovery Advent calendar that lets them create their toys from scratch.
15. An Advent calendar just for Paw Patrol fans
When Ryder and his friends aren’t protecting their community, they do love a good holiday celebration, so it's only fitting that these pooches should have their own calendar to countdown to Christmas. By the time they are finished opening all 24 doors on the Paw Patrol 2019 Advent calendar, your kids will have figurines of the show's pups dressed in cute holiday gear, along with other festive accessories like winter sleighs, snowboards, Christmas trees and more.
16. An Advent calendar that's awesome
Who says you can't have a pizza party for Christmas? Celebrate the holidays in true Turtle style when you open a new buildable, Turtles-themed surprise for every day. The Mega Bloks Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Advent calendar features four micro action figures with accessories. Best of all, this kit connects with other Mega Bloks Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sets so your little building-ninja can add to their TMNT world.
17. An Advent calendar to spark creativity
Sparkling play-doh and holiday shapes makes this a perfect activity-based Advent calendar for kids. Every kid likes Play-Doh and they can let their creativity roam with this calendar that includes a holiday-themed play mat.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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