The Best Kid-Friendly Advent Calendar: Playmobil Advent Calendar and Wooden Advent Calendar
One of my family's Christmas heirlooms is a very old, and unfortunately delicate cloth advent calendar. It has 24 pockets with a variety of felt decorations you secure with attached bronze safety pins onto the felt Christmas tree. It's been around the block, still recreates many wonderful Christmas memories for me, so I'm a bit overprotective of it. When my kids started showing interest in it and lacked the delicate touch I had, I decided it was time to get a new, sturdier advent calendar that could be all their own, that would be interactive and sturdy. And, well, a safer one without safety pins!
Playmobil Advent Calendar on Amazon
Playmobil Advent Calendar
I'd heard good things about the Playmobil advent calendar, knew it was very kid-friendly, so this was the first one I purchased a few years ago. Oh boy, these are fun and absolutely great for your younger crowd. Playmobil makes new versions of these advent calendars, suitable for both girls and boys. Our first Playmobil advent calendar was the Christmas in a park, follwed by the Christmas in a forest theme. This provided hours of entertainment for all of our children. It's basically 24 days of opening little boxes with the culmination of a full blown Christmas scene. For example, with the forest calendar, there are trees and little scenic items first, followed by all the animals that will live in the forest. In my opinion, it's way more fun than just getting a piece of chocolate.
We've been hooked ever since and now have three of these advent calendars. I will warn you there is definitely some assembly required and you DO have to pay attention to the directions. I didn't know this before I purchased my first one, so I wasn't quite prepared for the set up. However, the end product is a sturdy, interactive scene and a countdown to Christmas, to boot!
We also own Playmobil's police advent calendar. My son could not get enough of the police calendar, it was his little play set all last Christmas. It has a scene that's put together with tabs and slots, with 24 days of essentially building a city. I can't say it's very “Christmasy” though... But, boys (and even girls) will love it. It's not quite as sturdy as the original Playmobil advent calendars, though. The tabs like to try to wiggle their way out of the slots.
Wooden Advent Calendars on Amazon
Wooden Advent Calendar
My oldest has “outgrown” the playmobil advent calendars now (or so she says), so last year we ventured into new territory. I still wanted a sturdy, interactive and unique calendar, so I had to do a bit of shopping around. I found a Kurt Adler magnetic wooden advent calendar that's a gingerbread house. Again, it's sturdy and very well-built. The magnetic pieces are a lot of fun and are hidden inside the 24 drawers. They are then placed into the magnetic center of the calendar, anywhere you or your child desires.
Please take note these calendars do have small parts that can be a choking hazard for small children! These are not recommended for children under 4! Parental supervision is recommended.