300+ Things to Put in Your Advent Calendar (ULTIMATE List for Kids & Adults)

Published: November 24, 2022 · Updated: December 26, 2023 by Sacha — This post may contain affiliate links. Read our full disclosure.

Wondering what to put in your family’s advent calendars this year? Check out this HUGE list of over 300 advent calendar filler ideas that are appropriate for every age and budget. Sweet treats, toys, DIY gifts, family activities… we’ve gathered up everything you may be looking for and placed it all in one article!

It’s that time of year again—the time to put up the Christmas lights, decorate the tree and blast Christmas carols on the radio because it’s finally considered “acceptable” (even though you actually play them year-round).

It’s also time to dust off the wooden advent calendar that’s been taking up room in your basement all year… or create your own DIY version using materials you have lying around the house.

There are lots of reasons to buy a reusable advent calendar or make your own at home.

Perhaps you don’t like waste.

Perhaps you’re not a fan of the ingredients that go into the tiny chocolates in store-bought calendars (or your kids have food intolerances like ours do, and they can’t eat them anyway).

Or perhaps you simply feel like doing something special for your family, and you’d rather choose for yourself how to surprise those you love most.

Whatever the reasoning, if you’re sitting there wondering, “What can I put in my homemade advent calendar?” and no ideas spring to mind, we’ve got you covered.

Whether you’re looking for advent calendar fillers for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, older kids, teenagers or adults, this gigantic list of advent calendar gifts should give you lots of ideas about how to fill your advent calendar.

It includes items for every budget, ranging from handwritten notes to inexpensive dollar store ideas to cheap (and not-so-cheap) electronics for teenagers and adults.

You’ll also find gift ideas in a variety of sizes, so whether you’re looking for tiny items that you can squeeze in the small drawers of your wooden advent calendar, or you want larger items to fill out the 24 mini stockings hanging on your mantle, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for.

And if ever you end up with too many ideas and you’re disappointed that you won’t be able to use them all, you can always save this article for next year… or use them as stocking stuffers to surprise your family with them this Christmas!

Row of small Christmas stockings hanging on a piece of red string.
Image Credit: © izhairguns via Canva.com

Related: DIY Paper Roll Advent Calendar

Advent Calendar Fillers for Kids

Do you have a baby, toddler, preschool-aged or elementary school-aged boy or girl living at home? Whether you’re looking for baby advent calendar fillers or advent calendar ideas for older kids, you’ll definitely find what you’re looking for in this list!

And if ever you don’t have any young kids at home and you’d rather look at gift ideas for pre-teens, teens or grown-ups… keep on reading! Not only can many of these ideas be used for teenagers and adults as well, but we’ve also got lots of suggestions that are specifically aimed at those age groups further down in the article.

Food & Drinks

What do you fill a DIY advent calendar with? Chocolates and candy, of course—or perhaps some healthy alternatives like nuts or herbal tea sachets!

While there are lots of advent calendar gift ideas in this article that DON’T involve candy, we thought we’d start with the classics.

And if you’re looking for ideas to fill a wooden advent calendar, which tends to require smaller gifts that can fit into those tiny advent calendar drawers, a lot of these sweet (and not-so-sweet) treats could definitely fit the bill.

Christmas chocolates, start cookies and candy canes.
Image Credit: © margouillatphotos via Canva.com


Looking for non-candy advent calendar ideas that your kids will enjoy? If you’re wondering what you can put in your child’s advent calendar besides candy, here are plenty of gifts they are sure to love playing with:

Small wooden toy train in front of sparkly background.
Image Credit: © loops7 via Canva.com

Craft Supplies

Do you have an artistic kiddo at home? Here are lots of fun crafty things you can put in their advent calendar to encourage their love of crafts—and a lot of them are available for cheap at the dollar store!

For added fun, turn these craft-related advent calendar fillers into a family activity by using them to make Christmas ornaments together (or any other project your child wants to do) once they’ve been opened!

Child's hands painting a pattern on a Christmas ornament.
Image Credit: © mediaphotos via Canva.com

Hygiene, Health & Beauty

Do you have a young girl (or boy) at home who loves dressing up and getting pampered? These health and beauty products would make great advent gifts for them! (And some of them are things they probably need anyway.)

Adult's hands putting pink nail polish on child's nails.
Image Credit: © blackred via Canva.com

Baking & Home

Does your child enjoy cooking, baking, or decorating their living space? Here are lots more non-candy / non-chocolate advent calendar fillers that you can get for them for this year!

Children's hands cutting cookie dough with cookie cutters.
Image Credit: © Nathan J Hilton via Canva.com

Hobbies & Activities

If you want to get your child advent calendar gifts that are truly meaningful, why not choose something that will allow you to spend time together, or something that you know they’re truly interested in?

Hands wrapping a Christmas gift.
Image Credit: © arinahabich via Canva.com
  • Movie tickets (go together to turn this gift into a special one-on-one outing that your child is sure to cherish!)
  • Tickets for another activity they enjoy (concert, sports, etc.)
  • Pocket-sized books or comic books (our kids love Mr Men and Little Miss books, and they’re small enough to fit in some advent calendars)
  • Monthly subscription to something they enjoy (magazine, etc.)
  • Collectible rocks and minerals
  • Collectible coins
  • Nose clips (for synchronized swimmers)
  • Swim cap
  • Swim goggles
  • Guitar picks
  • Guitar tuner
  • Anything else your child needs to carry out their favorite hobbies!

Note: I’ve included a few ideas above to get you started, but it would be impossible to name everything since there are SO many different things your child could be interested in. Lean into their interests and be creative—the sky is the limit!


Are you more of a DIY sort of person who loves to give out unique handmade gifts? Here are some easy ideas of homemade gifts that you can put in your family’s advent calendars this year:

Child's hands cutting paper stars for Christmas ornaments.
Image Credit: © mediaphotos via Canva.com
  • Messages in a bottle (you can place them in mini glass bottles from dollar store)
  • Printable coupons for outings or activities (pick something you and/or your child enjoy, and turn it into a family activity!)
  • Treasure map or clues for finding a hidden gift
  • Printable games like word scrambles, crosswords, sudoku puzzles, etc.
  • Love notes and messages
  • Jokes
  • Fortunes
  • Inspirational quotes
  • Riddles
  • Photographs
  • Recipes (write them on these printable Christmas recipes cards for added holiday cheer!)
  • Random acts of kindness

Advent Calendar Fillers for Teens & Adults

If you’ve made it this far, you’ve probably realized that a lot of the advent calendar fillers listed above are not only appropriate for kids… they are also appropriate for adults.

But if you’re looking to surprise your preteen, teenager, college-aged son or daughter, or romantic partner (whether they’re a new girlfriend/boyfriend or a longtime wife or husband), here are some gifts ideas that are a little more “grown up”!

Food & Drinks

Chocolates and candy are classics for a reason, but if you’re looking for ideas that are a little more sophisticated, here are some more fun treats you can put inside your advent calendar:

Coffee cup laid out in a pretty way for Christmas with red gift box, coffee beans and star anise.
Image Credit: © xxmmxx via Canva.com

Craft Supplies

Wondering what you can put in an advent calendar instead of chocolate? If you have a crafter in the family, they’d probably love to receive one of these gifts:

Adult's hands painting golden Christmas ornament.
Image Credit: © mediaphotos via Canva.com

Hygiene, Health & Beauty

Can you believe there are this many things you can put in your advent calendar that aren’t candy?! Here are some self-care products that would make a great addition to the advent calendar of any teenage girl (or grown woman):

Hands holding a heart-shaped box filled with personal care products.
Image Credit: © Julia Metkalova via Canva.com


If you’re going to give a gift to a fellow adult (or parent), why not make it a practical one that you know they’ll actually use? Here are some ideas for advent calendar fillers that are sure to come in handy around the house:

Bath bombs next to tea light and pretty round box in neutral colours.
Image Credit: © Iryna Bort via Canva.com


These 21st century gifts are sure to get the stamp of approval from any teenage boy or girl—and adults are sure to enjoy them, too:

Person viewed from back, pulling gift icon out of a smartphone.
Image Credit: © SvetaZi via Canva.com
  • Miniature flashlight
  • Batteries (especially if hard to find and/or needed for another gift)
  • Disposable camera
  • Film roll for camera
  • SD card
  • Flash drive (blank or containing photos, homemade music playlist, etc.)
  • Charger cable
  • Portable charger
  • Phone case
  • Mini USB light
  • Ear buds
  • Car phone mount
  • Belt clip
  • Bluetooth earpiece


Made it all the way to the bottom of this list and still looking for inspiration? Here are a few more gift ideas you can put in your wooden or homemade advent calendar this year (or next):

Gift box made from paper money and topped with a red bow.
Image Credit: © redmal via Canva.com
  • Cufflinks
  • Novelty pins
  • Tie (gift this to your boyfriend or husband, then make him wear it to a romantic dinner or date so you can enjoy some couple time!)
  • Tie clip (Christmas-themed or other)
  • Belt buckle
  • Fishing gear (fishing lures, fishing snaps, barrel snaps, jig heads, etc.)
  • Lottery ticket
  • Charity donation
  • Money
  • Gift cards (they don’t need to be for a huge amount if you’re trying to keep costs down—a $5 gift card to Starbucks is totally fine!)
  • Pet toys
  • Pet treats

Related Advent Calendar Ideas

Looking for more advent calendar inspiration? Check out this article:

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