Happy Almost Holidays!
If you are like me and have a tween or teen in your home you are probably struggling with the Advent Calendar dilemna. They are now too old for standard remade calendars like the Lego, Kinder, Playmobile, or Schliege one, but you aren't prepared to spend over $100 for ones from Body Shop, Lush, etc. Your kids still want to hold on to the tradition of counting down the days to Christmas (and who can blame them?!) so what should you do.
Fortunately refillable calendars are super easy to find now. Back when the Kid was a baby (over a decade ago) they were quite rare to find but we lucked out and found a great one at a Christmas Shop in Montreal. Now almost every retailer sells them so you can find them at a wide range of prices and themes. The trick after buying one is not spending your entire holiday budget on filling them!
Here are some great ideas of reusable advent calendars and things that won't break the bank to fill them with! My experience with refillable Advent calendars is for girls so most of my ideas fall towards the female child idea range but hopefully some ideas will be able to work for boys as well, or at least spark some ideas to help fill the big calendars.
- Chocolate - obviously. I don't want to fill the entire calendar with chocolate, so instead head to a favourite Chocolate Shop to buy a dozen wrapped holiday chocolate pieces. I favour Purdy's but The Kid loves Rocky Mountain Chocolate - both make really cute wrapped chocolates so I add those to the calendars (try to hit weekends)
- Candy. Not a chocolate fan, head to bulk barn and pick up some favourite candies to use in the calendar instead
- Hand Santizer - the ones from Bath and Body Works are the perfect size for calendars and fit nicely into school bags to help fend off winter germs. They are a bit pricey though, cheaper varieties are available at the dollar store.
- David's Tea - grab a multi pack with mini teas in your Tween/Teens favourite theme (mine likes herbal teas) and spread spread out the teas over the month. My favourite is the Winter Favourites box, 20 tins for $26, just over $2 per tea and they are the perfect size for sharing, in my experience each tin makes at least two cups.
- Lip Balm/Chapstick
- Lego Kit - break the kit up and spread out over a few days. Let them use their imagination to build it then share the instructions to see how different or similar their build was.
- Min Flashlight
- Reflectors for backpacks
- Sport Accesories- skate laces, swimmers nose clips, ski wax
- Stationary Supplies: Stickers, holiday erasers, magnets for lockers
- Slime or Silly Putty - or the ingredients for slime (pre measured) spread out over a few days. Slime is such a huge trend right now for some reason, might as well go with it!
- Holiday sprinkles - Bulk Barn is our go to for sprinkles. These are great for cookie decorating, putting on ice cream, or making fairy bread with.
- Jewelery - holiday themed earings, bracelets, hair ties
- Gift card for a hot drink or treat - fun idea for kids who walk to school and pass by their favourite shop
- Outdoor adventure themed badges like these ones from Field and Forest Co
Of course you can also opt to just put experiences and things to do each day in the calendar. There are a lot of great ideas of this out there, including printables so you don't even have to think up any - just print, put in your calendar and go! Of course if you are a working parent, this does actually take some preplanning, check out my post from last year with tips on the whole "experience" trend: Working Mom Holiday Experience List.
Looking for a refillable/reusuable Advent Calendar? There are lots to choose from but here are five that I really like. I found these doing a quick search on Amazon but noticed that many brands are those I remember from working in a shop featuring giftware so you should be able to find them or something similar close to home!
And of course, two of our favourite are featured on this post from a few years back! Advent Calendars to use Again and Again