Looking for ideas for what to put in your reusable advent calendar this year?

You’re in the right place!

We’ve got a whole bunch of brilliant ideas for you.


Maybe you bought your reusable Christmas calendar to be more sustainable or perhaps you bought it just because it looks cute!

You might even have got super creative and made your own! (If you did we’d love to see them – tag us in your pics)


Regardless of how you ended up with it, if you’re wondering what on earth you’re supposed to put in it to keep the kids happy and to reduce the amount of plastic tat you have in your home, try out some of these ideas that we have for you.


These lists are often full of unrealistic ideas that…

a) would no way fit into the average reusable calendar teeny tiny drawers/windows or

b) kids wouldn’t want or

c) we as parents wouldn’t want!


So we’ve been careful to just provide you with the 12 easiest, most sustainable but still fun ideas.

We would happily use any of these ideas ourselves!

Eco-Friendly Advent Calendar Filler Ideas

Activity Cards

We absolutely love having different activities to do each day.

So much so that we created these Christmas Advent Calendar Activity Cards.

Simply print, cut out and pop one into each day of the calendar.

With 40 different activities cards to choose from you can use the cards that fit your family best.

There are even 10 blank ones to fill in yourself – perfect for the things you’ve already organised such as visits to Santa’s grotto!

Get yours now – Christmas Advent Calendar Activity Cards

These are fantastic because they can fit into any sized calendar drawer/window/pouch!


Building Bricks

You’ve probably seen the official LEGO calendars that you can buy?

You could create your own – simply add bricks that can be made into a fun model to each day of the calendar.

Create the model first and then divide the bricks up for each day – we’d recommend 2+ per day to keep it interesting for the kids.

Bonus points for adding mini figures!


Craft Supplies

If your children love to do crafts this is a great option.

You could fill each drawer with things such as…

  • Beads
  • Thread/Yarn
  • Googly eyes (not so eco-friendly but a lot of fun can be had with googly eyes!
  • Stickers
  • Wooden embellishments
  • Washi tape


Puzzle Pieces

Simply get a puzzle and divide the pieces up for each day.

If you have more than one calendar to fill you could get a bigger puzzle so there are more pieces to go round.

We love the idea of getting a personalised puzzle as a surprise, imagine their faces when they realise as they put it together as the days go on!

Another idea would be to put in pieces of a ‘colour your own’ puzzle for added fun.

The puzzle in the image above is from ELC UK

Hair Accessories

We have three daughters and we can always use new hair accessories!

Think hair clips, hair ties, ribbons and bows!

With so many to choose from out there this is a pretty easy calendar solution.

Treasure Hunt Clues

If you don’t have much room at all in the little drawers/door/window/pouches of your reusable Christmas advent calendar but you want to be able to give your children bigger treats, such as books, then this is the perfect solution!

Each small window can hold a clue to where to find the hidden treasure.

This one does require a little more effort on your part though. You need to remember to hide the ‘treasure’ each day.

But let’s face it, it’s far less effort than elf on the shelf and plenty of people manage that each day!


If you have a teen/pre-teen you’ll understand this one.

Our eldest, Saskia (currently age 12) loves nothing more than increasing her money stash!

It doesn’t have to be much each day, we’re pretty sure they’ll appreciate a bit of cash to use on whatever they like in the sales after Christmas.

Christmas Decorations

This is something we put into our kids calendars every year!

We have a small 1ft Christmas tree with some tiny tree ornaments – they don’t get an ornament every day but every couple of days one of them will have a surprise ornament in their window along with another little treat.

They then put it onto the little tree.

It’s become a family tradition!



I don’t want chocolate in my advent calendar… said no child, ever!

Chocolates and sweets are always a winner.

If you’re worried about the amount of plastic wrapping that comes with most modern confectionery then why not try making your own.

You can get chocolate moulds, like those in the picture above, fairly inexpensively from many stores both on the high street and online and it’s pretty easy to make your own so why not give it a try this year.

The bonus is you can make chocolates that fit your calendar perfectly too!

Seed Bombs

For children who love gardening, and even those who’ve never tried, this is a great gift.

Seed bombs are a lovely way to introduce children to planting and growing flowers and plants.

You could even have a go at making your own – you could use a mould just like the one we recommend for making chocolates!


Who doesn’t like a good (and not so good!) joke!

Our children love having a good laugh and learning new jokes to tell their friends.

A joke a day in an advent calendar will start every day with a giggle.

We’ve put together 40 of the best (ok, don’t set your expectations too high – honestly, the lousy ones are the best!) jokes ready for you to download and print.

We’ve also included a blank set of cards for you to write your own – if you have any awesome Christmas joke let us know in the comments!

Get your copy now – Christmas Advent Calendar Joke Cards


We really like this idea!

There are different ways you could use crayons as advent calendar gifts…

  • A different colour every day.
  • Fancy shaped crayons for added interest.
  • An accompanying colour by numbers sheet or colouring book.

There are so many awesome things you can do with your reusable advent calendar!

You don’t have to stick to just one thing either.

We usually do a combination of them for our girls and it goes down a treat.

Do you have any other eco-friendly Christmas advent calendar filler ideas?
We'd love to hear them!
Let us know in the comments below.

If you know someone who could benefit from these simple but fun ideas for their Christmas advent calendars, please share this post on social media or forward to a friend!

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12 Eco-Friendly Christmas Advent Calendar Filler Ideas

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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. These are great and very creative ideas. The activities, puzzle and treasure hunt ones stood out for me. I know my god-daughters would like them a lot.

    1. admin

      Thank you! There are so many fun things that you can do, it doesn’t all have to be about the chocolate.
      The best thing about these ideas is that you can do them alongside other things to make it even more exciting!

  2. Carrie

    I love these ideas! The treasure hunt idea would be super fun for kids!

    1. admin

      Thank you! Yes, definitely worth the little extra effort I think!

  3. leena

    These are such great ideas! And I must say I absolutely LOVE your blog, it is so important to be talking about climate change and taking steps to actually implement these changes in our lives and this is a perfect example! Thank you for sharing this awesome tips x

    1. admin

      Thank you so much! That means a lot to me xx

  4. Heather

    Love all of these ideas, especially the puzzle one since I love puzzles. My kids are 14 and 15 but years ago I started an advent calendar magnet board and behind each number magnet was an activity. We still use it more than 10 years later.

    1. admin

      Wow, that sounds amazing! I love that you’re still using it too x

  5. Evie

    Such cute ideas! Love the legos and chocolates. We like to use newspaper comics, special messages and exercises too. Just some silly fun for the holidays.

    1. admin

      Thank you, that sounds fun!

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