30 Awesome Ideas for Advent Calendars and Gifts for Tweens
on Sep 29, 2023
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
Are you looking for creative ways to make the countdown to Christmas extra special for your teens and tweens? It’s easy to create holiday magic for little kids, but big kids can be more difficult.
Make your kids’ faces light up with this list of heartwarming and entertaining advent gift ideas for tweens and teens.
What are Advent Calendars?
Advent Calendars are one of our most treasured family Christmas traditions. Advent calendars were first used by the German Lutherans in the 19th and 20th centuries. They are a fun way to count down the 24 days before Christmas.
Advent calendars often give families a reason to slow down and spend quality time together in the holiday season. Traditionally, there is a small token, chocolate, or other sweet treat hiding in each day of the Christmas countdown calendar. Families use the daily routine to focus on small acts of kindness or reading books or playing a game together instead.
Advent Calendar Ideas to Count down the Days
Advent calendars have become all the rage for the holiday season Christmas Countdown. The Dollar Store and other retailers have simple chocolate calendars to buy. There are also more expensive Lego advent calendars or other featuring socks, makeup, or larger toys.
We always buy the dollar version of the chocolate advent calendar at Aldi for our kids. It’s easy to make your own DIY Christmas Advent Calendars, too. To be honest, we usually end up with both!
As our kids grow into their tween and teen years, it’s important to find quality time and bonding experiences with them. Advent calendars are a fun and meaningful thing to do with kids. Sometimes coming up with ideas for advent gifts for tweens and teens is the difficult part.
Germans celebrate Christmas on December 24th. Their advent calendar includes 23 small gifts and a larger gift for Christmas on the 24th.
Instead of starting with 24 and counting down, a traditional advent calendar counts up. That means the gifts are opened on the day that corresponds to the number. Door number 1 is opened on December 1, door number 2 is opened on December 2, and so on.
Homemade Advent Calendar Gift Ideas
Like I said, coming up with 24 small gift ideas for teens and tweens is the difficult part. Here are my favorite advent calendar fillers for teens that won’t break the budget. The kids will love them!
We have four kids. I buy items in packs of four so each kid will have one small gift.
I also like to use cards or games they can all play together in the advent calendar. It keeps them from fighting over whose turn it is to open the fun treat. 😉
Advent Gifts for Tweens and Teens
- Cell phone charger
- Air Tag or Air Tag key chain
- Money – dollar coins or two-dollar bills are fun!
- Gift cards
- Ear buds
- Nail polish
- Waterproof water bottle stickers
- Small candle
- Funny socks
- Small piece of jewelry
- Craft idea, like these Waldorf Window Stars
- Christmas book to read together
- Popit fidget toy
- Little lego kit
- Brain teaser games
- Hair accessories
- Croc charms
- Art pens
- Cupcake liners
- Cookie cutters so you can make Christmas cookies together.
- Personalized Christmas ornaments
- Hot chocolate bomb or even better would be the molds so you can make them together!
- Little succulent
- Bath bomb
- Fairy lights
- Novelty pens and small notebooks
- Mini clothespins
- Coupons for lunch dates or dinner out
- German Kinder Egg
Advent Calendars to Buy
I think it’s really fun to make our own advent calendars. In fact, our DIY advent calendars have become part of the holiday traditions. If you don’t want to make an Advent calendar, here are a few of our favorites you can buy.
- Lego Christmas Tree Advent Calendar – build one piece of the Christmas tree with building blocks every day
- Mini Fidget Puzzle Advent Calendar – small brain puzzles and games to keep minds active
- Family Games Advent Calendar – relive your favorite childhood games and make new family memories
- Rock Collection Calendar – for the rockhounds in your family
- Slime Advent Calendar – I don’t know a single teen or tween who doesn’t like slime.
- Harry Potter Odd Socks Advent Calendar – open an assortment of Officially Licensed Wizarding World Merchandise each day!
Advent Calendars to Make at Home
Now that you have advent calendar filler ideas, here are 20 different calendars to make at home. Some are quick to make, some take a while, some are completely recycled and there are ideas for every budget!
Find the perfect DIY advent calendar to fit in with your holiday decor in this list. There are ideas for small homes, large homes, and every home in between.
Reusable advent calendars can be refilled every year with new prizes. They come ready to open on December 1st with each of the gifts already inside.
Although my kids are growing up way too fast, they still love our holiday traditions. Advent calendars with fun treats are one way we keep the whimsy in December. There’s something fanciful about the holiday season that captivates young and old alike.
Choosing Advent gifts for tweens and teens extends this cherished tradition a few more years. The daily surprises remind us of the spirit of Christmas and to find joy in the simple things. What are your favorite Advent traditions?