It feels like we blinked…and it was November. What the heck, guys?! If the holidays snuck up on you this year, too, then you’re in the right place! We’ve got the BEST advent calendars you can make (or buy) for kids — or even for yourself…after all, aren't we all just kids during the holidays?!

Advent calendar packages in a basket, from Fun Cheap or Free

We love this time of year, but with so many activities to plan, food to cook, and gifts to buy, things can get a little hectic. It’s hard to find time for anything else between cookie baking, decorating, and moving that dang elf on the shelf. So, maybe, like us, you’ve just realized you don’t have an advent calendar for the kids.

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Fear not, Freebs! Whether you’re looking to buy an affordable one or make your own, we’ve rounded up tons of the cutest advent calendars for kids. Let’s spread some holiday cheer, one day at a time!

THE BEST DIY ADVENT CALENDARS FOR KIDS

Advent calendars in envelopes, from Fun Cheap or Free

If you think you need tons of expensive supplies to make a SUPER fun advent calendar, think again. All of our ideas are “Affordable” with a capital “A.” Try one of these:

  • Paper Bag Advent Calendar – Grab some paper bags (brown, white, or colored — you pick!), and fill each with a few surprises from The Dollar Tree. Number each bag and let your kids open one each day leading up to Christmas. 
  • Clothespin Advent Calendar – Make your own garland banner for the mantel using some string and clothespins. Decorate the clothespins in the shapes of reindeer, snowmen, or Christmas trees, and number them. Add a new pin to the line each day.
  • Popsicle Stick Advent Calendar – Grab some popsicle sticks and number them all on one side. Flip them over, and write a scripture verse on the back of a few. On the other popsicle sticks, write out surprises. For example, “tonight we’re having an ice cream party!” Place all the sticks in a jar, and let your kids take turns pulling one out each day. It’s a fun learning exercise, too, because they have to find the right number! 
  • Mini Gift Box Advent Calendar – Grab some mini-boxes from The Dollar Tree and fill them all with little treats. Let the kids unwrap one each day. 
  • Mason Jar Advent Calendar – Is there anything you can’t do with mason jars?! We even use them to organize the bathroom. Round up those glasses and number the lids. Have fun with it and decorate them if you’d like. Fill them all with treats to enjoy each day. We highly recommend jelly beans! 😉

See? So easy, right? That said, if you’re short on time, we’ve got you covered, too. Let’s go shopping!

OUR FAVORITE AMAZON ADVENT CALENDARS

BBrand Christmas gnome advent calendar from Amazon, from Fun Cheap or Free
Image from Gnome Advent Calendar |Amazon.com

You guys know how much we love Amazon. It’s tough to beat the prices and convenience. And that crazy-fast, free shipping has saved us so many times! Luckily, Amazon still has plenty of adorable Advent Calendars in stock, so if you need one fast, check these out:

Now we’re feeling all Christmasy! Let’s keep this party going. Next stop: Target!

INSTAGRAM-WORTHY TARGET FINDS

Lego City advent calendar from Target, from Fun Cheap or Free
Image from LEGO Advent Calendar | Target.com

Target always comes through! Especially during the holiday season. Just be careful! Stick to your list, and don’t let that Dollar Spot derail your budget. We think your kids will love one of these advent calendars:

We’re giddy over here, you guys! Let’s make one last stop. You up for a quick trip to Walmart?

AWESOME ADVENT CALENDARS FROM WALMART

Countdown to Christmas advent calendar from Walmart, from Fun Cheap or Free
Image from Countdown to Christmas Advent Calendar | Walmart.com

If you need it, Walmart’s probably got it! And that’s definitely true if you’re looking for advent calendars. Check these out:

While you’re shopping for the kids, don’t forget to treat yourself! Grab a beauty advent calendar from Ulta or Target, or make your own. Round up a few fun items from The Dollar Tree and enjoy your own little countdown full of treats. You deserve it! 

And there you have it! Twenty fun and festive advent calendar ideas. Which one is your favorite? Drop us a comment below. 

Image with text that reads "the best Christmas advent calendars" from Fun Cheap or Free

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Happy Holidays!