Advent calendars for Preschoolers, Teens and Peri-Menopausal women

Yes that’s right, this guide has it all. Whether you are looking for alternatives to dairy chocolate calendars for children, an advent calendar to motivate your teen out of bed in the morning or a treat you can give yourself then find out which advent calendars I recommend and what is inside them.

(AD contains gifted items and affiliate links).

Advent Calendar Recommendations For Preschoolers To Teens And Their Peri-Menopausal Mothers

A chocolate advent calendar (Kinnerton's Paw Patrol) with the chocolate removed
2023 Advent Calendar Round Up

Great Advent Calendars For Toddlers And Preschoolers

I’m not going to suggest you shouldn’t give chocolate to young children, because my children have been (dairy free) chocolate obsessed for years. In fact I find the biggest problem with a chocolate advent calendar with little ones is they struggle to just stop at opening one door a day. That single small chocolate always feels like an aperitif that should be followed up with more chocolate rather than providing satisfaction. So if you want to avoid the daily battle of “no you just get the one piece a day” then check out these advent calendars for toddlers and preschoolers instead.

Orchard Toys Countdown to Christmas Activity Book

This isn’t a traditional Advent Calendar, but it is a great way to countdown to Christmas. I love the format of the Orchard Toys Countdown to Christmas Activity Book. It is designed so there is one page to complete in the book everyday from the 1st December to Christmas Day. These range from colouring to puzzles and even baking. When they complete the page there is a number sticker to go on each page. At the back of the book there is a Christmas scene which you can detach from the book and put on the wall. In the book there are 25 stickers to add to the scene during December. 

You can buy the calendar direct from Orchard Toys for £4 as well as from Amazon and select toy retailers. 

Orchard Toys Countdown to Christmas Activity Book
The Orchard Toys Countdown book is a great idea for children 4 to 6 years (gifted)

Paw Patrol 25 Days of Bath Fizz Advent Calendar

This is a great advent calendar for Paw Patrol fans, especially if the sometimes need motivation to get in the bath. Inside the calendar there are 13 bath bombs in 4 designs. They are quite small so good for a child’s bath. You also get 6 little packs of bath noodles and 6 packs of bath confetti. If you aren’t familiar with bath confetti or noodles it is dissolvable paper or solid soap that has been cut into shapes (the confetti in this case is multi coloured dog bone shape). You sprinkle them on the bath water and they dissolve.

What I love about this calendar is that it’s characters my children love (Paw Patrol) but by the New Year it will all be gone. The packaging will be recycled and the rest will have gone down the drain. 

You can buy the Paw Patrol advent calendar for around £12.99 from Amazon and other random places (like B&Q).

Paw Patrol bath bomb advent calendar and contents
Bath time fun with Paw Patrol this December

Other Recommendations for Preschooler Friendly Advent Calendars

Other advent calendars that preschoolers will love include the Hot Wheels calendar that is packed full of cars and accessories, this Play-doh calendar which has a pot of Play-doh and tool in each door or one of the many storybook advent calendars like these from Usborne, Disney and Bluey.

I’ll add in a word of caution for this category though. There are lots of calendars (particularly on popular marketplaces that sell everything) that have figures of popular characters inside, but these are not official calendars. The low price indicates that they aren’t official merchandise as does the avoidance of saying the characters name in the title. While some of these calendars might be great they aren’t licensed so there is no guarantee of quality and they might pose a safety risk for younger children too.

Check out this post for more advent calendars for children under £20

Advent Calendar Suggestions for Teens

There is so much choice for teens when it comes to advent calendars that it can make it hard to choose. I would recommend either going for one from a brand they really love eg LEGO Harry Potter, Pokemon etc or going for food.  There are great food calendars from Pringles to jelly beans to posh chocolate ones. We often go for a basic chocolate calendar and a more expensive product one. 

Swizzels Sweet Shop Advent Calendar

Not only does the Swizzels calendar have one of their popular sweets behind each door, but you get a fact or joke too. In each window you get one sweet eg: a mini packets of love hearts, a packet of Fizzers or parma violets or a chew bar (including refreshers, drumstick, banana skids and stinger. You also get a small packet of Squashies for Christmas Day. It’s enough to be a treat without being over the top. 

Widely available in supermarkets and other shops (I saw it in Home Bargains this week) for under £6

The Swizzels 2023 advent calendar and contents
A sweet treat for advent from Swizzels (gifted)

Allergy and Vegan Friendly Chocolate Advent Calendar

If you are looking for a chocolate advent calendar for some one who doesn't eat dairy, gluten, nuts, eggs or they are vegan then the NOMO advent calendar is worth checking out. Each window has a decent size portion of milk chocolate equivalent tasting creamy chocolate. It is widely available in supermarkets, but if you can’t find it then you can also buy direct from NOMO. You might want to add a few other Christmas treats while you are on their website as their Christmas range includes cute reindeer (there is a cookie dough style one and a gooey choc fudge). They also have a hollow chocolate reindeer and a Kids Christmas Selection Box. For those who prefer their chocolate without faces the new Mint, Caramel or Orange Crunch Sharing Boxes are perfect for Christmas gatherings.

NOMO chocolate advent calendar with a window open to show the chocolate drop
A tasty and allergy friendly advent calendar from NOMO (gifted)

Boots 17 Beauty Advent Calendar

A beauty advent calendar is a nice way to build up a teens make up collection with a range of products they can explore and experiment with. There are a large range of make up and beauty advent calendars at different price points, but I think this 17 one is a great buy. 

It comes in a star shaped box which has a list of everything you can expect in the calendar on the back, but not the day it will be in. Inside there are 24 cardboard boxes and the products are loosely wrapped in tissue paper which gives it a little added luxury while protecting the items. 

The 17 products are vegan and not tested on animals which is sure to make them a popular choice with the ethically conscious teen. Inside there is a mixture of make up and beauty products.

Assuming all the calendars have the products in the same order: It starts off strong with eyeshadow, then mascara, then a small pot of sparkly purple nail varnish and then an eye liner pencil, then a bronzer. This gives the impression that it’s all make up, but actually that’s only half of it. Soon after you have a run of days which I suspect will be considered less exciting: nail clippers, velvet scrunchy, mini tweezers and a small bath bomb, but over all I think it’s a really nice mix.

The calendar contents:

Make up wise you have: 3 eyeshadows, a highlighter, bronzer and blusher, 3 nail polishes, a lip gloss, mascara and eyeliner.

Then you have: 2 brushes (eyeshadow and a larger one you could use for the highlighter/ blusher etc they are basic quality but useable), a beauty blender, nail file, nail clippers, tweezers, 2 small bath bombs, single use under eye patches, 2 scrunchies (one velvety one satiny) and a satin eye mask.

For a full list including the product names look here.

Buy here: current price £30, but consider buying Boots vouchers through JamDoughnut (check out this post for a referral code and how it works) and then clicking through to Boots through a cashback site like Quidco or Top Cashback as you could get 5% or more cashback. If you have an Advantage card with Boots you will receive 3 points for every £1 spent too (which works out as 90p worth of points on the calendar at full price).

Boots 17. Beauty Advent Calendar and contents
Boots 17. Beauty Advent Calendar

Plus-Plus Advent Calendar

Plus-Plus are a great construction building toy because your imagination really is the limit. All the pieces are the same size and shape so once you have worked out the basics of how to connect them in different ways you can create endless 2d and 3d designs. 

The Plus-Plus Advent calendar is great because inside each of the 25 doors you get something to build. Over advent the collection creates a Christmassy scene complete with Father Christmas, a snowman, reindeer and children having fun. Each pack contains instructions and all the pieces you need. After Christmas you can take them apart and build something new, but if you keep the instructions safe you will be able to recreate the Christmas designs the follow years. 

Currently available for £29.99 from Toys R Us and Amazon.

The Plus-Plus 2023 advent calendar and example of contents
Create a Christmas scene with Plus-Plus Advent Calendar (Gifted)

Advent Calendars for Peri-Menopausal Mum’s and Other Women Who Need Some Care & Attention

This section is designed for the peri-menopausal women that need a little bit of a treat and some looking after, but of course younger women (and those that aren’t parents) will love these calendars too. 

As well as the selection below the Cult Beauty advent calendar looks amazing this year and there are some brilliant stationery calendars available and selling fast (but not yet despatched so can’t be reviewed for this round up), check out this Martha Brook calendar before they sell out. You can find more original advent calendar ideas in my advent calendar collection on Etsy which include: yarn, crystals and coffee. 

Another great new calendar this year is from Wentworth Puzzles which has a beautiful wooden jigsaw behind each door. They also have a children’s design where you complete a 3D puzzle over advent, this would become a nice tradition that will be used each year.

Martha Brook 24 days of stationery advent calendar and contents, stock image used with permission
Personalised Martha Brook 24 Days of Stationery Advent Calendar

Boots No 7 Restore & Renew Calendar 

What a name! It promises a lot and while I think it would take more than 25 days of beauty products to make me feel renewed this is a great looking calendar with some handy products inside. At £54 it is cheaper than some of the multi brand beauty calendars, but the No 7 range has some really good products in. They are also selling Lift & Luminate and Protect & Perfect versions of the No 7 calendars if your skin is younger/ older. 

They claim it has 14 full size items, but that includes an eye shadow brush and face cleaner. On the other hand some of the "mini" items like the eye powder and toner are good sizes and will last a while. The calendar has a mix of of beauty products and make up. The sizes of the boxes don’t always correlate to the items, but the size of the item also doesn't always match how exciting it is either. A nice touch is the box number is also on the inside of the box so if you accidentally tip them out you won’t have to spend ages jigsawing them to get them back in. 

In the calendar you can expect:

Make up: lipstick, mascara, lip glaze, pigment powder eyeshadow, brown eyebrow pencil, black eye pencil, skin illuminator (liquid highlighter) and a voucher for a lipstick so you can choose a shade to suit you.

You also get a nice quality eye shadow brush and a cleansing pad.

Beauty products wise (and in varying sizes) you get: Exfoliating cleanser, foaming cleanser, face exfoliator, hydration mask, toner, day cream, night cream, eye cream, 2 x serums and a retinol night concentrate.

There are also exfoliating treatments for hands and feet, body wash and body milk.

For a full list including the product names and sizes look here.

Buy here: current price £54.99, but consider buying Boots vouchers through JamDoughnut (check out this post for a referral code and how it works) and then clicking through to Boots through a cash back site like Quidco or Top Cashback as you could get 5% or more cash back. If you have an Advantage card with Boots you will receive 3 points for every £1 spent too (which works out as £1.62 worth of points on the calendar at full price).

Boots No. 7 advent calendar and example contents
Give your skin a treat this advent

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar

The gorgeous Liberty calendar from the London department store has 25 drawers of varying sizes containing 29 items. This year there is more of a departure from the traditional beauty items with items including a bracelet, mirror and hair clips. Inside the drawers there is tissue paper, but this more to protect the items than presentation . You can also get sneak peaks of the items though the finger holes so this probably isn't the calendar for you if you want a surprise and aren't very patient. 

While I think this is another beautiful calendar from Liberty with a range of premium products, they are facing tough competition from other companies and I don’t think it has the wow factor of previous years. There is a mixture of full size products and sample sizes, but given the full size products of some of them eg Augustinus Bader The Cream cost £255 for 50ml the 15ml size in the calendar is still worth over £75!

The Liberty advent calendar contains:

Make up: mascara (a tubing one which I love as it means no smudges under my eyes), cream blusher and lipstick.

Beauty: 2 face creams, 2 exfoliators, a night cream, a night oil, 3 serums, liquid balm, face mask, single use under eye mask, shampoo, deep conditioner, 2 hair oils, soap and hand cream.

Other: There are 3 different perfumes (including Poets of Berlin which I am loving), a bracelet, aromatherapy roll on, hair clips, a candle and a small mirror in Liberty print exclusive to the calendar.

For a full list including the product names and sizes check here. I like that you can scan a code in the calendar and find out more about the product each day and how to use it. 

You can buy the calendar in store from Liberty, but it's heavy so it's worth buying online here as you get free postage anyway. It costs £250. They also have a beauty advent calendar for Men for £230. 

Liberty beauty calendar 2023 and contents
A luxury beauty calendar from Liberty

Candy Kittens

If you fancy a sweet treat every day in the lead up to Christmas then the Candy Kittens calendar is a great choice. The vegan gourmet sweets are made with fruit juice, they are chewy and full of flavour. There are 7 different flavours in the calendar and behind each door you get 2 to 5 sweets (depending on the size). On Christmas Eve there is a bigger bag, it was Watermelon in this calendar, but it looks like flavours may vary. The sweets in the calendar are: wild strawberry, sour watermelon, very cherry, eton mess, raspberry and guava, shox apple and shox strawberry.

The calendar RRP is £12, but most places seem to be selling it at £10 including supermarkets and Amazon.

The minimalist and stylish Candy Kittens vegan sweet calendar and contents
Vegan sweet calendar from Candy Kittens

Disclosure: this guide contains some gifted products and affiliate links to purchase. All advent calendars were hand selected by me for inclusion.

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