Easy DIY Cardboard Advent Calendar for Kids

INSIDE: This DIY Cardboard Advent Calendar is definitely special! Create this for your little one and make counting down to Christmas special this year. Include treats or all their favourite things. All you need to make it is a cardboard box!

DIY Christmas Advent Calendars

The Christmas Tree advent calendar I made was such a hit, I knew I would have to make 2 more (for my other kids). So I decided to turn a cardboard box into a little advent house! I used a large show box that was black. I didn’t like the colour so I decided to wrap it in wrapping paper. To do this I spread glue all other the box and covered it in the paper.

If you are using a regular cardboard box you don’t need to cover it in wrapping. This was the most challenging step. Occasionally the wrapping paper didn’t stick, especially after I started creating doors and I had to re glue it. It was easy to fix though.

Another option is to wrap your box in butcher paper.

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DIY Cardboard Advent Calendar For Kids

Grab a large shoe box sized cardboard box. If you are not a fan of the outside of the box like I was you can wrap it in wrapping paper or butcher paper.

Cover one side with glue. I found using a glue stick worked best as I could cover the entire surface with glue. Lay place the glue side on the box on the wrapping paper. Continue for all sides of the box.

Once the entire box is covered (and remember you don’t need to do this step), take box cutters and cut out 24 doors. If you want everything to be even use a ruler to measure everything out first.

Grab some pony beads and use a hot glue gun to attached the pony beads as door knobs.

Make sure all the doors can be opened easily. Take a pair of scissors and cut off any excess cardboard on the edge of the doors that may be preventing them from closing properly. Nothing worse than your little one not being able to open the doors.

Cut another piece of cardboard long enough to fold and fit as a roof for your house. Attach it to the box with the doors using a hot glue gun. Use a paint stick or paint and a brush to create snow covered shingles on your roof.

Use double sided take or a small amount of glue to attached small candies to the inside of each door.

Take red dot stickers and write out the dates from 1-24. and stick them on random doors.

Advent Calendar

Pull out your advent calendar starting December and let your little one enjoy it everyday. The great thing about this calendar is that you can customize it to your little ones tastes!

Items to add in your Advent Calendar

Here is a list of ideas to add into your advent calendar:

  1. Temporary tattoos
  2. Nail polish
  3. Eraser
  4. Crayons or mini markers
  5. Fun socks
  6. Stickers
  7. Glow sticks
  8. Money
  9. Mini candy canes
  10. Mini bath bombs
  11. Cars
  12. Mini balls
  13. Mittens
  14. Mini Cookies
  15. Lego pieces (place a few pieces from a kit into each cup)
  16. Mini flashlight
  17. Finger puppers
  18. slime
  19. Writing pad
  20. Necklace
  21. Mini play doh
  22. Balloons to blow up
  23. Window clings
  24. Post it notes (my kids love these for some reason)
  25. Puzzle pieces (give them a few pieces in each cup everyday)

Age Suitability

This activity is more of a parent activity to make for your kids. Advent calendars are great for all ages! My kids are 3.5, 3.5, and 7 year old.


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  • Cardboard box
  • Box cutters
  • Wrapping paper (optional)
  • Glue
  • Hot glue gun
  • Beads
  • Small toys or candy (see above for list of more than 25 ideas)

Make quiet time their favourite time!

Play is at the core of learning during the early years and it can take many forms. One of the most important of these is sensory play because it engages all of a child’s senses (taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing) and has a enoumous positive impact on brain development.

My Sensory Play Kits are a fun and easy way to keep your child engaged while at the same time capitalizing on the benefits of sensory play to nurture their mind!

Shop my ready made sensory play kits here.

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Exciting Sensory Bins for Curious Kids

Did you know I wrote a book of sensory bins? Click here for more information Exciting Sensory Bin for Curious Kids. Or grab your copy at Amazon.

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Boring afternoons are made exciting with awesome animal-based bins, like Salty Shark Bay or Yarn Farm. Pretend play bins like Birthday Cake Sensory Play or Bubble Tea Party encourage creativity and imagination. And your kids will have so much fun they won’t even know they’re getting smarter with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) activities like Sink or Float Soup, Magnetic Letter Hunt or Ice Cream Scoop and Count.

STEAM Activity Book

Looking for a fun activity book for your preschooler this summer? Check out my new book Super STEAM Activity Book: Launch Learning with Fun Mazes, Dot-to-Dots, Search-the-Page Puzzles, and More! ! Click here to learn more or order it now!

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