12 Children's Advent Calendars That Won't Result In A Major Sugar Crash

No chocolate, but still lots of fun.
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Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate and have fond memories of opening up a Cadbury advent calendar at certain points throughout my childhood.

But as the parent of a child with allergies, I also know that food-filled Christmas calendars aren’t always the easiest purchase to make. Likewise, if your child is prone to sugar meltdowns, you might find them a little tricky, too.

Thankfully there are loads of children’s advent calendars on the market that don’t contain chocolate, sweets or anything else likely to give them a sugar crash.

Instead, expect to find fun books and toys behind each window as you count down to Christmas Day.

Here, we’ve rounded up some of the best on the market right now – from Bluey and Hey Duggee calendars chock-full of fascinating stories, to calendars for older kids like National Geographic’s gemstone calendar or the GraviTrax marble run, there’s something for everyone here.

Budding geologists will love adding these to their rock collection.
This calendar is filled to the brim with beautiful gems including agate, green aventurine, and tiger's eye. Behind door 24 is a rose quartz specimen which kids can unearth themselves from a mini dig brick. And at the end of it all they can make themselves some jewellery, too.
Bluey fans will love this mini library!
Book advent calendars are seriously underrated IMO. I bought our daughter one last year and we still read the books today. They're the perfect size for taking out to cafés and in the car to keep her occupied. This Bluey one features 24 fun mini-books and colouring books, including a special Christmas story for Christmas Eve!
A mini truck behind each window. Need I say more?
This awesome advent calendar opens out to reveal a monster truck race track. Told you, totally awesome. Behind each window you'll find a mixture of Mini Monster trucks and accessories.
Let their imagination run wild with this Barbie set.
After the success of this year's Barbie movie, we're sure to see a resurgence of interest in Barbie toys this Christmas – and you can start off the excitement with this Dreamtopia advent calendar. They'll get to unwrap a Barbie doll and a range of gifts including outfits, accessories, a tea party set and pets.
Budding jedi? They'll love this Star Wars Lego set.
Behind each door is a Lego creation – from festive-themed Star Wars characters to mini-build vehicles and weapons. It's an Amazon bestseller this year and it's really no wonder.
I can personally guarantee toddlers will love this set.
As you know, I bought our daughter a book advent calendar last year – and this was it! Packed with 24 books charting the Squirrels' adventures, it's a great way to reduce screen time ('let's read a book instead of watching it on TV!') and they're super portable, too.
A Peppa Pig hair accessory extravaganza.
Suitable from three years old ('cause small parts) this calendar is packed full of Peppa-themed hair and dress up accessories. Expect hair clips and bobbles, as well as bracelets and rings. Bougie.
Choo-choose this one if your kid loves Thomas.
They will not be disappointed. There's a lot to unpack here. First of all, this advent calendar comes with an impressive selection of toys including six Christmas-themed trains. You can also remove each window to create Thomas-themed Christmas tree decorations (if you so wish). The perfect present for over-3s.
Animal toys + stickers = guaranteed fun.
Playmobil has released loads of different advent calendars this year (which you can find here) but this animal one really caught my eye – it's made from 80% sustainable material, for starters, and is packed with cute animal figures and stickers to help them discover where animals come from around the world.
Adventures ahoy with the Paw Patrol team!
With a new Paw Patrol movie out, it's safe to say this advent calendar will be in high demand this winter. Behind each door is a Paw Patrol pup, animal friend or accessory – by the time Christmas arrives, your little one will be able to create their very own snow day in Adventure Bay.
Build up their Brio collection with these festive train toys.
Brio's Christmas world advent calendar comes with a selection of classics including Mr and Mrs Claus, a snowy steam train, wooden train tracks, and festive-themed accessories. Due to there being some small parts, it's suitable for kids aged 3 and over.
Get their creative juices flowing with this fancy construction toy.
A modern take on marble run – GraviTrax is a huge hit among kids so this advent calendar is sure to go down a storm. Each compartment reveals a fun gift, from height tiles to tracks, from special curves to a spinner. It'll keep them busy, that's for sure.