Fun Advent Calendar Ideas: Surprise Grab Box

Everyone from LEGO to Funko is making advent calendars and holiday countdowns, which can be pretty cool but also pretty expensive.

Really, the fun thing about these calendars is they are interactive, giving kids something physical to hold onto, or some sort of activity to look forward to each day.

For the month of December, I’ll to share a few easy advent and countdown calendar ideas that are fun for kids, and cost very little to create, starting with a simple surprise grab box.

To make this advent, the primary skill needed is wrapping a square gift box, and the rest is simple.

Find one small gift for the final day of the countdown, like a small action figure, simple snack bag or pack, or trading cards. This will be the big “surprise gift” finale.

Wrap a small surprise gift, and make a “secret” compartment in a cardboard box to hide it.

Find a small cardboard box (I used a 5″ x 5″), and cut a single piece of cardboard big enough to fit firmly in the box. Glue it in place. This creates a simple secret compartment to fit the gift. Hide the gift in the compartment.

Next, cut a hole in the top corner of the box big enough for a kids to be able to fit their fist through it.

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Wrap the box like a present, and gently cut the paper away where the hole is.

Cut a hole in the corner of a cardboard box, then wrap it like a gift. Cut away the paper around the hole, and fill with small prizes.

Fill the box with 23 (not 24) pieces of candy or small trinkets. This can even be something as simple as little chocolate kisses. If you have more than one kid, place two (or however many you need) little gifts in the secret compartment, and double or triple the amount of daily surprises so everyone will get one each day.

The number of days for the countdown can easily be modified for this idea, depending on how long you want to count down for a certain event. The only constant is the last day’s surprise should be the hidden one.

Kids can reach into the box each day for a small reward.

On the final day of the countdown, they will reach their hand in, and the box will seem empty. They will have to unwrap the gift to discover the “secret gift.”

This creates a nice surprise just before Christmas day, or a birthday, Halloween, or any other special occasion.

Your kids can even make a few of these to give to their friends, as a way to make a gift even cooler.

It is all about the element of surprise.

The final day of the countdown reveals a little surprise gift. All images: Lisa Tate


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This post was last modified on December 6, 2021 2:00 pm

Lisa Tate

Lisa Kay Tate is a veteran feature writer with nearly 25 years experience in newspaper, magazine and freelance writing. She and her husband, a history and world geography teacher, live on the edge of "New Texico" where they keep busy raising their two geeklings and sharing space with their dog, Sirius Black, and cat, Loki.

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