The best toy advent calendars for kids 2022 - Lego, Playmobil, Harry Potter, Disney and more

The top toy advent calendars that kids will love this December

Advent toy calendars 2022: a selection of the best
(Image credit: Future)

These are the best toy advent calendars for kids 2022, including both classic best-sellers and some exciting new releases.

We're all looking for the top Christmas toys (opens in new tab) to treat the little ones in our lives - but what about toy advent calendars? The best toy advent calendars for kids don't just look super exciting - they actually deliver when it comes to the quality of the toys and trinkets hidden behind each door. From advent calendars containing familiar TV characters to ones hiding enchanting storybooks and even some STEM learning-based play items, our pick of the best toy advent calendars for 2022 is a varied mix that includes something for all ages and budgets. 

And, of course, we've added offerings from well-loved brands, from Lego advent calendars (opens in new tab) and Playmobil to Harry Potter and Disney options. Non-chocolate advent calendars (opens in new tab) have seen increasing popularity in recent years, with both craft advent calendars (opens in new tab), beauty advent calendars (opens in new tab) and even dog advent calendars having their moment - and toy advent calendars are no different.

'There's nothing more disappointing than opening the door of your advent calendar only to find something a bit underwhelming,' says Consumer Editor, Heidi Scrimgeour (opens in new tab). 'To make sure that doesn't happen in your house, we've rounded up our pick of this year's best toy advent calendars. So, get in the spirit, don your best Christmas jumpers (opens in new tab) make a cuppa and take a look through our list. It offers a great alternative to a chocolate each day in December but will actually help keep kids entertained and occupied all month long instead of just giving them a daily sugar rush!'

Toy advent calendars: our Consumer Editor's top picks

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An image of the PAW PATROL Advent Calendar 2022

Credit: Amazon
(Image credit: Paw Patrol)

1. Paw Patrol Kids Advent Calendar 2022

One for creative pre-schoolers

Specifications

Age: 3+
Order: Available now
RRP: £15.99

Reasons to buy

+
Lots of stationery and crafts items

Reasons to avoid

-
Light on actual toys

Why we rate it: New for 2022, this children’s advent calendar kids contains 24 Paw Patrol gifts including Paw Patrol stickers, stampers, erasers and other accessories that little crafters will love. 

Consumer editor Heidi Scrimgeour says: 'Last year's Paw Patrol advent calendar was a hit with little fans of everyone's favourite pups - and this year's offering is better than ever. The collectible figures are a brilliant alternative to chocolate, adding excitement to every day in December. With some toy advent calendars, your child can end up with lots of random items that they don't really want but with this one, you end up with a complete Paw Patrol stationery to collect and enjoy well beyond Christmas.'

Playmobil Advent Calendar - Christmas Toy Store

Credit: Amazon

2. Christmas Toy Store Playmobil Advent Calendar

A classic best-seller - Playmobil advent calendars are hard to beat

Specifications

Age: 3+
Order: Available now
RRP: £21.99

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent value for money

Reasons to avoid

-
Plastic

Why we rate it: Playmobil's Christmas Toy Shop advent calendar comes with all the pieces you need to create a wonderfully festive scene. Every day throughout December, children open a door to find another piece for their set from miniature toys, dolls, teddy bears, robots and racing cars to a figurine of Santa himself. Featuring 89 pieces, this advent calendar is bound to keep little ones entertained over the festive period.

Our consumer editor says: 'With a mix of both figures and accessories and more than 80 separate items included, this is, without doubt, one of the best toy advent calendars you can buy in terms of value for money. The quality of the pieces is impressive and they're perfectly sized for little hands but the whole thing also has wow factor before you open a single door - my daughter's eyes light up every year when this arrives at the door.'

LEGO Star Wars advent calendar 2022

Credit: LEGO

3. Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar 2022

The ultimate advent for fans of Lego and Star Wars

Specifications

Age: 3+
Order: Available now
RRP: £29.99

Reasons to buy

+
Includes mini-figures and characters 

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive 

Why we rate it: This popular LEGO Star Wars advent calendar is sure to raise a smile from any LEGO Star Wars fan in the countdown to Christmas. Inspired by Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season 2, this advent contains seven LEGO Star Wars characters plus 11 LEGO mini-figures to be enjoyed in the run-up to the big day, including The Razor Crest, Riot Mar’s starfighter, and TIE Fighter.

Consumer editor Heidi Scrimgeour says: 'This has been the must-have Advent calendar in my house for many years now and it never disappoints. Yes, it's expensive - especially if you've got more than one child to buy for - but it's truly worth every penny for serious Lego fans who love Star Wars and will collect and keep the characters and mini-figures for years to come.'

One of the best advent calendars for kids - Thomas and Friends

Credit: Amazon

4. Thomas Friends Fisher Price MINIS Advent Calendar

Treat Thomas fans to this and they can collect the whole gang

Specifications

Age: 3+
Order: Available now
RRP: Free delivery

Reasons to buy

+
A full set of 24 collectable characters

Reasons to avoid

-
Items are plastic 

Why we rate it: Budding train conductors can look forward to finding 24 mini Thomas & Friends characters hidden behind each window of this super toy advent calendar for kids. Collect favourites like Percy, James, and Gordon in addition to trusty Thomas and play with them on the accompanying fold-down track that comes with the calendar.

Our consumer editor says: 'Little fans of Thomas & Friends usually have their favourite characters so they'll be delighted to find an impressive range of 24 miniature train engines tucked behind each door of this calendar to collect. The items are plastic but that does mean they're robust enough to withstand lots of high-energy festive play.'

Peppa Pig advent calendar

Credit: John Lewis

5. Peppa Pig Advent Calendar

Hours of fun guaranteed with a toy behind every door

Specifications

Age: 3+
Order : Available now
RRP: £24.99

Reasons to buy

+
Toys behind every door

Reasons to avoid

-
Items are plastic

Why we rate it: Everyone’s favourite cartoon pig gets a seasonal makeover with this adorable advent calendar. Little ones can count down to the 25th with 24 Christmas versions of Peppa, George, and friends - not to mention yuletide touches including a toy Christmas tree!

Our consumer editor says: 'Some advent calendars can feel like a let-down for little ones if there's too much variation around what's behind each door - a sticker can be a disappointment if you are expecting a toy, for example. But what makes this one of the best toy advent calendars you can buy is the fact that there's a Peppa Pig toy behind every single door so you end up with a full set of play figures.'

An image of The Very Merry Advent Calendar

(Image credit: Toucan)

6. The Very Merry Advent Calendar

Specifications

Age suitability: 3+
Order: Available now, limited edition
RRP: £35

Why we rate it: Now this is a clever take on a toy advent calendar. You get to create a chimney chute from 24 boxes and then open one each day to reveal a craft, recipe card, story book or challenge. We won't spoil it by telling you exactly what's inside but there's a good mixture of items to ensure that youngsters will look forward to opening a new box every morning. 

 Our consumer editor says: 'From recipes and books to crafts and challenges, this innovative advent calendar is literally stuffed with inspiration and resources for some serious festive fun. Run, don't walk to order this because it's a limited edition item and always sells out fast.'

Peter Rabbit Wooden Advent Calendar

7. Peter Rabbit Advent Calendar 2022

A keepsake advent calendar with beautiful wooden characters

Specifications

Age suitability: 12m+
Order: Available now
RRP: £34.99

Reasons to buy

+
Durable wooden character pieces

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive 

Why we rate it: All the favourite characters from the classic Beatrix Potter books are featured in this calendar. Each day you’ll discover a new character - from Peter Rabbit to Jemima Puddleduck - reimagined as cute wooden character pieces. Made from sustainable wood, this is a great alternative to conventional calendars and can be reused long after the Christmas tree comes down.

Our consumer editor says: 'It's lovely to see wooden character pieces in this advent calendar rather than the dreaded plastic. This is another expensive option but for fans of the Beatrix Potter books it's definitely one of the best toy advent calendars we've come across - it's a lovely collectable item that your child could keep forever and even pass on to future generations. You can't do that with chocolate!'

Nutcracker toy advent calendars for kids

8. The Nutcracker Toy Advent Calendar

Another delightful wooden option - no plastic in sight

Specifications

Age: 3+
Order: Available now
RRP: £35

Reasons to buy

+
Figures made from wood

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive 

Why we rate it: The Nutcracker Advent calendar is an enchanting calendar option, featuring drawers filled with wooden character figures. Each morning your child will wake up to a surprise. Whether it’s a toy soldier or an elegant ballet dancer behind each door, they’ll enjoy hours of fun creating stories and immersing themselves in creative play.

Our consumer editor says: 'This is another lovely choice if you're keen to avoid plastic as the figures behind each door are made from wood, making it one of our best toy advent calendars for 2022. Little ones can use the cardboard calendar as a play scene to extend their imaginative play too. Beautiful yet practical.'

Barbie advent calendar

Credit: Amazon

9. Barbie Doll Advent Calendar 2022

Barbie fans can get their fix with a new doll and outfits

Specifications

Age suitability: 3+
Order: Available now but low stock
RRP: £24.99

Reasons to buy

+
Barbie doll is included

Reasons to avoid

-
Not much variation

Why we rate it: This exciting Barbie Advent calendar starts with a Barbie doll on day one. Then every day for the next 23 days, little ones can piece together Barbie's outfit. From a silvery jacket and trousers to a long pink skirt, there are more than ten different accessories to discover including shoes, jewellery, purses, and even a feather boa!

Our consumer editor says: 'Barbie fans will be delighted to discover a Barbie doll behind the very first door on this toy advent calendar - there's no waiting until the last day to get the best item. So it really does delver in terms of value for money and won't leave youngsters disappointed or impatient to rush ahead to the last door.'

Disney Princess Book advent calendar 2022

Credit: Amazon

10. Disney Princess Storybook Collection Advent Calendar 2022

A Disney book-based advent calendar

Specifications

Age suitability: 4-6 years
Order : Available now
RRP: £21.99

Reasons to buy

+
Brilliant for keen readers

Reasons to avoid

-
All books, no toys

Why we rate it: Enjoy a charming Disney tale every night in the run-up to Christmas with the Disney Princess storybook calendar. Filled with short stories from your child's favourite Disney princesses including the likes of Cinderella, Belle, Snow White, and more, it's certainly better value for money than chocolate!

Our consumer editor says: 'You can't overstate the importance of reading to children and this book-based advent calendar is a lovely way to make time for some special bedtime reading together during what can be a hectic month.'

One of the best toy advent calendars - Harry Potter

Credit: LEGO

11. Lego Harry Potter Advent Calendar

Lego meets Harry Potter - what's not to love?

Specifications

Age suitability : 7+
Order: Available now
RRP: £29.99

Reasons to buy

+
Includes seven mini-figures

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

Why we rate it: Happy news for fans of both LEGO and Harry Potter - the bestselling LEGO Harry Potter Advent Calendar is back this year! It comes complete with six mini-figures and intricate Harry Potter LEGO models to build, such as Beauxbaton’s carriage and a Hogwarts banquet dining table.

Our consumer editor says: 'My nine-year-old daughter can't get enough of all-things-Hogwarts-and-Harry-Potter so this is the only advent calendar I'm considering buying this year. It is a pricey purchase but you really do get what you pay for, with seven mini-figures included this year and lots of icon Lego accessories from the Harry Potter films to collect and keep forever.'

One of the best advent calendars for kids - LOL surprise dolls 2022

Credit: Amazon

12. L.O.L. Surprise! Advent Calendar 2022

A jewellery-based advent calendar

Specifications

Age: 6+
Order: Available now
RRP: £17.99

Reasons to buy

+
Bracelet and charms as well as dolls

Reasons to avoid

-
Some items are plastic 

Why we rate it: Unbox 24 days of surprises with the L.O.L. Surprise! charm bracelet advent calendar. It includes some of the most popular dolls from the Born To Rock collection. 

Our consumer editor says:  'The official LOL advent calendar contains a chain necklace, a bracelet and 22 small toys to clip onto the chains plus several popular dolls including Unicorn, Queen Bee, and Kitty Queen. It's a good choice for youngsters who are too old for toys but not quite ready to give up an advent calendar altogether.'

Polly Pocket

Credit: Amazon

13. Polly Pocket Advent Calendar

This one's packed with the popular pocket-sized toys to collect

Specifications

Age: 4+
Order: Available now
RRP: £19.99

Reasons to buy

+
25 items to collect

Reasons to avoid

-
Dolls cannot stand alone

Why we rate it: Polly Pocket is practically the perfect trinket for an advent calendar for kids. Packed full of 25 pocket-sized surprises, little ones can count down to the big day with a surprise gift every day! Snowy scenes galore, some of the toys in this advent calendar include Polly Pocket dolls, animals, vehicles and more.

Our consumer editor says: 'With an impressive number of play pieces to collect and a fold-out winter holiday scene to enjoy, there's plenty packed into this toy advent calendar to delight Polly Pocket fans.'

One of the best advent calendars for kids - Disney storybook 2021 advent

Credit: Amazon

14. Disney Storybook Collection Advent Calendar 2022

If you can't fit any more toys in the house, choose this

Specifications

Age: 4+
Order: Available now
RRP: £19.99

Reasons to buy

+
Brilliant value for money

Reasons to avoid

-
No toys

Why we rate: Unwrap one book per day on the countdown to Christmas with this charming Disney Storybook Advent calendar. There are 24 books to scoop up so fans of Disney can enjoy a wonderful tale each day with all new content and stories they've never heard before.

Our consumer editor says: 'December can be overwhelming for little ones so bring back some calm to the festive season with this Disney advent calendar featuring a new book to enjoy together every day. The perfect way to unwind before bedtime.'

Harry Potter Pop! has one of the best non chocolate advent calendars 2022

Credit: Zavvi

15. Harry Potter Pop! Funko Advent Calendar 2022

One for teen and tween wizards and witches

Specifications

Age: 6+
Order: Available now
RRP:

Reasons to buy

+
24 characters included

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive 

Why we rate it: Behind each door of this popular Funko Pop! Harry Potter advent calendar is a miniature figure of your favourite Hogwarts students – and their furry friends. Fans of Harry Potter who consider themselves a bit too cool for an advent calendar won't be disappointed to receive this on December 1st.

Our consumer editor says: 'Kids of all ages love Funko Pop! characters so if you're looking for an advent calendar that contains something they'll keep and collect instead of trinkets that will just gather dust, this is one of the best toy advent calendars to invest in.'

One of the best advent calendars for kids - Happyland

Credit: Early Learning Centre

16. Happyland Advent Calendar 2022

The super-popular pre-school toys have their own advent calendar

Specifications

Age: 18m - 5 years
Order: Available now
RRP: £34.99

Reasons to buy

+
Collectable characters 

Reasons to avoid

-
Items are plastic 

Why we rate it: The Happyland 2021 advent for tiny tots proved so popular that it's back for 2022. These chunky figures are perfect for little hands, with festive favourites like Father Christmas and a snowman hiding behind each door. Help them to feed Santa some Christmas pudding or take a ride with Rudolph in the snow.

Our consumer editor says: 'From a Santa figure to a pair of skis, the figures included in this toy advent calendar have a lovely wintry vibe that will help to build excitement as Christmas gets closer. The chunky figures are perfectly sized for little hands to hold and fans of Happyland toys will love adding a new set of characters to their collection.'

One of the best toy advent claendars for kids - Disney Frozen 2

Credit: Amazon

17. Disney Frozen Advent Calendar 2022

They won't want to let this one go...

Specifications

Age: 5+
Order: Available now
RRP: £16.99

Why we rate it: This Disney Frozen II Advent calendar is the perfect treat for the little Frozen fan in your life. Watch their delight at adding a new Frozen charm to the chain necklace and bracelet throughout the lead-up to Christmas. Featuring familiar Frozen faces like Anna, Elsa, and Olaf plus pretty snowflakes and fluffy pom poms, this is up there as one of the best toy advent calendars for kids in 2022.

Our consumer editor says: 'If toys aren't really your Frozen fan's thing, this charm bracelet advent calendar is a lovely alternative with an item of jewellery to collect each day in December.'

Play-doh advent calendar

18. Play-Doh Advent Calendar

Who needs toys when you can collect Play-Doh?

Specifications

Age: 3-8 years
Order: Available now but low stock
RRP: £27.59

Reasons to buy

+
Five pots of Play-Doh included

Reasons to avoid

-
Same contents as previous years

Why we rate it: If you know a little one who loves Play-Doh, then why not let them get creative with a surprise behind each of these 24 secret doors? The set includes five tubs of Play-Doh plus two Sparkle cans for some extra Christmas dazzle.

Our consumer editor says: 'A brilliant idea to help keep excited youngsters entertained during December. Forget chocolate or toys that quickly lose their appeal - 5 pots of Play-Doh - including 2 special Sparkle tubs  - with lots of accessories is sure to help the wait for Christmas.'