12 kids advent calendars to make this the most magical holiday yet

Melissa & Doug

For as joyful as Christmas morning can be—with bow-bedecked packages spilling from beneath the tree, each one promising something new and exciting—for kids, the days and weeks leading up to the big day might be even better. Especially when kids can count them down with an advent calendar. And especially when said advent calendar is a trove of tiny treasures.

And there's a kids advent calendar for every type of child, whether your tot is horn-over-tail into unicorns, is a dino-devotee, or prefers a classic calendar. This holiday season, make your little ones' eyes light up brighter than a Christmas tree with one of these advent calendars for kids.

Here are our favorite advent calendars for kids to count down to Christmas:

Santa Stop Here

Santa Stop Here

This critter-adorned calendar hides holiday fun facts for littles to discover within the windows of an apartment building. Kids will get a kick out of discovering something new every day, while mamas can proudly display the adorable design.

$13

Unicorn stamp

Unicorn Stamp

"Just add unicorns" is a pretty good philosophy for making anything more magical (and that includes the already-enchanting holiday season). This unicorn-themed calendar comes with enchanting rubber stamps and sparkly inks to let kiddos create fun, festive designs.

$32

​Playmobil

Playmobil

Can't plan a trip to the North Pole? This advent calendar gives tykes the next best thing. Each piece works together to bring Santa's Workshop to life—just in time for Christmas Eve!

$16.49

​Dinosaur

Dinosaur

Want to make your little one roar with excitement? Dino-lovers will delight in this kids advent calendar that doles out 23 pint-sized prehistoric pals, plus one larger T-rex on Christmas Eve.

$22.99

Melissa & Doug

Melissa & Doug advent calendar

Get kids in on the holiday spirit by giving them their own tree to decorate. Each day little ones pick a magnetized ornament to add to this mini wooden fir.

$14.99

Fluffy Slime

Fluffy Slime

Got a mini slime-enthusiast on your hands? This calendar holds plenty of fluffy slime (plus accessories) for kids to squish and squeeze all season long.

$20.99

​Crayola Christmas

crayola advent calendar

Crafty kids will delight in unearthing a new art supply (think: markers, clay, and paints) each day of the season. Then, they can channel their inner-artists to let their imaginations run wild.

$17.99

LEGO City

LEGO City

Calling all little LEGO-lovers! Budding builders can construct a winter wonderland (complete with Santa—and his plate of cookies and milk) with the pieces they unearth in this LEGO advent calendar.

$19.99

Hatchimals

Hatchimals

Hatchimals have long been a favorite under the tree. Now kiddos can get hatching long before Santa slides down the chimney with this calendar that holds Hatchimals-themed collectibles, stickers, and other trinkets.

$29

Hotwheels

Hotwheels advent calendar

For those who like their holly-jolly with a side of high speed, this Hotwheels calendar delivers. Kids will get several new sets of wheels, as well as some other holiday-themed car accessories.

$27.14

KidKraft

KidKraft calendar


Would it really be the holidays without a gingerbread house? The tasty-looking abode, though not edible itself, features 24 compartments, where you can hide the treats of your choice. Bonus: You can personalize it with your child's name.

$47.99

Frozen II

Frozen II advent calendar

'Tis the season for Frozen fanatics! Whisk your mini Anna or Elsa to Arendelle via this Frozen-themed advent calendar. They'll never want to let it goooo! (Sorry, we couldn't resist!)

$59.95

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I'm usually that girl who shells out for premium leggings, and I still think they're fun as a treat, but I've now bought these so-called "compression" leggings in multiple colors. And since 74% of you told us in a recent Instagram poll that you live in leggings, we hope this practical hot tip can help make #momlife a little easier for you, too.

So why compression? While we'd never advise going to extremes, we're not opposed to a little help keeping everything in place. To be clear, this isn't about hiding—we're all for celebrating our bodies (and especially our bellies) at every stage. But adapting to an ever-changing shape can be distracting, and a little extra support around the stomach and hips can feel amazing after birth and help you focus on what's important.

What these $20 leggings have on even my most expensive pairs is that they are thickmeaning they don't snag in the wash, sheer out when I squat, or (heaven forbid) rip when I bend over. Their durability makes them perfect for both household chores and high-intensity workouts. They're also warm, making them well-suited for transitioning between seasons. And once your wardrobe fully changes over, the same brand makes compression shorts that are equally comfy.

Homma Premium Thick High Waist Tummy Compression Slimming Leggings

amazon leggings

As for the whole compression thing? Once they're on, I honestly don't notice anything but how flattering they are when I catch my reflection in the mirror. The 88% Nylon, 12% Spandex blend keeps it tight without feeling, well, too tight. Think of the compression like a gentle hug, or a guardian angel that just wants to bless your curves all day long. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to order another pair.

$19.95

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I admit it: We struggle with screen time in my house. My 4-year-old is a rambunctious consumer of entertainment and most of his beloved forms come in the mini screen of my cell phone. I do, however, do my best to fill that screen with the most educational kid's apps that exist, and one of his favorites is the world of Sago Mini. Their apps are fun, playful, and yes, help him learn something too.

So imagine our excitement when we found out that Sago Mini is bringing that experience offline with an IRL kid's toy subscription service that sends open-ended toys to you about once a month. The service officially launched Tuesday, February 18th and it's perfect for kids aged 3-5. It costs about $19 a month or $15 a month if you pay for an annual subscription.

The Sago Mini box

The first set of boxes will have planes, road trip and fairy tales themes. ✨The box we tried was road-trip themed and it came with everything your little needs to get off the phone and into their imagination. I loved that even the box itself can be turned into a toy by disassembling it and rebuilding it inside out. Because we all know that sometimes our kid's favorite toy ends up being the box it was shipped in!

The kit comes with three make and play activities, all designed to build off each other. For example, our road trip box came with a felt "road" that my son loved draping all over the furniture, and a cardboard car with wooden wheels in one activity pack. Then the second activity pack had destinations your child can "drive" their car to like Grandma's house, school and a gas station.

I especially appreciated that they kept an eye on sustainability (and cute design!) when creating these play materials. All the paper materials that come in the box are made from recycled goods or sourced from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC certified). The best part? My son played with his set for a good few hours—and never asked for my phone once.

$15
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Wouldn't it be nice to throw on mascara and instantly look well-rested? Let's set the scene: You've been up all night caring for your sick toddler and you look extremely tired. You quickly apply a waterproof, lengthening and volumizing mascara and poof—tired eyes begone. Sounds like a magic trick, right? But we have a few mascaras in our makeup bag that can do just that, mama.

These are our favorite mascaras to use that make us look well-rested and ready to conquer the day, even if we're running on just a few hours:

Tarte surfer curl mascara

Tarte surfer curl mascara

Whether you're prepping for hot yoga, a day at the beach, or just keeping up with the kiddos, Tarte's latest mascara is perfect for a mamas active lifestyle. It's a vitamin E- based mascara that delivers sweatproof, weightless volume without the clumps. Pro tip: Just do the top lashes for a more natural look.

$23

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna full frontal volume, lift + curl mascara

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna full frontal volume, lift + curl mascara

This popular mascara was designed to deliver Rihanna's full lash look, and we must admit, after three applications, our lashes turned out thicker and fuller than ever. The key to this formula is that it's paired with aflat-to-fat brush that customizes what you need. The fat side holds lots of product to quickly load and lift lashes, while the flat side defines and curls each lash.

$24

Maybelline lash sensational mascara

Maybelline lash sensational mascara

Not ready to spend loads of money on a beauty product? We hear you. That's why we love this liquid ink formula from Maybelline. It coats from all sides for full coverage with a featherlight feel. Just be careful with your application—it requires a good makeup remover to remove.

$9.99

L'Oréal voluminous lash paradise mascara

L'Or\u00e9al voluminous lash paradise mascara

If a deep black color is what you're after, this mascara will get you there in the best way possible. The soft wavy bristle brush gives lots of volume and the 200 bristles catch every lash for a full fringe effect. No, seriously—get the results you crave in only two coats!

$10.99

Stila Cosmetics magnum xxx mascara

Stila Cosmetics magnum xxx mascara

Suffer from thin, straight lashes that never seem to curl? This creamy, non-clumping formula is buildable and gives instant volume. It's also pretty cool that the blossom-shaped fiber wand is carved in a curved silhouette that dispenses just the right amount of formula on each individual lash for lots of volume.

$23

Marc Jacobs velvet noir major volume mascara

Marc Jacobs velvet noir major volume mascara

When we heard that this mascara was inspired by Marc Jacobs' first beauty memory of his mother shaving fibers from a velvet ribbon to create her own faux lashes, we knew this was something special. This mascara gives smudge-proof length and volume in three strokes or less.

$27

IT Cosmetics superhero mascara

 IT Cosmetics superhero mascara

If black mascara leaves you with raccoon eyes by the end of the day, this mascara might be your new bestie. Developed with plastic surgeons, and clinically tested, it provides both length and volume in one coat. Also, the formula contains collagen, biotin and peptides to condition your lashes as you coat.

$24

Too Faced better than sex waterproof mascara

Too Faced better than sex waterproof mascara

Without question, the original better than sex mascara lives up to its name, and the waterproof feature on this one is an added bonus. The hourglass-shaped brush was designed with extra stiff bristles to maximize the performance of this super black, collagen-fueled formula. But, once on your lashes, prepare to rub for a long time to get it off.

$25

Lancôme monsieur big mascara

Lanc\u00f4me Monsieur big mascara

This is one of Lancôme's bestselling mascaras and we get why. For starters, it's a creamy formula with a gel-like texture that does not require touch-ups. It also brings a ton of volume, without the flaking.

$25

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Kim Kardashian West has recently been in the spotlight for her home design—it's incredibly minimalist, with lots of white, bright (but barely there) details—and it got many mamas wondering: How do multiple kiddos live there? Because no matter how much we love minimalism, it can be hard to maintain when toys seem to pop up out of nowhere.

Well, she gave us a sneak peek into her kids' playroom today on Instagram Stories. "You guys always say my house is so minimal—well, you guys haven't seen my playroom," shares Kardashian West.



So now we get it. Among the super-cool details (hello, concert stage and movie projector), her four little ones do play with a ton of toys. Some toys, in fact, that our own kids play with!

Here are some of our favorite toys that we spotted in Kim Kardashian's playroom:

Melissa & Doug Wooden Grocery Store

melissa and doug grocery cart

One of Motherly mamas' favorite interactive play sets. Complete with a hand cranked conveyor belt, a beeping scanner and swipe machine. Plus, it looks beautiful in any playroom. (It was adorable watching Kim show us how it works.)

$175.10

CAT Construction Fleet Dump Truck

kids toy drump truck

Littles will love putting items in the back of the dump truck. Even better, it's great for both indoor and outdoor play (even works great in sand!).

$10.99

Sesame Street Big Bird Toy

sesame street toy

This super soft plush toy is a classic with a twist. Yes, it's Big Bird, your child's friend from Sesame Street, but with an artsy twist by Kaws. It's just a tiny detail in the toy's eyes that makes it different and so much cooler.

$100

Learning Resources Pretend Play Food

pretend play baked goods

With 15 pieces, kids have everything they need to bake cookies and cupcakes. Bonus points for working on their hand-eye coordination with the rolling pin, spatula and mixing bowl.

$17

KidKraft Lil' Symphony Guitar

kidkraft kids guitar

The Kardashian West kids might just take after their dad practicing their music skills with this wooden guitar. With nearly 400 positive reviews, this is a favorite for many mamas.

$22.49

LEGO Classic Box

lego classic

Kids can build and bring anything to life with this set—484 pieces total. Kim has the Legos organized by colors in her drawers, but we like this box to drop everything in.

$27.86

100-Piece Wooden Train Set

wooden train set

A gorgeous wooden train set for kids of all ages. This one comes with multiple tracks, bridges, buildings and vehicles to create the ultimate experience.

$42.99

Melissa & Doug Toy Shopping Cart

melissa and doug cart

We doubt Kim Kardashian does her own grocery shopping, but her little ones seem to love this pretend play grocery cart. It pairs perfectly with the grocery mart above!

$57.99

London Doll Pram Stroller

kids london doll pram

This gorgeous stroller is the sweetest accessory for kids who enjoy playing with baby dolls. It's big enough to fit all different types, from small Barbies to larger ones. Plus, the wheels don't swivel so it's easy for small hands to push around.

$55.99

Play-Doh Play Pack

play doh

This classic toy never goes out of style. Kiddos can create just about anything their imagination wants with the squishy and bright, non-toxic modeling clay.

$7.99

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