Christmas is coming!  This year has FLOWN by, and I cannot believe that we are already planning the Christmas season.  Every year, my boys look at the advent calendars in the LEGO® catalog.  It has never been in the budget to buy them, especially since I’d have to buy three (and soon four!).  The advantages of the advent calendars that you can buy from LEGO® are that they require no prep work, and they come with some exclusive figures and pieces.  The downside is the cost – $30 for the City calendar and $40 for the Star Wars one.

Here are some ideas for using LEGO® to countdown to Christmas without breaking the bank!

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DIY Lego Advent Calendar Ideas

Calendar #1:  Gingerbread Path Countdown

Move Santa (or whatever figure you choose) down the path – one square each day.  When he reaches the house, it’s time for Christmas!  What I love about this calendar is that it’s easy for kids to see at a glance how much time is left until Christmas.  And building it is such a fun family project – might be a good activity for Thanksgiving weekend!

For this calendar, we purchased:

  • A Santa keychain ($5 at the Legoland Discovery Center’s Lego Store)
  • Brown bricks (from the brick wall at our local Legoland’s Lego Store)
  • Light green 2 x 4 flat bricks for the path
  • Green and red 2 x 2 bricks for the date markers

We borrowed a few trees and a few circles (the ones on the roof) from my parents’ house (our childhood collection). Everything else we already owned.

DIY Lego Advent Calendars

I used mailing labels for the date markers.

DIY Lego Advent Calendars

Here’s a close up of the house:

DIY Lego Advent Calendars

Aidan built this Christmas tree.  The center of the tree is a special 1 x 1 brick that has studs on all sides.

DIY Lego Advent Calendars

It would be fun to make this calendar a tradition and build a different gingerbread house and path layout each year!

Calendar #2:  Decorate the Christmas Tree

DIY Lego Advent Calendars

This calendar is simple – add an ornament to the tree each day.  Add a star on top on December 25th!  Or make the star the 24th, if that works better.

We put the ornaments in a cute Christmas bowl – all ready to start decorating on December 1st!  (My boys decided that we’re doing both calendars this year!)

DIY Lego Advent Calendars

I built the tree myself out of green bricks with a brown trunk.  There is a 4 x 10 green flat brick at the bottom of the branches holding it all together.  Here’s what it looks like undecorated:

DIY Lego Advent Calendars

Calendar #3:  DIY Build-a-Set Countdown

DIY Lego Advent Calendars

I love this idea from Savor the Days to use a new LEGO® set to create an advent calendar.  You can spend what YOU what to spend.  Read about how she did it here:  LEGO Advent Calendar.

LEGO® Advent Calendars

If you’re only doing this for one or two children, the LEGO® advent calendars do come with some cool pieces!   The Amazon listing shows exactly what’s included with the City Calendar or the Star Wars Calendar.

Lego Advent Calendar

LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO® group of companies which does not sponsor. authorize, or endorse this site.

15 Comments

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  1. Nichole {youclevermonkey} Nov 8, 2014

    I love these ideas! We usually make our own Advent calendar but was very tempted last year to buy the Lego one but this year I think we might make one of these. Sharing :)

    Reply
    1. Anna McDonald Nov 8, 2014

      Great ideas, might try it next year! Already have this year's Advent calendar as they fly off the shelves here in NZ. As an alternative for those who are tempted by the commercial calendar, my 3 boys know that the Lego Advent calendar is part of their Christmas present and they get one between them (we decided years ago that all Lego belongs to all, doesn't matter who got it for birthday or Xmas, once it's out of the box and built by the recipient, it's communal). Luckily 24 divides by 3 and they get to choose numbers in turn, we write their initial on the doors that correspond and they each get to open 8 doors across the month. Other 2 are always watching with great excitement to see what their brother will get each day.

      Reply
      1. zekesmom10 Dec 1, 2014

        We share one calendar amongst them all, also. Littlest punk gets to join this year and 24 divides easily by 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, or 12 kids. :D

        Reply
      2. Wallis Nov 10, 2014

        Do you maybe have instructions on how to make the Christmas tree?

        Reply
        1. Denis Ciobotar Nov 22, 2016

          Yep that is what I also need for the Christmas tree. I tried copying it and even bought the green pieces for it, but failed many times. It would be very, very helpful. Thank you!

          Reply
        2. donna Nov 13, 2014

          any ideas to make this a nativity type advent calendar ?

          Reply
          1. Shawndel Nov 14, 2014

            For the path to the gingerbread house, you could use a horse and put a girl mini figure riding on it. She goes through the path then at the end she arrives at the stable. You'd have to construct that and put a couple mini figures inside and a baby in a manger.

            Reply
          2. JJ Nov 14, 2014

            Soooooo happy you shared these ideas!!! My 8 year has been really, REALLY wanting to do a Lego Advent calendar this year.

            JJ
            www.dressupnotdown.blogspot.com

            Reply
            1. gina Nov 16, 2014

              3 Cheers for Legos and hand made Lego advent calendars. I have 2 boys, too, and have noticed myself pinning you and thinking of the fun we'd have! I've been making a handmade Lego calendar since the kids were small and had such fun doing this. I hope you have too! In fact, one of my very first Christmas posts ever was for a Lego Christmas Tree Advent Calendar, too!! What a fun coincidence! Have Fun. Happy Creating!

              Reply
              1. Sharon Jouret Nov 18, 2014

                I downloaded your advent Jesse's tree and somehow have trouble loading it. I received 1032 pages. Obviously something happened and the text was spread out with only a few words on many pages. Please help. I received a popup InstallX and downloaded that thinking it was needed to run the program. I have changed operating systems recently from Windows 8 to Windows 7 so I am trying to unlearn all I learned in Windows 8 in order to use the new one. Please advise.
                Sharon Jouret

                Reply
                1. TheBargainBabe Nov 25, 2014

                  These ideas are FANTASTIC! Like you I have seen the Lego store-bought Advent calendars and cringed at the price. I may try to do the build-a-set for this year. Thanks!

                  Reply
                  1. Sophie Nov 28, 2014

                    Great !!!
                    My younger daughter made one for his brothers : http://sophiebonheur.canalblog.com/archives/2014/11/28/31004250.html
                    thanks a lot for the idea ;)

                    Reply
                    1. Sarah Nov 28, 2014

                      Do you have more specific directions for the Decorate the Tree? I'd love to try it!

                      Reply
                      1. Sarah Nov 29, 2014

                        The tree is just a bunch of green 2 x 4 bricks. I don't have more specific instructions - we actually built it twice after a little person broke it (oops!) and it turned out a little different each time! I used a green flat piece on the bottom (4 x 8 or 4 x 12, I think) and then built up the tree from there.

                        Reply
                        1. Sarah Nov 29, 2014

                          Thanks! Could you post a pic front and back?

                          Reply
                      2. Jeb Nov 30, 2014

                        I am so frustrated with the name of your site. I refuse to share any of your ideas. Girls like to have fun too! Please reconsider changing the name. We don't need toys for girls or boys. Just toys for kids.
                        Thank You

                        Reply
                        1. Kristi Nov 30, 2014

                          I'm sure she's not prejudiced. She probably just only has boys. Sheesh! Calm down! There are too many real things to get offended by in life. This should DEFINITELY not be one of them!

                          Reply
                        2. Laura Nov 30, 2014

                          We've been building a new LEGO set during Advent for the last several years. My son looks forward to the new SRT each year and we like the tie in between building the set over 25 days and the anticipation of the season.

                          Reply
                          1. Charlise Grisham Dec 22, 2014

                            This is SO cute! I wish I would have seen this earlier. I have 5 boys who LOVE legos. We actually just went to Legoland yesterday. I will definitely have to create one of these for next year!

                            Reply
                            1. Stephanie Oct 11, 2015

                              Honestly, I bought a Lego advent calendar several years ago, and we use it again each year. When the calendar is all finished, I take each figure apart & wrap in it a small sandwich bag, tape the door shut with Scotch tape, and it's good for the next year. My kids enjoy reliving the calendar each year. "Who's going to get the hotdogs this year?"

                              Reply
                              1. Christine Nov 12, 2017

                                I really like your blog, but I find it frustrating that it isn't one I can look at with my boys due to the frequent "Victoria's Secret" ads. The mostly naked women are not a temptation our children need to be presented with. I would have loved to share your advent ideas with other moms, but cannot direct other parents to your site unless such ads are removed. I do appreciate the ideas you have and I mean this with all sincerity, I hope it is received well.

                                Reply
                                1. Sarah Nov 12, 2017

                                  Oh no! That is definitely not an ad that I want on my site! I don't choose the ads, and I don't necessarily see the same ones as my readers do. (And readers don't see the same things as each other.) I'll let my ad network know, and I'm sure they will block that ad! They are committed to family-friendly ads and definitely wouldn't want that type of ad on here.

                                  Reply

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