I have nothing against candy as treats around the various holidays. For my children's advent calendar though, I wanted to have something more than candy for them. So I thought it would be fun to put a few pieces of a jigsaw puzzle in each box so that they could add to the puzzle everyday from December 1st through the 24th. I really could not afford to put one toy for each of our three children in every box for 24 days, so this is an inexpensive alternative and a great non-candy option for those who want to avoid putting sweets in their children's advent calendar.
I bought this robot jigsaw puzzle at Target for under $5. It has 100 pieces, so I put 4 pieces in the first 23 boxes and then 8 in the very last box. If you have a single child who is younger, a 24-pieces puzzle would work out perfectly . . . one piece for each day.
If you would like to try this, the first thing you would need to do is to assemble the puzzle. Then you need to select pieces that all join together at some point to place in the first box. The second box would need to contain pieces that all join together, but also has at least one piece that connects to one of the pieces in the previous day's box. That way, your child can add to the puzzle everyday without having odd pieces that do not connect.
If my children enjoy this activity, I intend to make it a tradition and will select a new puzzle to include next year.
Click here for my DIY Advent Calender Tutorial