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Alternative Advent Calendar with Tonka Tiny Cars | AD

alternative advent calendar

Every time I think that Christmas is on the way I do have a slight panic! I swear I think every year I will never be ready but somehow I always am. The girls are getting really excited for the start of December, as of course this means advent calendars! Their Grandma made them a fabric one and it is pretty easy to slot in chocolate coins. I like the way that this is re-usable each year too. I think an alternative advent calendar is also fun too; not just chocolate! They can be healthier and just that little bit more exciting!

This year I was pretty thrilled to be asked to create an alternative advent calendar with Tonka Tiny Cars from Funrise International.  I love a bit of crafting with the girls and this would give us the perfect excuse.

Alternative Advent Calendar – Tonka Tiny

Tonka Tiny are all your favourite vehicles in miniature! Every free-wheeling vehicle is crafted with attention to detail and looks just like the real thing. Each car or truck comes with an individual garage to store your Tonka Tiny. You won’t know which vehicle you’re going to get until you open the garage. Exciting! You can collect them, as there are so many to collect.

They are aimed at aged 5 years and over.

Tonka Tiny are on sale at Asda, Ocado and on Amazon.

Creating our Advent Calendar – Step by Step

We were sent a number of Tonka Tiny Blind Garages (a surprise car in each one) and a some three-pack playsets and a fabulous kit to make an alternative advent calendar! It looked like we would have a lot of painting to do, and my eldest and I were pretty excited to get cracking.

alternative advent calendar

alternative advent calendar

The first step was to decide what colour acrylic paint we were going to use for each layer of drawers on the Christmas tree shaped alternative advent calendar. My eldest and I were choosing a row of drawers each and painting the front and sides of the drawer.

alternative advent calendar

This took us quite a while to work our way through all the drawers and paint them, choosing black, red, yellow and gold colours to paint the drawers. My eldest and I really enjoyed it. I love painting. It’s really therapeutic.

I thought we did quite a good job!

alternative advent calendar

We then decided we needed to paint the advent calendar itself. As it looks like a Christmas tree, green was of course the best colour. What was great about this was my other little girl could get involved, as she could paint the back. She loved it!

We then had the patient job of letting everything dry! The drawers were getting there and the advent calendar shell didn’t take too long.

The next step was the stick the numbers on the drawers and put them in the advent calendar shell. You can see some of the results of this below with the Tonka Tiny Cars ready to go in.

We then took the Tonka Tiny’s surprise garages and added them to the drawers, as well as opened the three packs and slotted the cars in too, ready for advent.

The Results

alternative advent calendar

The final step was to make a star for the top of our Christmas tree Tonka Tiny Alternative Advent Calendar. Luckily my middle girl had just made one at nursery that was perfect to stick on the top!

alternative advent calendar

We really enjoyed making our Alternative Advent Calendar. It was some relaxing crafting time for the girls and I and I always think lovely bonding time too.

We now can’t wait for advent to see which Tonka Tiny we will find in each drawer.

Disclosure – we were provided with the equipment and products and compensated for our time. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Alternative Advent Calendar


  1. November 18, 2019 / 7:52 am

    What a great idea. So cute to paint it yourself as well. It looks fab!

  2. November 18, 2019 / 4:24 pm

    Love it! I had every intention of making one this year, I fear I am running out of time. I saw one that was tiny metal buckets strung up on a chain and it looked so sweet. You guys did a great job!

  3. November 18, 2019 / 4:35 pm

    Ahhh it is lovely. I love homemade ones and you are right they are actually pretty simple to make and great that they can be re-used.

  4. November 18, 2019 / 4:43 pm

    Wow! Great post, can’t believe Tonka is still going, I remember them being popular when I was a kid.

  5. November 19, 2019 / 11:28 am

    what a trully fantastic idea !! and kids done a great job in creating advent callendar x

  6. November 19, 2019 / 11:41 pm

    I had a fabric embroidered Advent calendar my mum made my over thirty years ago. Being from Germany ‘Päckchenkalendar’ (parcel calendars) were part of our tradition, long before the trend caught on in the UK. As a kid, I was always the envy of my friends who at that time knew nothing other than chocolate calendars. My mum would start collecting bits of it in the new year, so by the time December came round again she was prepared.

  7. November 20, 2019 / 8:43 am

    Oh wow, the kids did a really good job with this advent calendar build

  8. November 20, 2019 / 5:29 pm

    Oh wow this is such a good idea and fun for kids – we often make our own but they have little paper expierences – so a day to the park etc

    Love this

    Laura x

  9. November 20, 2019 / 8:19 pm

    That looks fantastic and great that the whole family can get involved too

  10. November 24, 2019 / 10:22 am

    What a lovely idea it looks so fab I’ve never made one before!