I wrote a bit about our DIY advent calendar last year, but if you're after more inspiration, here's my twopenneth for 2016
We have a lovely patchwork calendar from Rice DK, which has brass ring to hang things from. Anything that's too big to hang on the calendar will be tucked in a pretty gingerbread box from Tiger. If something is a bit more conceptual then I write it on a gift tag and hang that instead - great for day trips, like going to pick out the Christmas Tree. If there's time to kill I'll make her a treasure map so she can run round the garden and discover that day's surprise for herself. If you don't have a calendar don't be put off - you can always hang gifts from a long branch or inside decorated boxes.
Something to do... From craft projects to days out, I've planned out the calendar to include plenty of "doing" things on weekends and during the holidays, from an ice skating escapade to making a Gingerbread House or Christmas Cards (boy, does my daughter ever love making cards).
Something to bake... This year I'm including all the ingredients, ready weighed, for a simple Rocky Road. I'm also thinking of making some coconut ice together, which is pretty easy. For those that don't really like to cook then just try some corn for popping or a bag of marshmallows for toasting or melting in hot chocolate.
Something silly... I head to Tiger, Paperchase and Charity Shops for the bulk of things. My aim is to spend as little as possible, but find a good cross section of gifts such as early reading books, trinkets, notebooks, toys and stickers.
Something to give back... I'm trying to counter all the rampant consumerism with a bit of giving. On one day we're going to exchange five unloved toys for one new, then we'll deliver the five toys to a local charity. We're also going to do a special shop for the Food Bank, getting some holiday treats and toiletries for people who are having a challenging time this year. Instagram's own, very lovely @emmiekhall had some fabulous thoughts, "Newborn clothes for the maternity ward, boxes of biscuits for the emergency services, leaving an anonymous gift on someone's doorstep. Women's refuge centres are always shirt of baby things, such as nappies and toiletries." She also suggests a gift for feathered friends; a bird feeder, which you can just so happen to find instructions for here.
Next year I'm tempted to do an entire Book Calendar as I hope her reading will be coming along. by then. Beyond that, I've seen pretty charm bracelets that can be broken into 24 parts and whole Lego kits and puzzles - This is one tradition I'd love to keep going and growing so do get in touch if you have any ideas for older kids!