I have this old card re-usable advent calendar from my childhood. My mum used to stuff it with all sorts of little gifts for me, hankies, hair slides, bobbles, underwear, miniature stationery, costume jewellery as well as the usual sweets.
We've ended up with three of these, two from my childhood - this one has seen better days so my parents replaced it but I couldn't part with the original. I bought our Little Miss a wooden one last year. So that's one for me, one for him and one for the little one.
I racked my brains of what to put in hubbys and I think I came up with a genius idea.
I got him a small lego kit and opened it up. I put all the pieces in the order they are added to the model and packed them into the calendar in that order, with the instructions on the last day!
He gets the little lego figure on the first day to give him a clue of what the vehicle is. Then the pieces slowly build up. It's kept him out of mischief every breakfast time!!
I love the fact that they end up with a decent toy they'll appreciate instead of a big pile of little insignificant things that take ages to think up.
You could also do this with a little jigsaw puzzle or what about a craft kit. Imagine a cross stitch pattern on the first day with fabric on the second and each day a new skein of cotton.