[AD] How to Make Your Own Toy Advent Calendar with Tonka Tinys

When it comes to Christmas trends, toy advent calendars seem to be the next big thing. They're the perfect non-food alternative for children who have allergies or simply don't like chocolate (a category that the boys definitely don't fall into!) but what if the shops don't sell an advent calendar that features your little one's favourite toy?

Well, we decided that the answer was to make our own!

If you've read our recent post then you'll know just how much the boys love construction vehicles so choosing a theme for our advent calendar took no time at all. The trickiest part was deciding exactly which toys to use for it - they needed to be small enough to fit inside little boxes and varied enough for each one in the calendar to be different. We did a bit of research and eventually discovered the perfect toys - Tonka Tinys!

As the name suggests, Tonka Tinys are a fun range of collectable mini vehicles. There are loads of different types to collect - as well as construction vehicles, you can get police cars, fire engines, school buses, bin lorries, monster trucks and more.

Tonka Tinys are sold in packs of three or as individual blind packs. In both packs, each vehicle comes with a garage that can be used for imaginative play or to simply store them in as you build up your collection. The best part is that these little garages are just the right size to be a stocking filler or, in our case, to fill up a DIY advent calendar!

The boys had so much fun making theirs, so if you fancy doing a bit of festive crafting too then we'll show you how to make your very own Tonka Tinys advent calendar in 7 easy steps:

You will need:
  • 24 Tonka Tinys vehicles
  • 24 sheets of coloured A4 card
  • 1 sheet of A4 paper
  • 1 sheet of A3 sized cardboard
  • 1 sheet of numbered stickers
  • PVA glue or Pritt Stick
  • Coloured acrylic paints
  • Paint and glue brushes
  • Paint and glue pots
  • Safety scissors
  • Pencil

Step 1.
Paint your sheet of A3 card in any colour or pattern you like (the boys chose gold because it looked like "sparkly mud for the vehicles to drive through!") This will form the base of your advent calendar so it doesn't have to be too neat. Once you're happy with your design, set it to one side and leave to dry.

Step 2.
Print out the outline of a box (we've created a handy template for you to download and print from here!) and carefully cut it out. This will form a stencil to make your boxes with.

Step 3.
Use a pencil to draw around the template onto a coloured sheet of A4 card. Again, you can use any colour you like but we went for construction vehicle colours to match our theme.

Step 4.
Cut around the outline then fold along the dotted lines (shown on the original template) to form a box shape.

Step 5.
Glue along the tabs to stick your box together, but make sure you leave one side open so that you can put a toy in (and take it out again!) Repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 until you have 24 finished boxes.

Step 6. 
Add a number to each box using your sheet of numbered stickers then glue the boxes onto your A3 board (which should now be dry!) in a random order.

Step 7. 
Now it's time to add the toys! Open each door and place the Tonka Tinys inside. We used a mixture of single blind garages and packs of three (which we opened up and split the vehicles between different boxes). It's slightly easier and more cost effective to use the multipacks but personally I love the idea of adding an extra element of surprise by using the blind boxes!

So there we have it - our festive creation is all ready to go and the boys can't wait to start opening the doors (especially since they still don't really know what's inside!)

If you don't already then follow us on Instagram where we'll be revealing what's behind the doors every day throughout December on our Stories.

Tonka Tinys are aimed at children age 5+ and are available as single vehicles (RRP: £1.99) or three packs (RRP: £4.99). You can find these, along with a range of Tonka Tinys accessories and playsets, in ASDA stores or online at Amazon and Ocado.

Disclaimer: This is a paid post written in collaboration with Funrise International. All views expressed within this post and across social media are our own.

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