Last Updated on March 8, 2022
EDITOR’S NOTE: On March 2, 2022, Aldi recalled 13 single units of Bee Happy 12 Days of Crafts Advent Calendars due to the presence of lead in surface paint on a single item — a brown bell in the day 10 activity. Aldi states, “This is an extremely limited recall as only 13 units were sold in two stores in Alabama and California.” You can view the full Aldi recall press release here.
Aldi sells Advent calendars for all tastes and interests. If you like chocolate, Aldi sells three different 24-day chocolate Advent calendars. If you like wine or beer, Aldi has calendars for those. If you like cheese, Aldi sells a cheese calendar. If you have dogs or cats, Aldi has treat calendars for your furry friends. If you have kids who are into Paw Patrol, Barbie, Little People, Hot Wheels, or storybooks, Aldi has calendars for all of those interests as well.
A new calendar Aldi introduced for the 2020 holiday season is a craft calendar. It contains 12 days’ worth of easy craft projects for kids — or anyone who wants to create a little Christmas cheer — to make.
The Bee Happy 12 Days of Crafts Advent Calendar cost $12.99 during the 2020 holiday season.
This is not a traditional 24-day Advent calendar, but perhaps that’s for the best because some crafts take time, and it could be overwhelming to try to assemble 24 craft projects during the holidays, which are already notoriously busy for many people.
The crafts in this calendar are pretty straightforward and simple to do, even if you don’t consider yourself to be a crafty person. The box states the calendar is recommended for age 6 and older.
This calendar comes with the box of crafts, plus instructions in English and a separate instruction sheet in Spanish that are packaged inside the first day’s door. My two kids looked at the pictures of the crafts on the outside of the box ahead of time and decided who would do each craft.
We had to decide when we would open this calendar. Technically, the 12 days of Christmas run from December 25th to January 5th, but we wanted to enjoy these crafts during the time leading up to Christmas. We thought about opening one door each day from December 13th to December 24th, but ultimately we started opening doors on December 1st, ending on December 12th, so we could have more time to enjoy the results of our crafting endeavors during the season.
The crafts are packed into the box behind individual small perforated doors, and they are:
- A sand ornament kit, containing one ornament with topper, one ribbon, two containers of regular sand, one glitter sand, one funnel, and one wooden stick. This was the first craft door we opened, and this ornament turned out cute and looks good hanging in our tree.
- A snowman holiday puzzle kit, containing a 24-piece puzzle. This isn’t a craft, exactly, but the kids like it.
- A smushable Santa toy. Again, this isn’t a craft. It’s just a squishy toy, like a stress ball. But it’s cute and the kids enjoy it.
- A holiday velvet stickers kit, containing two velvet art stickers and three mini markers. My grade schooler enjoyed coloring these.
- A scratch ornaments kit, containing two scratch ornaments, two ribbons, and one scratch tool. This is your typical scratch art, where you use a small scraping tool to scratch colorful designs on black cardstock. My middle schooler liked doing this project.
- A holiday dig kit, containing one holiday dig block, one brush, and one digging tool. This kit consists of a large brick of dusty chalk-like material, and the kids chipped away at it to reveal a treasure: a tiny dog charm. While the charm is cute, we don’t have a necklace or bracelet chain or anything else to put it on, so it’s not really usable as it comes. The kids were disappointed by the charm’s small size relative to the size of the brick.
- A blendy beads craft kit, containing one peg board, 225 melty beads, and one ironing sheet. If you’ve ever used Perler beads, that’s what these are. You create a design with colored hollow plastic beads on a plastic spiked base, then place the base on an ironing board, place wax paper (the included “ironing sheet”) over it, and iron for a minute or two until the beads have melted together. Then flip the design over and repeat on the other side. We noticed that while the instruction sheet shows a picture of Santa as a sample craft idea, there weren’t enough beads in the appropriate colors (lots of red and white) to actually make Santa. My kids ended up just making random colorful designs and had fun with it.
- An ornament frame kit, containing one character frame, one ribbon, three paints, and one mini brush. This is a wooden ornament that looks like Santa or an elf, with a hole to insert a photo where the face is. My grade schooler enjoyed painting this.
- A llama Santa puzzle kit, containing a 24-piece puzzle. Similar to the Santa puzzle mentioned above, this isn’t really a craft, but the kids still had fun with it.
- A jingle bells jewelry kit, containing 20 round multicolored beads, two bells, and one cord. My kids enjoyed this craft, but it’s pretty basic as far as jewelry goes.
- A holiday suncatcher kit, containing one suncatcher shape, one ribbon, three paints, and one mini paintbrush. We got a snowman suncatcher in this kit, and it is cute. However, it doesn’t come with white paint for the snowman’s body, so we left that unpainted and only painted the snowman’s scarf, hat, broom, and nose, so we didn’t paint much.
- A Santa sleigh kit, containing one die-cut card, one paint, one sticker sheet, two popsicle sticks, and one paintbrush. This was the final day’s craft, and it was . . . different. First, the instructions say you need a small empty paper cup, which we didn’t have. Instead, I used an empty toilet paper roll. Then, you cut a hole in the top center area of the cup/roll (I’m not sure why) and then paint it with the included red paint. Next, glue some Popsicle sticks to the bottom of the cup/roll, and then apply the included stickers and glue on the die cut sleigh cards. My kids were lukewarm on this final craft, and I ended up finishing it myself.
By the end, the kids felt like this calendar started off well with fun projects like the sand ornament, but the various projects were a bit hit or miss.
For instance, there was the small dog charm inside the dig kit. We weren’t quite sure what to do with it, short of buying a separate necklace or bracelet to put it on. The charm was so small in proportion to the size of the brick it was in that we wondered if there were multiple charms or other pieces inside the brick, so my kids chipped away at it for a while even after finding the dog charm. However, that’s all they found.
Then there was also that final strange sleigh craft. It looks like this:
Overall, we had fun opening this calendar, and some of the crafts were fun. I’m not sure if this calendar is something we’ll purchase again.
The Bee Happy 12 Days of Crafts Advent Calendar features 12 different crafts (or toys or puzzles) behind 12 doors. Crafts include a layered sand ornament, suncatcher, an ornament painting kit, and some other items such as puzzles and a smushable Santa (like a stress ball) that does not require any crafting. My kids liked some of the crafts and were meh about others, so I’m not ready to declare it a new holiday tradition. We’re glad we tried this calendar, though.