THERE'S a dazzling array of advent calendars on offer these days - from the picture-only examples of old to the chocolate delights and the all-singing, all-dancing toy bonanzas we see today.

So just which advent calendar do you pull out for your kids on December 1?

If you want to avoid tears of disappointment for yourself and your offspring - take a look at our pick of the best children's advent calendars for this year.

1. Best for making magic

This unique Christmas day countdown is a storybook following Santa as he reveals the magic of his North Pole village.

Each day is a new page with magical illustrations and the next step in discovering the magic world of the Elves.

There's games you can play along with and, best of all, a special code inside the book lets you unlock a personalised Christmas video message from Santa on Christmas Eve.

Redditch Advertiser:

Portable North Pole Twenty-Four Sleeps 'til Santa Christmas Storybook - £10, John Lewis

2. Best for budget

It's the most expensive time of the year.

Luckily, Morrisons has a range of 94p Calendars, featuring kids' favourites from Transformers, Paw Patrol to My Little Pony and Peppa Pig.

These are bound to delight little ones - and bargain hunters alike.

Redditch Advertiser:

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Kidderton Advent Calendars - 94p, Morrison's

3. Best for big kids

It’s back to Jakku with this Star Wars themed calendar, with minifigures, starships, vehicles and more behind each of the doors so you can have something new to play with each day.

By Christmas, you'll have your own playmat and figures - giving you all the ingredients you need to send your imagination soaring to the ‘star killer base’ and the galaxy beyond.

Redditch Advertiser:

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar - £24.99, The Entertainer

4. Best for kids with a sweet tooth

If you would rather find sweets than chocolate behind the doors, then this Haribo advent calendar is for you. It brings together a mixture of fruit and cola flavour chewy sweets, marshmallows, liquorice and gums.

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Haribo Advent Calendar - £7, Amazon

5. Best for toys to play with

Playmobil has been a classic child’s toy for many years.

This year they have launched their own 72 piece toy calendar.

Each door is a new part of Santa and his snowy farm, with a variety to collect from farm animals to a boy with his tractor.

Redditch Advertiser:

Playmobil Advent Calendar - £19.99, John Lewis

6. Best 'free from' option

This Moo Free calendar offers a dairy-free, gluten-free, wheat-free alternative to a chocolate calendar suitable for vegetarians and vegans as well.

Redditch Advertiser:

Moo Free Advent Calendar - £3, Asda

7. And, last but not least, one for the dog

Obviously chocolate is not the best option for your four-legged friends, but there are plenty of advent calendars offering doggie treats that will do the trick.

Redditch Advertiser:

Armitage Good Boy Advent Calendar for Dogs - £2, Sainsbury's