Which brand does the best kids' advent calendars? Our junior tasters open doors to find out... 

from top left: Hotel Chocolat Up to Snow Good; Like No Udder; Haribo; Dairy Milk; Kinnerton Marvel Avengers 
Five discerning youngsters taste this years advent offering to sort the gimmick from the glorious 

Advent calendars have come a long way since 1971, when Cadbury first launched its chocolate version. These days, children and adults alike are spoilt for choice as shelves are lined with calendars boasting beauty products, toys and gadgets – often with a price tag to match.

But even with the growing interest in the luxury varieties, sales of chocolate calendars have grown by 45 per cent in five years. Opening a window each day and finding something small to scoff before school is a tradition still very much alive, and the modern offerings reveal sweets, popcorn, quizzes and games, too.

This week, our team of junior tasters jump the gun by a couple of weeks (with permission from Mum and Dad), to track down the best for December.

Read our guide on the best advent calendars for 2019.

Our expert tasters: Henry (10), Eve (7), Martha (9), Millie (6), Sam (10)

Cadbury Dairy Milk

£2 for 90g, Ocado

 "Looks Christmassy, smells like chocolate, tastes like goodness" – Sam 

"It looks Christmassy and it tastes so good I love it - very chocolatey" – Martha

"I like it because it's got a smiley Father Christmas. Tastes milky" – Millie

Hotel Chocolat Up to Snow Good

£8,  Hotel Chocolat

"It looks fun and there is a nice design on the chocolates" – Henry

"I love the penguin design, and it smells good – this is my favourite" – Martha

"I like the big chocolate in number 24 but it's not the best chocolate" – Eve

Kinnerton Marvel Avengers Calendar

£2.49,  Ocado

"This would be nice for younger kids, maybe" – Sam

"Looks nice on the outside, but I thought it would be more Marvel characters on the chocolate" – Martha

"I quite like how it 
looks, but it tastes 
nutty. It’s not nice" – Millie

Mr Jelly Belly

£15 for 240g,  Debenhams

"Perfect! I love jelly beans" – Henry

"In this one I would like mixed flavours in the packets, not just one flavour each day" – Martha

"It's Christmassy, and I loved the toasted marshmallow flavour" – Millie 

Play in Choc

£55 , Play in Choc

 "I like the way it looks"– Henry

"I really like the animals toys, but it's too expensive" – Martha 

"I just want to make the toys and play with the drawers" – Millie

from top left: Percy Pig; Jelly Belly; Lindt Bear; Play in Choc (bottom right); NoNo Cocoa Lux 

Nono Cocoa Lux Vegan Advent Calendar

£18, Yumbles

"It doesn't look the best because it's not very fun. The 24 should be bigger and it's not" – Eve

"I can taste coffee-ish flavour in here" (she had mulled wine flavour)  – Millie

 Haribo

£6, Ocado

"This is good for me because I like sweets more than chocolate" – Henry

"I like the treats 
and the picture of 
a toy factory" – Sam 

"Not as special as I thought it was going to be but tastes really good" – Eve

Montezuma Like No Udder

 £8.99 from Ocado

"It looks plain but good, I like the illustrations" – Henry 

"Not for me" – Martha

"The chocolate is too dark, not nice for children" – Millie 

BRONZE: Percy Pig

£5,  available in store at Marks & Spencer

"It looks sweet, smells creamy, chocolate is too thick, good surprise at the end!" – Henry

"I like how it has a little activity on the back, smells nice and I like the chocolate and that it has number 25, too" – Martha

"A nice thing, tastes amazing and I like the big bag of Percy pigs at the end" – Eve

SILVER: Lindt Bear

£10, Ocado

"The chocolate is amazing; it tastes creamy and milky" – Martha

"This is really nice 
and has a BIG chocolate 
in number 24. It tastes creamy – so good" – Eve 

"Looks Christmassy because of the wreath on the door and it's red – 24 has a bear!" – Millie

GOLD: Smarties 3D

£10 for 227g, Tesco

"This is my favourite. I like the design, but I think number 24 should have been at 
the top of the castle" – Sam 

"Looks amazing! The quiz is really cool and I like that there is a mix of chocolates and boxes in it" – Martha 

"I like the castle and the cute animals"  – Millie