I made this advent calendar about 12 years ago. There are 25 symbols to match passages from the Old and New Testament alternating most days, with a symbol for each of the Sundays of Advent.
We started with hand drawn pictures that Tegan had drawn. One of the pictures shows the only remaining hand drawn picture. All the rest have been replace with cloth, wooden or other symbols. We originally used stories from a children's Bible. However a few years ago I added Bible passages to match each symbol. Later I chose & wrote one verse on calico for each day.
The children take turns in taking out the symbol for the day and reading the verse. Sometimes I add lollies or chocolates to some of the pockets for a surprise. By Christmas Day the calendar is coverd in all of the symbols.
Here is the order for this year:
Anchor - Hope - Jer 29:11-13 & 1 Tim 4:9-10
Dove & Ark - Noah's Arl - Gen 6:9-22; 7:11-16, 9:12-14
Angel - Angel Visits Zechariah - Luke 1:5-23
Stars - God's Promise to Abraham - Gen 15:1-6
Angel - Angel Visits Mary - Luke 1:26-38
Stone Altar - Abraham & Isaac - Gen 22:1-14
Peace Sign - Peace - Is 26:3 & Phil 4:6-7
Word "John" - Zechariah's Prophecy - Luke 1:57-66
Coat - Joseph - Gen 37:1-11, 12-13, 19-22, 25-27; 45:1-5; 50:19-20
Angel - Angel Visits Joseph - Matt 1:18-24
Baby in a Basket - Moses - Ex 1:22-2:10
Donkey - Travelling - Luke 2:1-5
Water - Through the Sea - Ex 14:1-31
Smiley Face - Joy - Ps 4:7 & Acts 16:34
Manger - No Room at the Inn - Luke 2:6-7
Tablet - 10 Commandments - Ex 20:1-17
Sheep - Luke 2:8-20
Harp - David - 1 Sam 16:1-13 & Ps 150
Church - Simeon Praises God - Luke 2:21-33
Barley - Ruth - Ruth 1:1-22
Heart - Love - Matt 22:36-40 & 1 Jn 4:16
Chest - "With Love at Christmas" by Mem Fox or another Christmas story
Bible - Isaiah - Is 9:6-7
Star - Wiseman - Matt 2:1-12
Birthday Cake - Happy Birthday Jesus!! - 1 John 4:9-10
Share a memory about using an advent calendar in the comments.