We don't even do homemade Advent calendars *schnief*, but if we did ...
I like the idea of the treasure hunt. If every day, or every other day or one or two days a week, had a clue that (older) kids have to solve to find the real present, that could be twice as fun.
If I were the kind of admirable person who plans their holiday presents starting in October *not looking in the direction of solkar*, I might make a little mini-puzzle for every day or every other day. A little cryptogram, word search, anagram (Jumble), crossword, rebus, maze, matching picture comparison (spot the differences), connect-the-dots, color-by-numbers, trivia quiz ... Depending on the ages of the participants, it could be cross-generational fun, even involving some senior helpers (this year) by video chat.
On the other hand, just an edible treat every day has something to be said for it, for any age.
For those with memory issues or dementia, I wonder if old photos would be good at all, or if that might be too upsetting. Maybe even a little note 'from' the person in the photo (living or dead), with a warm wish? 'She can't be here today, but she's thinking of you'?
Or another idea for memory is songs. An iPod or similar device, and inexpensive headphones, with one or two new favorite old songs added every day? And maybe a sheet of lyrics to sing along, and a symbol or picture to associate with it?
Or just some cuddly toys, or dolls. One baby-like doll, with lots of clothes and accessories? In my dad's memory care center, dolls were a big hit for maternal women.
Or some small plants, that will grow if you water them? Orchids? Supermarket Christmas cactuses?
Battery-operated tealight 'candles,' that could be put in windowsills, on nightstands, or in an Advent wreath on a table?
Sorry, just thinking out loud.
All the craft ideas are so entertaining to read about. (-: