It’s that time of year again. Santa’s Mama elves are scurrying through store aisles, trying to imagine how well each item will fit in their child’s stocking. We pulled together a list of go-to ideas that might help for baby to pre-school – though most ideas work for any age!
Toiletries are always great stocking stuffers, and the one time of year we buy the fun stuff.
- Funky toothbrush: the banana brush for infants, favourite characters for older kids – and even the adults!
- Funky toothpaste: one year we bought ‘personalize your own’ tunes that doubled as an afternoon craft!
- Character band aids. We often pick up fun tins at Freak Lunchbox or other shops that sell specialized treats.
- Bubble bath or other bath time goodies.
- Bath toys make a great gift at any age. Some of our favourites have been stacking cups, a spinning water wheel (we have some big stockings!), and water squirters from Boon that come apart for cleaning.
Snacks are a must-have for stockings, in my opinion. But no need to pile on the chocolates and candies (unless you want to!). Here are some alternatives we use.
- For the little ones, a tube of puffs is great fun – and helps fill a lot of space! Pringles work great for the older crowd.
- Mini boxes of cereal are a great treat!
- We don’t regularly buy lunch snacks from the store, and steer clear of the character ones when we do, so come Christmas it’s a huge deal to have Finding Dory gummies or Star Wars fruit roll ups appear! Younger kids might enjoy small packs of animal crackers and other teething-type treats with fun designs.
- Snackable sizes of kids’ favourites – in our house, mini bottles of jam, gift-sized balsamic vinegar, popcorn seasoning, and hot chocolate mix are all on the list! Squeezable baby food packets are perfect for the littlest hands.
- Reusable snack bags with favourite characters, funky sandwich cutters, and cool utensils have found their way into our stockings. Fun bibs and drool bandanas for the littlest ones!
Toys seem like the easiest option, which is why they can sometimes be the hardest! A lot depends on how much room you have to fill – and how much you want to spend. Here are a few of the gifts that have had the best reaction in our home.
- For the littlest ones, a fun chewy toy like Sophie the Giraffe looks great stocking out the top of a stocking! For the slightly older crowd, a mini plush toy works great.
- Glow sticks are lots of fun (once you’re past the put-everything-in-my-mouth phase) and you can often find ones with Christmassy toppers, too!
- Glider planes can be fun for young and old.
- Creativity builders – colouring books, finger paints, PlayDoh, Crayola Mess Free kits, Melissa & Doug crayons in fun cases, reusable sticker pads, etc.
- Finger puppets!
- Water bottles have become a traditional stocking stuffer in our home – and always a hit with the kids!
- Musical instruments can be a great stocking stuffer. Wooden maracas, recorders, a silly microphone that changes your voice, a harmonica – lots of options for all ages!
- Flashlights can be practical or fun; we’ve had large preschool-friendly ones, proper camping ones, and Batman signal ones! We’ve also found the little ones you attach to your fingers to provide hours of fun!
- Mini books can be found for all ages, from little sets of board books to pocket Robert Munsch to adult ones with inspirational quotes or funny comics.
- Ornaments are an annual stocking gift for a lot of families – just consider making sure it’s non-breakable!
What are the go-to stocking stuffers in your family? Share in the comments below!