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**Updated for 2022**
It seems crazy that I’m sitting down to write this post and that it’s already time to start thinking about Christmas! I swear time goes faster and faster every year. I’ve already begun buying gifts for the kids but I feel like stockings can be tricky for toddlers and younger kids. Babies get baby toys. Tweens and teens love gift cards, Bath and Body works etc. But the little kids are the prime target for tiny plastic JUNK. I REFUSE to purposefully bring it into my house let alone pay good money for it. BUT I love Christmas stockings… so here is my list of ideas of surprises to put in your little kids’ stockings that are still fun but also useful.
Character Bandaids are exciting because I REFUSE to buy them during the year. They get plain ones the rest of the year. Fair warning; prepare to have every invisible microscopic boo-boo require a bandaid for the next week lol. Shop here: https://amzn.to/2NuB709
Again, I spring for the fun ones I normally wouldn’t like light up timers or electric spin brushes. These have been surprisingly popular with my boys considering toothbrushes aren’t all that exciting. These PJ Mask ones were very popular with my kids last year. Shop here: https://amzn.to/3i4TcTB
I usually pick up crayons and markers when back to school stuff goes on super clearance in September. I prefer the Crayola Ultra-Clean because my little artists have an affinity for coloring on anything that ISN’T paper and they wipe off of everything! Seriously, I’ve cleaned them off of walls, carpet, cabinets, glass, upholstery, laminate floor- you get the idea. Shop here: https://amzn.to/2oSJbd5
My kids are really tough on paintbrushes so a new set with different sizes is usually a safe bet. We have this set and my kids have been happy with it. I might need to grab another set for this year since they don’t like to share.
Paint By Sticker
My boys love the Paint By Sticker books. They make a great winter break boredom buster and are good for fine motor skills. I usually put a holiday themed one in their stockings but you could also do regular ones. Shop here: https://amzn.to/3VjfAqB
There’s something about a fresh, new coloring book that is so fun! This is a fun, inexpensive way to indulge their interest in whatever character is their favorite this month.
Nerf Dart Refills
I feel like these are always getting lost. My older son shoots them to build fine motor hand strength so I like to keep plenty on hand. Shop here: https://amzn.to/3Vhofdc
My kids are obsessed with these. One pack lasts us forever since we only make 1-2 tsp at a time. These are the ones we use and I highly recommend them. They are great for fine motor work and sensory play!
Learning Games/ Flash Cards / Card Games
We have done some fun games over the years in stockings. My kids love UNO, Disney Eye Found It, SkipBro, and Monopoly. I just got my older son multiplication flashcards so I’m adding division ones to his stocking.
- Uno: https://amzn.to/3U4leM1
- Skip-bo: https://amzn.to/3tUjgDE
- Disney Eye Found It: https://amzn.to/3Xmh5Gi
- Monopoly: https://amzn.to/3EnxXne
- Multiplication: https://amzn.to/3tSvAnW
- Division: https://amzn.to/3gt56WQ
- Addition: https://amzn.to/3EQd5Xj
Step Into Reading Books
I love that these are leveled for where your child is at academically. They usually have popular character stories available and are the PERFECT size for stockings! For younger toddlers you can do board books. Shop here: https://amzn.to/3ABtZqj
KwikStix Paint Pens
My kids love slippers. We also celebrate 3 Kings Day so it’s good to have them for the Kings to leave their treat in them. I bought my kids these cute bear ones this year. Shop here: https://amzn.to/3m9blyv
Special Snacks Or Treats
This will vary depending on what your child likes and what your family eats. When I was a kid my mom always bought each of use a box of chocolate covered cherries because they were our favorite and it was the only time of year we got them. I remember how special that was. Jellybellies were also usually in there or one of the Lifesaver story books. I think the Harry Potter Every Flavor Beans would be fun, too. You could also do healthier treats like fruit leather or do like my mom did and put a whole fresh tangerine in the toe of the stocking every year. Did anyone else’s mom do that?
I know socks aren’t generally exciting for kids but by Christmas my kids are usually down several pairs. How the heck do they lose all their socks??? You can make it more exciting by buying “fun” socks with designs, characters, or colors.
Winter Hat and Mittens
Another set of items that perennially seems to be misplaced. A fun new hat or soft furry mittens are usually a good idea for kids like mine who lose them. I’m getting this Under Armour Beanie and glove set for each of my kids this year that’s on deal for under $14: https://mavely.app.link/e/sCsulGvZbvb
Shop Amazon here: https://amzn.to/3ABnIe2
I never buy ALL of these things for stockings (you would need a HUGE stocking!) but I usually include some combination of the things listed. Stockings don’t have to mean junk that takes over your house. Think about what your kids need then find a way to make it more fun! Necessity is the mother of invention. The younger your kids are, the less it takes to get them excited. I have to continually remind myself that the boxes are usually the favorite part of the present for little kids. It doesn’t take much to make the holidays magical; just keep your kids’ interests in mind and pick out things they’ll love! Let me know what you think of the list in the comments and tell me your ideas!
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