200+ Unique Stocking Stuffers For Kids From Babies to Teens (That Aren’t Junk!)
Stocking Stuffer ideas for kids of all ages...with no junk in sight!
Greetings! We’re so glad you’ve landed on one of our incredible 2017 What Moms Love Gift Guides for Kids. If you’re in the midst of frantically searching for the perfect toy for your child (or niece, or nephew, or friend’s kid, or…well, you get the picture) you can breathe a sigh of relief, because this is where you’ll find it. The gift that will not only get gasps of excitement when opening, but one that won’t be relegated to the bottom of a deep, dark storage bin.
Now this particular guide is a little different, because instead of focusing on one of your child’s interests (like we do in our Gift Guides for Builders, Car/Truck Junkies, Princess and Doll Lovers) we’re looking at stocking stuffer gifts that cover a range of interests – from toys to tech.
Stockings are usually the first taste of Christmas for your child – they’re the first thing they open, and they’re often so excited that they’ll think anything you’ve stuck in there is pretty darn awesome. But often it’s just “filler” that they won’t ever really use or play with, and if it gets thrown out with the wrapping paper they’d be none the wiser.
So we’ve taken a slightly different approach to our stocking stuffer recommendations. There’s no knick-knacks, and no flimsy plastic junk that will end up at the bottom of a toy bin. Only items that are under-the-tree-worthy, but are small enough to nestle right into that stocking. And we hope there’s tons of ideas you’ve never thought of before (don’t you love it when you come across some great new ones?!).
We’ve organized our recommendations by age so scroll through to the section that best fits your child. But do make sure to take a peek at the others because many of the gifts are appropriate for multiple age groups.
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*recommended ages are from manufacturers
Stocking Stuffers For Babies + Toddlers Age 0-3
Fun Pacifier: If your little one can’t live without a pacifier (and you can’t either!), get a fun, specialty one like the cuddly WubbaNub (available in a variety of different animals), or go for laughs with the Mustachifier!
Teether: A good teether can make life much smoother for your baby and you (especially over the Holidays!). Learn more about the 10 teethers that got our top ranking, including the one you see here from Sugar Booger.
Lovey: If your baby has yet to find a special lovey, may we suggest the simple but oh-so-cuddly ones from Angel Dear (editor’s note: My kids still cling to their Angel Dear lovies…we gave them several different options and all 3 of them favored these ones…not quite sure what the magic ingredient is, but I highly recommend giving them a try).
JellyCat Stuffed Animal: You’re sure to find your child’s favorite animal du jour with Jellycat’s super soft 7” collection.
Ice Pack Holder: For when boo boos strike – stick your ice pack into a Boo Boo Zoo animal and it’s an instant tear-stopper that is soft on their skin.
Sleep Sheep On-The-Go: A smaller version of the award-winning original Sleep Sheep, this cuddly travel version has 4 soothing sounds to help your child calm their body and fall asleep easier. The handy Velcro strap attaches to strollers or car seats for total convenience.
Jellycat Soft Cloth "Tails" Books: Babies simply LOVE these soft and squishy cloth books which feature bright colors, whimsical drawings and lots of fun, textured animal tails. There’s over 10 different variations – from Dinosaurs to Puppies to Farm animals – all of which babies find completely fascinating. This is a great book to keep them occupied in the car seat, stroller or anywhere on-the-go.
Hohner 4 Piece Baby Band: This is one of the best starter music sets for babies and includes a mini Rainbow Shaker, Baby Maraca, Baby Rattle, and Cage Bell. Rock on!
B. Fun Keys: You know how your little one is always pining for your keys? Well the B. Fun Keys are the solution. This super fun and realistic set includes fun lights and sounds and are made from safe plastics and stainless steel. And if they lose them, you won’t have to call AAA.
Finger Puppets: We have fallen in love with these hand-stitched felt finger puppets from Cheryl A Smith, and your littles will too. Our favorite is the Itsy Bitsy Spider trio featuring a happy sun, grumpy cloud and not-so-scary spider.
Stacking Cups: These 8 colorful stacking cups from Green Sprouts fit together for easy storage, but can be turned upside down to form a tall tower. They’re also great for the bath and are BPA and PVC free.
Pacifier/Toy Clip: This genius product keeps your baby from dropping (and re-dropping) their pacifier, favorite toy or snack cup over and over again. Simply loop one side to the item, and clip the other onto their clothing, a bib, stroller or car seat.
ARTS + CRAFTS
Handprint Ornament Kit: Create a unique ornament for next season’s tree with Pearhead’s Baby Hand or Footprint Kit, and have a touching reminder of your child’s growth year after year. Super easy to make with no mixing involved, hurrah!
Melissa & Doug Water Wow Books: The Water Wow books from Melissa and Doug’s “On The Go” line are the perfect beginner “painting” books. Fill up the special pen with water, and reveal beautiful colors underneath each page. Your child feels like they’re really painting, but there’s no mess or clean-up. Once the water dries, the colors magically disappear so they can use them over and over again (editor’s note: we must have done our Water Wow books over a 100 times, my kids love them. Great for travel too!)
Fun Crayons: A great introductory crayon for kids (recommended 12+ months) who are just starting to work on their grip are these Palm-Grip Crayons, while older toddlers (recommended 3+) think these Twistable ones are pretty dang cool as they feel much more grown-up then their regular Crayolas.
Dot A Dot Art Markers: Paint without the mess – yes please! These washable Dot A Dot Markers are universally loved by toddlers (and parents).
Doodle Pro: Slip this Fisher-Price Doodle Pro in your purse for “waiting moments” like at restaurants or in shopping carts. A total lifesaver!
My First Brain Quest: This set of questions and answer cards encourage your toddler to develop learning and conversational skills. The questions come in picture form, and you do the asking – they’re great for helping your child identify everyday objects and animals, and the perfect size to slip in your bag to use as a waiting game at restaurants!
Learning Resources Helping Hands Fine Motor Tool Set: This set of 4 fun tools are a wonderful addition to sensory play, and all develop your child’s fine motor skills. Use them with water tables, playdoh, kinetic sand and more.
Mudpuppy My ABCs Ring Flash Cards: Have fun teaching your young’uns their ABCs with these gorgeous whimsical Flash Cards on a reclosable ring.
Mini Puzzles: We’re big fans of anything from Floss & Rock, and this beautiful puzzle set of Matching Pairs is the perfect petite size for slipping into a stocking. That being said, the pieces are big enough for little hands to grasp and kids love the colorful illustrations. Available in Unicorn and Car designs.
We also love these wooden mini-puzzles packs from Melissa & Doug – not only are they great introductory puzzles for your tot, but they come in a storage box that’s perfect for taking on the road.
Teeny Tiny Books: These miniature book sets from innovativeKids are the perfect size for popping into a stocking, and for your tot to start exploring the literary world. You get 10 books in a fun stacked tower, and everything is made from 98% recycled materials. The pages are thick and rounded so little ones can turn them all by themselves, and at only 4” they’re super easy to hold.
Holiday Themed Books: It’s always fun to add to your child’s holiday-themed book collection so you can pull them out year after year. Some of our favorites for this age group include:
- Ilama Ilama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney
- The Mitten by Jan Brett
- Dear Santa by Rod Campbell
- Elmo’s 12 Days of Christmas by Sarah Albee
- Is it Christmas Yet? by Jane Chapman
- Ten on the Sled by Kim Norman and Liza Woodruff
- Peppa Pig and the Lost Christmas List by Candlewick Press
- Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner
- Duck & Goose. It’s Time for Christmas! by Tad Hills
- Little Blue Truck’s Christmas by Alica Schertle
- Where is Baby’s Christmas Present? by Karen Katz
- Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson
TruKid Bubble Podz: We’re obsessed with these TruKid Bubble Podz which are made with natural ingredients for a chemical-free tub full of bubbles – hurrah!
Bib with Sleeves: Save yourself a few extra loads of laundry with Kushie’s Waterproof Bib with Sleeves – perfect for art projects or those extra messy meals (yes tomato sauce we mean you).
Wipeable Travel Bib: Alternatively, grab some of our favorite Bibs2GO from Crocodile Creek – not only do they have some super cute designs, but you get 2 easy-clean, wipeable bibs (with tug-proof Velcro!) and a little travel pouch to tuck them in for when you’re on-the-go.
Snack Catcher: Say goodbye to Cheerios at the bottom of your stroller seat with the Munchkin Snack Catcher. Little hands can reach in, but the lid seals up while they munch.
Sippy Cup: We highly recommend the Zoli cup – with a weighted straw, your child can suck up every last drop, it’s easy to clean (no valves) and it’s BPA and Phthalate free.
FASHION + ACCESSORIES
Cute Knee Socks: Keep your tot warm and looking insanely adorable with these knee-high animal socks. Those little foxes are just to die for.
Drool Bibs: We featured these incredible Copper Pearl Bandana Bibs in our 10 Unique New Baby Gifts post for their soft, absorbent cotton, adjustable snap closure and stunning, modern designs. Perfect for keeping a teething baby’s clothes dry, while looking stylish to boot!
Freshly Picked Leather Moccasins: We totally adore the soft soles of Freshly Picked moccasins for emerging walkers (and even for babies just to look gosh darned cute). They come in a variety of different colors and patterns, so take your pick.
Zutano Booties: …or for something a little cozier, try one of our favorite go-to gifts for babies, the incredible Zutano booties. These booties never fall off and come in a multitude of colors and fabrics (and now with sole grips!)
Magnificent Baby Smart Mittens: One of the best baby mittens we’ve found for staying on little hands. And they have Magnificent Baby’s special magnets integrated inside them so they snap together when not in use!
Magnificent Baby Smart Hat: These warm and cozy fleece hats turn your child into the cutest little bear, and stay put thanks to the magnetic closure chin strap.
stocking stuffers for kids age 4-7
ARTS + CRAFTS
Color-A-Crown: we featured the Color-A-Cape in our Non-Toys Creativity Gift Guide, but this Color-A-Crown is the perfect size for slipping into their stocking. Kids can color in the black and white designs to make it their own, but when inspiration strikes again, just throw it in the washing machine and they can start from scratch (available in Pirate or Princess).
Sticker Books: Kids in the 3-5 age range are at the perfect age for stickers. We love the First 100 Words Sticker Book which helps with vocabulary and shape recognition (they have to match the stickers to corresponding outlines). We also dig the Sticker Activity ABC book which follows a similar format, but the words are grouped by letter.
And if you’re just looking for a whole lot o’ stickers that your child can use any way they so please, the 1000 Stickers line gives you a lot of bang for your buck (versions include: For Girls, For Boys, Things That Go, and Animals) and the Peaceable Kingdom Scratch and Sniff Stickers are super fun for trading or, errr, sniffing.
Walkie Chalkie: The Walkie Chalk “Stand Up” Sidewalk Chalk Holder is a super fun adjustable chalk holder that will let your kids draw while standing up. This makes it far easier for kids to create road systems, hop scotch and creative designs on driveways, sidewalks and pathways. To see how we put it to use to create a massive scooter/bike driveway course and cool Cozy Coupe town, check out 101 Genius Sidewalk Chalk Ideas.
Smencils: A perfect gift for getting your kids to pick up a pencil and start their homework. Smencils are the gourmet-scented pencils (with fun smells like Sour Apple, Cupcake, and Rainbow Sherbet) that keep their yummy aroma for 2 years! For the stocking, try the 5-pack of Holiday Smencils with scents like Candy Cane and Gingerbread.
Washable Markers: If your house is anything like ours, you’ve got tons of dried-up markers lying around. Get your kids excited to draw again with a fresh pack of fun (and washable) colors. We love the Pip-Squeaks from Crayola.
Colored Pencils: A beautiful set from Prismacolor will keep them going all through their school years (these ones are even erasable!), or if you can’t handle the sharpening, try the Crayola Twistables which don’t require any!
Eco-Dough: Our kids can’t get enough of the eco-dough from eco-kids – it’s super soft and moldable, and comes in great containers where they can actually scoop it out themselves. Plus it’s handmade from all natural ingredients. This Holiday 2-Pack will fit a stocking perfectly, or throw in a few from the larger 5-pack with our favorite small set of dough tools.
Kwik Stix: These solid tempura painting sticks are nothing short of genius – now your kids can paint without any set-up or mess involved. Just twist up the Stix and use it as your paintbrush – the colors come out bold and smooth and dry almost instantly. No more brushes to clean, and they can be used on paper, cardboard or even wood (although hopefully not on your furniture!). We tested a few spots on clothing and it washed right out. Check out the Thin version for older kids and the fun Metallic and Neon colors. Kids go crazy for these!
Secret Message Pen: These invisible ink pens are super fun for your kids to write secret messages back and forth that can only be read using the UV light on the pen cap!
Melissa & Doug On-the-Go Books: The whole series of these On-The-Go arts and crafts books are high-quality fun. We’re partial to the Scratch Art, Secret Decoder and Foil Art for this age group, but browse through and find the ones that will best resonate with your child…you can’t go wrong!
Wikki Stix: These bendable self-stick wax sticks can be joined together to create fun 3D sculptures or 2D designs, and then taken apart to reuse. Wikki Stix are perfect for using at restaurants while you wait for your food (you’ll find yourself playing with them too!) or pair them with their letter cards for an educational activity.
Kinetic Sand: Kids can’t help but be mesmerized by this squeezable sand, and this smaller-sized container is great for stockings.
Fancy Edge Scissors: This 6-pack of Fancy Edge Scissors makes a great addition to your child’s arts and crafts supplies.
Finger Printing Art Set: These adorable little tin cases come packed with everything needed to make incredible fingerprint art…well, except maybe the fingers. You get 10 colored pencils, 3 ink pads, and fun stamps that add elements like legs, arms, ears, wings, spikes and other features to your creations. They come in a variety of themes including Dinosaur, Fairytales, Farmyard, Monsters and Fairies.
Sun Art Paper: Set any object on top of this special Sun Art paper in bright sunlight and after you rinse it in water, a film-like image will appear. Kids love experimenting with it using flowers, leaves, and their favorite toys.
Brickstix: If you have a Lego lover, they’ll go wild for BrickStix – reusable stickers that can add details and fun accents to their Lego creations. They’re easy to take off (no sticky residue) and come in tons of different themes like Home, Fairy Tales, Rescue, Special Forces and more. Grab the Stix Storage book too so they have a place to organize their stickers when not in use.
Mini Seedling Kit: We can’t get enough of the high-quality and well thought out arts and crafts sets from Seedling. Their mini Mermaid and Pirate ones are great for stockings, and after they’ve been assembled and decorated, make a great addition to a doll house or pirate ship. Check out Seedling's whole selection and you’re bound to find one you’ll want to put under the Tree as well.
Perler Beads: We’re big fans of Perler Beads – they’re a super fun way for your kids to practice their fine motor skills, and learn how to follow a pattern. Once the beads are in place, mom or dad can iron them to secure the beads together.
32 Ways to Dress A…: This may just be the cutest thing your kids will get in their stocking this year – a miniature book full of the animal of your choosing, just waiting to be “dressed”. Creative juices will flow as they discover 32 Ways to Dress A…Dog, Cat, Fox, Pig, Bear or Bunny!
Travel Spirograph: Your kids can create stunning designs in the palm of their hand with the miniature version of the classic Spirograph. Bring this one with you for car rides, travel and waiting at the Doctor’s office.
Balloon Animal Kit: The easy to follow instructions of this Balloon Animal Kit will have you and your kids creating dogs, fish and monkeys out of balloons in no time. Also comes with a nifty pump that makes blowing them up much easier!
Airplane Making Kit: The Fold ‘n Fly kit teaches kids how to make 6 different kinds of planes, and includes fun paper, stickers and a folding tool. These fly really far and are great fun for kids to compete against one another once they’re done folding.
Boogie Board Jot 4.5: The smallest of the Boogie Board line-up, the Jot 4.5 is the perfect size for on-the-go fun. Your kids can use the attached stylus to play games, write notes or draw on the LCD screen – and when they hit the erase button, the screen is instantly cleared. Kids love these!
Melissa & Doug Family Dinner Box of Questions: Every family should own this box of fun, thought-provoking questions that can be asked around the dinner table. Our kids beg us to bring out the “question box” at meal times – they love answering the questions like "Describe a perfect weekend", "What do you like most about the person on your right?" or "Would you rather spend the day with Cupid, the Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy?" and bonus…they’re so intrigued by the game, they sit nicely and finish their food without an issue!
Wooden Memory Game: This beautiful hand-crafted game of Memory from Smiling Tree Toys (via Etsy) includes 20 smooth-sanded tiles with engraved images and an organic finish. The tiles come in a drawstring storage bag for quick and easy clean-up.
Nada: This fast-paced dice game is easy to learn and addicting to play. Simply roll the dice and scan them for matching symbols – the first to call one out, grabs all the dice with that symbol. IF there are no matches, be the first to say “nada” and collect them all (but say it by mistake and sit out the next round). It’s high-energy fun and there’s also several game variations to keep things fresh. (recommended 7+; although we had 5 year olds playing without any assistance)
Spot it!: Spot it! is a fun card game for siblings to play together, or with the whole family. There are 5 different ways to play, all centered around the idea of identifying the one picture that is the same on your cards. A fun game for developing visual perception skills and for taking on-the-go.
Micro Simon: The classic game of Simon in a handheld size. Watch, remember and repeat!
Math Dice Jr.: Math Dice Jr. is a fun game for your kids (we recommend 6+) to practice their math skills. Roll all the dice and then try to form equations where the sum equals the number on the target die. Includes a soft game board and carry-all bag for easy storage.
Rory’s Story Cubes: Get ready for lots of giggles and insane creativity with Rory’s Story Cubes. Simply roll the dice and create a story based off of the images – either by yourself, or as a team with each person adding on. Incorporate competition by using time limits, points and more. You will love the stories your kids come up with using these!
Rubik’s Cube 2x2: This 2x2 is the perfect introduction to learning how to solve a classic Rubik’s cube (and the perfect mini size for a stocking).
Hot Wheels 5-Pack: These classic small cars will be well loved by any vehicle obsessed child.
Road Play Tape: Your kids will go wild for this special tape that can create elaborate road systems on any flat surface. It’s easy for them to tear, durable enough for play, but easy to pull off your floors when it’s time to clean up.
3-Dart Nerf Gun: The 3-Dart is the smallest in Nerf’s vast arsenal, and it doesn’t have quite as much force as the larger guns (great news for your cat).
TOOB: Each TOOB contains 12 small figurines all from a similar theme – from Safari, Farm and Ocean animals, to Dinosaurs, Vehicles and Babies, you’re bound to find a TOOB to fit your child’s current obsession. And they’re the perfect size to fit a stocking.
Train Car: Toss in a new train for your child’s track (even better if they’re getting a whole set under the tree!). This Thomas pulling Santa’s Sleigh is pretty darn perfect.
Pokémon Cards: The popularity of Pokémon Go re-sparked the Pokémon trading card craze, and if your child has fallen under its spell, a pack or two of Pikachus will be a welcome stuffer.
Magiclip Dolls: We raved about these small Magiclip dolls in our Toy Gift Guide for Princess Lovers. Get the large 8-pack and distribute them amongst several stockings, or this smaller Frozen-themed one with Anna, Elsa and Olaf.
Little Cosmetics Pretend Makeup: This fun pretend make-up will totally fool you – it looks and feels real, but nothing will come off on your kid’s skin – no sparkles, no nothing.
Magic Baby Bottles: We love these magic baby bottles from Toysmith so much we featured them in our Ultimate Toy Gift Guide: The Best Babies, Dolls and Accessories.
Doll House Furniture/Accessories: Head over to our Ultimate Toy Gift Guide: The Best Dollhouses and Accessories for our top picks for Doll House furniture and accessories, like the Plan Toys Family Pets you see here.
Doll Clothes: Your child will adore a fun outfit for their favorite doll or Barbie. If you’re looking for one that will fit an American Girl Doll, be sure to look at our Dolls Gift Guide for tips on where to find them for cheap!
Fanciful Birds Wings: Watch your kids soar to new heights with a set of vibrant Fanciful Birds Wings. The detailed wings have shoulder straps and finger loops for quick on-and-off for whenever your child feels like spreading their wings to fly.
Jump Rope: Simple, fun and great exercise! We love this adjustable one by Green Toys.
Favorite Figures: Choose your child’s favorite figurines and add a few new ones to their stocking. Some ideas include: Playskool Star Wars, Calico Critters, My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, Minecraft, Paw Patrol and Peppa Pig.
Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty: Please, oh please, don’t get any of that other Putty for your child’s stocking. Instead, pick out a few tins of the incredible Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty. Each one has its own special “power” – whether that be changing colors, glowing in the dark, becoming a magnet, or a “paper” to write on. We can’t keep our own hands off it either!
Personalized Harmonica: How beautiful is this handmade wooden Harmonica from Scissor Mill that can be personalized with your child’s name? Makes a fun gift and a lovely keepsake.
Lego Tape: Simply cut, peel, stick and bend this amazing tape to turn any surface into a building block base (yes, we’re talking Legos, Mega Blocks, and more!) – opening up a whole new world of building possibilities for Lego-loving kids.
Sno Markers: If you’ll see snow this Winter, stash a few of these fun mini Sno-Markers in your kids’ stockings for an extra exciting play tool after the next storm.
Kid O Free Play Magnatab: Use the magnetic pen of the Magnatab to pull up the beads and create magnificent designs. Simply rub your finger over the surface to press the beads back down and start over again. Kids are fascinated by these (and we kinda are too!).
Blind Bags: If your kids have ever watched videos via YouTube they surely have stumbled over a few (thousand!) of kids opening blind bags. These small bags usually contain a small figurine or keychain and half the fun is not knowing what you’ll get. Now some may classify these as “junk”, but if your child is a collector or obsessed with a certain theme – these will be much loved. Target always has a great selection of them interspersed throughout their toy aisles, or browse Amazon to find the one just right for your kiddo.
Binoculars: Pass on the preschool-type ones which don’t have much magnification, and instead get these Kids Binoculars by Kidwinz, which although designed for kids (shock proof, easy to focus, rubber eye pieces), function far beyond a toy.
Bike Accessories: Choose a fun bell for your kid’s bike or these colorful Bike Wheel Spokies that they can clip onto their wheel spokes to add some extra pizazz! Bonus points if there’s a new bike with a large bow on it hiding in the wings.
Safety Pads: If Santa is bringing a bike, scooter or skate board to your child this year, give them a subtle hint by providing the safety gear in their stocking.
Flashlight: Don’t underestimate the power of a simple flashlight. It can be a welcome gift that makes fort building and “monster” exploring that much more fun. We love this one that has a rubber grip and assorted bright colors (and is far better made than those geared solely to kids).
Head Lamp: And if you want to really get them excited, try a headlamp for hands-free play! (editor’s note: my son asked for a headlamp for his birthday and has used this one from Totobay in the most creative of ways. A huge hit I would recommend to anyone)
Magnifying Glass: Go for one like this oversized version from iMagniphy which is great for smaller hands and also includes an LED light.
Walkie Talkies: A ton of fun for siblings or play dates, these KidzLane Walkie Talkies are super simple to use (only one button to press) and can spark tons of imaginative play. Over and out.
Swim Goggles: We highly recommend any of the goggles from Aqua Sphere for their unique mask-like designs and super easy adjustment system (with simple release button!). Especially fun if you plan on vacationing someplace warm over the winter.
A Wallet: Another grown-up item kids love to have is a wallet. Whether they’re toting around their own money or simply using it for play, we suggest checking out the selection of high-quality, fun designs from Loungefly. They also have simple coin purses and loads of fun character options from Star Wars to Disney to Hello Kitty.
A Watch: Kid’s love the grown-up feeling of wearing a watch, and as they get older and learn to read time, it’s a useful tool for them to have. We recommended the kid’s line from Swatch, Flik Flak, in our Non-Toy Gift Guide: Gift That Are Practical, which has a plethora of designs (from kiddy to girlie to sporty), and shows numbers for both the hours and the minutes – perfect for those learning how to tell time. We also think the watches from the Lego collection are pretty nifty and come in a variety of colors and themes.
Cool Eating Utensils: Your child will think this is such a fun stocking stuffer, but pssst – it’s really a gift for you. Pick any of our recommendations in our popular post and they’ll be devouring broccoli with their Dinosaur Chopsticks, scarfing down Chili with their Lickety Spoon and finishing every last vegetable with their Dinner Winner plate.
Apron: A great accompaniment to the Cookie Cutter idea above, roll up an apron with the promise of an epic cookie baking session to follow over the Holidays. We suggested these fun character ones and the classic selection from Williams Sonoma in our Non-Toy Gift Guide: Gifts That Inspire Creativity & Imagination.
Letters to Me, When I Grow Up: Write Now. Read Later. Treasure Forever: For us, this is a must-have gift for any child 6 years and older who can express themselves through drawing and writing. Letters To Me, When I Grow Up is a beautifully crafted book that includes 12 letters that they can write to their grown-up self using prompts such as: “If I become a world leader…”, “My friends and I love to…”, and “When I imagine myself all grown-up…”. They can seal up the letters with the included stickers, and store the book away for safe keeping. Years in the future they can open up their time capsule and marvel at how far they’ve come (and have a good laugh in the process!).
Fun Bandaids: Pick up your kids’ favorite characters or fun designs at your local drugstore.
Spinning Toothbrush: …and while you’re there, choose a new spinning toothbrush. Kids get strangely excited about these.
Hairbrush: If you have a girl with long hair, you’ve got to get a Wet Brush. We went from tears every day, to no-fuss brushing with this magic gem. Grab the combo pack which comes with a mini travel brush.
Hair Accessories: Check out the handmade selection from LaBelle Baby Bows (via Etsy) for gorgeous bows and headbands in a variety of fabrics, patterns and colors to match any outfit.
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Fun Socks: You didn’t think we’d have a list of useful stocking stuffers without a pair of socks did you? Target has a great selection of themed-socks (think Star Wars, Trolls and My Little Pony).
Slippers: We dig these no-slip slipper mocs from Hanna Andersson - they’ll keep your child’s tooties nice and cozy all winter long. But if you want a more traditional slipper with a rubber sole, our new favorites are the Slumber Slippers from Chooze – the slippers don’t match, but have coordinating colors and/or patterns to make them super fun. They’re flexible, comfy and reall warm thanks to the furry lining (Toddler and Big Kid sizes).
Scrub Bugs: Want to never nag your child to wash their hands ever again? The solution: get a Scrub Bug. The surgeon-inspired hand-washing tool that kids actually want to use (and are 3x as effective!)
Pac-Man Soaps: Pair these super cool Pac-Man soaps from Snows Cut Soaps with the Scrub Bugs mentioned above, and the dirt that lives under your kid’s fingernails won’t stand a chance.
Tooth Fairy Pillow: Get your child excited about losing their first tooth (or 10th) by gifting a super cute Tooth Pillow that they can use to safely tuck away their tooth under their pillow (and safely receive the money in return!). We adore this Knit one from Mud Pie and this Monster Missing Tooth pillow from Alma Designs. Pair it with a fun book like Peppa Pig and the Tooth Fairy or The Night Before The Tooth Fairy so you'll be ready when that wiggly one finally falls out!
Alternatively, opt for one of these incredible Tooth Fairy Pillowcases from Homegrown Traditions. There’s a tiny pocket on the side for them to slip their tooth in at night, and to check in the morning once the Tooth Fairy has been! They’re 100% cotton and created by a talented mom of 4 who strives to create ways to celebrate family traditions in a meaningful, simple and classic way. Love!
My Toothbox Friend: These funny tooth cases open up to store all 20 of your child’s baby teeth, with a special tight-fitting design which keeps them securely in place. It also includes a certificate you can use to keep track of the dates the teeth were lost. (editor’s note: my son loves keeping his teeth in his My Toothbox Friend...the only problem is that he has to write a note to the Tooth Fairy to ask her to give his tooth back so he can “collect” them!)
Water Bottle: Opt for a non-toxic water bottle like one of our all-time favorites, the Contigo Stainless Steel Maddie which we featured in our post 5 Safe, No-Leak, Easy-To-Clean Water Bottles For Big Kids (Yes, They Do Exist!).
BOOKS + ACCESSORIES
My Bookmark: We can’t get over these incredible bookmarks from My Bookmark. They are so unique and kids think they are super cool. Pick from the huge selection including mermaid tails, unicorns, Pokemon, C3PO and plenty of holiday themed fun – there is sure to be a character or theme that will connect with your child.
Book Light: This awesome mini LED light can clip onto their favorite book and is great for encouraging reading before bedtime.
Magazine: Include the first issue of their new Magazine subscription rolled up in their stocking with a note explaining that there’s more to come in the mail each month. Take a peek at our full guide for our top recommendations.
Chapter Book: If you have a child in the 4-6 range, it’s the perfect time to introduce them to the world of chapter books. The ones we selected in 7 Chapter Book Series That Will Successfully Introduce Your Child To Chapters (And Have Them Begging For "Just One More...") all feature lots of illustrations, short chapters and engaging storylines. (editor’s note: my kids’ favorite you can’t miss: Three Tales Of My Father’s Dragon)
Mark-My-Time Digital Bookmark: Sure this bookmark will do the job of dog-earring your child’s page, but it can do so much more. Use it as a countdown timer that alerts readers when they’ve completed a set amount of reading time. Alternatively, use it as a cumulative timer, to add together minutes spent reading over a series of time. We found kids got really excited about using these digital bookmarks and it made them want to stay with reading for longer… big win!
Laugh Out Loud Jokes For Kids: These joke books will have your kids giggling up a storm (and you’ll find yourself letting out a few chuckles too) with good-natured, clean jokes. Take your pick from a variety of versions, including the Original Laugh Out Loud, Knock Knock Jokes or even the Christmas version!
Cat’s Craddle Kit: This illustrated book teaches kids how to make classic string figures, including the Cat’s Cradle. We remember making these as a little girl and can think of nothing better than passing it down so our kids can make fond memories of their own (recommended 6+).
Mad Libs Junior Activity Book: Now kids as young as 3 can join in on the Mad Libs fun, by filling in the blanks with stickers featuring pictures with corresponding words and coloring pages. This Have a Crazy Christmas one is a _______ addition to any stocking.
Q&A a Day for Kids: A Three-Year Journal: This super special journal includes daily questions to ask your child (or if they are old enough, to answer in writing themselves) every day for 3 years. There’s a short space to write down their response, and as the years pass, you will be able to see the evolution of their thoughts, hopes and dreams.
The questions are geared towards kids aged 3-10 and vary from lighthearted (“If you could buy anything, what would you buy?” and “What is your favorite thing to do with friends?”), to a more reflective (“What have you done lately that you're proud of?”, “Describe a time when you were mad” and “What would you like to do but can’t do yet?”). Kids find the questions engaging, and their answers can be a great springboard for conversation. This journal a truly wonderful way for children to get to know themselves better, and they’ll end up with a neat time capsule as a result.
Holiday-Themed Books: We love these holiday classics (plus a few new delights):
The Christmas Wish by Lori Evert
Olive, the other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh
Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry
How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
How To Catch an Elf by Adam Wallac
A Wish to be a Christmas Tree by Colleen Monroe
Brain Quest: These neat packs of 300 Questions and Answers challenges kids on age appropriate skills – from alphabet puzzles to mixed-up stories, to counting, matching pairs, and visual games. Simply ask the questions on the picture cards and your child chooses answers – either verbally or by pointing. Each pack is geared towards a specific age/grade level and are super engaging.
Super Genius Games: These educational matching card games can be played solo or with up to 6 players, but the basic premise is the same: find the one match between any 2 cards, and then move onto the next pairing. For the 4-7 age range, the Super Genius First Words (5+), Super Genius Reading 1 (6+) and Super Genius Addition (7+) will familiarize your child with developmentally appropriate words and number skills that will help them form a strong foundation for reading and math.
super thoughtful stuffers for kids 4+
Coupon Book: Give your child the best stocking stuffer of all: a fun book of coupons that they can redeem for experiences, fun outings or special treats that they will treasure and remember forever. Kids go wild over these! They place the control and choices in their hands, which is a treat in and of itself.
And guess what? We’ve made a free printable one just for you!
This coupon book includes 12 coupons your kids will adore, including:
- A one-on-one outing with mom or dad (to the place of your choice)
- A trip to the movie theatre (buttery popcorn included)
- An afternoon baking cookies (or treat of your choice)
- One hour extra screen time (seriously)
- Breakfast in bed (with all your favorites)
- A trip to the ice cream parlor (plus extra toppings)
- Any 1 item at the grocery store (to consume after dinner)
- Staying up 30 minutes past bedtime (insert yawn here)
- Dessert after breakfast — your choice (within reason!)
- Download of 1 App (enjoy!)
- Choice of what’s for dinner (choose wisely)
- Mom or Dad completing 1 chore (yep, you’re off the hook)
Plus we included blank templates that you can use to write in your own personalized ideas.
And to make it even better, we’ve included Christmas and Birthday designs, so you can use these year-round!
So, the hard work is done, all you need to do is tell us where to send the link to download these awesome coupons and hit print.
Where should we send your coupons?
We'll send your awesome printable coupon book through cyber space and you'll get the link to download instantly.
Stocking stuffers for Tweens + Teens
Coloring Washi Tape: Your kids will love decorating their school supplies with this awesome washi tape featuring detailed designs that they can color-in. This one was really popular with the 8-14 year olds we shared it with, making it a top stuffer recommendation for this age group.
Gel Pens: Pair this awesome set of gel pens with the Washi Tape above, or as a stand-alone gift perfect for doodling and writing notes to friends.
Personalized Notebook/Stationary: A beautiful set of personalized note cards and note paper makes a lovely gift for an older child who can use them to write thank-yous, or sweet notes to their friends. We adore the modern and whimsical selection from Minted. And with hundreds of designs, you’ll find the one best suited to your child’s interests.
Journal/Diary: Pick out a special journal or diary where your child can confess their inner-most thoughts and feelings. The high-quality ones from Peaceable Kingdom are smaller in size to fit into a stocking, and have fun designs that include a real working lock and key – so their secrets stay safe from sneaky siblings.
Mad Libs Book: Kids love these ________(adjective) fill-in-the-blank Mad Libs books which will have them giggling like a _____________(noun). There’s many different versions, including a Christmas one.
Mother/Daughter or Mother/Son Journal:
Just Between Us: Mother & Daughter: A No-Stress, No-Rules Journal is an amazing tool to use with your tween or teen daughter that gives them the opportunity to open up, write down any questions, or share thoughts that might otherwise be to embarrassing or difficult to share. There are thoughtful writing prompts (“Before I fall asleep, I think about…”, “My biggest regret..”, “Questions for you…”), mini quizzes and lots of free space for writing or drawing whatever is on your mind. The idea is to trade the journal back and forth so you each contribute and respond to each other in writing – you may be surprised at the emotions and honesty you receive in return, it can be truly powerful. It’s also a great way to approach tough conversations (writing first, then talking it through) and ultimately it can be saved as a beautiful keepsake.
And if you’re looking for a similar style book to share with your son, try Between Mom and Me: Mother Son Journal which offers engaging prompts to record your memories, exchange stories, and explore your common (or unique!) interests.
Tenzi: Tenzi is touted as the “world’s fastest dice game” and that’s really what makes it so gosh dang fun. The basic game is simple: everyone gets 10 dice and tries to get them all on the same number by continuously rolling and putting aside those that match. The first one to yell “Tenzi!” wins. There are many additional ways to play (stack your dice, add them up, take from others) but whatever variation you decide upon, your kids will be hooked (and so will you!). (recommended 7+, although we think slightly younger kids can easily join in the fun with this one)
QWIXX: Another fast-paced dice game that is great fun for a group, QWIXX has the added benefit of sharpening your child’s math and strategic thinking skills. Kids love having their own scoresheet and it takes only 10-20 minutes per game. But with everyone involved on every turn, we can pretty much assure you that they’ll be asking for another. (recommended 8+)
Iota: Now this is a stocking stuffer! With a 2”x2” teeny-weeny tin, iota packs a big punch in such a small package. Use the cards to form a grid making sure that their color, shape and number are all the same (or, all different!) – it’s strategic thinking at its best, and ultra-portable! (recommended 8+)
Quiddler Mini Rounds: This mini version of the popular full-sized Quiddler comes in a cute 2” tin and rounds can be played in about 10-15 minutes. The premise is similar to Scrabble, but without the board. Each card has letters with point values – try to arrange your entire hand into words, or get points for the longest word, most words, etc. Addicting fun! (recommended 8+)
Scrabble Twist: Scrabble Twist features a video-game-like controller that displays 5 letters on the screen. You try and make the most 3-letter words you can using just these letters, tapping and twisting to bank each one. Play solo or against others, it’s lots of fun for kids and grown-ups alike.
Melissa & Doug Truth or Dare Box of Questions: Don’t worry mama, this version of Truth or Dare is completely G-rated and is perfect for any tween sleepover party. Examples of the cards include: “Do your wackiest dance with no music for one minute” or “what song are you embarrassed to admit you like?” – pure clean fun.
Table Topics Teen: This cube fits in 125 funny or thought-provoking questions teens can use with their friends, or gasp, even with you! Questions like: "Who’s the funniest person you know?", "What five foods do you wish were banished from the earth?" and "If you could shop for free at one store which would you choose?" Perhaps not earth-shattering insight, but pure simple fun that gets the conversation started.
We also highly recommend the Table Topics Family Edition which is great to use on road trips, or at the dinner table.
Paracord Survival Bracelet: This Paracord Survival Bracelet is a must-have for any older teen who loves to hike, fish or camp. It includes a flint fire starter, a whistle, compass and a scraper that can be used as a knife.
Personalized Key Chain: If your kids have their own set of keys, they’ll love these preppy monogrammed key chains from Simply The Best Vinyl (choose from a selection of fonts and colors), or go for a trendy leather tassel with engraved initial from CY Design Studio. These are a big hit with teen girls!
Locker Mirror: Perfect for tween/teen girls that have their own locker at school. This one features a shatter-proof mirror and integrated pin-board (great for displaying photos and reminder notes) that sticks via heavy-duty magnets.
Luggage Tags: These bright and happy custom luggage tags from When It Rains Paper can easily attach to your child’s luggage, and are a fun gift for any child going on a vacation after Christmas. Kids will love seeing their name (although we do suggest just using their initials for safety reasons), and moms will love easily spotting their luggage on the airport carousel.
SPECIAL OFFER: Get 10% off the purchase of any luggage tags from When It Rains Paper
with promo code: WHATMOMSLOVE
Guitar Picks +Pick Punch: If your child plays the guitar, you’ll know that they’re constantly searching for a pick. Pop a stash of them into their stocking, or give a Pick Punch which lets them create their own unique picks out of old credit cards, hotel room keys, IDs, and more!
Hand Warmers: These instant Hand Warmers are perfect for kids who ski, snowboard, sled or wait for the bus in the bitter cold.
Warm Socks: Keep your kid’s toes nice and toasty this winter in a pair of Smartwool socks. They come in a variety of styles for hiking to skiing, to everyday wear and lots of fun colors and patterns.
Travel Size Toiletries: Pop into your local drugstore for mini bottles of shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, body wash and more. Perfect for using at sleepovers or after sports practice.
Amazon Gift Card: Because what can’t you buy on Amazon?!
Movie Tickets or Movie Theatre Gift Card
Magazine: Roll up their favorite magazine for some after-present-opening reading.
Roll of Coins: Perfect for the arcade, or plopping in a piggy bank.
Money! Hide it in an empty playdoh container for a fun joke…after all, you are giving them some “dough”! (Pic courtesy of Mommy Savers)
BEAUTY + FASHION
Manicure Set: Pair the nail polish with a fun manicure set like this Keiby Citom one.
Tweexy: …and to make it even more fun, throw in a Tweexy nail polish holder than slips onto their fingers and securely holds any bottle of polish to make application super easy and fun.
Alex Sketch It Nail Pens: Add on even more excitement and let your kids get creative with these cool 2-tip nail polish pens – one side has a brush for painting, the other has a pen-like tip for drawing designs or writing. Awesome for play dates and sleepovers!
Lip Balm: Look for trendy ones like the ones from Eos.
Make-Up Brushes: For teens who are beginning the journey into the world of makeup, this 12-piece make-up brush set is a great value and comes in a cute storage tin.
Dry Shampoo: For those days when they just don’t want to shower, a quick spray of Dry Shampoo will keep their hair looking fresh and full.
Hair Chalk: This fun hair chalk kit can be “drawn” onto dry hair and easily washed out. Perfect for pre-teen girls to experiment without the drama!
Turbie Twist Hair Towel: Great for girls of any age with long hair to use after a shower or bath. The Turbie Twist stays in place and doesn’t damage hair. Comes in a pack of 2 so we suggest you keep the other (we love ours!).
Hair Tie Bracelet: If your girls are constantly wearing a tight elastic hair band around their wrist, they’ll love these Metallic Hair Tie Bracelets, which features a special groove to hold their elastic. They come in 2 sizes (kids and Teen) and fun bright colors too.
Ribbon Hair Ties: These ribbon hair elastics come in all sorts of colors and fabrics and are well-loved by this age group.
Personalized Name Ring: Your girl will go crazy for these beautiful personalized name rings from Grace Personalized. Choose the font and from Sterling Silver, 18k gold plated or trendy rose gold.
Charm Bracelet Charm: If your child has a special charm bracelet, buy a new charm and pop it into the bottom of their stocking.
Jewelry Roll: A fun way to store all of their jewelry, and easy to pop into a bag for getting ready at a friend’s house. This cute polka dot one from Pottery Barn Teen is sure to be a hit.
Sunglasses: Pick a pair from our post Seriously Cool Sunglasses For Tweens & Teens (That They'll Actually Want To Wear), including these from Real Kids Shades.
Baseball Cap: Simply pick their favorite sports team and voila, instant success.
Belt: A fun belt can be a welcome gift, especially when it’s this cool Under Armour boys’ Webbed Belt.
Flip Flops: If you’re off somewhere warm this winter (or are lucky enough to live in a year-round warm locale!), grab a colorful and trendy pair of flip flops. Try Havaianas for girls and Reef or Under Armour for boys.
Headphone Splitter: This 5-way splitter can plug into their phone, tablet or computer’s headphone jack and allow them to share their movies or music with friends. Also comes in mighty handy for siblings on road trips and airplanes.
Cord Taco: Who teen or tween wouldn’t be excited about something called a cord taco?! Totally neat little invention that keeps headphone and charger cords neat and tangle free.
Bluetooth Speaker: Wirelessly connects to all their devices and is easy to take on-the-go (check out this one which is also water proof!)
Portable USB Charger: For kids with cell phones, and tablets, this mini USB charger from Anker ($12.99) is perfect for keeping in their backpack to provide extra juice to their devices if they’ve forgotten to give them a charge.
itunes Gift Card: Older kids like to download their music digitally, so an itunes gift card will allow them to easily select their favorite artists and songs themselves.
Screen Protector for Tablet or Phone: Protect their precious devices from accidental drops (because it happens to the best of ‘em) with a tempered glass screen protector.
ProCase Screen Cleaning Pad: This neat little reusable pad is safe to use on any electronic device to remove fingerprints, smudges and residue from the screen. Simply wipe (there are no chemicals involved, just a suede like material) for a crystal clear view of their texts, pics and emails.
iDecoz Phone Mirror: This reusable, unbreakable mini mirror adheres to your child’s phone or phone case giving them an always-there option to check their teeth, makeup or hair before it’s time to take a #selfie.
Touch Screen Gloves: because heaven forbid they can’t text.
Camera Phone Lens Kit: This set of 3 Clip-On Camera Phone Lens allow your child to experiment with a macro (close-up), micro (wide angle) and fish-eye lens – they’ll have tons of fun testing them out!
LoopyCases: These smart phone cases are a teen’s dream – not only do they come in a variety of fun colors (including metallic, marble and brights), but there’s a genius loop on the back for slipping your fingers in for extra support while texting, taking selfies, or for general everyday carrying. The loop also acts as a stand for propping up the phone, but is soft and flexible so it doesn’t interfere with being slipped into a pocket. We tested them out ourselves, and found that it’s also a great product for moms who are often juggling multiple things in our never-free hands!
Selfie Stick: Get one that extends, has an adjustable screen holder and Bluetooth remote (like this one) #selfie.
Instax Wallet Album: We think the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is such a great gift for this age group, if your teen is being gifted one (or already owns one), this fun album comes in a variety of cool colors and can hold over 100 Instax Mini photos.
Film: ...and don't forget to grab some extra film (include fun ones with designs and colors) and toss it in their stocking.
USB Charger Stickers: If your tech-saavy teen is swimming in an array of different chargers, these fun TechTatz Charger Wraps will help them distinguish what’s theirs (vs. what’s yours!) while adding a fun dose of personality.
Key/Phone/Wallet Finder: Have a child that’s always losing their tablet, phone, keys, video game controllers, remote control or wallet? Hook them up with this Click ‘n Dig 4-pack which comes with 2 receivers to hook onto things like keys, and 2 flat receivers that can be mounted to other devices like phones. Simply press the color-coded button on the transmitter to signal an alert and the corresponding receiver will sound a loud beep so you can easily locate it – goodbye frustration and frantic searches! (editor’s note: these come in mighty handy for parents too!)
OK friends, that’s over 200 recommendations for Stocking Stuffers! We hope you found a few gems to add to your kids’ stockings this year.
If you found this guide helpful, make sure you check out the other guides from our 2017 What Moms Love Gift Guides For Kids:
- The Best Vehicle Toys For Car, Truck and Construction Junkies
- The Best Building Toys For Kids (From Blocks To Robots)
- The Best Gross Motor Indoor Toys For Active Kids (To Get That Energy Out!)
- The Very Best Babies, Dolls & Doll Accessories For All Ages & Stages
- The Best Doll Houses & Accessories For Your Doll-Obsessed Girl (or Boy!)
- The Best Princess-Themed Gifts For Your Little Princess
And we're in the midst of testing products for new guides:
- The Best Arts & Crafts For Boys & Girls - coming soon!
- The Best Board Games For Solo, Sibling and Family Play - coming soon!
- The Best Toys For Super Hero & Star Wars Fanatics - coming soon!
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This ultimate guide includes 5 parts:
- Non-Toy Gifts For Learning & Expanding Horizons
- Non-Toy Gifts To Spark Creativity, Imagination & Special Interests
- Non-Toy Gifts That Are Practical (But Far From Boring)
- Non-Toy Gifts For Making Memories
- Non-Toy Gifts To Receive In The Mailbox