Santa used to bring lots of fun stuff in stockings that would quickly find its way to the garbage or the donate box because it was, well, junk. Fun junk, but junk nonetheless.
Because we have so many dang kids and Santa doesn't hate me, I'm pretty sure Santa only wants to bring items for a stocking that are either meant to be used up or that will have a long term use in our house, meaning they are either part of a larger set or have a use beyond the initial excitement.
He's wised up a bit with us the last few years. Here are some things he's brought in the past and some things I'm hoping for this year. Obviously Santa works with his budget and only does a few of these ideas and possibly makes a stop at the Dollar Tree for one-use fillers, like craft supplies, glow sticks, or sidewalk chalk.
I've tried to include ideas for both girls and boys here, as I'm fortunate enough to have both at my house.
As prices are constantly changing, feel free to shop around. I've linked to best prices at the time I put this together but 5 minutes later that could totally change.
If it's available, I've linked to Amazon because I'm addicted to Amazon. Those links are affiliate links, meaning I get a small payment that doesn't affect your total at all. The other links are to my favorite site for kid stuff- Lakeshore Learning and those are not affiliate. I'm pretty sure I could spend more money there than Matt could even imagine. It's a dangerous site- you've been warned.
In no particular order:
Kid Stockings Ideas
1. Fun pens/markers- My kids are kind of craft monsters and get pretty excited for new supplies. I'm pretty sure Santa sometimes just buys the pens in bulk and splits them between the kids. I'm sure they also fit in the stockings better that way too. These would make good additions to a church bag. In fact, one year Santa brought the gel pens in these little makeup bags for each of the kids and they fit perfectly. Warning: those bags aren't quite long enough for skinny markers to fit. The gel pens in the makeup bags were a church bag staple forever.
2. Fast drying nail polish: Where has this been all my life? I basically have zero patience for dry time and let's just say that my daughters have inherited that trait.
3. Numberbots or Alphabots: These are really cute little transformers in the shape of numbers and, you guessed it, letters. The numberbots were a big hit with the 5 yr old but I think they'd be fun as early as 3. I've been surprised at how my older boys (8 & 10) like them too. If we get the Alphabots this year Santa will probably spit them up between everyone's stockings.
4. Parachute guys: Love the low tangling cords. The boys love chucking these over the stairs.
5. Wikki Stix: Have you played with Wikki Stix? They are wicks coated with colored wax you can shape and twist into a million things. These are great in the church bag as well. Love these things and they last forever. It always surprises me how many cool creations the kids come up with using these.
6. Scratch Papers: There is something so fun about these, even for me. We've had these in the church bag before as well.
7. Matchbox Cars: We have a BluTrack (have you seen this? Matt likes it just as much as the boys. You can go crazy with how you set up the track: down stairs, over the table and chairs...) and you can always use a cool new car. Or you could pair it with the Road Tape Roll down below.
8. Road Tape Roll: Basically, this combines tape with roads, a double love for little boys. Older kids can do the actual building of the tape tracks and the younger ones love the driving.
9. Astronaut Food: Freeze dried ice cream sandwich, anyone? This one was pretty funny around here on Christmas morning. The kids were like, Whaaa...?!
10. Cool Stickers: glow in the dark, scratch n sniff, puffy, face stickers, sticker scenes. The Dollar Tree has quite a few choices here so you might want to check that out. This one I've linked to has a billion cute puffy stickers.
UPDATE: I've not purchased this particular kit and when I looked just now at the dimensions I don't think there's a stocking ever made that would be big enough to fit this. But I'll leave it up here because it's awesome and would make a cool gift anyway. And because I don't want to change my title.
11. Dig Kit: My kids LOVE digging out stuff. It always makes a mess though so I send them out to the garage to work on it, because I'm a good mom like that. This set would be good because they can just put the jewels with their rock collection.
12. Flashlight Key Chain: They sell so many cool key chains with flashlights. We're talking Lego Friends, Star Wars, Superheros, different Animals. They can put them on their backpacks or on the zipper of their coat. These pigs totally crack me up.
13. Lego Minifigures: You can buy these for so cheap through Amazon, and for years the people were the only thing my kids were interested in anyway. They aren't real Lego but they look and feel just like they are. They come individually bagged in clear bags. Some sets have a mix of girls and boys, it just depends what they happen to carry when you look. I keep a set of these in my closet for Christmas/Easter/rewards/General Conference store. If you're willing to spend a little more you can get bigger packages for about $.50 a minifigure, which is NUTS since they cost like $5 each for the real thing. I just search 'lego minifigures' on Amazon and see what comes up. In the past I've gotten Star Wars minifigs, but I couldn't see any today.
14. Snow in a Tube: If you've never done this, you're missing out. So fun! You take a small amount of the powder, put it in a big bowl, and add a bit of water. This stuff expands big time into fake snow, providing tons of fun for these snow-deprived children of mine.
15. Origami Paper: Paired with a fun origami book, this makes a pretty fun gift. Santa brought origami paper with the book below for my then 8 year old and he still loves using it.
16. Mini Book: This book looks unimpressive but my kids have loved learning from it. What it lacks in fully illustrated pictures it makes up for in awesomeness. And it has a ton of great reviews on Amazon, so you don't have to take our word for it.
17. Disney Princess Mini Toddler Doll: Do not buy this through the link. I'm just including it so you can see what it is. This doll is NOT worth the $13 it's listed for, but it's worth the $5 you can pick it up in a store. I've even seen them in Joann Fabrics (so can you use the 40% off coupon on it?). They're simple little plastic things, but my girls LOVE them. They are cute, but I'm always surprised by how much they like them. The 18 month old may be getting a few from Santa this year. The 2 prized dolls we own have a permanent spot in the church bag.
18. Calico Critters Family: These little guys are so dang cute. We got a small house and a couple babies last year for our then almost 3 year old and she loved them. She was probably a bit young as her favorite activity was just taking off the clothes, but she's way into it now and I'm guessing Santa will be bringing her a family.
19. Fun Socks: There are so many options here. I bought Matt some "If you can read this, bring me a taco" socks a while back for his epic Unicorn Birthday. But these would be fun with a new movie or a gift card to a theater. Oh! and a package of microwave popcorn or a small bag of fancy gourmet popcorn. This would be an awesome entire stocking or gift right here.
20. Play-Doh: Classic, always a winner stocking idea. You could throw in a few cookie cutters too. Santa could very easily pop the containers out of the box and divide them between mulitiple stockings too.
Have older kids, a spouse, or parents to shop for? Check out this post.
I'd like to leave you with this one final thought: stockings are equal parts fun and the worst. Good luck and happy hunting!
More Christmas Ideas