I’m all about a fun stocking stuffer for kids, but I learned quickly there are items that fun for a minute, and then useless. While I’m spending my time planning stocking stuffers for kids, I always turn to practical stocking stuffers! If we’re going to spend some money on smaller items, they might as well be useful, right?
Items that fall in the “stocking stuffer useful” category aren’t any less fun. In fact, I’d argue they add some fun for a while as something kids actually use! I’m going to share our list of practical stocking stuffers for kids, and I hope they help spark some ideas of items your kids will use and love too!
I’ve seen first-hand the magic a new box of crayons or colored pencils can create. My preschooler instantly goes from less interested to an immediate artist with some fresh supplies. Also, so many of these go on sale or come in special holiday bundles, it’s a great time to grab affordable stocking stuffers!
- New washable crayons for little hands
- Unusual Box of crayons bonus if you include one with fun, or unusual colors
- A large box of crayons with a sharpener
- Twistable crayons: our secret to buying fewer crayons and saving money in the long run! Plus they don’t get stripped and they’re a lot harder to break!
- Fun effects Twistable Crayons: My son is going to see coloring books in a new light after he opens this box!
- Scented Twistable Crayons: Coloring is even more fun when you can stop and smell the wax…
- A fresh set of markers
- Fine tip markers for drawing and more advanced coloring
- Scented markers to mix things up. We love both the Crayola packs, and the Mr. Sketch. I had one of these in my stocking as a second-grader, and I still remember it as one of my favorite gifts!
- A fresh box of colored pencils
- 50+ pack of colored pencils to really up their game with tons of coloring options
- Twistable Colored Pencils: we love these for the same reason we love the crayons. And you won’t need a pencil sharpener with these
- Watercolor paint set. These are so inexpensive, and so fun for toddlers through teenagers
- Watercolor colored pencils. My Montessori teaching guru friend tipped us off to these. They’re so inexpensive and so fun for even the littlest of kids!
- Gel sticks. They go on like a crayon, and a little water and a paintbrush turn them into a pain medium.
- Gel pens. For any kid who loves to doodle, a set of colorful gel pens make note-taking or art projects a lot more fun.
- Glue sticks. It’s probably time for an update.
- New pencils. You bought them for back-to-school, and as a former teacher, you need to trust me that those are long gone and they need some fresh pencils at this point.
*Side note, we also included so many of these this year we opted to not only put them in stockings, but make an art kit too. It’s inexpensive, and our kids will love having a lunchbox full of art supplies to use while we’re spending more time at home this year.
Practical Stocking Stuffers for Kids
- Underwear. I know not every kid will think this is fun unless you buy a set that makes it feel more fun! They’re so useful, and they just fit so perfectly in a stocking! We love the Carters underwear best for kids and toddlers.
- Socks. Hello, the most useful gift ever! But you can make these so fun by purchasing their favorite character or a glow-in-the-dark variety.
- Gloves or Mittens. Tis’ the season to have freezing hands. Plus, kids of all ages love and use gloves or mittens. Get a set in their favorite color.
- New winter hat. Baby, it’s cold outside, and it’s always a good time for an accessory update.
- Face mask. Kids will need these for several more months to come. Find a fun color or character they’ll love.
- Shoelace clip. If your kid’s shoes come untied regularly, these clips can be such a lifesaver!
- A New Toothbrush. My kids are getting this inexpensive electric toothbrush. I know they’ll love it and use it nightly!
- Bath bombs. These are too fun, and they’re excellent for winter skin woes.
- Lip balm.
- Hairstyling products. We love this hair taming spray, and a new spray bottle to make hair styling easier is always a good idea.
- A new hairbrush.
- Loofah. It’s probably time for an update. This is a really good opportunity to make that happen.
- Bubble Bath. It’s fun, and it’s practical in that you’ll use it up and buy yourself a little more contained child time.
- Travel-sized lotion. My kids love having their own tiny bottles in their bedrooms. And bonus, it gets used on dry frequently washed hands.
- Hand soap: grab a scent or color they adore, and let them know it’s all theirs!
- Hair clips/headbands. I may have boys, but I remember receiving new elastics or a new headband and loving it during all ages of my childhood!
- A book you know they’ll love. My tween heart leaped a beat when my parents got the next book in my favorite series! Kids of all ages love a great read that’s tailored to them.
- A gift card to choose a new book. Let them do the shopping! Give a gift card and let them know you’ll head to the bookstore right after Christmas to choose something they’ll love.
- A reading light. Help them stay excited about reading this winter with a book light.
- A new bookmark. These can be practical and also fun. Find one they’ll love.
- Play-doh. For the toddler scene, this is one of the best sensory learning tools.
- Rubik’s Cube. This small brain puzzle is great for sequencing and eye-hand coordination!
- Flashcard pack. I always find fun flashcards/matching games at the Target spot. When I was in high school a set of notecards to make my own study flashcards was always a good practical gift I needed.
- A new journal. Help them practice writing skills and self-expression skills.
Useful Items the Perfect Size for a Stocking
- A new water bottle. Help them drink more water and hook them up with a water bottler they’ll love! We love Funtainers and are on a mission to replace all the old leaky bottles with these perfect kid water bottles that come in so many prints and colors!
- Reusable straws. Be more eco-conscience and hook everyone up with a reusable straw to carry with them.
- Mini flashlight. Kids love playing with these! But they’re equally practical to keep beside their bed in case of an emergency.
- Pencil case/Organizer. Help them keep their stuff together with a little style.
- Band-aids. Say yes to their favorite character or colors and get a fun box.
- Kid shoehorn. If you’re tired of trying to wiggle feet into a winter shoe, do both of you a favor and include this shoehorn.
- Fidget Band. Meet many teacher’s secret weapons! These fidget bands go on a chair and help kids channel their fidget energy in an appropriate way. Great for home learning, to send to school, or even to set up at the dinner table.
- Small umbrella. These fit great in their backpacks, or under a car seat. They also fit perfectly in a stocking.
Photos by Chrissy Blake
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