It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The holiday season has officially arrived. And although this time of year can be filled with so much fun and excitement, sometimes the fun can feel outweighed by the size of your to-do list. Today, I hope to make one more thing on your list a little easier with some ideas for practical stocking stuffers.
Growing up, opening my stocking was one of my favorite parts of Christmas morning. I don’t really think what was inside mattered, but having a giant sock full of tiny little surprises brought me so much joy. As a parent, I want to recreate the same joy for my children while avoiding adding more junk to our eternally cluttered home. What kind of things are we using anyway, could be useful, or could be used up (instead of just sitting there taking up space)? Just because we are talking about practical stocking stuffers doesn’t mean they can’t be fun! Let’s dive in.
This may just be a phase my children are in, but my offspring have recently turned into scotch tape goblins. From hanging new masterpieces on their bedroom walls, taping homemade fairy wings on their backs, to holding string in place back and forth across the hallway to “catch” us in another trap, these kids are in constant search of our tape. This year, I’m planning on gifting them their own supply.
This may come as a surprise, but scotch tape is not the only tape out there worthy of a “practical stocking stuffer” designation. Last year, Santa brought some play road tape to use on the floor with our toy cars. I’m also keeping colorful washi tape in mind for my crafty kids.
Kids are obsessed with band-aids. Sometimes, they are seemingly the only solution to a boo-boo, no matter how small. Other times, they are purely a fashion statement. Ensure you are never running low by adding fun patterns or favorite characters to their stocking this year.
I’m unsure what prompted me to buy headlamps for my kids last year. Maybe because they were fascinated by seeing their dad wear his while working on various projects around the house, but whatever the reason, this one was a winner. They have been used for imaginative play, actually “helping” their dad, and going on evening walks when the sky is dark. It could also make a great reading light. The possibilities are many!
We sprung for these headlamps I found on Amazon that come in many colors. I recently discovered they also make winter hats with rechargeable LED lights. I didn’t wait until Christmas to give these gifts, but they have been great! A normal little flashlight could also be fun and handy if you’re not into the headlamp idea.
One of our most used items as a family living through winter in the Midwest? – Chapstick! Tired of your kids constantly asking for yours and then turning the stick up all the way, rubbing it all over their faces, and occasionally snapping it in half? Me too. Time to get them their own. There are so many fun flavors!
This one may sound boring, but to this day, I find getting new socks is glorious. Socks are a clear winner in terms of practicality on this list of practical stocking stuffers, but even kids can have fun getting new socks (and underwear, too!).
Markers (or other craft supplies)
If you have kids who use markers as often as mine (uh, daily), you understand that a new set is always welcome. The ones you have will eventually dry out and need to be replaced anyway. You may as well be prepared with a backup and throw them in the stocking! Watercolors, crayons, or colored pencils would also be an easy fit.
This category may lose out a little on practicality. However, it is super fun and does not sit forever on your shelf. My kids have a blast with the Crayola Bath Dropz that can change the color of their bath water. You can use them to learn about mixing colors, so we’ll call that educational, which is undoubtedly useful. Colorful foam bath soap is another way to keep bath time exciting. These things are certainly not necessary but can be a nice change of pace to make bath time more exciting.
Small winter accessories
Is your child needing new slippers, mittens, or a winter hat this year? Find some cute ones and toss them in the stocking.
What would a list of practical stocker stuffers be without a toothbrush? My kids may not love brushing their teeth, but I assure you they do love a new toothbrush. With all the cool character brushes and bright colors out there, getting a new toothbrush is fun! If your child is like my 4-year-old and loves to chew their brush, you know you need to stock up.
Hopefully, these ideas will help you get an easy head start on your holiday planning and shopping this year. Let me know if you have any other thoughts on practical stocking stuffers I need to add to my list. Happy holidays!