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We are leaping toward that magical time of the year –
Cue the holiday music, eggnog (spiked of course), and gingerbread cookies!
While this does happen to be my favorite time of the year, it takes work to make all that Christmas magic happen! Lots of research goes into to building up to that stash of presents under the tree. What everyone wants, who has the best prices, can it be delivered in time? Christmas prep is no joke… whether you are a parent or not!
The part I used to struggle with the most was filling stockings for my toddlers. We don’t give our kids candy and we didn’t want to fill the stockings with more tiny toys to lose (or choke on). The stockings started to look more like black holes and less like a fun tradition the more time I spent on them. Then it hit me:
All stocking stuffers don’t need to be entertaining.
So obvious, right?
The first year I did stockings they were a bit disappointing. Everything in her stocking was some kind of toy and it was too stimulating. The point became more about emptying the stocking and then moving on to breakfast than it was taking the time to play with anything in it. Now that she’s a bit older (with a couple of younger sisters behind her) I have learned that kids really only need one or two things with that ‘instant gratification factor’ the rest can be put away for later.
So, without further adieu, here is my list of favorites I’ve used over the years.
Awesome List of Baby Stocking Stuffers!
Socks or Slippers
Mirrors, Rattles, or Teethers
Hats and Mittens
Awesome List of Toddler Stocking Stuffers!
Kazoo or Harmonica
For the brave and tolerant parents…
Hair Bows, Headbands, or Barrettes
Travel Magnet Tin
These are awesome for travel or dinner out! They come with several sheets of character magnets and a few backdrops. Add a little imagination and your kids are happy for a long while!
Fun Plastic drinking cups
Target is my favorite place to get kids cups. They are always cute, super cheap, and BPA free. There are several different styles but this one below is my favorite. The lid helps to prevent spills and it’s very easy to clean, unlike so many other more complicated straw style cups.
This is not an instant gratification toy for young toddlers. It takes a little bit of a learning curve, but once they get it kids can be entertained for quite a while with this.
Crayons and coloring books
Washcloths (the kind that expand in water)
Beginning card games help to improve number recognition and focus
This card holder is the best to help little ones play.
They can focus on the game and not a stack of cards they frustratingly can’t hold.
That’s all I have for now. I’ll be sure to update this list if I find anything else for my kids this year.