For some reason, this year I just can’t stop coming up with stocking stuffer ideas. Maybe it’s because I’m really trying to stick to my guns and pare down the number of gifts under the tree. The one thing I didn’t set a hard and fast rule for were the stockings, so (of course) I’m on the verge of going totally overboard.
In an effort to curb my madness share the love, today I’m sharing my very favorite picks with you…
First up is the Kimochis Mini Bag of Mixed Feelings
. I was first introduced to the Kimochi line at an emotional coaching workshop and I really love the concept. Basically, these little guys are a playful way to help kids recognize and express their feelings (see this post for more on how incredibly important this is). Each bag is includes one carabineer keychain and 12 mini feelings: Happy, Silly, Brave, Curious, Mad, Sad, Loved, Cranky, Sleepy, Hopeful, Sorry, Excited. I plan to divvy mine up between the kids stockings.
We don’t have any of these yet (that will change after the 25th) but I’ve heard rave reviews. From what I’m told, automoblox are one of those rare toys that can hold children’s attention for long stretches of time. The fun is not only in pushing them around like regular cars, but also in taking them apart and switching around all their parts.
To that end, I hear it’s best to get 2 or 3 so you have lots of parts to play with. Luckily, I also hear the kids prefer the more inexpensive mini versions. There are a ton of models which you can purchase alone
or in 3 packs
. They have colors suitable to girls and boys and I’d recommend throwing one in each kid’s stocking.
Go fish and Old Maid were some of my favorite games as a kid. These Kids Classic Mini Playing Cards are adorable and the perfect size for slipping in a stocking (yet again, you could buy the pack and divide them amongst your brood). It says they’re for ages 5 and up but I’m getting them now for my 3 year old because the only skill you need for the “Go Fish” game is color recognition and I know he’ll love it.
After our Make Like a Montessori Mama: Animal Activities post, I knew I needed to get C some small animal figurines as soon as possible. A quick Amazon search revealed exactly what I was looking for – toobs. Not only is the handy container the perfect shape for a stocking, there are a million themes to choose from. Whether your little one are into horses, zoo babies, trains, pirates, dinosaurs, North American Wildlife, or the arctic – there’s a Toob out there for them. And at only $9/toob, they’re a steal!
Curious Chef makes a great line of real yet safe kitchen tools for kids. My favorite are the nylon knives (that’s right, I’m advocating knives in the stocking this year) which allow kids to safely participate in their own food prep. As an added bonus, you might even get them to eat some of those veggies they’ve been carefully chopping and peeling for the last hour.
Lacing cards are a great activity for building fine motor skills. They’re also great to have in the car or to use in your busy bags. The above construction
and sea life
sets can also be used for tracing and are only $6 – $8 each.
S is currently hating bath time (and I mean really hating it). I’m hoping this fun waterbugs & net toy from Boon
Finally, we’ve been on the hunt for some new play doh toys. This set looks like it would be the most stimulating. Take everything out of the box and you can use all the individual pieces to completely fill the stocking.
And if you’d rather make something this year, kirtsy has a nice roundup of stocking DIYs from some of my favorite bloggers.
P.S. Looking for more ways to simplify and connect with your family?