Why is it that shopping for stocking stuffers is so much fun? From decadent candies and sweets to practical staples they’ll use every day, picking out stocking stuffers is half of the holiday fun. This Christmas, if you’re going for all-out practicality, we’ve got a list of items for you, including little gifts your kids will actually use. Whether you’re in the market for some personalized stocking stuffers, supplies to help them express their creative side or something to keep them on track academically, you’ll find some awesome ideas here.
1. Personalized Travel Essentials—If practicality is what you’re after, you can’t go wrong with some personalized luggage tags for travel. These stocking-sized specialties are items that your kids will use for a lifetime, and they’re sure to spark a smile. Have them personalized with your child’s name, monogram, initial or even a photograph so that their luggage never finds its way into the wrong hands. This is a great one if you’re planning a trip for spring break!
2. An Electric Toothbrush—Okay, we know, this sounds like the most boring present you could possibly get for your child, but hear us out. Have you seen the cute, colorful and character-themed kids’ toothbrushes out there latelyf? Olaf, Mickey, race cars, zoo animals and more teach little ones good oral hygiene. They’re so fun that they’ll actually make your youngsters want to brush. Oh, and bonus points for parents—they’re a great way to counteract the stocking sweets.
3. Funky Duct Tape—Arts and crafts get kids giddy at any age, but if you’ve got a pre-teen or teen on your hands, you know it’s all about the fun duct tape. These days, you’ll find printed styles in all sorts of bright colors and patterns (especially by the Duck Tape brand, but there are many companies out there making wild and wacky tapes). Look for holiday-themed options or go for something camo, animal print, tie-dye, floral, polka-dotted or glow-in-the-dark. You’ll be surprised to see how creative kids can get with this stuff.
4. A Pair of Silly Socks—We’re not really sure why socks are such an archetypal stocking stuffer, but we do know that your typical pack of standard Gold Toes can get pretty boring. Luckily, there are tons of funky kids’ socks out there to help you capture your child’s unique personality, whether she’s into unicorns, space, animals, sports or food. Of course, socks are among those stuffers that you know will definitely get used, so they’re always a big win.
5. A Craft-Making Kit—Two universal truths of life: Parents are busy and kids love to make messy, time-consuming crafts. The solution? Some miniature craft-making kits! These all-inclusive kits come with everything your children need to create one-of-a-kind creations–from candles, soap and slime to bracelets, instruments and snow globes. These are awesome for keeping kids entertained on winter break and for encouraging them to explore life beyond the screen.
6. A 3D Combination Cube—Notice we didn’t say Rubik’s cube? While the Rubik’s was the O.G. of the combo cube market, there are dozens of unique 3D puzzles out there that will engage youngsters and forge crucial problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Popular alternatives include mini cubes, pyramid cubes and master cubes. With a bit of practice, your kid may just become a true-blue speedcuber (if you’re curious, the record for fastest Rubik’s cuber belongs to Chinese speedcuber Yusheng Du, who solved one in 3.47 seconds).
7. Kid-Friendly Self-Care Staples—It’s never too young to teach your mini-me about proper self-care. You could even build a spa-themed stocking complete with kid-friendly sheet masks, some fuzzy slippers and some calming essential oils to help them sink into a state of happy, healthy relaxation. After the craziness of Christmas, we could all use an at-home spa day complete with soothing nature sounds, aromatherapy and a stocking full of deluxe self-care products!
8. A Magazine Subscription—Encourage kids to read and help them get a jump-start on their education with a magazine subscription tailored to their age group and interests. The great thing about magazines is that there’s a publication for virtually every reader, from Highlights for preschool-aged kids to Teen Vogue, Sports Illustrated Kids and J-14 for teenagers. There are pubs out there focused on science, sports, games, fiction, fashion, comics, food and so much more.
9. A Special Winter Hat or Gloves—It’s cold outside, so why not fill the stockings with stuff to warm them up? Ditch the generic stuff and instead opt for a personalized hat or scarf that features your little one’s monogram or name. Not only will it keep them warm as the temperatures continue to drop, it will also ensure that no one grabs the wrong one by mistake at school or a birthday party.
10. A Pair of Bluetooth Headphones—You didn’t think we’d leave this list entirely tech-free, did you? All modern parents know that a few gadgets can make life a whole lot easier and the house a whole lot quieter. These days, you can get kid-themed Bluetooth earbuds for under $15, and that’s money well-spent when it means a peaceful household and less fighting over the speakers or TV.
Sensible but Fun Stocking Stuffers
The goal of any perfectly stuffed stocking is to be simultaneously practical, fun, affordable and small enough that it fits inside a Christmas stocking. All of the above items are designed to tick all of these boxes and more, so you’re pretty much guaranteed big smiles on Christmas morning and—bonus!—a super easy holiday shopping season with minimal stress.