Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stocking were hung by the chimney with care, filled with goodies from
parents - who read the blog and got great ideas! When you have babies and toddlers, it can be tricky coming up with what to put in their stockings. They’re not going to remember it, and they might just end up chewing on the stocking
anyway. None the less, stockings are a tradition with the fast approaching holiday of CHRISTMAS! They are part of what we picture when we think of decorations and celebrating, and traditions!
Maybe you’ve already got stocking stuffers figured out but need a few suggestions just to finish it off, or maybe you're completely lost and need some direction. Either way - here is a list to help you out!
1. Something to eat.
Even if you had breakfast before opening gifts (or dinner - some families open gifts on Christmas Eve) chances are, your kiddo is already hungry (hangry??) again. Starting out with a snack might just be a Godsend! If you still have little littles, something to eat can be a no go if they’re not old enough to eat solids yet, but if they have started solids, baby food pouches might just be what the doctor ordered! There are so many cool flavors - it’s more than mashed peas now! If you have a toddler on your hands (bless you) you can get really creatives with snacks! Goldfish are a favorite. There are a lot of fun flavors in this department too! You can go for the cheese flavor, but there’s also more desert flavors now (like CUPCAKE!!!). Now could be a great time to try something new! Gerber Graduates also have a lot of fun things with different textures and flavors. Just be really careful about the age limits on them, as some can be a
There are tons of other snack to fill up your toddler’s stocking with! Pretzels, crackers, cookies, or maybe even some traditional Christmas candy! What if your child doesn’t like candy?? Stick it in their stocking anyway, and then kindly eat it for them when they don’t want it! See how kind you are?
2. Something useful.
Stockings are really conveniently sized and shaped to hold tons of useful items like bottles, silverware, burp rags, washcloths, mittens, pacifiers, bibs, socks, snack keepers (those really cool things with handles and a “no spill” lid that kiddos can reach into to get their snack?), a
reusable silicon placemat (or even the disposable ones), a toothbrush and toothpaste. Basically this is for you, to make your life easier, but because it involves your child, you can put it in their stocking and pretend it’s “for them.”
3. Something fun.
This is probably the easy part of stocking stuffers for this age group. There are so many small toys that fit PERFECTLY into stockings! It’s almost like it was planned that way!
- Small stuffed animals (those TY stuffies - the new Beanie Babies - are perfect sized!)
- Play keys or phones (to keep them away from yours!!)
- Small musical instrument like a rattle or whistle
- Little People Figurines
- Finger Puppets
- Bath Toys
- Stacking Cups
4. Something to read.
It’s never too early to start reading to your child (like from the WOMB isn’t even too early!). However, they might still be at the age where they like to either eat or rip the pages (yes, I said, “eat”). This is where board books come in. They are seriously the perfect size for stockings. You can get a classic, something new, or something to go with the holidays. What’s really excellent about the thick pages is that it’s easier for little to turn them, helping build their fine motor skills. Cloth books are also excellent for this age range, especially if you kiddo likes to munch on the pages.
Building a love of reading from the get go is going to really help out your kiddos in the long run. No, they aren’t able to read yet, and no they don’t necessarily understand the pictures, but by giving them a book and reading with them, and explaining the pictures to them, you are opening
them up to a whole new world of experiences.
**Stepping off the soap box now, and moving on!**
5. Something to wear.
We love this one, because it’s something we can help you with! It might be kinda hard to fit a tutu into a stocking (you can always try!) but our ruffle dresses, leg warmers, and headbands make for great stocking stuffers! And they’re pretty, so your kiddo’s eyes are sure to light up! You can also add t-shirts, socks, shoes, pajamas - all kinds of things! This stocking stuffer is fun because it’s something your little will use again and again.
6. Something for the “next stage.”
One of the greatest misfortunes of parenting is how quickly these little people grow up. They move through each stage so fast - it can feel as though if we blink, we will miss something! They go through so many stages, why not help get them ready for it? Depending on how old your little is, here are some suggestions:
- baby food spoons/baby food
- mesh feeder
- new snacks
- Big Kid undies (how does potty training start so early?!)
- Rubber Soled Shoes
Try not to cry as you put these items into your little’s stocking, try not to think about how they’re not so little anymore! Maybe throw some tissues in their stocking too in case you start to cry while you are filling it…
7. Something with a interesting texture.
This one is so much fun for your babies, and they learn from it too! New textures are so exciting, especially when your babies are still too small to crawl or walk around and explore. Toys with interesting textures should be pretty easy to find. You might have noticed textures are kind of a
big deal, and thus on the vast majority of baby toys!
This one isn’t just for the babies though. Toddlers really benefit from this too. They are able to experience textures through their feet. They might really enjoy a rug that has animals, the alphabet, or even a map of it! Your little will be thrilled to learn that the pictures on their rug have meanings. Go on YouTube and search for the “Smarty Pants Dance” and you’ll see what we mean! Kids of all ages will enjoy balls with different textures, toys that crinkle when you grab them, and especially something that makes noise.
8. Something to help them learn.
Most toys for littles are created to help them learn in someway, but we haven’t mentioned all of them yet! Besides books and toys with different textures, there are a lot of other toys to help your kiddo soak up some knowledge! So many toys for this stage focus on fine motor skills. Puzzles are really great for this, and they can also help kiddos learn different shapes, letters, numbers, and animals. Another handy dandy toy are the shape sorting cubes (sometimes they’re a ball). There are cut outs all over and kids match the shapes to the cutout to push the shape through.
Crayons and markers or coloring books also help kiddos learn. These help with textures and colors and also build a child’s imagination. On that note, stuffed toys and dolls also help young children learn. It boosts their cognitive development, as children act out and learn caring and
nurturing skills. Children also gain vocabulary, as they practice speaking to their baby the way you speak to your child. The big take away from this should be that our little sponges are soaking up knowledge from all kinds of toys. The important thing is to give them lots of different options.
9. Something as a keepsake.
Mementos from this age give us the ability to look back and remember this time. Our littles are only little for so long. This stocking stuffer will be less something for them to play with, and more for you to look back on with them when they are older. While they may be simple gifts, they are still something that is nice to have. Some examples include ornaments with their picture, porcelain figurines, and jewelry (earrings and tiny bracelets are best for this age).
10. Something to watch.
Depending on your child’s age, adding a fun movie to the stocking can be a great idea! It can even become a great family tradition so watch the new movie’s received on Christmas day. This can be a controversial suggestion for some, because not all families let their young children
watch screens. If this is your family, nix this idea. If this is not your family, go for it!! Whatever you decide to put in your kiddo’s stockings, it is sure to be a big hit! Have your own
great idea that we didn’t mention? Be sure to add it to the comments below! We love getting
good tips too!
Audra Harris is a freelance writer and a teacher turned stay at home mom. You can read about
all of her misadventures and parenting ideas on her own blog: