Stocking Stuffers for Kids

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When I was growing up in Arizona, we got an orange at the bottom of our Christmas stocking every year. There are lots of great traditional stories about giving and receiving fruit for Christmas and I love the simple, sweet sentiment behind it. Last year, I was fed up of having candy in the house (I was still trying to get rid of the Halloween candy stash), so the only treats I put in the girls' stockings were nuts and an orange. I thought I was being sneaking and figured they were still too young to know what they were missing. Not so! "MOM. Santa forgot to put candy in our stockings!" and "Why did he put Fuh-RUIT in there?" Busted.

This year, I'll put a just a little bit of candy in the stockings, but I think I'll keep the oranges and nuts in too. We're not doing a ton of big presents this year (feels like lots of people are moving toward this model - are you?), just a handful of carefully chosen gifts and some fun stocking items. Here are some kid items that I'm thinking about giving or that we already have and love.



1. Oranges remind me of home. :) Also, I remember hearing this story when I was young.
2. We are in desperate need of new water bottles this year. These are BPA-free.
3. I am normally a fan of boar-bristle hair brushes - but they hurt my kids' heads. A stylist here recommended these super-cheap brushes to me for my girls and for even brushing my own hair out in the shower (it's actually called a Wet Brush). I am a super-loyal fan now - they're amazing.
4. My kids ask for frozen treats a lot. We're shooting to make more low-sugar smoothie pops this year. I was with my stylish friend Jessie at a work thing last night and she mentioned that putting vitamin-packed Chia seeds in smoothies helps to thicken them up a little? Good to know!
5. Christmas and the Fourth of July are usually when we set dentist appointments and buy new toothbrushes (we try to replace those every quarter though). These are my favorite. The bristles are soft and the brush itself lights up for about two minutes so my kids know how long to be brushing.
6. To encourage healthier lunches at school, we're going to pick up a couple of these bento lunch boxes. There is a cute frog too, but I love the panda.



7. Now that Evie is getting a little older, I think it's about time we added Pick Up Sticks to our game cabinet. I loved Pick Up Sticks when I was Gracie's age.
8. Plan Toys are my favorite - really beautiful, high-quality wooden toys. I'd love to give Evie this pretty set of Memory.
9. Remember this Potholder weaving kit?! I totally did this as a kid!
10. We have this Origami book and my girls love it. In fact, it's time to buy some more paper.
11. Another favorite from my childhood (don't worry, POGS did not make the list :) - string games! I loved Jacob's ladder the best.



12. These headphones are parent and kid life-savers on flights and long car rides. They have a soft padding around the ear, and they seem to be comfortable for little ones. And they're pretty darn cute too.
13. Bubbles that are guarenteed to not drip or spill or make a mess are my kind of bubbles!
14. We've been reading the Boxcar Children books at night (we're starting book five this week), and Grace and Claire are as in love with the story as I was. I used to have dreams about finding perfect little pink teacups and dishes in the dump with Jessie and Violet. Guess I liked vintage china and bargain finds even back then. :)
15. This series of simple mechanical machine toys from Kikkerland is all the rage at parks in Brooklyn. They're super cool, and cool-looking too. Shelf-friendly toys, for sure.
16. Evelyn needs a camera of her own I think so she can photograph my projects with me.
17. This balloon-making kit might be more for me than my kids. I've always wanted to have this talent in my arsenal. You never know when a situation calls for a balloon animal!
18. How cool is this family of wooden peg dolls? The dolls come to you completely blank and you customize them to match your family. So fun if you're giving your child a dollhouse this year.

What are you giving the littles in your life for the holidays this year?

20 comments:

Shannon said...

We are doing 2.5 gifts each! one is a train set they have to share!

and toothbrushes and cantines in the stockings! nooooo candies!!!

Elizabeth said...

Growing up, the guideline was this:
Something to wear
Something to read
Something you want
Something you need.

Elizabeth said...

Growing up, the guideline was this:
Something to wear
Something to read
Something you want
Something you need.

Dani said...

We are following a similar system: something you need, something you want and an experience. It has really helped our kids focus, and in fact, they've been more excited to give than receive this year. And, like your family, Santa fills the stockings up with fun doo dads: flippers for swimming, bath markers, the little wax soda bottles you can drink (dollar store!) gift certificates for ice cream, new electric toothbrushes...

Dani said...

We are following a similar system: something you need, something you want and an experience. It has really helped our kids focus, and in fact, they've been more excited to give than receive this year. And, like your family, Santa fills the stockings up with fun doo dads: flippers for swimming, bath markers, the little wax soda bottles you can drink (dollar store!) gift certificates for ice cream, new electric toothbrushes...

Angela N said...

We usually do a couple of small gifts for each of my 2 girls and 1 bigger sharing gift. We don't usually spend more than $50 on each of them. And about $100 for the big sharing gift. Love some of the ideas you posted.

emily said...

My daughter is 2 and she loves peg dolls (I painted a few before she was born and saved them). They go on lots of adventures, and are perfect for a first dollhouse.

Diane James Home said...

These are all such great ideas and we are already huge fans of the kids Brita bottles - I only wish the company would make extra tops for kids like mine who like to gnaw on them!

Jessica said...

stocking stuffers are just a few fun things. This year I bought each of my daughters a pair of "shwings" (wings for your shoes;) and my son gets a type of rubix cube (he collects them;).

magnolia said...

Awesome suggestions. Just added the hairbrushes to my amazon basket. My girls are so picky about hairbrushes!

Karin K said...

RE: the wooden doll family.... is the baby a Ninja, or is it wearing a baby burkha? Just askin'..... lol

Melissa said...

1) LOVE the Wetbrush. My little girl has some of the curliest hair you've ever seen, and It works really well for it. We still have to go back over it with a comb, but it gets the tangles out fantastically.

2) I grew up getting oranges in my stocking and will always put them in my kids'. Such a fun tradition...you should check out An Orange For Frankie by Patricia Polacco. It's is a sweet Christmas story.

3) My kids would be all over those little mechanical toys!

4) We're right there with you...slimming down on the number of gifts we give.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Christine said...

I remember getting potholder weaving kits... I loved those things.

Poppy O'Neill said...

Stockings always include a clementine (growing up in my family it was an orange, but I like clementines better) and chocolate. This year everyone is going to get a little flashlight because my kids loooooove them some mini flashlights. A toothbrush will probably round it off.

I try to be thrifty and low impact, so invariably gifts include secondhand games and toys that we get as hand-me-downs from neighbors. The kids don't mind and it saves money and resources.

Anonymous said...

Please tell me you did not mean to imply your children get new toothbrushes only twice each year.

Meredith said...

^^ good grief. Maybe they but them dec and July and maybe April and September they get them from
The dentist with their check up.

The Hoopers said...

Hey, in case you didn't know, your Sharpie chair was featured on BuzzFeed!!

http://www.buzzfeed.com/pippa/34-things-you-can-make-with-a-sharpie

Jenny at LGN said...

Melissa, isn't the wetbrush great?! I love it so much. Also, glad to hear you have an like the Brita water bottles! Thanks for your comment. xx

Anon- I hate to say it, but thanks for pointing out my confusing phrasing. I meant to imply (and have edited the post to say) that we take our kids to the dentist at the end of the year and in July. We buy toothbrushes once or twice in between the visits too. Although, our dentist says the brushes can last more like four months if the bristles are in good shape and if you sanitize the brushes in mouthwash every other week or so.

j

Anonymous said...

I love your blog. Here is a good tip for your secretary. you do not have to get mirror made to fit. Krylon has spray mirror paint. you just spray lots of thin layers on the BACK of the glass and it looks like mirror from the front. SO.......... easy!

Dani Ambrose said...

I, like you, got tiered of putting candy in the kids stockings. My husband doesn't like them having a lot of candy either. I substituted healthy fruit snacks like fruit leather and fruit chews that are all natural. My kids loved it and never complained about the missing candy.

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