Stuffing a stocking for Christmas can provide delightful fun for the child opening the stocking and for the one who is searching for just the right gifts, but shopping for stocking stuffers can be challenging for those on a strict budget. Fortunately, children often enjoy the simpler things in life, and filling a stocking with heartfelt gifts does not have to be expensive.
Stuff a Stocking with Handmade Items
Those who enjoy crafting can make a variety of homemade gifts that are special and unique. Children will be delighted with a handmade ornament that is personalized with his or her name and the year. This could start a fun family tradition for each year to come. Other handmade gift ideas include small clothing items, such as mittens or socks, handmade jewelry, homemade card, original poem, small painting, and many other ideas. Readers may also wish to provide kids with heartfelt notes throughout the year by reading Express Love for Kids with Backpack Notes. Even the stocking can be handmade – the first three photos at the bottom of this article were handcrafted and enjoyed by the kids each Christmas!
A stocking can also provide a holding place for a small collection of Bible verses and inspirational quotes that have provided comfort and direction for others. Placing ingredients for a special recipe can also be fun, along with a collection of favorite recipes. For example, place oranges, lemons, and limes in the stocking along with this simple, great-tasting juice recipe to enjoy later for the holiday meal. Readers may also wish to read Teach Children Practical Math Skills in the Kitchen for engaging, fun, and educational opportunities at home.
Art and School Supplies Make Great Stocking Stuffers
Encourage a child’s creativity with a variety of art supplies in a stocking. Many creative artistic supplies fit nicely into a stocking, such as:
- Pencils and colored pencils
- Colored chalk
- Crochet hook
- Sewing needles and thread
Encourage Interaction and Fun With Teaser Stocking Stuffers
The stocking can also provide a great teaser for another larger present. For example, you might place loom loops in a stocking and wrap the weaving loom or paint brushes might hint at the larger wrapped art kit. A baby doll bottle might hint at a nicely wrapped baby doll. Kids who are getting a toolbox might find a screwdriver in the stocking. A dog brush might spark a lively debate as to whether or not the family is getting a dog for Christmas. Readers may wish to read Practical Tips Before Getting a Dog for Christmas.
Finding a ticket for a show, game or concert can provide opportunity to enjoy the anticipation of the event. A gift card also fits nicely into a stocking – readers may also wish to read Fun Ways to Wrap a Gift Card.
A Christmas stocking can also provide a wonderful starting place for a scavenger hunt. Finding a clue in the stocking is sure to send a child hunting for the next clue – searching for the gift can be as much or more fun than finding it! Try writing riddles to challenge the kids to use problem solving skills while hunting for that elusive Christmas present. Adorn the clues themselves with your own personality or perhaps take pictures of various items around the house with a digital camera so that the kids can search for visual scavenger clues.
Great Practical Stocking Stuffer Ideas
Many kids need items such as socks and underwear. Why not make it fun? Tie the socks and/or underwear together with a special gift hidden at the end. These can also provide a practical way to wrap a present that might break.
Although they do not seem like a glamorous gift idea, many kids enjoy getting batteries for Christmas. Flashlights are often met with enthusiasm by kids. Plan to play a game of flashlight tag, lighted I Spy, or nighttime hide-and-go-seek in the evening.
Kids may love to get their own oven mitt or other cooking supplies with a special invitation to help make the Christmas dinner. Readers may wish to read Thanksgiving Cooking Tips – How to Make Thanksgiving Safe and Delicious that gives specific tips and times for thawing a turkey, cooking a turkey, how to prevent food poisoning, Thanksgiving disaster stories, and more.
Other supplies that are practical and serve as great stocking stuffers include:
- Bandages (kids often enjoy colorful ones with designs)
- Lip balm
- Nail polish
- Small book
- Small puzzle
- Flash cards
- Snack containers
- Special spoon or small dish
- SD card (for digital camera)
- Memory stick or USB flash drive
- Small note cards (placing a pack of thank-you notes in the stocking can help kids to remember to write personal thank-you notes for their Christmas gifts)
Practical Stocking Stuffer Ideas for People on a Tight Budget
Placing small gifts into a stocking can be a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge a child’s individual talents, interests, and to encourage his or her imagination. With a few inexpensive ideas and supplies, you can easily transform a stocking into a meaningful and beloved gift tradition for years to come.