Hang in there. You can get through this holiday season. While we do not focus on the “things” aspect so much (yay for less stress), I do enjoy having a few fun things for the kids to open and we do some activities (like our Gingerbread Pancakes to Decorate or Decorate a Tree Advent Calendar Activity.). One activity we enjoy is filling stockings with unconventional gifts. I decided I would share a list of unconventional and unique stocking stuffer ideas with you.
This list of unconventional stocking stuffer ideas is modeled after my very-popular unconventional Easter basket filler ideas post. You can reference this post for even more ideas. While many overlap, each list has some different ideas that are not on the other. This stocking stuffer ideas list contains items that should fit in a standard-size Christmas stocking.
Unconventional Stocking Stuffer Ideas
These stocking stuffer ideas are categorized by theme for your convenience and many are linked with my affiliate links/ are linked to non-affiliate informative posts for your convenience. A few items overlap, but some that could overlap are only in one category, so check out a couple different categories that are similar. Please consider age and safety when preparing your stockings (I know, I shouldn’t have to say this, but for legal reasons…please keep safety in mind.). Due to the length of this list, I have broken this post down into a few pages. For added convenience, here are the categories you will find on each page:
- For Eating
- For the Artist
- For the Crafter
- For the Author
- For the Bookworm
- For the Curious/For Learning
- For the Actor/For Dramatic Play
- For the Baker/Chef
- For the Coffee Lover
- For Little Caregivers
- For Self-Care/Beauty
- For Wearing
- For the Decorator
- For the Organizer
- For the Housework Helper
- For the Photographer
- For the Sports/Exercise Enthusiast
- For the Musician
- For the Gardener
- For the Winter Months
- For the Sentimental/Giving
- For the Handyman
- For Babies
- For Teens
- For Your Spouse
- For Fun
We don’t exactly like stuffing stockings with buckets of candy (we already have plenty of that from Halloween), so instead I love adding more unconventional items–things that kids really do enjoy and are excited to receive that are different from what one would normally think to add in a stocking. We always highlight some essentials that we would need anyway–healthy snacks, personal care items, etc.–but we get the “fun” kinds that the kids wouldn’t always get to choose on an average day.
Fill your stockings entirely by theme or mix and match them like we do! Think of your child’s interests and have fun with it.
Stocking Stuffer Ideas For Eating
We love adding some fun and more nutritious treats (that work well for snack time or school lunch) to the boys’ stockings, so here are some edible stocking stuffer ideas.
1. Fruit like bananas, apples, and oranges (There are several fun stories behind oranges in stockings–the one I remember from Old World Wisconsin was that during the Great Depression they would give oranges/other fruit as a very special treat for the holidays, as fruit was expensive back then. The other is to resemble gold balls St. Nicholas is said to have given to a poor man who was unable to afford dowries for his daughters to marry; he dropped the gold balls down the chimney…isn’t this a fun history lesson to include with the stocking?)
2. Juice packs/boxes
3. Organic white/chocolate milk boxes (These do not have to be refrigerated, so they work well.)
5. Bottled water (The small packs are fun and you could even decorate the bottle.)
6. Hot cocoa mix with marshmallows
7. Tea bags (Perfectly paired with an invitation to an exclusive tea party with the recipient.)
8. Baking mix–cake, cookie, bread (This can be removed from the box with the directions cut out so it fits better.)
9. Peanut butter and jelly/jam
10. Space foodMRE/camping food (for those who want to try meals that astronauts or soldiers eat.)
11. Fruit cups/squeeze packs–mandarin oranges, applesauce
12. Dried/freeze-dried fruits–raisins, apple crisps
13. Box macaroni and cheese
14. Fruit snacks
15. Cheese (Many cheeses are shelf-stable.)
16. Granola bars
17. Dry soup mix
18. Uncrustables (As long as it will be opened and eaten within 8 hours of being placed in the stocking.)
19. Oatmeal packets
22. Gelatin mix
Stocking Stuffer Ideas For the Artist
Have a doodler? Does your little one live for coloring (like mine)? Here are some amazingly awesome stocking stuffer ideas for your artist.
23. Coloring books (My book, “Let’s Color Together” makes a great gift! It can be gently bent vertically to fit as it is soft-cover with space to fit more goodies in the center. Learn more about the book or buy it here.)
25. Colored pencils (I like to buy my kiddo the “grown up” colored pencils, but ones just for kids work too–you can even find some wide ones that are easier for kids to grip.)
27. Paints and brushes
28. Mini canvases or art pads
29. Gel pens
30. Doodle book (This book can be made for a child or adult or can be made by the child to gift later.)
32. Chalk/chalk marker
33. Colorful permanent markers and a light bulb (so he/she can decorate the light bulb)
34. Snow paint
35. Colored pens
37. Kwik Stix
40. Wooden figurine/manikin
41. Coupon for Special Display Space–your wall/refrigerator/work desk
42. Enrollment in an art class
Stocking Idea: Color-In stocking–buy one pre-made or purchase a white stocking and use a black fabric marker to make a fun design to color!
Stocking Stuffer Ideas For the Crafter
Some kids prefer the glitter and the glue. Here are some fantastic crafty stocking stuffer ideas.
43. Craft kits/books
44. Craft sticks
46. Googly eyes, sequins, rhinestones, pom poms, and other mini craft supplies
50. Sun catchers
51. Washi tape
52. Sewing supplies
53. Glitter glue
55. Art supplies (see “For the Artist”)
56. Craft store coupon (let them pick out any one craft item up to a certain amount, then share how they can save money by using the coupon)
57. Origami paper
58. Paper straws
59. Construction paper
60. Jingle bells
61. Tie dye kit
62. Plan a date to attend a craft class (like Michaels craft classes) and include an invitation card
Stocking Idea: Buy a plain stocking and decorate it.
Stocking Stuffer Ideas For the Author
If your child loves writing and getting creative, encourage that! It’s an amazing quality that can die off if not nurtured. Encourage it with these fantastic stocking stuffers for writers.
63. Create your own book kit (This can be removed from the box to fit a stocking.)
64. Story Cubes
65. Aqua Notes (My husband bought me this as a gift because I’m always wanting to write, even in the shower; they’re awesome.)
67. Fancy pen
68. Calligraphy pens
69. Quill pen
70. Bath crayons
71. Voice recorder
72. Stamps, envelopes, and stationery
73. Writer’s Prompts game (This looks neat.)
74. Have one of their finished stories published
75. Dictionary/thesaurus/rhyming dictionary
76. White-out pen
Stocking Stuffer Ideas For the Bookworm
Nose always in the books? Here are some fun gift ideas for avid readers.
77. Book club subscription
78. Book light
81. Toobaloo (This is a great tool for kids learning how to read, as it lets them hear themselves.)
82. Kid’s Bible
83. Books (This is a given.)
Stocking Stuffer Ideas For the Curious/For Learning
My E is always wanting to learn more. He is obsessed with magazines and science kits and worksheets. These educational stocking stuffers will encourage your child to keep on learning and give them fun ways to learn.
84. Flash cards
85. Activity books
87. Science kit
88. Test tubes
90. Math dice
91. Puzzles/Wood 3D Puzzles/Mazes
92. Mini Perplexus
97. Magnifying glass
100. Wikki Stix
101. Play dough
102. Kid magazine subscription–Ranger Rick Kids, National Geographic Kids, God’s Big World, see my STEM list for more
103. Math cubes
105. Translator (I had one of these growing up and had a blast with it!)
106. Career-encouraging gifts (For instance, my son wants to be an engineer, so I will look for STEAM gifts.)
107. LEGO bricks
108. Rolled-up map
109. Mini globe
110. STEM DVDs
111. Online educational program subscription–Rosetta Stone, ABC Mouse, etc.
112. Tickets to a museum–children’s museum, Smithsonian, science museum
114. Tickets to the aquarium/SeaWorld
115. Passes for the zoo/a farm tour
116. Tickets for an animal experience–snorkeling, horseback riding, feeding tigers, swimming with dolphins
117. Book of logic puzzles
118. Brain Quest games
Check out this list of educational stocking stuffers from My Little Poppies.
Stocking Stuffer Ideas For the Actor/Dramatic Play
In this house, we love to play dress-up. It gives us a chance to try something new, learn something new, and play pretend.
121. Fancy white gloves
123. Clip-on earrings and chunky necklaces
124. Feather boa/scarves
125. Play makeup
127. Play glasses
128. Hair accessories
130. Fake mustaches
132. Career outfits–jacket, play doctor kit and tiny stuffed animals/baby doll for a vet or prenatal doctor, etc.
133. Temporary hair color
Here are over 100 more themed ideas, from baking and decorating to personal care!
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