I don’t know about you but my house is full to bursting with tat. The kids seem to collect it everywhere they go. When they go to my in law’s there’s always a visit to the charity shop. When they go to my Mum’s there’s always a trip to the corner shop. Every party they go to they bring home a bag full of it. Every trip to MacDonalds sees a new item of tat arriving. For this reason, I really don’t want Father Christmas to fill their stockings with more tat. Since they were small I’ve focussed on non toy stocking fillers. This post contains affiliate links.
The Non Toy Stocking Filler Approach
My aim is to include fun versions of things they need anyway. If girl Child needs a new hat I’ll get a Spider-Man one. If boy Child needs slippers, I’ll look for Minecraft ones. They even regularly receive underwear in their stockings but are happy because it’s got a character they love on it. Last year I included flashing toothbrushes for the first time and thought I might have gone to far but they were stupidly excited about brushing their teeth on Christmas Day.
There are some things that I include every year which makes it easier to get started. There is always a T-Shirt each featuring something they love. I always include a new drawing pad and notebook because they get through them so fast. There always books in their stockings, usually from The Book People but this year I found a collection of football books for Boy Child in excellent condition in a charity shop instead. I usually include an annual too, depending on their current interests, this year it’s Manchester United and Minecraft. Chocolate is also included but I just stick to one thing as the house is always full of it at Christmas.
So here’s my list of non toy stocking fillers.
Things to wear in the Stocking
Hat – In the vain hope they might wear it.
Scarf – Will probably end up on a snowman.
Gloves – With fingers that can use screens if they are for older children.
Socks – Either regular ones or fluffy bed socks.
Pants/knickers – My kid’s still get very excited about having their favourite characters on their underwear.
Slippers – Mine never wear them but I feel compelled to buy them anyway.
Fill the Stocking with Things to do
Activity books – These could be fun ones but I have included maths and English ones before.
Reading books – I usually get mine from The Book People.
Craft supplies – But not glitter obviously.
Seeds and plant pots – Make sure they are indoor ones so they can do them straight away, as you may have noticed, kids have zero patience.
Annuals – There are so many now that you’re bound to find one they’ll like, ours will likely be Minecraft/Roblox this year.
Drawing pad – Spiral bound are easiest to use if you can find them.
Sellotape dispenser – They still nick mine though.
Stapler – Just for older children.
Pen pot – You can usually pick these up cheaply in pound shops.
Folders – To keep their artwork in, saves you “Filing” it.
Notebook – We’ve gone fluffy this year.
Pencil case – fluffy, character or a “take out a second mortgage” one from Smiggle.
Letter writing set – Handy for thank you letters.
Pens/Pencils – Because the red will have long ago run out in last year’s set.
Useful Stocking Fillers
Sports equipment – Some things will be too big but the clothes are a good option, as are swimming bits like goggles, floats etc.
Money box – In the hope they might get the savings bug.
Hand warmers – The kind where you press a disc and they warm up, great if they’re outdoors a lot.
Trinket box – For their special treasures, I got some they can decorate for themselves from The Works
Hot water bottle – Fluffy, animal shaped or go for the microwaveable teddies instead.
Wallet/purse – Make sure you get one that closes properly so they don’t lose their money!
Special mug – My children love having their own for hot chocolate treats.
Photo album – We did these last year and they love being able to look at all their favourite pictures.
Hair brush – They do some great ones with letters so they can have the first letter of their name.
Flashing/character Toothbrush – Yes, really, they loved them!
Bubble bath – Or bath foam, or shower gel or bath crayons or if you’re really brave, bath slime!
Wash bags – Great for if they do overnights with Scouts/Brownies etc or just for family trips.
Hopefully that has given you some inspiration to avoid adding more tat to your house this Christmas while still giving your children things they’ll be excited about. If you do need to buy some toys for Christmas, check out the only 6 toys your baby needs and the only 6 toys your toddler needs. If you have other ideas for non toy stocking fillers then do let me know in the comments!
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