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.
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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
It’s great to include things to wear in a stocking because your giving them stuff you’d have had to buy them anyway, thus saving you money!
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 cosy 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
T-Shirts – A T-Shirt featuring something they love is an annual tradition now, either a character or something like their favourite animal
Sunglasses – Not very seasonal but will be useful when summer (finally) comes, these frozen ones* are great.
Fill the Stocking with Things to do
Entertaining children is a lot of work so anything that helps keep them busy is plus. I often use the stocking to top up supplies if things we’re running out of.
Reading books – I usually get mine from The Works*
Craft supplies – But not glitter obviously.
Drawing pad – Spiral bound* are easiest to use if you can find them.
Small Instrument – Something like maracas* for younger children or a harmonica* for older children, although you may want to consider carefully weather that’s the first thing you want to hear on Christmas Day
Magazine – Magazines are a bit like activity books these days and will keep them occupied for a while
Magnets – Magnets can be great fun to play with as well as being educational, we have this set*
Drawing Tablet – Drawing tablets* are fun and have come down in price quite a bit in recent years, my daughter loves hers
Rubiks Cube – I never mastered the Rubiks Cube* but maybe my kids are cleverer than me?
My kids have both inherited my passion for stationery so anything along those lines is always a hit, especially if it’s something grown up they usually have to borrow from my desk.
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
Pencil case – fluffy, character or a “take out a second mortgage” one from Smiggle
A Letter Writing Set – a Letter writing set* is handy for thank you letters
Pens/Pencils – Because the red will have long ago run out in last year’s set.
Useful Non Toy Stocking Fillers
I hate items without a purpose so am always on the look out for useful things to include.
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*
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 Photo albums* last year and they love being able to look at all their favourite pictures.
Travel Pillow – Once your children are old enough to be out of high backed booster seats, a travel cushion* can make car naps much more comfy
Hooded Towel – Little ones love hooded towels* for after baths or swimming, especially character ones
Lunch Boxes – Even if they don’t need them for school, kids still enjoy taking lunch boxes for days out, this Spider-Man one* looks great
Water Bottles – Water bottles* are so useful and we never seem to have enough
Cosy Blanket – My kids love to snuggle on the sofa (as do I!) so a cosy blanket can be a lovely thing to get at Christmas, this one would be great for Paw Patrol fans*
Hobby Related Stocking Fillers
If your child has something they’re passionate about then something related to it will always go down well.
Sports equipment – Some things will be too big but the clothes are a good option, as are swimming bits like goggles*, floats etc.
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.
While you might think of “Grooming” as something they won’t do until they hit their teens, there are plenty of grooming type items you can get for younger kids.
Hair Brush– Hair brushes* that have the first letter of their name are nice
Flashing/character Toothbrush – Yes, really, they loved them! Flashing toothbrushes* were a big hit in our house
Wash Bag – Wash bags* are Great for if they do overnights with Scouts/Brownies etc or just for family trips.
Hair Bands or clips – Great for girls who like pretty things, especially as they always seem to,be losing them
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 have other ideas for non toy stocking fillers then do let me know in the comments!
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