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 their stockings to be another source of tat. Since they were small I’ve focussed on non toy stocking fillers.
The Non Toy 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 album 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.
Non Toy Stocking Fillers: Things to wear
Socks – Either regular ones or fluffy bed socks
Slippers – Mine never wear them but I feel compelled to buy them anyway.
Non Toy Stocking Fillers: Things to do
Activity books – These could be fun ones but I have included maths and English ones before
Craft supplies – But not glitter obviously
Seeds and plant pots
Annual – There are so many now that you’re bound to find one they’ll like
Non Toy Stocking Fillers: Stationery
Stapler – Just for older children
Folders – To keep their artwork in, saves you “Filing” it.
Notebook – We’ve gone fluffy this year
Letter writing set – Handy for thank you letters
Non Toy Stocking Fillers: Useful
Sports equipment – Some things will be too big but the clothes are a good option
Hand warmers – The kind where you press a disc and they warm up
Trinket box – For their special treasures
Hot water bottle bottle – Fluffy, animal shaped or go for the microwaveable teddies instead
Special mug – My children love having their own. If for hot chocolate treats
Photo album – We did these last year and they love being able to look at all their favourite pictures
Non Toy Stocking Fillers: Grooming
Hair brush – They do some great ones with letters on in Matalan so they can have the first letter of their name.
Flashing 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 asking 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!