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Ideas for Kids Stocking Stuffers That Won't Blow Your Budget
It is Christmas time again and with that comes filling stockings. With four kids, stocking stuffers could quickly blow the Christmas budget. They don't have to cost a fortune though. I love finding the perfect items to go in each stocking. This takes time though to find the right things at the right cost. So I always start looking for unique and inexpensive stocking stuffers a few months in advance. Here are some ideas for different ages of kids.
I have found that filling stockings for younger kids is pretty easy. It doesn't take much for them to get excited. Young children are happy with art supplies and playdough. If you can plan ahead and purchase art supplies on sale at back to school time it will really save you money. If not that is fine, crayons and coloring books aren't that much money. A four pack of playdough is $1.68, making it a very inexpensive item for stockings. I will divide it up among the two younger kids. It also takes up a good chunk of space, meaning overall it will cost less to actually have the stocking filled.
Bubble bath is another favorite here. This is not something I buy on a regular basis, so it is always a treat at Christmas time. Again it takes up a lot of space. Young children also get excited about fun character toothbrushes and toothpaste. Speaking of character items, character socks or t-shirts fit well in stockings and kids love them. These items fill a need for my children many years and they still really like them.
For young boys little metal race cars are a favorite. You can purchase tubes of plastic animals or people for around $6. There are many themes to choose from - from forest animals to astronauts, even an Egyptian theme. Most kids love these and they take up a good bit of space too.
For young girls you can purchase little baby bottles for their dolls and even doll diapers. If your little girl doesn't already have a doll, that would be a great item to be sticking out of the top of the stocking on Christmas morning. Hair clips or bows, play jewelry or dress up items all fit nicely into stockings and are relatively inexpensive.
Older children can be a bit harder, as their tastes and interests are more specific. You can't get away with general items like art supplies, unless of course they really like art. For these children looking for items to put in their stocking throughout the year is a really good way to find the right items at the right price. You could do a theme for the stocking. If your child is very interested in crafts, you could fill her stocking with all sorts of craft supplies. Googly eyes, Popsicle sticks, string and beads, feathers, pipe cleaners, glitter, etc are all pretty cheap and would get any crafty child dreaming of the possibilities.
For girls makeup and jewelry are usually a hit. Clip in feather extensions for the hair are very popular right now, as are slap bracelets. Clothing is usually popular for older girls and can be rolled up nicely to fit inside the stocking. Instead of bubble bath I will do bath beads for older girls. For boys how about sports cards or little Lego or Kinex sets. Small handheld games are always a hit. These can be bought cheaply at Target or Wal-Mart. I am not talking about a Game Boy, but a handheld Tetris, Connect Four, Pac man, etc. There are many options and my kids love to play these in the car. Older kids all love to get gift cards and my kids will be finding movie passes and $5 Chipotle gift cards in their stockings this year.
Other items I have put in stockings before include a child's favorite food (if it doesn't need to be refrigerated), a special treat specific to each child, books, card games, trinkets with the child's name on it, character underwear, handmade coupons for things like their favorite meal or a pass to get out of doing a chore, candy, notepads, fancy pens or pencils, glow in the dark stickers of the solar system, bouncy balls, gum, stickers, pajamas, disposable cameras (always a favorite) and computer games.
Filling a stocking should be fun and inexpensive. Many times I will try to get an item that was specifically requested by the child and have it as the top item sticking out of the stocking. Mostly I fill stockings with what I know the child will like and use, and a little bit of what they need. Items requested for Christmas are usually from us under the tree, not the main part of a stocking. Good luck filling your stockings this year!