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The Best Stocking Stuffers For Kids

Last updated on January 25, 2021
Best Stocking Stuffers For Kids

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Our Picks For The Top Stocking Stuffers For Kids

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Best for All Ages

The Noodley Flashing LED Gloves

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The Noodley

Flashing LED Gloves

The Noodley Flashing LED Gloves come in multiple sizes and colors, making them suitable for boys or girls as young as 4 or well into their teens. The lights in each glove have solid, blinking or alternating modes they can change with a simple button press. And thanks to the extra battery set, parents won't have to worry about the lightshow ending e...

Overall Take

Flashy Fingered FunThe Noodley Flashing LED Gloves can be enjoyed by kids of multiple age groups.

 Classic Toy

Mattel Games Magic 8 Ball

Mattel Games

Magic 8 Ball

Children of multiple generations have enjoyed the Mattel Games Magic 8 Ball. This classic fortune-teller provides mysterious answers to even the most whimsical questions with a simple shake. Even parents can use it for big decisions and rest assured that the durable casing can stand up to tough treatment from their kids.

Overall Take

A Durable ClassicThe Mattel Games Magic 8 Ball hides mysterious answers in a sturdy plastic shell.

 Creative Fun

Melissa & Doug Scratch Art Box of Rainbow Mini Notes

Melissa & Doug

Scratch Art Box of Rainbow Mini Notes

The Melissa & Doug Scratch Art Box of Rainbow Mini Notes comes with over 100 notes and a special stylus pen. The notes are covered with a black matte coating, which can be scratched off by the pen to reveal vibrant colors inside.

Overall Take

Great Choice for Little ArtistsThe Melissa & Doug Scratch Art Box of Rainbow Mini Notes is perfect for those who like to color and draw.

 Practical Pick

Lip Smacker Lippy Pal Unicorn Lip Balm Stocking Stuffer

Lip Smacker

Lippy Pal Unicorn Lip Balm Stocking Stuffer

During the Christmas season, the weather starts to turn cold. This stocking stuffer for kids will keep your little one's lips from becoming dry and chapped. Of course, little girls will love that the lip balm comes in the shape of a magical unicorn.

Overall Take

Ideal for Little GirlsIn addition to keeping lips hydrated, this stocking stuffer for kids also provides a soft shine.

Buying Guide

“Good things come in small packages.” That old saying gets truer every year, as technology makes toys not only more compact, but more full-featured. Handheld video-game systems like the Nintendo Switch look as great or better than home consoles did 10 years ago. Keychain-sized cars can do stunts that full RC cars once struggled to pull off. Even many action figures can now quote lines from the movies that inspired them.

All of the above toys have one thing in common: They can all fit into a stocking. And if you really want to earn that Santa hat, don’t see that stocking as a receptacle for afterthought toys. There’s plenty of affordable ways to wow the kids on your Christmas list when they open that oversized sock.

You can be pretty sure that these quickly growing tykes will always need new clothes, and most toddler casual wear will fit right into a stocking. But unless you’re the parent that has to give that thankless gift of plain white undies or socks, feel free to make an impression with some gear that features one of their favorite superheroes or cartoon characters.

For toys, dolls and action figures are always a good bet. Just do your research and make sure it’s a hero that the kid knows, yet doesn’t already have. When it comes to character merchandise, cheap knock-off brands aren’t likely to fool even the youngest kids in this media-saturated age.

Candy? That’s sure to be a hit with any kid. Just make sure that it’s not too perishable or prone to melting, or you might be paying for another stocking.

A little research can be helpful in gift-giving if you’re not a close relative. What music do they like? What movies have they seen? What games do they own?

Speaking of games, lots of kids enjoy trading card games. If so, that’s an easy niche to fill. Booster packs for these types of games are pretty affordable and accessible. They’re also full of random cards so you can be sure you’re not duplicating somebody else’s present. Other types of stand-alone card games or travel games can also be fun.

Video games are also a good choice, if a bit pricier. This is one of the rare occasions where a used game might be acceptable if you can find one that suits the player. Just avoid the rookie mistake of tech-averse grandparents everywhere: Don’t get them a game that’s only compatible with a console they don’t own.

Keep in mind it won’t always be the flashiest tech items that get the biggest smiles. If the child is old enough to own their own phone or media player, a decent pair of headphones or a Bluetooth speaker might be just the thing — even if they already have one. Kids tend to lose earbuds with depressing regularity.

Speaking of losing items, school supplies will be appreciated at the end of Christmas break, even if they aren’t necessarily a hit on Christmas morning. Pens, calculators and pencil holders are all perennial needs for tweens, and compact enough for any stocking.

What to Look For

  • The kids of distant relatives or friends can be tough to buy for, and it’s all too easy to just give in and buy them a gift card — especially when they fit so snugly into a stocking. And sure, free money is always appreciated. But at least put a little imagination into it by sneaking the gift card into an otherwise blah present. Say, a plain pair of socks or a pack of math flashcards. Just don’t get too sneaky if you won’t be around for the unveiling. Those cards can be easy to lose in the pile of holiday wrapping.
  • Stocking stuffers are sometimes a great way to sneak a little education into the holidays. Binoculars or toy microscopes can get a surprising amount of play out of curious tykes, and there’s a great array of mini-games out there that are great at teaching math and language skills.
  • Don’t be afraid to go old school, even for the most tech-savvy tweens. It’s a great coincidence that many of the classic toys of yesteryear still fit pretty nicely into a stocking. These items can be a great last-minute addition that you and that kid on your list can bond over. And who knows? Maybe a bit of retro flair is just what they need.

More to Explore

If you think about it, hanging socks by the mantelpiece is a fairly wacky tradition, but it’s hardly the strangest holiday gift receptacle in the world. In the Netherlands, in fact, they eliminate the middleman and just use their shoes.

On December 5, the Dutch celebrate Sinterklaas, which shares a lot in common with Christmas. Rather than stockings, kids simply leave their shoes out by the fireplace for St. Nicholas, sometimes filling them with carrots to entice his horse. In return, St. Nick might leave a small goodie or some chocolates for good children — or a sole potato for bad ones.

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