The toys under the tree may garner all the glory, but sometimes it’s the stuff in the stockings that are what make Christmas mornings especially joyous. “Remember, just because something is small doesn’t mean it won’t be big with kids," notes Marissa DiBartolo, senior editor at The Toy Insider. We think you’ll agree after you check out our roundup of stocking stuffer ideas for kids. Whether you’re stuffing baby’s first Christmas stocking, or that of a picky first grader, we’ve got trinkets, treasures and treats that are sure to bring squeals (or coos) of surprise and delight.
Fisher-Price Coffee Cup Teether
Few baby stocking stuffers are as funny as this one! This teether is shaped like a coffee cup and rattles too. The carry strap means baby can take it on the go as you venture out to grab your own cup of joe.
Buy it: $5, BuyBuyBaby.com
CanvasPop Customized Magnets
Your kid will get a kick out of magnets with a photo of his beloved pet, best friend or himself! With nine magnets in a set—each of which can be individually customized—you can knock out the whole family’s stockings at once. They’re perfect for displaying artwork on the fridge.
Buy it: $30 for a set of nine, CanvasPop.com
The Manhattan Toy Company Seasons On The Go Activity Book.
A soft book tucks nicely inside a stocking—and later, into the diaper bag. This one has everything that babies love: cute, colorful characters, lots of textures and sounds, plus a handy nubby teether right on the corner of the front cover.
Buy it: $9, ManhattanToy.com
Funnybone Toys Funnybones Game
The perfect portable present for a kindergartner, this game of 30 silly challenges builds hand-eye coordination and can be played alone or with a pal.
Buy it: $10, FunnyBoneToys.com
Natierra Nature’s All Foods Dark Chocolate-Covered Freeze-Dried Bananas
One of the tastiest stocking stuffer ideas on the list: This organic portable fruit snack is chocolatey, crunchy and just the right amount of sweet. Plus, it’s not only healthy, it’s also virtuous—the company donates a meal to a child in Haiti with every bag of their superfoods line that you buy.
Buy it: $7, Natierra.com
Sleepy Toes Board Book
Like that guided relaxation exercise at the end of yoga class, this padded book helps even the most restless of tots settle down at bedtime, one body part at a time.
Buy it: $9, Amazon.com
Shutterfly Alphabet Memory Game
The perennially popular matching game for preschoolers can now be personalized with your child’s name and photo on every card. This set teaches little ones the alphabet too.
Buy it: $15, Shutterfly.com
The Original Card Caddy
This case fits any deck, whether it’s the standard 52 or his cherished baseball cards. Choose your kid’s favorite color and he’ll have a tidy way of toting his collection along wherever he goes.
Buy it: $6, NarrowsHill.com
My First Bananagrams
Finally, a younger version of Bananagrams, a cousin of Scrabble that crowns a winner based on speed, not points.
Buy it: $15, Bananagrams.com
Manhattan Toy Company Teether Fox Snuggle Blankie
Not too big, not too small, this forest friend has teethers for feet, makes crinkly sounds and is super-soft for cuddling. The loop lets him ride along in the stroller too.
Buy it: $10, ManhattanToy.com
Good Health Snacks Mickey Veggie Chips.
One of our stocking stuffer ideas that both parents and kids will love. It’s salty, it’s crunchy, it’s colorful and it’s shaped like Mickey! No need to tell your kids that it’s made from spinach, green peppers, beets and tomatoes. Plus: The snack contains no artificial colors or trans fat, and it’s peanut- and tree-nut-free.
Buy it: $1 per snack-size bag, GoodHealthSnacks.com
These graphic, stylish socks are supposed to be mismatched—so you’re “Lemme do it!” kid can wear two different socks and nobody will know the difference. What’s more, these stocking stuffers for kids are available in a rainbow of colors and designs.
Buy it: $9 for a pair, PalsSocks.com
Haba Rainbow Sun Clutching Toy
Brighten baby’s holiday with this colorful clacking toy. One of our favorite eco-friendly stocking stuffers for kids (at least the smallest ones) , this pick is crafted out of beech wood from a sustainable forest in Germany and colored with a non-toxic stain.
Buy it: $15, HabaUSA.com
Fifty Strong Be Happy Insulated Bottle
Looking for stocking stuffer ideas that will perk up Christmas day, and each day that follows? Here’s a bottle with a message we want our child to take to kindergarten every morning. Its double wall prevents condensation, and the wide mouth makes it easy to drop in a few ice cubes. Plus, it’s dishwasher safe.
Buy it: $10, Be50Strong.com
Yookidoo’s Cow "Shake Me" Rattle
This motion-activated rattle plays music and woos baby with multiple textures. The easy-grip handle is designed especially for small hands.
Buy it: $10, Amazon.com
Marcus & Marcus Submarine Bath Toy
Bath toys make fun stocking stuffers for kids. This silicone squirter is BPA-, mold- and phthalate-free. Don’t think a submarine will float your kid’s boat? You have a rocket ship option too.
Buy it: $12, Amazon.com
Playgro Pooky Puppy
A goofy canine that sports textured fabrics and hanging rings, and clips easily to a car seat or stroller? Sold!
Buy it: $14, BuyBuyBaby.com
HABA Bendy Doll Babies
Meet Marie and Max. They’re two and a half inches tall and can be posed any which way—so kids have endless possibilities for pretend play. Choose from other characters in the phthalate-free Little Friends collection too.
Buy it: $10 for the pair, HabaUSA.com
Educational Insights Kanoodle Junior
If you like particular games, look for junior versions—they often make fun stocking stuffers for kids. This one is a spin-off of the award-winning Kanoodle brain game series for older children. With 60 puzzles to choose from and in levels of varying difficulty, your little one will never get bored. Larger puzzle pieces are perfect for small hands and it neatly packs up in its own carrying case.
Buy it: $16, Amazon.com
JJ Rabbit Cuppie
If the teeny pig (or frog, bunny or penguin) hiding at the bottom of a double-handled BPA-free transition cup doesn’t get your toddler to finish his milk, nothing will.
Buy it: $8, JJRabbit.com
Inroad Toys Classic Road Play Tape
Do the best stocking stuffer ideas for your kid veer toward the vehicular? Then you hit the jackpot with this floor- and wall-safe tape that lets you instantly create roads and tracks anywhere. Just unroll, stick and vroom! Don’t worry, it peels right off without leaving residue.
Buy it: $8, Amazon.com
Coby Color Kids Headphone
These cushy headphones, specially designed for little kids, come in fun, fresh colors. And the price is pretty unbelievable, especially considering the adjustable band and built-in microphone.
Buy it: $7, Amazon.com
Sat Nam Babe Headbands
These super-stretchy, soft hair accessories are made in North Carolina from, believe it or not, recycled plastic bottles! One size fits all (including adults—so you can borrow them too).
Buy it: $11.50, SatNamBabe
Henley & Heart Cribstar Sippy Cup
It’s a sippy cup with hipster edge! When baby is ready to take her milk like a grown-up, simply remove the lid, and it turns into a basic tumbler. Dishwasher and microwave safe.
Buy it: $10, HenleyandHeart.com
Zipit Interactive Coloring and Activity Book
Every kid has secretly wished that his coloring-book creations could come to life. By way of the special stickers in this book and a free app, they will.
Buy it: $5, Just-ZipIt.com
Pink Princess Wonderland Princess Hair Clip Set
Adorn your little Frozen fanatic without buying the same ol’ licensed stocking stuffers for kids. She’ll see Elsa; you see simply adorable.
Buy it: $10, PinkPrincess.com
SoapSox Scorch the Dragon
More bathtime stocking stuffers for kids! This fiery fellow is actually a washcloth with built-in finger pockets and a clever opening for liquid or bar soap—so you can amuse baby and get the nighttime routine going at the same time.
Buy it: $10, SoapSoxKids.com
Colgate Minions Talking Toothbrush
Bedtime battles be gone. Among the most practical-yet-fun stocking stuffers for kids, this brush coaches (in a Minion’s voice) reluctant brushers along. It even has a quadrant timer, a way to encourage kids to give a good 30 seconds to each part of their mouth.
Buy it: $10, Walmart.com
Wild Republic Hugger
Spread this plush pal’s arms wide, give the chest a squeeze and a Hugger instantly wraps its arms around you. We think the penguin is especially irresistible, but there’s a whole zoo of stocking stuffer ideas to choose from on the site.
Buy it: $8, WildRepublic.com
Green Toys Animals on Wheels
Made from 100 percent recycled plastic milk jugs, these fun toddler stocking stuffers are built to be easy for little hands to grab and roll.
Buy it: $13, GreenToys.com
Honest Apricot Kiss Bubble Bath
Drugstores are a terrific place to find cool stocking stuffers for kids. Case in point: these super-foaming bubbles. Besides being just clean fun, the vegan formulation includes chamomile and jojoba, which nourishes and soothes baby’s delicate skin.
Buy it: $13, CVS.com
Crayola World's Most Washable Crayons
A box of crayons is among the most traditional stocking stuffers for kids, but these come with a perk for you: They easily wash off walls with soap and warm water.
Buy it: $5, CVS.com
Gifted & Present Whale Teether
Perhaps the chicest of baby stocking stuffer ideas: This 100 percent food-grade silicone teether with a modern aesthetic can be frozen for extra sore-gum relief.
Buy it: $6, GiftedandPresent.com
Mr. Sketch Scented Colored Pencils
There are a couple of cool twists to this fun pick: The twist-up-to-use design means you never need a sharpener. Plus, each color has a scent, from the yummy (strawberry ice cream) to the slightly more sophisticated (stinky cheese).
Buy it: $3 for a set of 18, Amazon.com
Peanuts Woodstock Itty Bittys Stuffed Animal Limited Edition
We bet this particular plush rendition (especially Woodstock!) is the cutest you’ve ever seen. Even if your little one isn’t a fan of A Charlie Brown Christmas—yet—they’ll find these cheerful fun stocking stuffers utterly huggable. Plus, $1 of each purchase goes to Toys for Tots.
Buy it: $7, Hallmark.com
AllPosters Unicorn Amazing Poster
Posters make for cool stocking stuffer ideas, especially if they include a message you want your child to remember day in and day out. This 16” X 20” print is perfect for the little kid who wants unicorn everything.
Buy it: $4, Allposters.com
TurtleFur Fleece Mittens
You’re bound to lose one or two this season, so cozy winter accessories are especially practical stocking stuffers for kids. We were smitten with these mittens, crafted near Vermont’s highest peak (so the makers have intimate knowledge of icy hands). Made of itch-free, machine-washable fleece, the cuffs unfold so you can tuck in sleeves and keep snow out.
Buy it: $10, TurtleFur.com
Doddle & Co. The Pop
Is there any truth to the 5-second rule? With this ingenious pacifier, it doesn’t matter. Not only is it stylish, it’s engineered so that, when baby drops it, the nipple retracts into its casing and never touches the dirty floor.
Buy it: $10, Doodleandco.com
Rose and Rex The Little Market Watermelon Rattle
Here’s one of our favorite unique stocking stuffer ideas. This hand-knit slice of deliciousness works as a rattle when your little one is a baby—and then turns into a prized possession for her pretend grocery excursions when she’s a toddler.
Buy it: $12 RoseandRex.com
Jane.com Bead Bracelet & Necklace Set
It’s no secret: Little girls are obsessed with beads. Which is why they’ll go wild for stretchy necklace-and-bracelet sets. These stocking stuffers for kids come in a slew of candy colors and one size fits most.
Buy it: $6, Jane.com
Kind Fruit Bites
Tasty bite-sized treats with no added sugar—and, for that matter, no added anything but apples, cherries and strawberries. It’s a Christmas miracle. Each box contains five stocking-sized packages.
Buy it: $5 for a box, Target.com
Hydaway Water Bottle
This ingenious water bottle holds up to 12 ounces of beverage or food, and then collapses into a flat disc to make room in your child’s backpack at the end of the day (so he’s got more room for all that artwork he brings home at the end of the day). And it’s watertight, BPA-free and dishwasher-safe too!
Buy it: $15, HydawayBottle.com
Meri Meri Little Fox Cookie Cutter
Gingerbread men are so 2016. Make a whole den’s worth of sweet ‘n’ spicy foxes instead. Best of all: It’s one of those great stocking stuffer ideas that encourages the spirit of giving. Bake up a storm in the afternoon and take them along to play dates over the rest of school break.
Buy it: $5, Knackshops.com
Pebble Octopus Keyring
Whether it’s a diary or a jewelry box, this smiley friend will keep good watch over your child’s keys. Or she can use it to adorn her backpack. Best of all, each purchase supports a women’s cooperative in Bangladesh, whose members make these whimsical creatures by hand.
Buy it: $9, Knackshops.com
Jaq Jaq Bird Chalk Color & Doodle Mat
Hooray for stocking stuffer ideas that replace the iPad on road trips! One side of this mat is blank to let your little one’s imagination run wild; the other features designs to color in. Its special “chalk” is dust-free.
Buy it: $10, JaqJaqBird.com
OBDesigns Flipity Flop Bub Love
So simple, yet so irresistible. Done up with a Scandinavian design vibe, this plush rattle, sized to fit baby’s hand, has a bell that dingles and a festoon of tags of different textures.
Buy it: $5, OBDesignsUSA.com
ThumbThings Finger Puppet
We love nostalgic stocking stuffer ideas like these finger puppets. These beauties are handmade by artisans in rural Peru.
Buy it: $5 each or five for $20, FingerPuppetsInc.com
Guidecraft IO Blocks Mini
These blocks may be small in size, but they’re big in inspiring creativity. Each set contains 75 pieces—because sometimes more is more.
Buy it: $14 for a set, Michaels.com
Creatology Wind-Up Dinosaur
These diminutive dinos prove once and for all that kids can have a ball without expensive techy playthings.
Buy it: $1 each, Michaels.com
Design by Tangee Knot Bow
The Aztec-print-and-leather design tops off any holiday outfit with a unique flair. And that’s something a girl can appreciate at any age. Choose from a clip or a ponytail holder.
Buy it: $5 each, DesignByTangee.com
Finn + Emma Bandana Bib
Crafted from certified-organic, buttery-soft cotton, eco-friendly dyes and nickel-free snaps, this baby stocking stuffer idea is a standout for more than just its sassy style.
Buy it: $12, FinnandEmma.com
Jelly Belly Mixed Emotions Gift Box
It’s the holidays—so it’s okay to include candy in your stash of stocking stuffers for kids, right? Especially if they’re as fun and tiny as these emoji jelly beans. The stocking-sized box has five fruity flavors representing different kid-relatable emotions, which counts as a lesson in self-awareness in our book!
Buy it: $7 for a 4.25 oz box JellyBelly.com
Etsy Fishy Preschool Backpack
This cute pint-sized cotton pack fits little backs and won’t weigh them down. Roll it up and it’ll fit in the stocking too.
Buy it: $15, Etsy.com
Piyo Piyo Training Chopsticks
With this dainty ducky, your little one won’t feel left out next time you order Chinese takeout. Unlike similar pretend chopsticks, this one was awarded a multinational patent for its ergonomic design. For right handers only.
Buy it: $6, Target.com
Published October 2017