Nov 21, 2013

The Ultimate Toddler Stocking Stuffer Guide

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Last week, I posted our Ultimate Toddler Gift Guide! Though despite the fact that it was pretty thorough, I couldn't stop thinking about stocking stuffers! So, enter our: Ultimate Toddler Stocking Stuffer Guide!! This guide is set up similar to the previous one, and is separated into 10 categories geared towards ages 1-3. Like before, some of the items that I recommend may say 3+, however, they are items that I have given/will be giving/or would give to my young toddler to use or play with. Please always use your best judgment when selecting items for your specific child! Are you ready? You may have to purchase a SUPERSIZED stocking after reading this!

Let's get started.

The first category I'm starting with definitely has a place in any little ones stocking: Eager Eaters! Sippy cups, utensils, and mealtime helpers make great stocking stuffers. The awesome Constructive Eating 3 Piece Construction Worksite Utensil Set will be peeking out of K's stocking this year, and is pretty much the coolest utensil set you can get for a little truck lover. It comes with a fork, spoon, and bulldozer pusher (or mashed potato piler?!). It is some serious fun. If you are looking for a more classic set, this OXO Tot Fork and Spoon Set gets great reviews on Amazon, comes in many different colors, and is so clean looking. 

Sippy cups are a serious must have for us and just about every other toddler I know. They also great compact stocking stuffers! We love our The First Years Take And Toss Spill Proof Cups. They have been our go-to cup forever. Recently, however, they have been living up to their name since Kingston thinks they are perfect to chuck on the floor, at walls, or at just about anything. To prevent spills, I picked up the dinosaur version of the Playtex Insulator Spout Cup for his stocking, and I'm really excited about it. These cups have screw tops, and I've got rave reviews from people I know. Speaking of dinosaur versions, if your toddler is into dinosaurs at all, the Evriholder Sipper Saurus -Dinosaur Shaped Sipper is a must! We have this sippy and K is obsessed with it. He loves sipping through the straw and chatting with the dinosaur. It is SUCH a cute cup, and its small size is perfect for a stocking. 

We love us some Plum Organics Tots Fruit and Grain Mish Mash, Apple Cinnamon, Oats and Quinoa Pouches as well as many of the other flavors they offer. (A few of these products were recently recalled, so please be aware of which dates to stay away from before purchasing). Not only are these convenient snacks for when we are out of the house, but the pouch cap makes for some great craft projects, such as Lalymom's Pouch Cap Bug Finger Puppets. It's like the gift that keeps on giving! 

Can you even stand this Nuby 3-D Snack Keeper Monster ?! Kingston has one in his stocking this Christmas, and I can't wait to use it. It has awesome arms for your little one to hold onto, it is spill proof, and just seriously adorable! I think any toddler would get a kick out of this snack cup. 

We are total animal lovers over here! Animals are adorable additions to a toddler stocking. We love the Little People animals, like these Fisher-Price Little People Zoo Talkers Panda Bears Family Pack. You could open the packages and put the animals in loose (or wrap everything separately like we do!). Or you could get the single LP animals like this Fisher Price Little People Zoo Talkers Penguin. (These are typically hard to find in store, but if you can they are much cheaper than the Amazon price! I've had awesome luck at Walmart and Toys R Us recently.) 

Schleich animals are pretty awesome. I drool over them every time I'm in a store. They are so well made and will last your little one for years. For toddlers, I would purchase one of the larger ones. I am almost positive they would be the hit of the Christmas stocking. I know a little guy who would appreciate the super realistic Schleich Grizzly Female Bear Toy Figure and Schleich Lion very much!  

For older toddlers who are no longer mouthing objects, the Safari Ltd. Toobs seem like they were just about MADE to be stocking stuffers. They are great quality figurines that can be used in pretend play, sensory play, small world play, and more. The Safari Ltd Zoo Babies Toob and the Safari Ltd Dogs Toob are especially cute!

If you have a little transportation fan, vehicles are some of the easiest stocking stuffers to find! There are so many great cars, trucks, trains, etc. out there that are small enough to fit comfortably in a stocking, but still toddler friendly. 

Our little guy has recently gotten into trains. Among a bunch of other train stuff this holiday season, he will be getting a few of these cute Chuggington trains like this one: Chuggington StackTrack Brewster. There are so many train options such as ThomasMelissa & Doug, and more. 

For cars and trucks, it seems as if the options are endless. The Fisher-Price Little People Wheelies are pretty much the best gender neutral car related stocking stuffer in my opinion. They are colorful, depict both boys and girls, and are compact enough to fit in the toe of the stocking. K will be getting a handful of these in his stocking this year. 

For bigger cars, the Kidoozie Little Tuffies Trucks get great reviews and are perfect for holding up to toddler abuse. The name Little Tuffies says it all! The B. Wheeee-ls cars by B. Toys are another great gender neutral car. They are pliable, come in great colors, and are sold as a set of four, so you could break them up and put them in multiple stockings! We have the Oball Rattle and Roll Toy Car and love it. This would fit great in a stocking. It makes a really fun "vroom vroom" sound on our wood floors when rolled due to the combination of tires and plastic rattle pieces inside, plus it has holes for little hands to clutch easily. This PlanToys Mini Bulldozer is a beautiful little truck. I love the vibrant color and the classic feel of it. You can't really go wrong with beautifully made wooden toys!

Small toys are a must in any stocking. There are so many cool, compact toys out there that are great for the 1-3 year old range. 

In my previous guide, I mentioned these Family Finger Puppets and these 10pc Velvet Animal Style Finger Puppets Set, but I couldn't leave them out of my stocking stuffer guide! I also recently purchased these adorable Ikea Titta Djur Set of 10 Finger Puppets. They are awesome. I think finger puppets are such an awesome gift in general. They are great for storytelling, pretend play, counting, songs and fingerplays, and the list goes on. They are so compact that you can fit a ton of them just in the toe of the stocking. (Can you tell I think about stocking logistics A LOT?!) I'm excited to have a nice little finger puppet collection after the holidays. 

I always like to include a stuffed animal in kiddos stockings. There are so many adorable, small stuffed toys that are sure to be a hit on Christmas morning. A winter themed stuffed animal like this precious TY Beanie Babies Freezie would be perfect for snuggling up with!

Small balls like the Rhino Toys Oball Original and the Flashing Spiky Ball, both of which we have and love, are great gender neutral additions. 

Bubbles are another awesome choice for stuffers. What toddler doesn't love bubbles? We love Funrise Gazillion Bubble Solution since it literally makes tons of bubbles (perfect for impatient little munchkins like mine)! 

It's no secret that I love B. Toys! They are just plain awesome. K will be getting this awesome set of realistic B. Fun Keys since he is always stealing mine and setting off the alarm system. They are very cool and even in the box they are small enough to fit in a stocking! Another great stuffer would be the B. Hellophone. I was just playing with this in Target yesterday! It is super cool. You can record a message on it that will play back when your toddler talks on the phone. It also has a very realistic ring. My little one loves to talk on the phone and is constantly asking "Dada? Dada?" into it. For a parent who works outside of the home, it would be great to record a message on it so that your toddler can pretend to interact with you even when you aren't there. I think we need one so "Dada" can answer back!

Another cool compact toy that your toddler can grow with is the Schylling Classic Tin Kaleidoscope.Young toddlers will probably just enjoy toting it around the house, but older toddlers will get a kick out peeking inside!

There are quite a few compact items to put in your little learner's stocking. The number one item is definitely: flashcards!! We are a pro-flashcard household over here. Mostly because Kingston is obsessed with flashcards. The Target Dollar Spot and the Dollar Tree is a great place to find cheap flashcards for stockings. If you are looking for a classic flashcard set to introduce your toddler to letter concepts, these Alphabet Flash Cards are a nice, inexpensive set that we like. If you are interested in getting some really awesome flashcards though, you cannot go wrong with the DK Touch and Feel Flashcards! I picked up the My First Touch & Feel Picture Cards: First Words and My First Touch & Feel Picture Cards: Colors & Shapes for K awhile ago and can't wait for him to open them on Christmas morning. They are really cool. Each card has a different spot to touch and feel. These are great for a sensory learner. 

We have these Imaginarium Letters & Numbers, and they are great! My favorite thing to do with them is place them on a cookie sheet and spell out simple words with K. Obviously if you have a magnetic refrigerator, these are amazing for that too.

These 50 Counting Bears with 5 Cups are pure awesomeness! They have been on our Amazon wishlist for quite awhile. They great for sorting, counting, and color learning. They could also be used in all kinds of sensory bins, pretend play, and games. They are such a versatile learning tool, and small enough to be a stocking stuffer!

There are so many items on Etsy that would make great stocking stuffers. The Toddler Edition Stack a Spool from MamaMayI is a wonderful learning tool/block set for little ones. They would be pretty easy to make on your own also!

Does anyone else have a "bath time buff"? My kid loves the bath!! Most bath items are compact enough to fit into a stocking. New bath toys are such fun!

Bubble bath is an excellent addition to a stocking. California Baby is the only brand we use for bath and skin products. If you haven't tried it yet, order it IMMEDIATELY! Seriously, everything we've tried is just awesome. The California Baby Bubble Bath ''Holiday'' Vanilla Orange and Lavender would be a festive choice. Or you could go with California Baby Bubble Bath- Colds & Flu with Eucalyptus to help keep the winter illnesses at bay and those noses clear! It is a wonder alternative to the mainstream brand of "vapor bath" that is laden with chemicals and toxins. Not only are these products all natural and chemical free, but these bubble baths come with fun bubble wands to use for bubble blowing in the bath tub! What toddler wouldn't love that?! 

As far as bath toys go, the first item that comes to mind is a rubber duck! This Classic Yellow Rubber Ducky by Schylling is a great choice, but if you are looking for a festive holiday themed duck these Reindeer Rubber Ducks are insanely adorable!! I mean seriously? Reindeer rubber ducks?! That is greatness right there! 

If your little one likes to play pretend in the tub, these Play Visions Crayola Bath Dropz can set the scene for all kinds of colorful fun. Add in this awesome Green Toys Submarine for an underwater adventure, or catch some bugs with this Boon Water Bugs Floating Bath Toys with Net! So much fun! And you can't forget an ALEX® Toys Bathtime Fun Star Crayon In The Tub for creating different scenes and artwork on your tub walls. 

Some of the best stocking stuffers are art supplies!! Most supplies are pretty small and/or can be rolled up to fit inside. Play Doh is a great gift for older toddlers. I love this Play-Doh Holiday Candy Cane Set. It pretty much screams STOCKING STUFFER. If you have multiple children, you could purchase the Play-Doh: Case of Colors and divide them up among the stockings. Some tools such as this Dough Tools 5 Piece Assortment would also be great. 

Every little artist could use some great supplies to get started. For toddler crayons, I really like Crayola Triangular CrayonsMelissa & Doug Jumbo Triangular Crayons get great reviews and come in a great little storage box. I also think these Fisher-Price Made by Me! Crayanimals  would make a great stocking stuffer. They have been on our wishlist forever! To go with your crayons, coloring books from the Dollar Tree or Target Dollar Spot work great rolled up. I don't like to spend more than $1 for toddler coloring books since my little guy doesn't pay much attention to what is on the page. For some mess free fun, Crayola Color Wonder's are pretty awesome! I purchased a few sets for Kingston's stocking. They even have "fingerpaints" and Crayola Color Wonder Drawing Paper. If you are not into the commercialized characters that come on most Color Wonder coloring pages, they also offer packs of animals pages and dinosaur pages! 

For real fingerpaints, Crayola 4ct Washable Fingerpaints have never steered us wrong. What fun would that be in a stocking paired with ALEX® Toys Sponge Painting Shapes! These sponge shapes are so cool and are perfect for little toddler hands. For mess free painting fun, we love Spill Proof Paint Cups. I found four of these last spring in the Target Dollar Spot and have been saving them for K's stocking. They are almost identical to the Melissa and Doug ones, but I haven't seen them there since. 

To keep your little one clean during their painting endeavors, a smock is a must. Every little artist needs a smock. We have and love the Ikea Bib Set with Sleeves. These are the perfect size "smocks" for toddlers and give a lot of coverage. Or you could try the Kushies Art Smock with Sleeves. For more mess-free art fun, you could try a Melissa & Doug My First Paint with Water book. I loved paint with water as a young kid. I can't wait to pick up a few of these. For your sticker loving toddler, those adorable small sticker books are fun and don't take up a lot of stocking real estate. I like this one: Gingerbread House Sticker Activity Book 

So, of course I had to mention BOARD BOOKS! Great stocking stuffers definitely. However, I must say it was just about impossible to come up with suggestions when there are a bajillion amazing board books out there. (I know this well because I am a self proclaimed board book hoarder!) So, I am making just a couple suggestions separated into 3 categories - Dollar Books, Classic Books, and Winter Books!

Dollar Books - The Dollar Tree (and Target Dollar Spot .. jeeze you'd think I worked for Target or something.. it's an obsession!) generally doesn't have the most literary of books, HOWEVER, they do tend to have some amazing finds from time to time and they have what I like to call "great throw away books". These are the books that will entertain my little guy, but that I don't really care what happens to them. That sounds awful I know, but like I said they are mostly for the entertainment factor and from time to time you can really find some great items if you keep your eyes peeled. When I was pregnant with Kingston, I found a bunch of amazing "learning" board books. One of them, Tab Tots Numbers , is currently one of K's favorite books. We have these little "photographic learning" books, with simple pictures and bold words. He loves those. So go take a peek! You may find some stocking stuffer greatness. 

Classic Books - A classic board book would be a great addition to a stocking (as well as in stacks off to the side!) A couple that I suggest are The Goodnight Train, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?The Napping House , and Dr. Seuss's ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book!

Winter Books - You could include a fun winter themed book to be enjoyed with your child after the holidays! Two books that we love are Biscuit's Snowy Day and Snowmen at Night!

Clearly, anything goes with board books. Regardless of what you choose, books are some of our favorite gifts to give and receive! 

Accessories and personal care items for your tiny trendsetter make great stuffers. The first accessory that comes to mind for a stocking stuffer is a cute pair of sunglasses. Kingston has about five pairs. We love aviators on him personally. These Babiators Unisex-Baby Infant Ops Junior Sunglasses are pretty adorable and would look great with this adorable N'ice Caps Boys Soft Sherpa Lined Micro Fleece Trooper Hat and Mitten set. I tend to have good luck with finding mittens on the cheap at most stores. Socks are basically a stocking stuffer must. You could go with some fun socks like these Luvable Friends 6-Pack Bright Colored Socks which come in both primary and pastel colors, or staple socks like Hanes Toddler Boys Non-Skid Crew Socks which my little elf will be receiving a set of. To go with the socks, a cute pair of shoes would work (out of the box of course!) I think these Toms Tiny Classic Glitter Shoes are adorable, and they have many options for boys also. Or what about a cute pair of slippers? These Frog Toddler Sock Top Bootie Green Slippers or Pig Toddler Sock Top Bootie Pink Faux Fur Slippers are pretty great! 

You could definitely include some personal care items like a toothbrush and toothpaste. We are currently using Orajel Baby Oragel Tooth & Gum Cleanser Sesame Street Berry. If you have a son (or a daughter with curly hair) we LOVE California Baby Jelly Mousse Calming French Lavender. It holds well and is all natural. Paired with a Jilbere Baby Bristle Brush, your toddler will be rocking all kinds of wild dos. 

We are finally at the last category! I simply couldn't leave out musical instruments. They are low profile additions to a stocking, but SO much fun. I guarantee your toddler wouldn't be able to resist playing any of these instruments on Christmas morning. NINO Plastic Egg Shakers are great! I've never met a little one that didn't love shaker eggs. Along the same lines as shaker eggs is the Trophy 4 Bell Wristlet. We have had one of these since K was little and he has always loved it. It is very festive for the holidays! Two other shaking instruments you shouldn't be without are a set of Hohner Kids Musical Toys Maraca and a Hohner Kids Toddler Tambourine. Hohner is a great company. The tambourine is probably the coolest one for this age group that I've ever seen. It will definitely take up a good chunk of stocking real estate though! Last, but definitely NOT least is a set of clackers like these Dino Wooden Clackers. My little one is obsessed with his clackers and uses them daily. Any of these instruments would be a great choice as a stocking stuffer. 

So, there we have it, quite a few ideas to help you stuff your toddler's stocking this season! Most of these stocking stuffers can grow with your toddler, and would still remain interesting all the way up to school age. I hope this helps with your shopping this season! 

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  1. This is such a crazy awesome list! We have a few of these items already and they are all good! Soooo many good ideas for us though! The construction utensil set, awesome!! And hey thanks so much for linking to our pouch cap bug buddies!!! They really ARE the gift that keeps giving! LOL!

    1. Thanks Laura!! :) I am smitten with the construction set. I can't wait to see Kingston's face when he opens it! I have been collecting pouch caps since I read your posts. Can't wait to recreate some of your projects with them in the future.

  2. Such awesome ideas! That Nuby Snack Monster is the cutest!