Simple Stocking Stuffer Ideas

At our house, during the holidays, we hang up our stockings the night before St. Nicholas Day for St. Nick to fill.  He usually brings an orange, chocolate coins, and a few simple presents.

Santa Claus fills our stockings on Christmas Eve, too.  And, sometimes, particularly if the holiday season has little ones feeling extra antsy and struggling with patience, an Elf might leave a note with a small treat or two on a random day – maybe the ingredients to bake cookies?  Or a holiday themed coloring book?

With three stockings to fill twice, I think about what to put in them quite a bit – from the practical to the silly. I’ve been gathering up some stocking stuffer ideas to share with you.

Simple Stocking Stuffers

  • Magnifying glass
  • Marbles
  • Deck of Cards
  • Flashlight
  • Measuring Tape
  • Book light
  • Gem stones and polished rocks
  • Field guide
  • Sunglasses
  • Origami paper
  • Crayons
  • Colored pencils
  • Small blank books
  • Toothbrush (my kids think spin brushes are pretty cool)
  • Pony O’s
  • Hair Barrettes
  • Socks in fun patterns
  • Legwarmers
  • Mad Libs
  • Stickers

I love the suggestions in the comments from this post on including duct tape in stockings, too!

What are some of your favorite simple stocking stuffer ideas?

This post on stocking stuffer ideas was brought to you by Hazelnut Kids, natural toys for natural curiosity. Hazelnut Kids carries natural, earth-friendly, wooden, and organic cotton toys for babies, toddlers, and big kids – and plenty of cute stocking stuffers, too!

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at

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  1. These are some great ideas! I’ve done many of those in the past and will borrow a few of the others for this year. Some other things I’ve given include:

    **a small candy treat–chocolate coins, usually, though this year I’m thinking of making chocolate-dipped pretzels (I’m careful to ration this so we don’t end up with chaos before we’ve even started opening presents!)

    **lip stuff (with two little girls, a tube of Burt’s Bees is big fun)

    **matchbox cars (same lip-stuff loving girls also love matchbox cars)

    This year I’m also thinking of adding an exotic, tropical fruit in keeping with the old tradition of adding an orange. I’m also trying to make sure that none of our stocking stuffers are junk added just for the sake of having something to put in there.
    Jaimie´s latest post: Squeezing in the Last of the Warm Weather Fun

  2. Great list full of things I hadn’t considered! However, I would like to caution against including a metal (retractable) measuring tape. When I was a small child I had my left cornea sliced by a metal tape measure that snapped back. It was a freak accident but the caution remains. If you choose a measuring tape, I’d like to recommend a fabric one, such as those used in sewing.

  3. Growing up we always got an orange in our stocking as well as some candy and I’ve continued this tradition with my own kids though I like to use Clementines simply because I prefer them.
    Jen E @ mommablogsalot´s latest post: the sweetest of cheeks

  4. I LOVE filling up the stockings! We do the orange too. Things from my own childhood stockings are included – a book of lifesavers, the small lego sets which aren’t always easy to find. Each year I include wiki sticks, something personalized – pencil or whatever, matchbox car, socks, tbrushes (spinny kind too), floss, lotion, chapstick or lip gloss depending on gender, any school supplies they might need. batteries go in my husbands stocking as well as a lint brush, gum, mints, a rolled up magazine, deodorant, shaving cream, toothpaste. last year i put nano hex bugs in each child’s stocking – they kept them busy for awhile so we could relax and eat bfast before gifts! our tradition is that each child gets a stocking in their room. they can wake up and open it, but they cannot wake up anyone else, so usually there is lots of whispering and rustling to subtly wake up a sibling, close the doors and open their stockings together. and all gifts are in tissue paper vs wrapping paper. last year my daughter wanted toe socks – that was a strange addition to her stocking! :)

  5. oo these are great ideas! Sammy really likes those bugs that you can fling and they stick to things.. so he will be getting some of those, a new box of crayons, chalk, some felt board things that I am going to make, and a few other little dollar toys that I have been stashing away as I see them.
    Lindsay @ BytesOfMemory´s latest post: The Simple Woman’s Daybook

  6. I love stockings! I usually stuff ours with useful, consumable things that I normally wouldn’t splurge on- plus a yummy maple candy!

  7. I love the measuring tape idea! Our kids each had a small one years ago and they broke; maybe it’s time for a new one. Our stockings always include, every year, a little glass bottle of Coke and some chocolate. I’ve also done things like little Schleich animals, small flashlights that crank instead of using batteries, a small Playmobil set taken out of the packaging, yoyos or slinkys, and those little beans you can grow that have something inscribed on the side.

  8. Ok, you might laugh, but when I was a preschooler one of the best birthday presents I ever got was a box of Band-Aids. We had so much fun with them! We covered my Dad in them. That would be a fun stocking stuffer, too.

  9. Stockings are one of our things that seem to have a tradition to them on the holidays. Our kids usually get the following:

    * toothbrush/paste
    * socks
    * chap stick
    * candy treat (puffs when they were really young)
    * hair ties/ hair gel

    They’re all very practicle things, but then I like to hang flavored candy canes or other treats along the edge. I’m going to tuck in a coloring book or some sort of activity this year since stockings are usually our stall tactic on Christmas morning.

    I have to say… I’m surprised PEZ isn’t on that list. ;^)

  10. Ooooh, I LOVE the idea of having an elf leave a note before Christmas. My 3 year old will really get into that! I’m having a tough time thinking of things for my 1 year old and even though he doesn’t know any different, my 3 yr old will think he was on the naughty list if I don’t get him anything. Little cars might work and definitely clementines. We LOVE clementines. Any other ideas for young boys?
    Nisha @ Healthy Mom’s Kitchen´s latest post: Banana Oat Bran Bread

  11. My daughter always gets a roll of Hubba Bubba bubble gum tape and my son always gets a package of Big League Chew bubble gum. Since my kids are older, I was thinking of putting some fireworks for New Year’s Eve in the Christmas stockings. They’ll be excited to have them and we’d end up buying them the next week anyway. That was something my parents always did when I was a kid.

  12. um i know this may sound silly but i do some of the things listed but also i will get like drink mix that they can put in a water bottle… i do snacks that they can take to school. Hot cocoa mix …. ticket for me to make “there meal for a day” with a couple of our teens they were going on a mission trip so i got them travel stuff. shampoo, toothpaste.. ect.. and i used it for the little ones and they LOVED it… :) they called it… if you have one that like to help in kitchen.. cookie cutters. hit the dollar store up .. silly putty… fancy paper clips… :)

    hope it helps.

  13. You guys are the best. I love those ideas. You gave me some good suggestions for my kids. These ideas are really going to help this year.
    I have the best husband! Since I’m 5 feet and a half inch I struggle with having to reach.
    I developed shoulder pain from pulling down the back door of my Caravan minivan.
    My husband found a product that really helped. The wrapper said mom’s little helper handle. It’s a strap that hangs from the handle of the back door.
    It’s much easier to close the van door. What a God sent! You can’t believe how much it helped with shopping! I hope this helps!
    Happy Holidays!

  14. Thanks for these unique ideas. I have just mentioned your post in our blog.

    Best regards,
    couponboa´s latest post: Women’s Fuzzy Socks – Great Stocking Stuffer Two Day Sale PLUS Free Shipping Coupon

  15. Jen Kline says:

    Can I add one to the list of stocking stuffer ideas?
    The pop up microlite, kids LOVE flashlights, and this is a really cool LED light that pops up when turned on. It illuminates the remote control or can be used anywhere you need a light source. Great for bed side tables for kids scared of the dark.
    buy 3 for $19.99 at

  16. Jamie Rozakis says:

    I have two small boys and always try to come up with something good for stockings. I don’t know why but its always tough. There are great ideas on here. For the lady with the one year old….you should check out some stores for some balls that light up. I got a couple for my boys when they were younger and they loved them. Lots of fun and too big to swallow. Also, little dinosaurs or puppets.


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