Last Updated: December 12, 2021
Stocking stuffers are such a fun way to add delight to Christmas morning! I love how we show our kids how little surprises and thoughtful items can create joy, without spending a ton. But inevitably, most years, we’re scrambling for last minute stocking stuffer ideas. So this list covers stocking stuffer ideas for toddlers and babies – from animal toys, vehicles, building, art supplies, creative, food, learning, bath toys and more! Including:
- Art & Creative Stocking Stuffers
- Building, Vehicles, & Small Toys
- Learning & Educational
- Useful Stocking Stuffers
- Stocking Stuffers for Babies: 0-1 year olds
My budget for fun stocking stuffers is to pick items usually in the $1-5 range, for a total of $10-20. If you have more than one kid or are celebrating with family, stocking stuffers add up quick! So make sure it’s something that they will actually use and enjoy.
Toddler Stocking Stuffer Ideas:
Most toddlers are still so young that they don’t really remember what Christmas stockings and stocking stuffers are. Unless they have older siblings building it up, opening stockings on Christmas morning are what you want them to be for your own family traditions. We don’t go over the top with stockings in our family. But it’s always been a fun chance to do some little cute budget-friendly gifts. So here are my stocking stuffer ideas for toddlers and babies.
Art & Creative Stocking Stuffers for 1.5 – 2 Year Olds
Art supplies are the perfect stocking stuffer. I love stuff that is going to get used up and not just add clutter to your home. And can be gifted to kids of all ages. Kids love new supplies, so why not add some non-toy items as stockings fillers!
Fine motor hand tool set
Craft Supplies – pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, yarn etc.
Craft supplies are a great stocking stuffer. Fun items like pompoms, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, popsicle sticks, yarn, washi tape, stampers, glue stick etc. There are always great sale finds in-store at Target in the craft area too! Target from $1, IKEA from $1
Coloring: Markers, Colored pencils, crayons etc
Playdoh, Clay, or Kinetic Sand
Play-Doh is a great sensory activity for two year olds! It kept our little one busy for so long! Kinetic sand is also a fun one around the toddler age. But be warned, it’s way harder to clean up!
Many of these larger sets come with sets of 4 pieces of chalk all packaged together. Great for gifting a few and saving some for future. Amazon $6+
Obviously these are for use with supervision, and make sure they’re wrapped well inside the stocking! But learning scissors are a really exciting thing for around age 2. We kept the scissors out of reach, but depending on your child, they might be ready to learn to work with scissors with your help. Target $2, IKEA $1
Magnifying glass or kaleidoscope
Finger puppets are a fun stocking filler around 18 months to 2 years old. IKEA has a great 10 pack for $5 that has all kind of cute animals. IKEA
While most toddlers are not quite ready for playing card games, they can still start learning about matching games! The First 100 series of books, have some great matching game options. And Target has a 4 pack of card games that are great for slightly older (4+), but the matching game in it would work for younger kids! Target $7
Bubble wands & bubbles!
Everyone loves bubbles! Mini bubble wands or these large ones are fun sticking out the top of a stocking on Christmas morning!
Speaking of wands, these magnetic wands come in a set of 6. Easy to divvy up if you have more than one child or visiting family for the holidays. Another idea is to talk with a few parent friends and each buy a couple of these multipack toys/tools and trade! Learning Resources Magnetic Wand 6 pack: Amazon $12
Pop It Fidget Toys
When our toddler was about 1 years old, we had one of the Fat Brain toys fidget poppers – the Dimpl. And now, this has blown up into a whole category of fidget pop-it toys! These are super fun for toddlers, because it’s something they can actually do and use that’s safe and age-appropriate. Yay! Amazon from $5
Toddlers and babies find spinning tops utterly mesmerizing. This set by Plan Toys comes as a 4 pack, IKEA occasionally has them around the holidays. And then there’s just a simple pack in the party aisle from Target that will do the trick too. (Just be careful with babies that they’re not chewing on them in case of paint etc!). Amazon $10
Small Animal Figures
Little animals are some of the best stocking stuffers. They’re small, and usable in a lot of different play scenarios. And whether you’re buying for a little boy or little girl, these sets can really be used in so many different fun ways.
Schleich animals (1 or 2 of these is my max budget for stocking stuffers, but I also bought a 4 pack of farm ones and brought out just 1 at a time over a few weeks when my little guy had just turned one) – cat, puppy, cheetah, or fawn are $3-4/each. These are great for open-ended play for toddlers. The Schleich animals are the perfect size for younger toddlers while the Terra are a little bit smaller items, so make sure they’re out of the mouthing stage.
Terra by Battat or Safari LTD TOOB animal packs – 60 piece pack $10
Building & Vehicle Items
Finding small vehicle and building options that will work with current toys you have – like Duplos or trains etc – is so much fun! I’m willing to spend a few dollars more for a mini Duplo set that isn’t just instant garbage, and will work with other Duplos that we have!
Small Duplo Sets
Train set upgrades or parts
IKEA train parts – like the IKEA battery-operated locomotive train – $7.99
IKEA train turntable ($4)
Matchbox or Hot Wheels cars
Matchbox cars or Hot Wheels cars are usually $1 in the toy section, or $5 for a 5 pack of cars or trucks. These are great little toys for vehicle-loving kiddos, to keep on hand as incentives and special surprises. And I love that they’re still so affordable, and not just plastic that will end up in the garbage in 2 months! Amazon $1
Small CAT construction trucks set – 5 pack $`12. These are fun gifts for younger and older kids for pretend play. So gift some, use as stocking fillers, and tuck one away for your next trip. These are great airplane travel distraction/surprises for toddlers!
Learning & “Educational” Stocking Stuffers
First off, play is learning! So by “educational”, I just mean non-toy and non art type stocking stuffers!
Mini board books make fun stocking stuffers for toddlers. Amazon $4+
Percussion instruments that are real and not just toys are super fun for kids to play with. Egg shakers are a great intro to rhythm and and music, and not sooo loud that you regret the purchase. ;) Amazon 4 pack $10 ($2.50 each)
Educational games or mini puzzles
There are always great little educational games and toys in Target Dollar spot. Sometimes they mini puzzles or letter/number things. Great for introduction to letters and numbers too. Target $7 4 pack, Amazon $3+
Food & Eating Related Stocking Stuffers
Food items are one of my favorite easy toddler stocking stuffers. Quick? Check. Cheap? Check. Still fun for the kid? Yes! This could be a treat from your cupboards, or something new that your kiddo hasn’t tried next time you go to the grocery store.
What is this, the great depression? But seriously, little fruits, like mandarine oranges are a delight in toddlers stockings.
Putting a breakfast-y type food pouch in your toddlers stocking is like two gifts in one. First, they feel like they’re getting a treat. And second, they can eat it right away and not be hangry on Christmas morning, which buys you a bit more time to find breakfast!
individually wrapped treat
Things like a new fruit leather, granola bar, gummies, or other packaged item they haven’t tried yet! Especially fun to get an item you might not buy as often. For example, the Annie’s gummies farm shaped fruit snacks, if you usually just buy the larger and cheaper multi-packs. Amazon or Target
New water bottle
Another useful item! If your kiddo has been needing a new or extra water bottle. These can be a fun stocking stuffer. Especially if it’s a design or color they love! Amazon $14
If your toddler is ready for an electric toothbrush or even just a new manual tooth brush, this can be a usable stocking stuffer idea. Target $5+
Useful stocking stuffers
Last year, our toddler was gifted a flashlight and it was just way too bright and we ended up having to put it away! So he was delighted to receive a kids headlamp, with low enough lumens (30-40) that he isn’t blinding himself or others. And hooray for actually useful stocking stuffers. He uses this headlamp when we go camping. Amazon $10+
Depending if you live in a colder area, an extra pair of mittens is never a bad idea! We found that kiddos can usually finally start wearing mittens (and keep them on) more frequently around age two. And if you look for a wool blend 40 or 50%, that helps keep little hands warm even if they are wet! These ones from Polarn O. Pyret are a little spendier than cheap ones, but are a winter gear essential for us. They have lasted 2 years already and have been so worth it! Polarn O. Pyret $13
Bath toys make fun stocking stuffer ideas, especially for little kids. Usable and fun! From waterfall type spinners to bath letters or bath crayons. Bath toys make useful stocking stuffers! And if the set is too large to fit in a stocking, you could just put in one and bring the rest out later as a surprise. Amazon $5+
Tips for Toddlers & Stocking Fillers:
- Toddlers have lower expectations of stockings. How much you spend on stocking stuffers is up to you. Children will accept and get used to what you offer! Budget stockings can be just as fun!
- Save out small items in the months before Christmas (like a pair of socks, undies, hair bows, art supplies etc all make great gifts) to put in your toddler’s stocking.
- You can fill a stocking on a budget by buying packs of items & splitting them or saving for later. Either use for group stocking stuffers, or if you just have one save the rest for later as art supplies, easter baskets, incentives etc. For example: Playdoh pack, animal packs, art supply packs like sidewalk chalk, stickers, temporary tattoos etc, is a great way to save money. You could also buy some of these items that come as sets and swap with another parent!
- Skip the “stocking stuffer sets”! The last few years it’s been popular for stores to sell stocking stuffer gift sets. Which proves that stores hope someone will buy them and that some people really will buy almost anything! But most of us will be saving ourselves the extra money and doing old school stockings with unique little treats.
Baby Stocking Stuffer Ideas: For Babies 0 – 1
For baby’s first Christmas, new parents are just barely surviving and trying to do it all! Take it easy, take some pictures, baby won’t remember it anyway. But if you’re still looking to make memories with baby’s first Christmas stocking! Here are some ideas for your little one.
- Soft non-tearable books – Indestructibles come in fun vibrant colors!
- soft ball – $1.99 – great for little hands!
- small stuffed animal like this small soft toy bear $1.99
- rattle ($3) or lovie ($4)
- Stacking cups & nesting cups $3 – great for fine motor skills!
- bath time toy boat $4 (bath toys make great stocking stuffers)
- Munchkins bath toy squirter animals – $4.50
- Boon Bubble bath wands – $5
- 1 year old music shaker – perfect way to introduce rhythmic fun.
- Teether toys
- food – pouch or little treat
- reusable food pouch
- Snack cups
The first two years of having a toddler, I literally just rounded up some things from home and put them in a stocking that night (very similar to my Easter basket strategy). Zero planning. This year, with a three year old, I’ll be planning a little bit more, but still not going wild.
Minimalist Stocking Stuffer Mantra
I love the gift saying of “Something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read.” I think this can apply well to stocking stuffers for your little one too. Or maybe instead of read, something to eat. Either way, how many items you put in their stocking and how much you spend is up to you and your family. But ultimately, keeping it more minimal and useful, can bring more joy to your family and help combat some of that post-Christmas angst (for your kiddo and your budget)!
Good luck and happy Christmas! I hope this has given you some extra great stocking stuffer ideas for toddlers in your life.
>>Need more Christmas ideas? Check out Toddler Advent Calendar Ideas for 2021