The Secret Formula to the Best Stocking Stuffers Ever

The key to the best stockings ever is to run through the dollar section finding all the little crap you can and shove it all in the stockings, right? Wrong! Stockings are one of my favorite things about getting ready for Christmas and I realized this year how little of a guessing game it really is to me. There’s a method to my madness!!

As I was getting ready this year, I realized there’s a formula I was subconsciously following in my head. Not spending a ton of money, not loading up on junk, and definitely filling the stockings with things my kids will actually use! Want the secret formula too? Let’s go!

Let’s Put These Awesome Stockings Together–for ALL ages

Creating that Christmas magic, I love for my kids to wake up in the morning to see their stockings bursting full with a few bigger gifts from the big guy displayed around it too. Stocking are so fun to unpack! I like them to look like they’re bursting at the seams, so there’s usually some bigger items stuffed in there in addition to little things. 

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Sometimes it’s all about the display. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ready for the secret formula to the best Christmas stockings? 

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Start with the Main Gift + Something useful and/or Creative + a Hygiene Product + a Small Game + Something to Read + Candy = Best Stockings Ever!

Let’s break this down and let me share some of our favorite ideas for each of these categories.

Start with the Main Gift

In our house, the main stocking gift is something a little bigger–maybe it doesn’t even totally fit in the stocking but it’s all displayed together with the stocking. 

I’ve got some ideas for little ones and older kids too. 

  1. Kiwi Co Boxes // I am actually ordering these for my three oldest (ages 16, 13, and 10). Tinker Crate for the younger and the brand new Eureka Crate for the older ones. There is a crate for each age in your house. They’re fun to do together too, which is why I love them so much!

RELATED: Talk to me About Tinker Crate

2. Magnatiles // These are such a great investment toy! You can get smaller sets that could probably fit in a large stocking. There are starter kits and then house-making kits that are SO cool! Even my big kids like playing with these. 

3. Leather Wallet // Perfect gift for an older guy.

4. Instapix Polaroid Camera // We have one of these and it is perfect for trips and making travel journals as you go. 

5. Wee Baby Stella // I may need another baby just so I can get her this sweet doll. 

6. Georello Gears // Such a great thinking toy!

7. Melissa and Doug Steep and Serve Tea Set // This was a gift last year that has been very heavily used in our house ever since. 

Add Something Useful and/or Creative

I like to add useful and/or creative things based on the kids’ preferences. Here’s some ideas: 


  1. Socks! // We almost always add socks to the stockings. We’ve heard great things about Bombas socks and are planning on adding them to our older kids’ stockings. 
  2. Essential Oils // Get them their own so they won’t be running off with yours ๐Ÿ˜‰
  3. Small Flashlights // My kids all have multiples of these but they come in super handy!
  4. Hand Sanitizer // One can hope, right? 
  5. Pens // Again, so they don’t steal yours. These are my favorite. 
  6. Smencils // Such a fun addition and useful too. And who doesn’t need a peppermint smelling pencil??


  1. Spirograph Jr. // This is SUCH a fun little toy. It’s so much better than the original Spirograph. Vera (5) has one and loves it. 
  2. Paintbrushes // We love the Kids Made Modern brushes 
  3. Gel Pens and a Journal // Super fun way to get kids writing.
  4. Calligraphy Pens // Sophia loves playing with the set we have and they might even move on to more doodling and lettering books
  5. Window Markers // Kids could have so much fun with these!
  6. Modeling Beeswax // We love this stuff! You can make creations, take them apart, save them–they’re so fun to work with. 
  7. Toddler Scissors // These are so great if you have little hands that want to work on projects with the big kids.

RELATED: 103 Stocking Stuffers to Encourage Learning (Organized by Subject)

Plus A Hygiene Product your Kids will Like

These might not seem like very much fun, but they totally can be! Grab some items that your kids might not be expecting, but will make personal hygiene a bit more fun. 

  1. Deodorant or Body Spray // There are some fun gift sets for guys that we like to pick up each year. 
  2. Paul Mitchell Heavy Hitter Shampoo // This is my favorite shampoo for my boys. It’s a bit on the spendier side, so it’s fun to get for Christmas. 
  3. Razors // For the shavers in the house. 
  4. Electric Toothbrushes // They make fun character options for little kids too. 
  5. Facial Masks // I love getting gift sets of these too!

Don’t forget a Small Game!

Stockings must include a little game! It wouldn’t be Christmas without it! Here’s some of our favorite picks! These are all small games that could totally fit in a stocking. (I could go really crazy here, but I want to keep this post at a reasonable length.)

  1. Cake Off // These first couple games are actually on our wish list. This game looks so fun, especially if you have fans of the British Baking Show in your house!
  2. Kanoodle Head-to-Head // We love Kanoodle Original, but this is just like the original game, but against a partner. Great logic game!
  3. Thinking Putty Puzzle // If your kids are fans of Thinking Putty, they will love this game! 
  4. Quick Pickle // Fast paced game that needs to be in a stocking for the packaging alone!
  5. Cat Stax // Going into a stocking at our house this year!
  6. Cat Crimes // Another great logic game for cat lovers ๐Ÿ˜‰ 
  7. Connect the Thoughts // A matching game and a connection game. Great for all ages. 
  8. Avocado Smash // Adorable packaging…and a new twist on the classic, Snap. 
  9. The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Card Game // Just like the original game, but simplified into a card game. For younger kids, ages 4 and up. 
  10. Sleeping Queens // Oh my word, we love this game!! Buy this one if nothing else!
  11. Blocks Rock! // I recently wrote a review for this game and it has been so much fun! 
  12. Rat-a-Tat Cat // Super fun memory game that my kids always beat me at. 
  13. Wig Out // Oh, I love this one too! It’s really fast-paced game of memory that my kids also beat me at. 

There must be something to read!

I always love to add a book to the kids’ stockings! You can add onto a series they’re already reading, start a new one or grab a random title or magazine you know they’ll love. 

Here’s some lists to get you started: 

Finish it off with some candy and a small toy

I don’t like junk, but you can still add a few little fun items that will get played with. Here’s some fun ideas: 

I hope this helps you create the most fun Christmas morning for your kiddos! Writing this post every year always gets me excited! 

Here’s a few more lists that will give you even more ideas if you’re still needing some more inspiration.

One Comment

  1. Do you have a picture of these stockings and surroundings? Mine lately have been overflowing, but I don’t think my presentation is wonderful. Thanks.

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