Practical Stocking Stuffer Ideas that are Also Fun

I’ve started a list of practical stocking stuffer ideas and I thought I’d share it with you! Some of the goodies have shown up in every stocking I’ve stuffed, some were gems from the past, and some will be brand new this year.

I think this series of gift ideas will give you a pretty clear understanding that I prefer practical, useful things that will actually be used.

Practical Stocking Stuffer Ideas that are Also Fun

When I spend money (usually way more than I expect) filling stockings, I want it to be with stuff that has a purpose and not just an initial thrill.

Practical Stocking Stuffer Ideas that are Also Fun

This post contains affiliate links. That means anything you buy through these links will help pay for the stuff in our stockings… so thanks. 😉

  • Toothbrush – This is funny. Big M actually said to me this morning. “I was going to say I want a new toothbrush but then remembered it’s almost Christmas. Santa will put one in my stocking.” These Oral -B Brushes are a great choice. Star Wars, Super Mario or look for the favorite character in your house.
  • Comfy Socks – You will probably find comfy socks on every list I make… so if you ever meet me in person you know what will win me over! These colorful socks have great reviews. I even tracked down some funky boy socks because girls aren’t the only ones who like to feel warm and snuggly.
  • Book Lights – The kids got Mighty Bright Book Light last year. They come in a lot of different colors and keep the kids reading. AWESOME!
  • Bubble Bath – It doesn’t matter if you pick up an inexpensive version or go for something a little fancier, a bubble bath (like Lavendar Bubble Bath) will always bring on smiles.
  • Water Cup – We love, love, love our Funtainers. I’ve written about them before and I’m sure I will be writing about them again and again. We’ve had ours for 3 years. The kids have two, which I swap out for washing. They use them every day and trust me, M and M are not gentle. Can you say DURABLE??? (Update: This year they came out with 16-Ounce Funtainer Bottles. Same great design and they hold more water.)
  • Art Supplies – Stockings are the perfect place to replenish the art center. Think markerscrayonscolored pencils, and paint. The kids will appreciate the fresh supplies (and you were going to buy them anyway, right?)
  • Gloves – We live where it’s pretty warm all year so Hat, Scarf & Glove Sets are more for fun than necessity, although now that we’re watching baseball games late at night they’ll probably get more use.
  • Toothbrush Timer  – Do I need to say anything else? The “Wash & Brush” Timer even has a hand-washing timer! (Update: The reviews weren’t great, but we’ve now had ours for two years. We had no problems at all and the kids use it twice a day!)
  • Games – There are so many games that can be played with dice or cards. (Here are a couple… 10,000 dice game & Golf card game.)
  • Watch – Little M is learning to tell time. It’s so fun, I can’t wait for her to have her own watch. (And a digital watch).

I know I’m not the only practical Mom out there…  do you have any practical stocking stuffer ideas to add?

Don’t miss the newest version 10 MORE Stocking Stuffers the Kids Will Actually Use! There are some awesome stocking stuffer ideas that have been added in the comments as well.

Practical Stocking Stuffer Ideas that are Also Fun

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69 Comments

  1. I love stocking stuffers and you shared some great ideas! Here are some of my ideas for adults: scratch tickets, gum, to go packets of coffee/tea (think starbucks), electrical tape (for men), work gloves, small lotions, zip ties (again for the men), dremel bits (men), recipe cards, burts bees chap stick, mini hand mixers battery operated (world market), chocolate or their favorite candy. For kids (we have a son): mini pocket games, decks of cards, candy, gift card to a favorite store, small lego kits, hot wheels car/trucks/planes, action figures.

          1. Thank you!! I’m looking for ideas for men though. You mentioned an adult list above that you “love.” Which one is that? Thanks again for your help!!! 🙂

        1. I think she’s referring to a comment by Theresa Boyle. She has some great ideas for adult stocking stuffers. My kids get a toothbrush (always), candy (always- kids get kid candy and adults get Lindt), usually a pair of socks (something practical or funky), lip balm is great (can be for men and women), then something fun. I look all year for something fun. I think the best was the rubber band guns, but playing cards, etc, would do. Hope that helps.

        2. Silly slipper socks or logo tee-shirt are appreciated if you have an adult guy that’s young at heart. (Think Star Wars, Superman, Animal, etc.)

    1. Love all the great ideas! Here are some of mine. ….For my husband and my teenage sons….I have done these things…..an ornament, lots of their favorite candy, packs of gum, toothbrush, axe deodorant and/or body wash, chap stick, new socks and underwear, pocket knife, new pencils/pens, new mugs with hot cocoa mix……For my daughter, i can trade some of the guy stuff for nail polish, travel size perfume, mini lotions, make up she likes…..so many possibilities!

  2. My mom and I always pamper ourselves with manicures, so every holiday I know I’ll get a fresh Nail file, nail polish remover, and maybe a polish colour en vouge. Other practical ideas are razor and shaving cream, bath puff… Mostly personal care items I suppose 🙂

  3. Great list – some things that we add (I’m also all about practical) are hair stuff, chapstick, a box of bandaids (fun and takes up some room at the bottom), hand sanitizer to fill their Bath & Body holders on their backpacks, and earrings (I have all girls). For adults, we almost always have a new car charger for USB devices, Sharpies, stylus for tablets, and other small electronic type useful things.

  4. Now that we’re all driving we tend to put things like small flashlights and candles for our cars, small car tools like one to check tire pressure, and a mini first aid kit in stockings. We’re rural so it’s important we have stuff in our cars for emergencies so it works great. We also put small notebooks and mini pens, and a gift card for a coffee in each stocking.

  5. We do batteries (because lets face it, if you have kids your getting something that needs batteries!!) Chapstick, matchbox cars, pencils, coal, yes my kids get it every year lol, $2 bill, crayons, orange, handheld games, homemade soaps, stickers, hand lotion, wine stopper, lottery tickets, hair clips, playdough, memory cards, wallet….I could seriously go on and on LOL Hope these help as well!!

  6. Great list! We are very practical as well. As an alternative to candy (which my husband and I both grew up with), we have made a tradition of filling the extra space in stocking with Satsumas. The kids love them because they can peal them themselves and they are so abundant in the winter!

  7. We do the following: shampoo, bubble bath, bandaids, small carry tissues, chapstick, socks, underwear, Kinder surprise, toothpaste, my teenager gets AXE deodorant as well.
    Because we don’t eat right away, we also add a tangerine, grapes, their favorite chocolate bar, and a chubby pop. A bit of healthy and not so healthy 🙂
    Other things over the years have included: ear buds, dinky cars, card games, individual Lego or Playmobile items, slippers, etc.

  8. My mom always puts a book of stamps in the adult stockings, we appreciate them because although we pay most of our bills online these days, it seems like we often need a stamp to mail something to someone…

    1. Love the stamp idea. When my (now adult) children were young, before they were homeschooled, my traditional teachers’ gift was note cards and stamps. Pretty and practical.

  9. The “Wash and Brush” timer you have listed got an unfair rap, IMO. I bought this two years ago for my son, and aside from having to change the batteries, it’s proven pretty indestructable. I liked it so much, I bought a second to keep in the play room.

  10. So many great ideas! Stockings are a huge part of our holiday so I like to fill them with all kinds of treasures that we might (or might not) normally buy. Some hits from our house: duct tape (really you can never have to much), art/craft supplies I wouldn’t normally splurge on like Washi Tape and patterned duct tape for the kiddos, pencils with novelty patterns are also fun. Gourmet candy bars and cooking items (World Market has a really fun section of gourmet items in sample sizes), liquor in shot bottles, novelty chocolate chips are fun for the kids so you can plan a cooking day later, marshmallows, hot cocoa/tea/coffee mix, and new books.

  11. One thing that we always include in our stockings – is a magazine. For kids – sometimes a comic book, puzzle book, or something techie. For adults- anything of interest for that person. I look forward to seeing what magazine I get on Christmas morning as well it gives us all something to do while we’re waiting for others to get up etc.

  12. For teens…. hair ties, headbands, necklace, earrings, nail polish, hair spray, nail jewels, hair chalk, good shampoo, body shimmer, gel pens, $5 gift cards, ear buds, wallet, iTunes cards, gas cards, survival bracelet, multi-tool, craftsman key chain screw driver, new pens for school, hair gel, axe body spray, men’s body wash, “have a friend over while grounded” certificate

  13. We also do art supplies! They always love it, along with toothbrushes/paste/flossers, batteries, fun duct tape, and we fill with fresh fruit. My kids are crazy ( they don’t like candy) so we use fruit as a filler. We try to find something different for them to try than they usual apples and oranges 🙂

  14. I use many of the ideas listed above. An addition I always put in a little box of cereal and a juice box. it takes up space at the bottom and Santa brings them breakfast. They love it

  15. Great gift ideas! I will be doing several of these for my kids stockings this year. So practical but right on with what I want them to get. Thanks!

  16. Several people have listed different types of tape, and that is one thing I am adding this year, too. Duct tape comes in so many cute patterns now, I have chosen one with flames for my motor cycle loving son-in-law and bacon for a friend who loves it in any form.

  17. My boys loved getting coupons. I would make coupons for things like a week with no chores, or a batch of their favourite cookies. It cost me nothing!

  18. These are great ideas. Any ideas for newborns? Especially when it’s a second child so you have almost everything you need. Just don’t want my 3yr old wondering why the baby didn’t get anything from Santa.

    1. My baby will be 2 months come Christmas. We are stuffing his stocking with the following: teethers, a cap, bath toys, a stuffed moose, a night light (really a gift for me during those late night feedings), his first Christmas ornament and a Lamaze play-and-grow toy. Some of these things he can’t use right away, but as the year progresses he will.

    2. Last year for my 3 month old we did a all teething toy & a stuffed animal. Also used baby food to go packs. But we only used a small stocking last year.

  19. Newborns: pacifier, socks, gerber puffs, yogurt bites, cup, rattles, soft or board books, dvd for family collection like Charlie Brown Christmas

  20. Great items! Most we already do, but gift cards to their fav shops (ice cream, claires) in fun little boxes are great for our older kids (11 and 12) plus hand sanitizer (coconut and lemon from Whole Foods) for their book bag. Fun lip balm, and frilly hair ties for our girls. Our little boy loves little games and bath stuff.

  21. I always do toothbrushes and toothpaste, soap, lotion, chopstick, those play and go packs (4 crayons, stickers, and a small coloring book), oranges, deodorant, nail polish, pencils…basically practical stuff and stuff that eventually gets lost :'(

      1. I think that was a typo to mean chapstick, which is something we ALWAYS include, but chopsticks would be a fun addition! A dare to the kids to eat with chopsticks for a week. Haha.

  22. For the newborn what about baby Einstein for when he/she is older. It works wonders! Just put it on the background, it’s so much better then them watching spongebob. Another good one is that “scout” for boys or “violet” for girl and you can personalize it to say the babies name and do and say special things. Ie: “I have a brother or sister named…” Or “I love mommy and daddy,” of whatever you want it to say. It’s a lot of fun. Sold at target for sure along with other big stores. I believe it’s a leap frog brand.

  23. Little packs of Kleenex, lottery tickets, money( I always put a handful of change in my nieces stockings), oranges, Chapstick, nail polish, emery board, stickers, trading cards, candy cane, favorite candy, hair accessories, travel size deodorant

  24. Since my kids never get to choose the cereal I buy (the sales do!), they each get their favorite box of cereal. We actually do shoes instead of stockings, so we just put them behind the shoes. 🙂

  25. * stamps
    * car wash gift card
    * roll of quarters
    * flashlight
    * small sewing kit
    * pocket first aid kit
    * chapstick
    * fingernail clippers
    * movie passes
    * kitchen timer
    * car air fresheners
    * “keysmart” Keychain
    * restaurant gift cards
    * travel-sized games
    * energy bars
    * jump rope
    * hair accessories
    * nail polish
    * contact case
    * book marks
    * post it noyes
    * highlighters, sharpies, markers
    * duct tape
    * tape measure
    * multi tool – Leatherman
    ….
    🙂

  26. I have three year old twins. The one is thrilled with Hot Wheels and fruit snacks, they both love toothbrushes, and we put in bouncy balls. The other twin doesn’t like toys, he likes real things so we got him a stethoscope (we punctured the drum first so he can hear without blowing out his own hearing), a light switch that lights up, and one of those magnetic bowls meant for use in mechanics shops.

  27. Wow such great ideas in Hills article a d the comments. I am sooo going to do a toothbrush timer for my teenage son. I also enjoy putting fruit( small oranges) I’m my son’s stocking. But I also do socks. A small you of sorts and candy.
    HAPPY shopping ?

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