I spend the whole year thinking about and purchasing the perfect gifts, big and small, for my little family. If you’re stuck thinking beyond the standard chocolate and candy fare, or want to go a different route, I bring you a list of mostly gender-neutral stocking stuffers your 5 year old will love! These are items already stored away for my 5-year old boy, Aiden!
I am one of those people who shops for Christmas all year long. I have drawers and bins stashed around the house filled with gifts and stocking stuffers for everyone. I keep track of all my ideas and purchases in an app, so I know both what I have and what I think would be good to purchase. This year I’ve filtered out my best ideas and bring you the TOP GIFTS FOR A 5-YEAR OLD! Customize these items to girl or boy and you’re set for Christmas!
- Pencil Sharpener – You can never have enough of these, particularly ones that catch the shavings. My son loves to sharpen his pencils and pencil crayons, so this year I got him a special train-shaped one at an antique store, but any sharpener will do!
- Lego Minifigures are a great way to expand the play of your Lego set, plus it’s exciting to see what you’ll end up with!
- Pocket Etch-A-Sketch makes for a great car or restaurant toy. The larger Etch-A-Sketch is a classic toy, but I love mini items!!
- Cubebot brain teaser puzzle, mini is a recent find of mine from a local toy store. My son was enamoured with the little cube that transforms to a robot and it comes in a variety of colours
- A Calendar is great for your child’s room or the fridge. Children love to know when special events or days are coming up, plus it’s a great way to reinforce days of the week, months and reading skills.
- A travel size game like Qwirkle allows you to expand your gaming library without infringing on your storage space. Many travel-sized games are not actually more difficult to use, but offer the benefit of more compact and sturdy packaging (zipped pouches or tins). Qwirkle is a game I’ve wanted for a while!
- A wallet or coin purse is a lot of fun for your child, but also helps them learn how to manage their money. Whether they are spending their own money or you offer them a chance to pay for their own items (like a lunch or ice cream you would have usually paid for on their behalf), it’s a fun chance to learn!
- A kids magazine or chapter book like Flat Stanley, Geronimo Stilton or Magic Tree House. These are great introductory chapter books for parents to read or for early readers
- Lego Creator kits come in all sizes. The small ones like the train are great because they fit in the stocking, but can be used over and over creating the 3 different models. So much more open-ended than a single set would be!
I believe that you can give quality and useful gifts in a stocking without having to break the bank. You can find many quality art supplies at dollar stores, from stencils to glitter glue and pencil crayons, and even some games and books. If you avoid the poor quality dollar store toys and instead focus on items of use, you can create hours and days of fun for very little!
See also my Stocking Stuffers for a 4 Year Old, Stocking Stuffers for a 1 Year Old, Stocking Stuffers for a 2 Year Old and a Guys’ Guide to Stocking Stuffers for Her.
This year, Aiden decided that his 5th birthday party will be Halloween-themed. After many theme changes over the past year, I was surprised that this theme stuck. I also realized it really gave me a chance to throw two parties in one! And I have always wanted to throw a Halloween party.
The downside is, with the party being held at home, our typically front door decor wasn’t going to cut it. I have been scouring all the best Halloween deals in town to get some kid-friendly (i.e. not too scary) Halloween decor without breaking the bank. That’s why I was so thrilled when I was invited to visit Value Village for a little shopping trip.
Value Village has one of the largest selections of new and gently-used costumes and accessories for kids and adults alike, and some decor too! Whether you’re shopping for a Halloween costume, or choosing now as an awesome time to stock up on dress-up clothes, you can’t beat the value!
I grabbed a cauldron from the second-hand decor and made my way around the store. My first score was a cute Darth Vader costume for Aiden. Though he’s already chosen his Halloween costume, he’s been really into dress-up lately. The costume was used, but the helmet and cape are brand new. When I got home, I had Ianiv try on the mask and he could totally wear it too ;)
Among my other scores were a cute Day of the Dead mask, some make-up, and skeleton earrings to go with my own skeleton costume! For home decor, which was my main goal, I supplemented my cauldron with some great pumpkin lights and some hanging skeletons. The whole bundle cost me $50.30 – a great deal!
If you are looking to get in on the Halloween deals at Value Village, North Shore Mama has put together a contest for one reader to win a $100 Value Village shopping spree so you too can go #ThriftOrTreat!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I was asked to write a review of my experience at Value Village in exchange for a gift certificate covering a portion of my purchases.
In the battle of the food pouches, which will reign supreme? The contenders… on the left, the Little Green Pouch; on the right, the Sili Squeeze. Both contenders are filled a homemade smoothie. So, how do the contenders stack up?
Both the Little Green Pouch and the Sili Squeeze can be filled without the need of any added tools. The Sili Squeeze comes in a variety of sizes, from 2oz to 6oz, while the Little Green Pouch comes in a single 7oz size.
The Sili Squeeze stands easily, with no need to prop the opening to fill the pouch. The opening actually is perfect for fitting in the spout of my Vitamix, so filling is very easy. The Little Green Pouch was a bit more finicky, and I found I spilled along the zipper opening, requiring clean-up. I also didn’t have a perfect idea of when it was “full”, since you have to squish it a bit to close it. I felt like it held less than the Sili Squeeze, despite its larger capacity.
WINNER: Sili Squeeze
Both have caps that close to prevent spilling. The Little Green Pouch lays more flat, so it fit nicely in our lunch box. That said, it got squished and the zipper seal failed, so that created quite a mess. We’ve never had a leak with our Sili Squeeze.
WINNER: Sili Squeeze
The spout on the Little Green Pouch is more like store-bought food pouches, so little ones can easily manage the transition. The flexible plastic packaging made it easy for my toddler to squeeze out the smoothie until it was almost done.
The thicker silicone of the Sili Squeeze makes it harder for my little one to squeeze out. He usually finishes half the smoothie before he needs assistance, though admittedly he often forgets to tilt it up. The Sili Squeeze has two spout options, one faster than the other – we use the free flowing option, which works well.
WINNER: Little Green Pouch
Both products are dishwasher safe, though the lid of the Sili Squeeze needs to be cleaned by hand. The Sili Squeeze comes out of the dishwasher perfectly clean, since it retains its shape, but the Little Green Pouch never gets completely clean.
When washing by hand, I struggle to get my bottle brush into the bottom crevices of the Little Green Pouch, making me feel it’s not entirely clean or free from bacteria growing. Both bottle lids are a bit annoying to get clean, even with a variety of cleaning tools, though the Sili Squeeze lid is the hardest of the two to clean. I find I wish I had something like a Q-tip that was small, but sponged on the end to get into tight spots.
The Little Green Pouch is advertised to last 50 uses each. The Sili Squeeze has no advertised maximum use.
WINNER: Sili Squeeze
The online retail price for the Sili Squeeze with Eeeze is USD$14.99 each. The Little Green Pouch is $14.99 for a set of 4.
WINNER: Little Green Pouch
Which Food Pouch Reigns Supreme?
Despite the higher price, my overall winner is the Sili Squeeze, by far. The ease of filling and cleaning far outweigh the benefits to me of the Little Green Pouch. I was so disappointed with the blow-out zipper and so worried about the potential unclean crevices of the Little Green Pouch that I’ve gone back to exclusive Sili Squeeze use.
Shopping for stocking stuffers is one of my all-time favourite things to do. I love finding just the right items for my kids. I buy stocking stuffers all through the year as I see them in stores, though I also buy a few select things online.
When Aiden was just over 1 year old, I shared with you the items I was putting into his stocking. Although I missed this gift list tradition, I’m picking it back up featuring the things I am excited to put in his stocking now that he’s 4 years old. These gifts are all quite gender-neutral, so they would work for a boy or a girl!
Stocking Stuffer Ideas for a 4 Year Old
- The gift of music – I believe encouraging a love of music is important in all its forms – and that includes whistles! I always give a small instrument as a gift or stocking stuffer. This year Aiden is getting a recorder and Damien is getting a kazoo, though my top suggestion for small and inexpensive is an harmonica
- LEGO – whether you are getting larger sets as gifts or not, there are some amazing small Creator sets that are perfect for the stocking. This year we purchased the LEGO Creator Mini Skyflyer, which turns into 3 different aircraft.
- Bath Crayons – I love bath crayons and markers, but they never seem to last a full year!
- Art supplies – art supplies make up a big portion of my stocking. This year I have glow-in-the-dark pirate stickers, glitter glue pens, themed-markers, and the Usborne Monster Doodles wipe-clean cards.
- Candy airplane – a Candy Pop Fan is the real name for what he asked Santa for.
- Chocolate – of course! I usually put in a couple of Christmas-shaped chocolates, but nothing excessive
- Candy – I bought some sugar-free fruit gummies and only a couple of novelty sweets like a Santa Pez, a gourmet candy cane from Whole Foods and a candy-filled school bus.
- Games – small games like Go Fish or Spot It! also fit perfectly in a stocking.
If you are looking for more ideas for other age-ranges, check out my list of Stocking Stuffer Ideas for a 1 Year Old.
For US residents, the above links (where appropriate) are to Canadian sites. You can find many of the same items on Amazon.com here: recorder, kazoo, harmonica, LEGO Creator Mini Skyflyer, bath crayons, glitter glue, Usborne Monster Doodles, Candy Pop Fan, Spot It!
If you are looking for uncommon gifts, you may just find them at UncommonGoods! I was lucky enough to be able to choose a gift for Aiden this holiday season, which he in turn was lucky enough to play with before Christmas! It took me a long time to narrow my list down from all the wonderful options at UncommonGoods, but I’m happy to share with you some of my Top Uncommon Gifts for Kids, as well as a review of the two toys we received.
Uncommon Gifts for Kids
- Pallina – as pictured with the family on the left, the goal of this game by Hape is to remove the colour sticks without letting your own coloured balls fall. This was an easy game to introduce and offered us a fun alternative to board games during family game time. Aiden loved how hands on the game was and it’s a quick game to play several times. It’s definitely a little larger than I expected though!
- Ogobild Hub – as pictured with Aiden on the top right, the Ogobild Hub is a construction toy with endless possibilities. Add feet, wheels, loops, propellers and more! Although at first the pieces are hard to put in, your little engineer will soon be inspired to create endless creatures and contraptions. Aiden quickly moved past his desire to create a creature exactly like on the box, which he’s yet to do with Lego. I call this a win!
- Custom Book Adventure – create a custom pirate adventure or a custom fairy book with your child’s name, hair colour, home town and more. How cute is that?! This is one of my top picks for next year!
- Storymatic for Kids or Rory’s Story Cubes – bring out the creativity in your kids by encouraging storytelling with prompt cards or blocks. I think these games could get many years of play, which is hard to come by. This is a for sure gift for next year from us!
- Make Your Own Snowglobe – I’m a little obsessed with DIY projects, so I love this kit. If your child likes to make things with Play-Doh or clay, I think they’d be ready for this kit.
- Stormy Seas Balancing Game – we have a similar game with a sailboat and it’s fun to challenge problem-solving on where to balance the items. Nothing complex – just a quick game.
UncommonGoods was founded in 1999 in NewYork and endeavours to feature unique designs and handcrafted gifts that are environmentally friendly – half of what is sold is made by hand, and a third is recycled or up-cycled. I spent a lot of time browsing the website wishing I hadn’t already finished my Christmas shopping! Luckily, I added a few ideas to next year’s list (and yes, I do have an app for that).
If you are looking for some unique Christmas gifts, particularly some funky stocking stuffers or other gifts for women, you may just find them at UncommonGoods. If you have read my Guys’ Guide to Stocking Stuffers and are still searching for the right gifts, check out this scarf and the Storymatic game – both of which fit my stocking stuffer tips!
Disclosure: We received toys for review, the opinions of which are my own. I was not asked to create a list post or in any way promote additional goods. I just like them!