I keep an eye out all year long for little gifts for my boys, which get used for birthdays or are held over until Christmas as stocking stuffers. I try not to buy stuff that is too age-specific, since they may grow out of it too early. Come December, stores are filled with so many larger gift items, it can sometimes be difficult to find stocking stuffers. Plus, I hate shopping in December! So, here’s a look into what my 3-year-old son is getting in his stocking this year! I try to do thing somewhat in parallel between brothers, so some things are similar (but never exactly alike) to the 6-year-old stocking!
- DJ Mixer – the Scratch Box is our fun novelty gift this year. Though not exactly like the one I found, it mixes up pre-recorded or recorded music
- Lego Kits – like the Lego Creator series, or Mixels, are super small Lego sets, perfect for a stocking! You often find these end-of-aisle in stores like Walmart. This year, I didn’t get Lego, but instead a Mega Bloks set, since the Hot Wheels was a perfect fit for my boys!
- Novelty Toys or Candy – I like to throw in a small toy or candy toy, just to be fun. This year I found some light saber candies, and many options exist including this M&M version
- Super Tubes Science Kit – these little science experiments in a bottle are perfect for the stocking! Lots of options to choose from. In the past, we’ve had other sicence-y things such as a dinosaur egg dig, growing creatures or fake snow
- Star Wars Pez – or other novelty pez dispenser. Who can resist these?!
- Gummies Game Book – since big brother is getting the gum book, I thought the gummies life safer book would be more appropriate for age 3!
- Minifig or squish figure – this would be depending on age. Damien doesn’t love Lego as much yet, but there are many “minifig” grab bag type products. We found some cute Paw Patrol ones!
See also my Stocking Stuffers for a 6 Year Old, Stocking Stuffers for a 5 Year Old, Stocking Stuffers for a 4 Year Old, Stocking Stuffers for a 1 Year Old, Stocking Stuffers for a 2 Year Old, Stocking Stuffers for Men, and a Guys’ Guide to Stocking Stuffers for Her.
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!
I know that most guys struggle to do the Christmas shopping. While us moms probably take on the bulk of the shopping for the kids and extended family, you probably struggle just as much to show that special someone in your life just how important they are. While she may have given you a few hints for her present, you’re left to your own devices when it comes to her stocking. I’ve reviewed many an online list for stocking stuffers only to wonder – who wants that crap?!
Fret not! I present to you…
A Guys’ Guide to Stocking Stuffers
- Games – stuff in a game you can play together, like Cards Against Humanity, Scrabble Slam or Bananagrams Pictured: Cards Against Humanity
- Soap or bath products – while bath products and lotions usually scream “generic” to me, I do appreciate a good quality handmade soap or some scented bath products. Skip the lotions – we’re too picky about those! Pictured: Saltspring Soapworks Pure Soap
- A cookbook or cooking magazine – I’m a sucker for new cookbooks, so I love these. I am addicted to the Martha Stewart Everyday Food magazines – healthy and easy for the family. Pictured: Everyday Food: Great Food Fast
- Gloves – whether you go for leather or cute or specialty touchscreen gloves, it’s hard to go wrong here. Pictured: Agloves
- Ornament – get a classy new ornament or something very much to her taste: Hello, Doctor Who ornament! Pictured: Swarovski 2013 Crystal Star Ornament
- Lip Gloss – talk to her Mary Kay consultant by phone or email or take a recent photo in to any good make-up store (Sephora, MAC) and they’ll help you choose the right colour! Pictured: Mary Kay NouriShine
- Eye Shadow – while you’re buying make-up, grab some new eye shadow in a new shade or, if in doubt, some new mascara. We can always use more! Pictured: Mary Kay Mineral Eye Color
- Candy – go to a specialty candy store for a little gift bag or jar of assorted candy. That extra touch goes a long way. Most specialty stores will have grab bags pre-packaged and wrapped! Pictured: Sugar & Co. Bonbon assortment
- Chocolate – it’s so important, it gets its own category. Forget candy bars and go for the dark chocolate bar or specialty chocolates. Pictured: Thomas Haas Chocolate Bar
- Scratch & Win – while I don’t want to encourage gambling (particularly for kids), I quite love getting some scratch and wins in my own stocking. Pictured: BCLC Scratch & Win tickets
- Scarf – easy to find just about anywhere, it’s a nice alternative to socks in a stocking! Pictured: Stella & Dot Union Square Scarf
- Charm it Up – start a Pandora charm bracelet or a simple charm necklace – if she has one already, perfect! It’s easy to add a new charm. Pictured: Pandora bracelet starter
- Coffee – grab some fresh coffee or quality loose leaf tea. Skip the grocery stores and look for specialty cafes and stores. Pictured: Moja Coffee Roaster Series 2013
This list should fill up your stocking quite nicely, without adding in junk products or useless kitchen gadgets and candles. Of course, if you know your wife really wants a new spatula, go wild!
This year, I fulfilled a dream to have embroidered stockings for Christmas. It may have been a silly dream, a materialistic dream, but it was something I’ve always wanted.
If I were to be self-reflective, I’d say that being raised an only child by a single mother probably motivated me to dream about things a so-called nuclear family would have. When you think of all those perfect families in those perfect Christmas movies, having special touches like embroidered stockings was just one element.
But I don’t want to be self-reflective… that takes out of the simple joy of these beautiful gems that were far too difficult to make happen (long shopping story).
And, for those of you wondering: yes, I did buy another blue stocking for someday-baby-to-be… they need to match, right? ;)
Purchased from Pottery Barn Kids – embroidery separate