Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Kids to Stay Off the Dentist’s Naughty List

As parents and caregivers, we want what’s best for our kids all year. The holidays can be a challenge when it comes to sweets; not just for us, but our children too. The season kicks off with Halloween, then Thanksgiving, the holiday parties…all with sugary treats. If you keep thinking there must be better options than all that sugar; there are! We’ve scoured the web and searched to come up with the top 21 stocking stuffer ideas for kids that are free of guilt for you and won’t give them the holiday sugar buzz.

  1. Socks – Kids love getting fun socks: slipper socks, characters, favorite sports teams or colorful patterns make awesome stocking stuffer ideas for kids. If kids are required to wear a uniform to school every day, this is a great way to incorporate a little of their own flair.
  2. Stuffed Toys – It seems the big eyes and squish of stuffed animals can’t be missed by children. Pocket sized plush friends can be found at nearly any store and in a variety of styles to match the kiddo’s personality and likes.
  3. Toothbrushes – We aren’t talking garden variety here.  There’s a whole world of character-based, musical, or otherwise cool toothbrushes that make a great stuffer and encourage lifelong healthy oral care habits! Buy yours early because stores tend to sell out before Christmas.
  4. Bubble bath – Small, sample size bath products are great for kids. They give them a reason to stay in the tub and be creative. Cleanliness is next to godliness, they say.
  5. Writing Utensils – Kids love special pens, markers or even pencils. Find fun color packs, and unique features to get the kids excited.
  6. Puzzles – Puzzles give the kids time to focus on a project and have a satisfying outcome from accomplishing a task. Make it a family activity, free from technology, for even more fun.
  7. Erasers – Cap erasers, or mini-scented erasers become like treasure coins in the hands of kids.
  8. Slime or Dough – Slime seems to be all the rage! Canisters of slime or other tactile doughs keep a kids hands and mind busy. Choose non-toxic ones if you can’t supervise play.
  9. Money – Kids can learn the value of saving and budgeting when they are given money to use towards a goal. Whether coins or bills, talk about what they want to save up for or buy.
  10. Notepads – Pocket-sized journals or brightly colored Post-it® Notes are  allow kids to practice writing and expressing themselves.
  11. Stickers/ Tattoos – Stickers and temporary tattoos can also be found at most stores in a variety of interests appropriate for their age and are fun stocking stuffer ideas for kids. They love adorning notebooks, papers, and sometimes bedroom walls with their favorites so be sure to lay some ground rules for approved places to put them.
  12. Books – Encouraging literacy in children is always a win.  Stick a fun bookmark inside for an extra touch!
  13. Seeds – Whether plant, flower, veggie or herbs, a seed packet helps kids learn science, patience, and responsibility. Consider a window or herb garden as a win-win.
  14. Jewelry – Earrings, pendants, bracelets or hair accessories make for fun stuffers. Boys and girls alike enjoy adorning themselves and there are plenty of things to choose from in a quick visit to the mall.
  15. Hats/gloves – Kids are notorious for losing hats and gloves. Throw a set or two in and then encourage them to play outside.
  16. Gift cards – Gift cards make great stocking stuffer ideas for kids that also help kids learn about spending and budgeting while allowing them to personalize a gift!  Just make sure the kiddo puts it in a safe place.
  17. Novelty Items – Rubber balls, magic tricks, fake teeth and the like, make kids laugh and help them develop social skills as they relate to others.
  18. Learning Cards – Math, trivia or playing cards and games such as Uno® teach kids sportsmanship, taking turns and learning skills while also having fun.
  19. Personal Care Items – Items such as lip balm, hair care products, or nail polish help kids learn the importance of personal grooming and self-care.
  20. Coin Purse or Wallet – Give them a place to keep their money and gift cards while also teaching responsibility.
  21. Healthy Snacks – Consider fruit, such as raisins, nuts, cereals, seeds and the like.  There are even several fun flavors of sugar-free gum that kids love to chew and will get you brownie points with the dentist!

Of course, candy is likely to make an appearance, but don’t worry. With healthy habits, a little candy isn’t the end of the world. But healthy choices are important year round, and oral health is a key part of overall wellness. Be sure to establish and keep good oral health habits including seeing your dentist twice a year! Schedule an appointment for you, and your child(ren), for an exam and cleaning today!