Once you tackle buying all the big gifts, you usually give out a big sigh of relief. Until you realize you still need to stuff the stockings! Sure you can throw some candy in there, but do you really want your kid even more sugared up on Christmas?
I'm here to help with a roundup of inexpensive, fun, and even unusual stocking stuffers for your little one that will do those stockings proud. Like this Super Sudser bath toy. This works like an eggbeater to both dispense and whip up shampoo or bubble bath into tons of frothy foam. Amazon, $3.
Finger monsters: The little, scary-but-cute finger puppets are fearsome and fun. The Land of Nod, $1.25.
Animal crayons: These bright, charming coloring sticks featuring zoo animals are that much fancier than a box of drugstore crayons and will last longer, too. Fred Flare, $9.
Hungry animal stencil set: A great little gift for the child of your annoying design-snob friend, these teach about the animal kingdom with a bird inside a turtle inside a hippo inside an elephant inside a blue whale. It's especially fun because the stencil can be used for drawing or simply as a cool puzzle. MoMA Store, $7.
Dinosaur teeth: No kidding, you can order actual fossilized dino teeth for your little dino lover. This would be an interesting bridge from Barney to learning about actual dinosaurs, and the cool factor at show-and-tell would be through the roof. Mama's Minerals, $3.95.
Rubber band boat: Stick one of these little wooden boats in everyone's stocking and have boat races! Tin Toy Arcade, $4.98.
Arctic figures: Show them what's really going down at the North Pole with these tiny figures of Arctic animals and people, selected by National Geographic. Pottery Barn Kids, $10.
Create-your-own books: This set of three tiny books, along with a bonus book holder, lets kids write and illustrate their own stories and decorate a holder to go with their literary masterpiece. Creativity for Kids, $9.99.
Light-up ball: These bouncy balls are beyond fun ... throw them and they light up, shake them and watch the Mylar strips inside, or simply roll them back and forth for a gentle game of catch. You'll enjoy this as much as your kids do! Amazon, $9.18.
Harmonica: Teach kids about sharps, flats, and scales ... or just hand them the harmonica and cover your ears. Fat Brain Toys, $4.95.
What are your kids getting in their stockings?