You know when you’re walking through the house and you notice your kids’ toys by tripping over the piles and falling on your face? It’s fantastic. I mean, who doesn’t love gouging their feet on tiny piles of Legos scattered all over the living room? Well, earlier this year my husband and I made a resolution to end the toy disaster and not purchase any toys for our kiddos for the ENTIRE year. Meaning, no random toy purchases during a Target run. No toys for birthdays. And definitely no toys for Christmas presents or stocking stuffers. Yeah… I know. Crazy, right?
Now the end of the year is upon us and let me tell you this little resolution has been AMAZING. We purged through the kids’ toys and only kept the ones that would fit in the designated shelves in their closet. Anything that didn’t get played with or didn’t fit was either chucked in the garbage, donated or taken to grandma’s house to share with cousins. Taking this minimalistic turn for our family is one of the best things we’ve ever done and the lack of excess junk has been great! If you’re looking for other minimalistic Christmas ideas, check out Morgan’s article HERE for some great tips.
With that said, our non-toy year is not over! Christmas is only a few weeks away (yikes!) and Santa’s specialty is well- toys. So after having a talk with the jolly elf himself, he has graciously agreed to trade up his traditional stocking stuffers for some less toy-like ones. 😉
Below are our top favorite ideas. Keep in mind, we have little kids: ages 7, 5 and 2 1/2. So while these may seem a little juvenile, you could totally switch these up for older kid versions pretty easily. Enjoy!
Non-Toy Stocking Stuffers: Our Top 10 Favorites
1. Water bottles (Funtainer/sippy cups for the kids, Thermos for mommy)
Our kids LOVE having their own special cup. They use them nearly every day either in the diaper bag, in their lunch box for school or just to tote around the house. I try to have a good water bottle on hand for me as well. Every momma needs to make sure they’re getting their H2O! We love the Thermos brand Funtainers for the kids. They are easy to clean, spill-proof (when properly closed) and come in lots of fun character prints. I like adding ice to my water so I prefer these open-top spout bottles from Thermos. They’re great!
2. Dilly Bands
Dilly Bands are the perfect water bottle/sippy cup accessory! They’re easy to use- just slip on and go, easy to wash, easy to grip and super cute. Plus they make it way easier to label kids cups for school, practice, play dates, field trips or any other time.
3. Hair Bows/other Fashion Accessories
Like I’ve mentioned before, we are a bit bow-obsessed. And with a house full of girls, who wouldn’t be?! These ones with the wig clips are a fan fav around our house. Plus, they stay in the hair (even extra-fine hair for little babies) so well! Extra plus: you can easily switch up the bows for other accessories like makeup, bracelet or other jewelry, or a necktie/tie tacks for older kids.
4. Books (board/picture/chapter books)
Another obsession with our kids is books. ALL kinds of books. A new book for the holidays is the perfect addition for some fun one on one time with the kids. Our kids could sit and listen to stories for hours…
5. Travel games
Travel games are a staple for us so a new one is always a good idea. We use the quiet ones for our church sacrament meeting, to pass the time waiting for preschool carpool, for special on-on-one time, road trips, rainy day activities or even for family nights.
6. Notebooks/journals/coloring books
We go through drawing pads like toilet paper around here… So it’s a good idea for us to have a journal handy for when the next creative adventure strikes. An alternative to a drawing pad is a journal to jot down all those great family adventures. 🙂
7. Family Adventure Coupons (printable)
A highly coveted item in the annual family stocking stash- is the Family Adventure Coupons. These are jam-packed with great family adventures to promote experiences and bonding time! You can even use the separated coupons as a gift on their own. Just add a few accessories to go with a particular activity and BOOM!- an instant family adventure all ready to go! Snag your free PDF printable HERE! (PNG version also available –> HERE.)
Does anyone else have kids who are obsessed with brushing their teeth? Ours do! My kids literally carry their toothbrushes around the house. Haha, I have no idea where they get it from. On the upside, they can use them to scrub away all that extra sugar- courtesy of Santa’s little helpers… Heaven knows they’ll need it!
9. Holiday Movies
We are always down for a good family movie night! Complete with popcorn and fun treats, of course. It’s kind of a tradition to get at least one new movie for Christmas so the kids look forward to that one every year. Hooray for $2 DVDs/$5 Blue-Rays! (A.K.A. basically the only thing on our Black Friday shopping list.)
10. A much-needed clothing item
Last on our list is the ever-popular clothing items like shirts or a new sweater. Our girls are growing like weeds… Every season (or sooner) I am going through their closets and drawers handing down out-grown items and taking note of things they might be in need of. This presents the perfect opportunity to use some of these needed things as stocking stuffers. Some kids might not be too thrilled about a new shirt, fuzzy new socks or a fun set of Christmas PJs, but these are a total hit with our girls.
Well, that’s it! Our top 10 favorite non-toy stocking stuffers all in one spot. 🙂 We hope this list gives you a few ideas as you create your own minimalistic Christmas for your family!
What are your favorite stocking stuffer ideas? Are you jumping on board with a minimalistic holiday this year?
Good luck with your Christmas planning!