Educational {yet fun} Stocking Stuffers for the kids

This year I'm striving to put well thought out gifts into my kids' stockings.  I'm wanting to fill them up with good quality items that have a dual purpose.  Fun + educational in some way.  Here's what I've came up with so far (in no particular order):

1) Beethoven Lives Upstairs is an audio story that introduces your child to classic music.  These are so super for long car rides.  There's many titles and artists to choose from in this wonderful series.

2) Sparkle Stories is another audio story series, minus the fabulous classical music.  This is a great way to indroduce an audio story to the younger crowd.  My kids are ages 2, 4 and 7 and they all just adore this series.  You can try a sample of the stories on the company's podcast site. I connect my phone to my van's Bluetooth service and then we all settle in to a nice quiet car ride.  My kids beg to hear these. 

3) National Geographic DVDs are something that are watched so often in our house.  Shows don't always have to be cartoon nonsense in order to keep your kids occupied.  Think about what they love, and find a DVD on that topic.  For us currently, Connor (age 7) has a passion for dinos.  What does your child have a passion for (besides video games)  ;)

4)  For the younger crowd (maybe 6 and younger), grab a fun phonics DVD.  Word World is well loved in our house.  Of course, there's also LeapFrog, too, that would also be fun and educational.

5) If you have an even younger child, maybe 3 and under, Praise Baby is so wonderful.  It's a worship song DVD with just video clips of kids playing and such.  Often, on the most chaotic and stressful days as a mom of a newborn and young toddler I'd put this in to calm us all.

6) The Plui Cloud Bath Toy is definitely on our list this year.  It is geared for ages 2-8, but it will most likely go into our Sammy's (age 2) stocking - but I know they will all love it.

7) The Beginner Harmonica , by Hohner, is one of Sammy's most beloved toys.  It is high quality and works with ease (unlike most of those dollar store "harmonicas").  This is well worth the money.  It's a real harmonica, cased in plastic.  It is a real instrument, and like any instrument you blow into you need to be willing to take some time every now and then to clean it so it stays clean and safe.  I was able to take Sam's harmonica apart to clean it up and it still works like new.

8) Suspend , by Melissa and Doug, would be a super game for the whole family.  The recommended ages are 8 and up, but this one is going into Connor's stocking (age 7). 

9) Provided that you have a microscope in your house, these Primary Prepared Slides by Learning Resource would be a perfect addition for your science lover.  (ages 8 and up, and also going in Connor's stocking)

10) Crazy Aaron's Thinking putty is a unique putty that is hot on our list this year.  He wants the magnetic putty (I mean, how cool is that!?), but because of our toddler I'd feel more comfortable with a cool color changing putty.  There are many to choose from.

11) Modeling Clay (the non-drying kind) is a great way to work those fine motor skills and stretch the creativity.  Of all the things we've accumulated over the years, this is the one that our 4 and 7 yr olds keep coming back to.  My only word of advice, don't try to save money on a $ store brand - we made that mistake one year and it was a disaster.  It stained hands, table and carpet.  Get a good quality one from Alex toys or Crayola.

12) If you have an art lover, like my Emma, Smencils  (scented colored pencils) are a nice twist.  These are going in Emma's stocking.

13) Books.  Try field guides or non-fiction in a favorite topic.  Connor often collects rocks while out so he'll be getting something like this Pocket Genius: Rocks and Minerals with some polished rocks, like the kind you can find in those specialty toy stores for a quarter or so.  This is just such a wide open opportunity to nurture a child's passion.  Dinos, the human body, bugs, cats, ocean .... what's your kids passion?  Figure that out, then look into a book from National Geographic Kids, or DK.

14) As a last suggestion, on the thought train of books, these First Discovery Books, by Moonlight Publishing, are just so fantastic.  Every one of my kids enjoy these, age range of 2-7.  For Sammy (age 2) this Firefighting book is on our list.  I'm just so excited for him to see it.  :)



  1. Definitely taking some tips from this!!!! Pinning for later!

    1. You cover all the rad mom things and I'll cover the kids. 😜


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