23 Meaningful Non-Toy Kids Stocking Stuffers

Finding stocking stuffers that aren’t just cheap plastic trinkets can be a challenge. Here are twenty-three gift ideas that have lasting value. 

Little girl hanging ornaments on a Christmas tree

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Stocking stuffers get me every year.

Just after I’ve crossed everything off of my to-do list – the gift-buying, gift-making, cookie-baking, etc. – I sit back and relax. “Now all I have to do is wait for December 25th,” I tell myself.

And then it happens. About a week before Christmas it hits me – “Oh no – I forgot to buy stocking stuffers!!”

In a bit of a panic, I hop online trying to search for the perfect tiny presents that fit into a gigantic sock.

Sure it would be easy to just run over to the nearest stationary or drug store and find little plastic knickknacks.

But we already have enough good-for-nothing things in our house – that have no other purpose but to drive me crazy with the clutter they create.

If I’m going to buy a gift – even a tiny gift – it has to have a purpose, be meaningful, and hopefully, last until the next Christmas comes around.

Below are a few stocking stuffers that pass that test. Each has a purpose and are arranged by kids’ interests. Happy shopping!


Insect Lore Cup of Caterpillars: Young scientists can observe the transformation of caterpillars into butterflies with this kit.

Jar of Glow Stars: Recreate star constellations with these glow-in-the-dark star stickers.

A flower and leaf press to save outdoor treasures

Green Science Soda Can Robug

The company Green Science puts together several small kits that let kids try their hand a science. Here are a few:

Educational Stocking Stuffers

This Color the Galaxy Inflatable Ball helps kids get a better sense of the galaxy while using their creativity. It also makes for a fun toy after all the drawing is complete!


Stocking Stuffers for the Artistic & Creative Kid

eco-dough playdough

Filling a stocking with art supplies is always a winner with kids who love to create! These products are eco-friendly to boot:

Invisible Ink Pens: What could be better than writing secret letters that no one can see unless put under a special light?

This sun art paper mixes creativity and science by letting kids create images with the sun. Place any object on this paper for a short time in the sun and a film-like impression will appear.

An image of a book called 32 Ways to Dress a Cat

This series of cute books called 32 Ways to Dress a…Dog, Cat, Fox, Pig, Bear or Bunny shows the beginning design of an animal but leaves the clothing to kids imagination.

meaningful non-toy stocking stuffers

The Gift of Experiences

Museum membership cards: Science museums, children’s museums – the gift of membership not only supports these institutions but also provides the chance for many family outings.

Tickets to a sporting event: If you have a kid who loves sports, give them the gift of a trip to see their favorite team. Even if it’s too early to buy tickets, you can create a card that kids can cash in later.

Tickets to a performance: If you have a ballerina or a theater nut or you know your kids will love seeing Disney on Ice, wrap up a few tickets to these performances.

Find more experience gifts here >>> 50+ of the Best Experience Gifts for Kids

Games and Puzzles that Fit Inside a Stocking

Bananagrams pouch and playing pieces

Bananagrams: Both educational and fun! Players race against each other to build crossword grids. The first one to use all their tiles wins.

Go Fish: What kid doesn’t like Go Fish? It’s easy to play, easy to understand, and fun for all ages.

Melissa & Doug Family Dinner Box of Questions Game contains 82 conversation starters – a great way to get kids talking during dinner time. 


Gifts of Charity

Global Giving: Encourage kids’ generosity with a Global Giving gift card. Global Giving is a crowdfunding community that lets donors choose from thousands of projects to support. Kids will feel empowered knowing exactly where their money is going.

See related:

20 of the Best Educational Subscription Boxes for Kids

22 Meaningful Non-Toy Gifts for Kids

34 Eco-Friendly Gifts for Kids of All Ages

21 Open-Ended Toys for Kids to Inspire Creativity and Imagination

60 of the Best Outdoor Gifts for Kid to Get Them (and Keep Them) Outside

24 Fun and Engaging Science Toys for Kids

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