Stocking Stuffers for Kids: The 5 Essential Layers

For kids, the only thing better than getting to open the presents that have been toying with their imagination in plain sight under the tree is getting to dig into the stockings that have been hanging from the mantel. The Christmas stocking is one of the most enjoyable holiday traditions, and gives parents an extra opportunity to surprise their kids with great gifts. Stocking stuffers can make an already great Christmas even more special or save the day if the presents under the tree didn’t go over as well as you imagined. Stuffing stockings isn’t just about what you put inside. It’s also about how you layer gifts. Here’s our take on the 5 essential layers.


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Layer 1: Best for Last

Your very first layer fits nice and snug right at the toe of the stocking. It’s the very last thing your child will pull out, and if you open stockings last, the final gift they’ll probably be getting during the holidays. It’s the perfect spot for that special toy they’ve been talking about for the past few months, as long as it’s small enough to fit.

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Layer 2: The Cover Up

After you’ve stowed away the star of the stocking deep at the bottom, you need a gift that can also double as a clever disguise. This is the perfect spot for an apparel item like pajamas or a superhero cape, a blanket or a stuffed animal. Make sure to use it to wrap the gift in the toe to cover up the surprise until the last moment.

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Layer 3: Licensed to Thrill

The third layer nests right on top of the soft or cozy cover-up, right in the middle of the stocking. At this point, it’s time to set the scene for the special prize at the bottom of the stocking with an equally special, but maybe less expensive gift. It’s a great place to feature one of their favorite licensed characters from movies or TV.

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Layer 4: Lesson Learned

Kids are going to assume that the best of the best is at the bottom of the stocking, so it’s better to take a risk at the top of the stocking. Reserve this second-to-last spot for something borderline educational like a book, game, art supplies or puzzle. It’s not going to be the gift that makes them drop everything and run off to play, but it could easily be the present that’s still entertaining them when the sun finally sets on Christmas Day.

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Layer 5: Top Surface Sweets

Reserving the top layer for sweets is a good idea for several reasons. One, it’s an exciting sight for kids who are definitely in the mood for something sugary on Christmas. Two, it’s not a gift you have to wrap up in any particular way or worry about being identified. Three, putting treats at the top keeps weight and warmth off.

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Check out our Santa’s Sleigh Load Sale to find some Stocking Stuffers up to 50% off!

Lakeside Selection: Our Weekly Favorites

This week, Lakeside is getting into the holiday spirit a little early with our favorite items. Kids love to give gifts for the holidays as much as anyone, but they can’t just hop in the car and pick out the perfect gift at the local mall. Helping children make gifts teaches them about the joys of giving as well as receiving. This year, give them the tools they need to make their own thoughtful gifts for friends and family. By starting now, kids can make something for everyone on their gift lists by Christmas.

Fabric-by-number

Even young children can make beautiful presents with these plush craft fabric by numbers kit. With no sharp needles or scissors involved, a child can create a colorful design in pre-cut fabric on a stuffed plush pillow. Each kit contains everything needed to make a beautiful butterfly or a whimsical frog prince. It’s also a great craft project for parents because it involves no messy glues, paints or glitter to clean up after the craft is complete. The kits are designed for children ages 4 and up, so even pre-schoolers can enjoy the fun of making gifts for others. Your child’s friends will appreciate these colorful cushions as decorative accessories and as thoughtful presents.
Cord-bracelet-kit

For older kids who love to create, the BFF Chunky Cord Bracelet Kit lets them weave colorful accessories for everyone on the gift list. Each kit comes with enough thread for 6 bracelets and the weaving frames work equally well with threads you’ll find in any craft store. Easy-to-follow instructions and foam weaving forms let your child design and make bracelets, necklaces and hair ornaments. The kit contains a foam pattern wheel and colorful thread.

Garden-kit

Kids who like to help in the yard will be charmed with these Fairy or Gnome Garden Kits that let them create an enchanted garden for someone special. You supply the container and a few low-growing plants; the kit provides accessories such as a tiny watering can, birdbath and garden arch to create a whimsical tableau. Designed for older kids who have the patience to get the garden started, the kits are designed for indoor or outdoor display. The sets are perfect for a kitchen windowsill garden filled with herbs or for a miniature flower bed.

Handprint-ornament-set

Even the youngest children can participate in holiday giving when you offer a little help. Let toddlers lend a hand with these sweet Handprint Ornament Sets that turn your child’s unique print into a cherished holiday heirloom. Apply the non-toxic white paint, let the child grasp the base of the ornament and finish the design with hand-painted details you add yourself. Each kit contains a red or green ornament, white ribbon for hanging, white paint, a wedge-shaped sponge, a black permanent marker for details and orange wax for adding carrot noses to your snowmen. Young kids love helping, and with this kit, they get a chance to leave a lasting impression without making a mess. Older kids can get in on the fun too by drawing in the details or adding hand-painted stars with the leftover white paint.

Give your children an early holiday present with these or any of Lakeside’s other creative art and craft kits, and you give them the fun of making something special for friends and family. It’s never too early to teach kids about the joy of giving!