Entertain My Toddler

Play, Learn & Motherhood

  • Kari McManamon

After an instagram poll, you guys wanted some stocking stuffer ideas!

These are my Top 9 picks of gifts that will stuff your stocking!

*click the images to shop! These are affiliate links. I do make a small commission at no charge to you*

  1. Play Dough accessories

There are many different options when it comes to play dough toys. Wooden, plastic, stamps, you name it! These would be great for a stocking stuffer surprise.

2. Number Popsicles

Who wouldn't want a stocking full of popsicles! These are one of my favorites toys to recommend. They are great for fine motor skills, colors, and numbers. My kids also pretend play ice cream shop with them.

3. Stickers

Stickers are always being played with in our house. I literally find them everywhere! The kids love them and they are the perfect little treat for inside your stocking. Sticker books are great too. You can make different scenes with them and re use the stickers. The foam stickers can double as a learning activity. You can practice letters and name recognition.

4. Mini animals

My kids love animals and little figures. They will play with them in play dough or wrap them up in foil and open them like a present! They make great bath tub toys and you can even hide them in easter eggs around the house for a fun hide and seek game.

5. Tattoos

Did you know that you can transfer temporary tattoos onto rocks!? You can!! We love using tattoos this way. It helps create a fun sensory and imaginative play for them. And of course, they still love wearing them too!

Here's an example of the tattoos on rocks!

6. Chalk markers

Chalk markers have been a new favorite of ours. If you follow us on instagram you may have seen in stories how the kids use them to color the windows. Our back sliding door is a constant easel but with the markers being washable I let them go to town! I recommend the Chalkola brand since they are washable. If you use the code ENTERTAIN10 you can get 10% off your purchase!

7. Toothbrushes

Yes, I said toothbrushes! Maybe my kids are odd but they love getting a new toothbrush. It doesn't matter if it's dinosaur shaped, plain, or character themed, they love them! And if your child doesn't like brushing their teeth, maybe getting a fun new toothbrush from Santa could help. The first ones I'm going to share with you are probably my kids favorite. They look like crayons and they have a suction cup on the bottom to make them stand. We have them on constant re order through amazon subscriptions.

8. Water books

These books are great to bring out during car rides. You fill the marker with water and then as you color, a picture appears. It dries and then you can use them again and again. My son loves these and they keep him occupied.

9. Water balloons

I know what you thinking, it's winter, who needs water balloons. Even if you live somewhere cold you know you're going to get that one nice day and you'll thank me for having them. While water balloons are short lived they bring kids so much joy! These ones you can connect straight to the hose and fill up in seconds!

I hope you enjoyed our Top 9 stocking stuffer gift ideas! Post your favorite in the comments below.

Check out my friday favorites tab on instagram for more gift ideas!

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  • Kari McManamon

I don't think it's ever too early to introduce your child to phonics. I try and take their interests and add in learning wherever I can. Here are two simple activities you can try with your toddler.

  1. Sticker Phonics

This activity took under 5 minutes to set up. Evelyn loves playing with foam stickers (again, playing to their interest) I decided to use the Christmas stickers to aide a phonics game.

How I set it up

Using painters tape, I taped a large sheet of paper onto the wall. Then I wrote the letters "T""R""S""P" to match up with tree, Rudolph, Santa, and present. When Evelyn grabbed a sticker I told her the name of the sticker and what letter it started with. So when she picked up Santa I said "That is Santa. Santa starts with S. Can you find the letter S?" Then she would find the letter and stick the sticker to that letter. She found this very fun! You could also adapt this to an older child by asking them to find the letter sound instead of you telling them. It is what I had planned for my 4 year old but he had other plans that day!

Find the stickers here

2. Sensory Letter Search

This is another under 5 minute set up. I used some colored chickpeas and snowflakes as sensory base. I tossed some letters in and let her play.

Find the letters here

How to play

There really is no wrong way to play. Let your child explore. You can let them tell you the letters or you can ask. There letters are great with how colorful they are too. She would pick one up and sometimes say the letter and sometimes the color. Sensory play can really open up language opportunities. The best thing to do is play and have fun!

Want to know how I colored the chickpeas? Check out this linked blog post

Find more activities on our instagram page

Be sure to save to your Pinterest to find later!

*always supervise with small pieces

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  • Kari McManamon

Making your own sensory bin can be a fun way to change things up! This one was super easy to make and was perfect for holiday sensory fun.

What you need to get started

  1. hot glue gun

  2. paper towel rolls

  3. scissors

  4. large box (the ones from costco work great!)

  5. paint and paintbrushes

I started off by painting a Christmas tree inside the box. I like using the crayola acrylic paints as they are vibrant and dry quickly. As it dried I cut up a paper towel roll to use as "ornaments" for the tree. Once it dried I hot glued the paper towel circles all over the tree.

Then it's time to play! Grab your sensory fillers and go crazy!! Have your child fill the ornaments up with different colors or however they would like to play. We chose to use red and white colored chickpeas with some snowflakes added in.

To make the colored chickpeas you need

  1. bagged chickpeas

  2. acrylic paint

  3. ziploc bag

Making colored chickpeas is very easy. Pourr the chickpeas into a ziploc bag and then coat with paint. Shake it around until they are colored to your liking. You can open the bag to air dry or lay them out on parchment paper to dry. I personally like to lay them out as I feel they dry faster that way. The snowflakes were found at Michaels craft store. I usually set this up in whatever tray I can find around the kitchen.

*Always supervise with small pieces

*Need wooden scooping tools? Chickadeeswoodentoys has some great ones!

*Looking for other sensory fun? Check us out on instagram!

#sensoryplay #holidayactivities #toddleractivities

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