What could be more magical than reaching into a Christmas stocking and digging around for what might be inside? Rather than stuff the sock with a bunch of plastic junk, why not get some quality goods, and make those gifts count?  Read on for some great stocking fillers for your little one’s Christmas stocking.

Rocking Stuffer
What stocking is complete without a new CD? 2010 has seen a flood of new local kids’ music like the recently released Sing A Little Song by songwriter and preschool music teacher Brian Vogan and his Good Buddies. Catchy tunes like Tow Truck and How to Fly are sure to drive Jingle Bells out of your head, stat!

Artsy Fartsy

Pop a few tubs of some locally-made, non-toxic sculpting dough into the toe of the stocking to ensure that your kids will be happily occupied while you’re busy making Christmas dinner. Max’s Mud,  is gluten-free, non-toxic, tons of fun. Mama K’s Aromatic Play Clay, also Seattle-made, comes in 7 soothing aromatic scents such as sweet orange and chamomile. Mama K’s online shop is offering a stocking stuffer package complete with mini tubs in a muslin bag along with a cookie cutter or a nifty tube full of five 4 oz. tubs – divide ‘em up amongst your kids or let one lucky kiddo enjoy the whole booty.

Flight of Fancy
Mobiles aren’t just for baby cribs; these artworks add a relaxing focal point anywhere in a kid’s room – over the changing table, in the corner reading nook, or in a playroom or bathroom.  Skyflight Mobiles are thematically associated with Air, Earth, Water, and Space, and are screen printed on archival museum board with non-toxic inks. Mobiles are folded flat for packaging and come with an educational fact sheet.

The newest children’s board book, Calling All Animals, by artist and author Matthew Porter, is fun for the whole family. Kiddos will love the colorful artwork in this book; older siblings and parents will have fun learning the animal ‘group’ names. You probably know about a “flock” of sheep, but who knew that a group of flamingos is called a “flamboyance” or a group of squirrels is a “scurry”?

Music Makers

Christmas is the perfect time to add to your musical instruments collection. Online toy boutique, Nico and Zoe, carries a number of fun instruments like heirloom wooden jingle bell baby rattles and cute bear cymbals.  Planet Happy Toys carries Animal Ocarina Necklaces imported from Peru by Seattle-based Jamtown. The molded clay necklaces work like tiny flutes; perfect for little fingers and much more pleasant than a whistle!

Monkey-ing Around
For monkey-obsessed little ones, check out  Everything Monkeys for tons of gift ideas that are just the right size to slip into a stocking. You’ll find monkey kaleidoscopes, rattles, bibs, water bottles, and pencil bags. The online store is nicely arranged and easy to search; categories include price range, style of toy (books etc), and of course, an entire section dedicated to Curious George!

Pretty Packaging
For a fun, eco-friendly way to wrap up some goodies, why not stock up on ReUsies snack & sandwich bags? These reusable fabric bags (they come in multiple patterns and colors) are perfect for storing little stocking surprises like action figures, play jewelry, felt food, lip gloss, or Christmas candies. Be sure to save them for your snack/lunch box needs!

Tell us, what did you get in your stocking when you were a kid?  I remember Satsuma oranges hidden in the toes; gold-foil chocolate coins were a hit from year to year!

—Angie J. Ballas