It can be difficult finding small, reasonably priced toys that aren’t wrapped or made entirely of plastic. We’ve put together this guide to help you think a bit more outside of the box or should we say plastic bag.
Split the gifts
If you’ve bought a big present for under the tree check to see if there are figures or parts you can take out for the stocking. We’ve taken some of the animals from the wooden ark we’ve bought for the girls and wrapped them up as stocking fillers.
Raid the kitchen
You’re very likely to have all the ingredients needed to make up a batch of play dough in your cupboards. When we first made it the only thing we didn’t have was some Cream of Tartar (which is not completely essential, but it does help preserve the dough). There are lots of recipes online, here’s the one we often follow. To store it we’ve used glass jars and old plastic containers (the type you get humous in are a great size).
This next one might sound like a strange gift to give a child but honestly rice is fantastic fun, trust us. We often dye ours (how to here) and use it as a base with other toys, check out our rice sea this was a massive hit with the kids they loved hiding the pirate’s treasure under the rice. Rice is also great in a play kitchen, anyone for rice tea?
Another slightly out there one but save any small boxes and tubs of food, give them a wash out and hey presto they’re play food. If the tubs look a bit plain decorate with a sharpie or stick on some home printed labels. The great thing about these is that when they start looking a bit battered you can swap them out for new ones.
If you’re good with a crochet hook then there are lots of possibilities but as time might not be on your side why not keep it simple and whip up a crochet ball using cotton yarn. Cotton yarn is best for babies as it loses less fibres than wool.
For those who aren’t so crafty at crochet phone round friends and relatives to see if they can help out, we often call on the girl’s aunty for our crochet toys.
Make a new tradition
We have a couple of new and old traditions with our stocking fillers. One is to include a small Christmas decoration in the kid’s stockings for next year. This year we’ve added the Toy soldier and Reindeer figures from Lanka Kade. You can often find individual unwrapped decs in the shops too.
We have lots of little figures, vehicles, puzzles and other items that are just the right size for stocking fillers, check them out here.