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Sensory Stocking Stuffer Ideas for the Five Senses

Nov 11, 2022

Small affordable little gifts placed in a sock make stocking stuffers so unique. It’s so immensely satisfying to reveal these gifts on Christmas day. Don’t just go for random stocking stuffers for your toddler or older kiddo though. Take advantage of holiday gifts that help them learn, grow, and explore the world around them. This year, choose a sensory stocking stuffer that’s both fun AND appeals to the five senses. 

What’s so Great About Sensory Play?

Little ones are still learning about their senses and how to work with a variety of sensory input from the world. What helps them navigate these new experiences? Sensory play! Sensory play is invaluable because of how it enhances child development and the development of the brain. By building pathways in the brain, sensory play will enhance cognitive development, language development, social skills, gross/fine motor skills, and problem-solving skills. For some kiddos, sensory play and experiences can also be calming, which can help decrease feelings like anger and anxiety. If your kiddo struggles with or avoids certain sensations, sensory play challenges the senses in a safe environment. When senses are further explored through play, your child is better equipped to manage their senses in a healthier and positive way. Sensory play during the holidays is not something you want to leave off the Christmas list. Bring on the sensory stocking stuffer ideas! 

Simplify Gift-Giving

For some families, gift-giving is a big part of the holiday, but remember to simplify gift-giving. You don’t need a ton of toys pouring out of stockings or from underneath the Christmas tree. Studies have shown that providing fewer toys to kids enhances creativity and imagination. If you ask us, quality over quantity is best. When selecting sensory stocking stuffer gifts, be sure to select only ones that you know your child will enjoy. Otherwise, that gift could easily become brushed underneath the bed by the end of January. Yikes! If you want more simplified gift-giving tips, check out our previous blog here.

Sensory Stocking Stuffer Idea List for Kids

Looking for cheap stocking stuffer ideas? Check that off Santa’s list! The good news is that a lot of these stocking stuffer ideas for kids are affordable and can bring your child hours of sensory playtime and experiences that will make lasting memories. Plus, many of these stocking stuffers benefit your child in more ways than one. For example, a Rubix cube can also improve problem-solving skills while creating a sensory experience for our touch sense. Thanks, Santa!

Sight Stocking Stuffers
  1. Glow Sticks
  2. Memory Games
  3. Puzzles  
  4. Mini Coloring Books
  5. Liquid Motion Bubblers & Snow Globes
Hearing Stocking Stuffers (This could get really loud!)
  1. Harmonicas
  2. Headphones/Earbuds for Electronics
  3. Tiny Maracas
  4. Marbles 
  5. Whistles
Touch Stocking Stuffers
  1. Fidget Bubble Poppers/ Fidget Toys / Rubix Cubes
  2. Play-Doh
  3. Mini Zen Gardens
  4. Fuzzy Stuffed Animals
  5. Clothes the Hug Like Fuzzy Socks and Beanies
Taste Stocking Stuffers
  1. Snack Packs
  2. Chocolate (or peanuts for a healthier option)
  3. Sugar-Free Gum
  4. Small Homemade Bag of Treats
  5. Character Mugs for Drinks
Smell Stocking Stuffers
  1. Scratch-and-sniff Stickers
  2. Scratch-and-Sniff Books
  3. Scented Markers
  4. Fruity Chapstick or Lotions
  5. Hot Chocolate

Did you find some stocking stuffers that fit your liking for your kiddo this year? We’d love to hear about it! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to comment on this blog post.

Sensory issues can get in the way of day-to-day enjoyment, making the holidays feel extra tough. Reach out to us today to find out if occupational therapy might be right for your child.