toddler opening christmas stocking

Stocking Stuffers for Toddlers that Boost Development

Your toddler may be excited to get a cute shirt with their favorite character on it and that would make a fun stocking stuffer! But why not use the opportunity of stuffing their stocking to buy things that will boost your toddler’s development?

Scroll through our list of recommended stocking stuffers for toddlers to add a few things to their stocking that will boost their development!

Although most items will work on multiple skills areas, I did categorize these stocking stuffers based on the predominant skill it promotes. If you are looking for certain toys in particular, you can scroll right to that section!

Stocking Stuffers that Boost Toddler Fine Motor Development

Pop-it toys are great for working on isolating one finger in extension to poke. These cute Christmas themed ones would be perfect for the holidays!

These Christmas wind-up toys can help your child work on fine motor manipulation skills.

Did you know that kids should start practicing cutting with scissors around age 2? These training scissors have a spring lever to help make opening the scissors easier, often the hardest part for kids.

Honey Sticks crayons are a perfect option for parents who are worried their toddler is going to take a bite of their crayon. They are made from natural beeswax!

Peeling stickers helps to work on bilateral coordination skills (using both hands together) as well as pincer grasp. Make-A-Face sticker sheets are a fun activity to do on Christmas Day!

Lacing activities are a fun way to work on fine motor coordination skills and this apple is really cute!

Toys with buckles, zippers, and snaps can help make learning these important life skills more fun!

Stocking Stuffers that Boost Toddler Gross Motor Development

Pull-Along Toys are an easy way to get kids to practice walking backwards and this cute frog will fit right in their stocking!

Balls are an essential toddler toy that help to work on catching, kicking, and throwing skills. This 5pk comes deflated making it a compact option!

Practicing yoga poses is a great skill to introduce around 3 years of age. Not only does yoga help with gross motor skills such as balance and strength, but it helps with body awareness, mood, and mindfulness too! All great concepts to introduce to your little one! These yoga chips are the perfect size for your toddler’s stocking!

Stocking Stuffers that Boost Toddler Oral Motor Development

This kazoo is high quality and won’t break easily (and I have tested it with my adventurous little toddler…). Kazoos are great for working on breath control as well as lip and cheek strength.

This harmonica from Hohner Accordions has a really nice sound and would make a fun first musical instrument!

Slide whistles are a fun way to combine oral motor skills with fine motor skills as you practice pulling the slider in and out while blowing the whistle.

Fubbles are my favorite bubbles by far–and I have tried a lot of bubbles! This innovative no-spill design is a necessity for young toddlers and the bubble solution is top notch. Blowing bubbles is such a great activity to practice grading force with the breath and for oral motor coordination.

Did you know that open cups and straw cups are best for oral motor development? I recommend avoiding sippy cups whenever possible. This Mini Cup from Ezpz is two in one! You can use the lid and straw for this 4oz cup or you can remove them and let your child practice open cup drinking. For more tips on teaching open cup drinking, check out our cup drinking article.

If your toddler is having a lot of spills with open cups, try out Munchkin’s Toddler Splash Cups! The lid is difficult for little ones to remove and it has a small opening to reduce the flow as well as the mess.

For an on-the-go option, the Funtainer from Thermos is a must have. There are more than 40 design options with different cartoon characters, colors, and other patterns, so you are destined to fine one your child will love! The short straw on this cup is great for oral motor skills and this cup is truly no-spill, a parent’s dream!

Stocking Stuffers that Boost Toddler Sensory Development

Play-Doh is a classic toy that is fun to squish and squeeze. This 10pk of small 1oz Play-Doh containers will fit great in their stocking!

Slime is fun to stretch and twist. This is a great activity for kids who tend to avoid getting messy. You can even put it inside a bag if your child is sensitive and let them squish it from outside the bag. This 2 pk from Elmer’s would be great to share with two kids.

This silly putty is not only a fun texture but also comes in silly scents! The fun thing is, you don’t know what scent you have until you sniff it!

Flavored and scented bubbles like these cotton candy flavored ones from Bubble Lick are a fun way to stimulate your child’s senses of taste and smell while also working on oral motor and fine motor skills while they blow and pop bubbles. You can even challenge your child to try to catch the bubbles on their tongue!

Stocking Stuffers that Boost Toddler Cognitive Development

Let your child work on sorting by color with this cute bee activity. Also great for fine motor skills!

Your toddler can learn about the difference between big and small with this adorable carrot sorting toy.

Put a couple in each of the kids’ stockings and have enough to give away as gifts too with this 12 pk of small 5″ jigsaw puzzles. Puzzles work on fine motor skills in addition to cognitive skills.

Matching games are a great way to work on your toddler’s problem solving and memory skills.

Simple card games are fun to introduce around age 3 and Go Fish is a classic!

Fun is #1 when it comes to selecting Christmas gifts for kids. As an occupational therapist, I always try to find toys and activities that are not only fun, but also help with development! I hope you found some fun and useful stocking stuffers for your toddler this year!

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