12 Stocking stuffers for kids that might top what you put under the tree

by Jeanne Sager
Nov 25, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. ET
Image: Jennifer Felix/Getty Images

Let's face it. By the time you're done shopping for the gifts to put under the Christmas tree, finding stuff to stick in that stocking is enough to make you tear your hair out. What can you put in there that won't break the bank... but won't be abandoned in two seconds? 

Here are some awesome stocking stuffers your kids will actually love. Bonus, they're (almost) all candy-free! 

1 /13: Road tape

1/13 :Road tape

Any place can be a road for their toy cars when they have a roll of road tape (InRoadToys, $4) that they can whip out and lay down. Made of recyclable, self-adhesive paper tape, these roads have real curves they can vroom all over. Best of all: It sticks to any flat surface but won't leave behind sticky residue. Grandma's china cabinet will thank you for that last part.

2 /13: Unicorn horn headbands

2/13 :Unicorn horn headbands

Who says unicorns don't exist? These adorable unicorn horn headbands (Brooklyn Owl, $20 or $18, depending on color) come in a variety of colors so they can bring back the Pegasus look. Kiddo isn't a headband fan? You can opt for a unicorn horn hair clip that will let them show off their inner mythical horse. Sparkle on! 

And if that's not enough, here are a ton of other unicorn gifts you won't be able to resist. 

3 /13: Plantable pencils

3/13 :Plantable pencils

OK, OK, so most pencils are a little boring, albeit useful. But not the Sprout pencils (Amazon, $20 for eight)! These pencils can be used for reading, writing, and 'rithmetic, but when they get too short and stubby for scribbling, they're ready to be planted in the ground! Each package comes with eight varieties of herbs that will grow out of that little stub: basil, cilantro, dill, mint, parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme. Talk about a tasty treat. 

4 /13: Gummy bear launcher kit

4/13 :Gummy bear launcher kit

Full steam ahead! This gummy bear launcher kit (Greenbugmarketplace/Etsy, $9) was created by a teacher, so it's no surprise it hits on plenty of educational markers, from simple machines to measurements and the metric system. The kit comes unassembled with a baggy of gummy bears, so expect your kiddo to be building for a while before the candy attack. 

5 /13: On-the-Go Fun for Kids!

5/13 :On-the-Go Fun for Kids!

Traveling this holiday? On-the-Go Fun for Kids! (Amazon, $9) is the present they can grab out from under the tree and use while you're meandering over the hills and through the woods to Granny's house. It's packed with nearly hundreds of activities they can do with little more than their imagination. 

6 /13: Fabric markers

6/13 :Fabric markers

Roll up a white T-shirt and throw a box of Crayola's fabric markers (Target, $5 for eight) into the stocking, and you just gave them an afternoon of crafting, plus a rad new outfit to wear on the first day back to school after the winter break. 

7 /13: Animal cuppies

7/13 :Animal cuppies

Surprise! Get to the bottom of your drink in one of JJ Rabbit's Cuppies (JJ Rabbit, $7), and you'll find a little animal staring back at you. 

8 /13: LEGO Watch

8/13 :LEGO Watch

Learning to tell time is a lot more fun with a LEGO watch (Target, $22) that can you can build yourself! 

9 /13: Bear stamp

9/13 :Bear stamp

Once they get a peek at this peeking bear stamp (Woodland Tale/Etsy, $8), your little crafter will be itching to get inking. Not a bear fan? They also have peeking owls, giraffes playing peek-a-boo and a variety of other cuddle creatures. 

10 /13: Woodland diorama

10/13 :Woodland diorama

Dioramas aren't just for school projects. This little diorama kit (Acme Party Box, $18) lets them recreate a woodland scene at home with a "pet" you don't have to remind them to feed.

11 /13: Home Alone Special Edition

11/13 :Home Alone Special Edition

Want the kids to actually hang out with you, instead of hightailing it for their rooms after they gather their holiday loot? The Home Alone Ultimate Collector's Edition box set (Amazon, $44) has five — count 'em, five — movies in one, plus a whole lot of extras. You get a walk down memory lane 25 years in the past, and they get to really appreciate how lucky they are that their parents don't forget them on Christmas. 

12 /13: Who Is Journal

12/13 :Who Is Journal

A blank journal can put a lot of pressure on a kid. What do they say? The Who Is...? interactive journal (Penguin Random House, $9) takes a lot of that pressure off with prompts that help them open up about what's going on inside. 

13 /13: Unique Stocking Stuffers For Kids

Image: Becci Burkhart/SheKnows

13/13 :Unique Stocking Stuffers For Kids