This post could’ve been called “Hannukah presents under $5” except that my kids have been keeping me so busy that I’ve only gotten up to writing it now. So five stocking stuffers under $5 it is! These are things we’ve purchased for our kids that have been a hit, so thought I’d compile a list:
1. Hair accessories: (ok, this is mostly for girls but could be for boys too, and I promise the rest are traditional gender-neutral items) My pick here is Gymboree because they’re having a 50% off sale on everything (including clearance) and free shipping no minimum. They’ve ran this sale on and off for the past month so we’ve gotten some great things from it, including really nice barrettes, headbands, ponytail holders, etc., that are mostly in the $1-$3 range. I just received an order from them of the Ribbon Bow Pony Holder in Bright Berry ($2, down from $7) and the Gold Bow Headband ($3.50, down from $8), and not only are they adorable but included in my box which was the $5.50 worth of hair accessories that I’d purchased and a $20 off, no minimum purchase required, code for TinyPrints. So theoretically they’ve just paid me to shop there as I could use the TinyPrints $20 code on a $15 item and not pay anything. No guarantee that you will get the code but their stuff is still a great deal right now with the sale applying to clearance too. They also have some clothing and other items under $5, too.
2. Socks: We always do fun socks as gifts, plus they are great because they add bulk to a stocking while also being inexpensive and not made of sugar. The best deals I’ve found are at French Toast and Sierra Trading Post.
I always think of French Toast as the uniform people but they have regular clothes too, and for some reason they have crazy inexpensive socks. For example, they have six pairs of black with neon socks for $0.99 (total, for all six pairs). We have the last year’s version of the neon socks and they’ve held up just fine. No current free shipping code that I can see but you can get 10% off of your order with code QLSC10, so I’m pretty sure whatever shipping is on any of the socks or tights you’ll still come in under $5.
Sierra Trading Post has great deals on all sorts of things, but especially SmartWool socks. Pretty much all of our SmartWool socks for the whole family come from them – the inventory changes but the general price points do not. For example, right now they have merino wool SmartWool over-the-knee cable knit socks for $1.99 (regularly $14.95), though only for littler kids, and SmartWool Whimsy Charm Microsocks for $4.88 for bigger kids. I don’t know if you can tell in the picture but the shape on top of the socks is actually a bird, and they have rainbows and all sorts of other cute things on there too. Sierra Trading Post also has a general offer for December to take 15% off plus 50% off of shipping costs using code ALWREATH5. [Semi-random aside: STP carries tons of items you would never imagine, so it’s worth taking a look at their brand list. I personally am a big Hatley fan and they always have a bunch of Hatley at really good prices – like right now they have lots of Hatley PJ sets in 2T, 3T, and 5 for $9.95 (the same ones that are $36 on Hatley’s site now)]
3. Arts & Crafts supplies or kits: Here I go straight to searching for Melissa and Doug on Amazon – I like the brand, they always have tons of choices, and there are usually a bunch on sale. Right now my pick would be the Melisssa and Doug Crayon Set – nice triangular thick crayons packaged in a blue truck container, a pink princess crown container, or a red triangle container for $3.99 (or plenty of other Melissa & Doug craft sets/items under $5 here). Can you tell which photo is our old set of these?! These are add-on items, so they ship free with Amazon Prime with a regular order of $25. [If you don’t have Amazon Prime, now is the season to try it – Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial here – basically free two-day shipping on most items with no minimum]
4. Fun figurines: I’m going to go old-school and go with this classic Schleich Charlie Brown figurine ($4.99 and free shipping from Nordstrom, so just under my $5 limit!), but you can find tons of these little toys everywhere. Whatever character your child likes, there is bound to be a figurine (or twenty) for it.
5. Deck of cards: I had assumed this was a classic stocking stuffer but this was surprisingly hard to find online – I eventually found them on Amazon ($3.99 for two packs, here, or here if you want to feel really ancient by having your kids ask if you were alive during the Civil War), but I think they’d probably be cheaper if you just went into your local CVS or Duane Reade. Still, you can then teach your kids to play old-school card games like “Steal the Old Man’s Bundle” (which I’m sure now has a new, more modern name, but that’s what it was called when I was growing up!)
For a bonus item, I would pick one of the activities available at Kiwi Crate which is still offering 50% off orders from their shops (I wrote a detailed blog post about this here) and have a bunch of things under $5 after the 50% off with code SHOP50, but I don’t think you’d make it under $5 with shipping.
Now, if you want to go in a different direction, here are my favorite picks for free items or for the best deals I’ve seen on cool bigger items:
For a neat free gift that kids seem to love, package up some old photos of yourself and your partner. There’s something about seeing mommy or daddy when they were younger that most kids find fascinating. Other free gifts are coupons for experiences (like a snowball fight or an extra-long snuggle), the start of a rubber-band ball that you can make together (hmm. . . from my latest string of posts it appears that I am developing an obsession with office supplies. . .), or a handwritten letter (you are never too young or old for one of these).
Amazon has the Thomas the Train Trackmaster Holiday Cargo Set for 50% off ($39.99, down from $79.99). We have friends who’ve received this already and it looks to be pretty solid, with a lot of different extra accessories included for kids to play with. I like that you can use it as a more classic train set or you can use the interactive holiday bits too, so it will still be entertaining year-round.
Anything from Wonder Workshop. They make these friendly-looking robot toys that help kids learn about coding and robotics – seriously watch the video because these things are really amazing. Right now both Dash and the Dash and Dot combo pack are on sale, and then they’re having an extra sale for the Hour of Code where you get $10 off of $99+ with CODE10 and $30 off of $199+ with CODE30. Not as huge a discount as Thomas, but these have won all sorts of awards and seem like the coolest thing ever and pretty much never go on sale. The Dash and Dot pack would end up being $169 instead of $229, so you’d get $60 off.
If you want one of those hundred dollar rainbow unicorn things, you’re on your own – I’m all about getting kids into thinking STEM is fun first!
This post does contain affiliate links. I try to find the best prices on everything and put those, so obviously it also contains non-affiliate links as well!