20 stocking fillers that support your child’s emotional development
Christmas can be a chaotic time for many families, and for many kids. And with chaos, come stress, right?! And for kids, stress often looks like meltdowns and arguments, and whining, and aggression.
But challenging behaviour from our kids, particularly during times of disruption and transition – which Christmas most definitely can be – are often an indication that they are lacking the skills they need to cope with a situation. Their nervous systems are overloaded and cannot cope with any more. When we see these types of challenging behaviours from our kids, what we are seeing is the result of our kids feeling disconnected, overwhelmed and out of their depth.
So why not give them gifts that are fun AND that help them learn the skills they need to cope with difficult situations?
These 20 stocking filler ideas will help you support your child’s emotional development, build emotional intelligence and help them learn important self regulation skills. And, they’re all AU$25 or less!
These stress balls are great for kids who love to squeeze and need support to calm their bodies down. They are filled with squeezable semi-solid gel, so they’re super tough and will withstand hours of rough handling and squeezing! Find them here.
Worry dolls are great at helping ease anxiety in young children. They are small enough to travel in pockets, bags, pencil cases and purses and are always ready and willing to listen. They provide immense comfort to young children who can simply reach into their pocket when they feel worried and know they are not alone. This one comes in his very own drawstring pouch so he can easily travel with you wherever you go. You can find him here, and you can find his sister here.
This set of 54 mindfulness cards is a perfect stocking filler for your preschooler or primary school aged child. Each card helps kids learn breathing and mindful movement techniques that will help them learn to calm their minds and bodies. You can find them here.
These calming stones are a pocket sized tool to help with worries and anxious feelings. Rubbing a calming stone can provide relief from stress and anxiety and support your child’s sensory needs so they feel calmer and are better able to concentrate. Find them here.
This soothing lavender scented putty is a perfect calm down tool and provides deep touch input for little hands. This glittery putty can be torn, squeezed, or bounced, and will never dry out! Perfect for your child’s calm down space. Find it here.
The beautiful cards come in packs of 7, 15 or 30 and make great stocking fillers for your crafty kiddos! Colour them in and gift them to friends and family this holiday season. Or leave them around your neighbourhood for people to find and brighten someone’s day! You can find them here.
These positive affirmation temporary Tattoos are a fun way to boost self-esteem and promote confidence. The perfect stocking filler for any little girl this Christmas. Find them here.
These beautiful hand painted worry dolls in pink or blue will assist your little one with big feelings or worries. Each worry doll comes in its own special pouch with a verse about how it can help your child manage their fears or emotions. Find them here.
A set of 25 cards to brighten your child’s day and remind them that you are thinking of them! These are a lovely stocking filler gift for your primary school aged child. Find them here.
The Jumbo Smooshos Neon Ball provides smooth, soft, weighted feedback when squeezed. Available in yellow, green, pink and orange, this large ball is a great addition to a calm down kit or quiet corner, and a fantastic stocking filler! Find them here.
Attach one of these to your child’s school bag so they can easily recognise their bag. Plus, their worry doll will be with them all day long, to provide some comfort when feeling worried. Find them here.
Create your own Calm Down Bottle with this unique kit that includes all of the sensory items you need. Just add water and a dash of washing up liquid and it’s ready to go! And, you can refill and reuse the sensory bottle over and over again. Perfect to keep in your calm down space! You can find them here.
The ability to identify emotions and find ways to express them is a skill children will carry with them for a lifetime. This set of 15 emotion cards will help kids understand their emotions, and the emotions of others and develop their emotional resilience. Find them here.
This set of 9 affirmation cards for kids is printed on recycled card and includes a clear quartz gratitude crystal and a wooden card holder. An absolutely beautiful stocking filler! Find them here.
Easily display your favourite affirmation cards with these custom created wooden affirmation card stands, complete with slot to hold and display your favourite card of the day. Perfect for work stations, living rooms, kitchens, classrooms, or kids bedrooms. Find them here.
These worry doll bookmarks are the perfect stocking filler for the bookworms in your family! Perfect for kiddos who love to read in bed – they can tell their worry doll all of their worries before they close up their book and go to sleep! Find the bookmarks here.
At 10cm and over 500 grams, this Jumbo Squishy Glitter Ball provides bumpy, weighted feedback when squeezed. It’s filled with beads that make a ‘squelchy’ noise when squeezed and comes in a variety of colours. It’s a great, durable addition to sensory kits and calm down spaces. Find it here.
These tiny worry dolls are around 2cm long and come in a colourful drawstring pouch. They are perfect for tucking into pockets or pencil cases and will give your little one confidence and courage when they are feeling worried. Find them here.
Kids LOVE these balls – and they help them learn how to harness the power of their breath when they use them too! They are an engaging tactile cue, and super effective at helping young children practice slow, deep breathing. If you’re struggling to teach your child mindful breathing, this ball can help! You can find it here.
This gorgeous set of 16 affirmation cards are designed specifically for kids aged 4-7 and come in their own drawstring carry bag. A perfect stocking stuffer to help your child build confidence and resilience! Find them here.
Need some more gifts that build emotional intelligence in kids and help them learn to self regulate? Check out the Mindful Little Minds Gift guide here.
Sarah is a psychologist, mama of 4 and the creator of Mindful Little Minds. She has over 10 years of experience working with children, adolescents and families experiencing mental health problems and has a special interest in anxiety disorders in children. In her spare time she enjoys hugging her kids, drinking coffee, and telling anyone who’ll listen how tired she is.