It's the season of last minute trinket hunting. Trying to find a selection of small items that will fit in a stocking and which won't just get thrown out as junk in a week gets tricky, especially when trying to mix it up year after year. Some old staples are candy, paperback books, and (my favorite) toothbrushes.
But while we're at it, why not use the opportunity to encourage your kids to play outside and get some exercise? Skip the Nintendo DS game (conveniently small enough to fit in a Christmas stocking) and get some things that stimulate the imagination.
Great toys for endless games of catch. Most of them have a whistle (or three) on them that adds a little bit of fun. They're smaller in size than a normal football so they're easier to grip and throw, and the tail fins stabilize their flight so you can throw them straighter and father.
Small Lego kit
There is basically no better toy for imagination and creativity. Get a small pack or two of Legos and turn the little one loose. They're fun to share, too.
Paper airplane how-to book
Most people probably know one, maybe two classic paper airplane formulas. There are hundreds of different designs out there, from high-speed darts to acrobatic designs and everything in between. This will keep the kids engaged and running around to retrieve the plane for another go.
What better way to stimulate a little of that explorer's instinct than some small binoculars? This one will have ‘em climbing everything in sight to get a better vantage point.
Flying slingshot monkey
Ok, so this one is more just for fun than for imagination, but who doesn't like a screaming sky monkey with a cape? Name him Jerry the Banana King.
Stimulate that artistic side with a few different colored sidewalk chalks. Nowadays you can even get some that claim to offer a 3D effect, and come with 3D glasses packaged inside.
Everyone loves bubbles. Get the little bottle, or get the large hoop that lets you create 4 foot bubbles. Bubbles are the greatest thing ever.
Spokester is a bike accessory that will have the kids riding furiously back and forth pretending to be motorcycle cops. Plus, cars will hear 'em coming, making everyone safer.
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