14 Educational Stocking Stuffer Ideas

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educational stocking stuffer ideas
One of my favorite things about Christmas is putting together my children’s stockings. I’m always challenged to find unique goodies for them that will be as treasured as they are functional. Educational games, pencils, crayons, and books balance out gift cards, candy boxes, and other fun additions.  This is always so important to me because I like each gift to be thoughtful and have staying power.  You, too?  Then you’ll love this list.
 

14 Educational Stocking Stuffer Ideas

 
1. FREE DIY Crystal Christmas Tree Experiment – An opportunity to spend more time together as a family is one of the best gifts you can give! These directions for a DIY salt-crystal Christmas tree can get the whole family involved and teach everyone something new!

2. DIY Push Light Planets – Create these amazing lights for your kiddo’s bedroom. Each light is decorated to represent one of the planets. To encourage planet recognition, even paint the names of the planets onto each pushable light!

Push Light Planets

3. Show Me the Kwan Looking for a great, fun game for the whole family to play after all the presents have been opened? This clever and upbeat word game gets kids excited about vocabulary, word construction and more and is the perfect size for a stocking!

4. Matching Games for Little Learners These handmade wooden matching games from Mama May I are a very sweet stocking stuffer for little learners. Choose from Zoo, Trucks, Vegetables, Space and more !

mama_may_i_make_a_match_dino1_large_9117

5. The Familia Craft Kit This craft kit has all the tools for your kiddos to decoupage little wooden peg dolls to create their own story or to include in a new adventure! They come in a slim tube that’s easy to fit in a stocking!

6. DIY Domino Set – This homemade domino set is one you and your family can play for years to come. To make this set special for the holidays, use green and red puff paint!

DIY Domino Set

7. DIY Pop-Up Alphabet Sponges – This simple gift is a low-cost way to make baby’s bath time fun and educational! Cut sponges into the shapes of alphabet letters and numbers.

8. DigiPuppetsThis adorable animal finger puppet acts as a touchscreen-sensitive stylus for phones and tablets. Use them on their own to keep kids engaged with digital learning tools, or head to the app store to download DigiPuppet’s educational games.

digipuppets_zipusageforzulily2_5db6

9. Just Add Milk Science & Art Kit This kit is filled with fun science and art projects you can do along with some at home ingredients, and it’s just the size of a milk carton! If your child is lactose-intolerant, don’t worry, the experiments work with non-dairy milk as well!

10. DIY Telling Time Clock Pillow – Crafty family members can take a few hours to create this comfortable accessory for kiddos learning to tell time!DIY Telling Time Clock pillow

11. Clever Catch Math Balls These inflatable balls make math-learning fun with active games you can play with 2 or more people. Just keep it deflated, and this blow-up Clever Catch is ready for the stocking! Choose from: Numbers 0-25, Money, Multiplication, Addition, or Subtraction.

12. DIY Hopscotch Mat – Here’s a fun game you can make yourself, roll up into a Christmas stocking, and then play on Christmas Day and many, MANY days after that!

13. DIY Bongo Rice Shakers – Use some household materials to make shakable, musical instruments for little ones to use while Christmas caroling on Christmas Day!

DIY Stocking Stuffer Instrument

Looking for more ways to make your Christmas stockings and holiday gifts extra special this year? Check out Educents’ Give the Gift of Education page for more ideas, tips, steals and deals!

Walmart: 6.5′ Pre-Lit Christmas Tree + 41 pc Ornament Set Under $50!

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I’m an absolute maniac when it comes to Christmas trees.  I’ve got one in nearly every room in my house.  Each has a different color theme.  Crazy, I know.  And you’d think it’s expensive to do, too.  It’s not.  Walmart, friends, and this is how.

Walmart has brought back the Holiday Shatterproof Ornament Sets with 41 pieces for $8.98  + free in store pickup.  These always sell out fast each year.  I expect most (if not all) will be gone by Thanksgiving.

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Also, they’ve got 6.5′ Pre-Lit Artificial Trees for $39 + free in store pickup, too!  You can decorate an entire tree for under $50 by pairing these deals.

DIY Gingerbread Lip Scrub

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gingerbread+lip+scrub

From the crisp days of Fall right through Christmas the delicious and spicy flavor of Gingerbread is absolutely perfect.  But, along with the cold air and biting wind come chapped and dry lips and sometimes applying gloss is not enough.  Your lips need to be exfoliated just like your skin.  Enter this yummy Gingerbread flavored lip scrub!  Make it for yourself.  It’s an easy make-at-home splurge.  It’s also a wonderful gift for friends, family, or even a nice homemade gift for the teacher.   This recipe is easy to double or triple for multiple gifts.  You can find small pots on Amazon for a great price to store it in.

Note:  While you will still get the benefit and the aromatherapy using powdered ginger, I recommend including some fresh if you can.  It is more potent and has a wonderful warming quality. Fresh ginger is fairly inexpensive, too.  When you’re in the produce department, simply break off a small piece and you pay by the pound.  It goes pretty far.
 

Gingerbread Lip Scrub

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
  • ½ tsp. Ground Ginger
  • ¼ tsp. Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. Cloves
  • ¼ tsp. Nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Vitamin E Capsule
  • Optional: a tsp or so of fresh ground ginger

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Transfer to an airtight container.

Notes

Using vitamin E is a great benefit to your lips, but also helps preserve the ingredients to give them a longer shelf life. Lip scrub should be good for up to 2 months. Keep in refrigerator and it should last even longer.

To use: Simply apply a generous amount to lips, rubbing in a circular motion, rinse, and wipe away excess. The oil leaves your lips moisturized and soft.

http://dontmakemenuts.com/2015/09/diy-gingerbread-lip-scrub/

 

DIY Gingerbread Lip Scrub

Christmas Sugar Cookies with Easy Royal Icing! (Nut-Free)

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christmas sugar cookies with easy royal icing 1

Nothing says “Santa!” like Christmas Sugar Cookies with Easy Royal Icing!

Don’t agree? I bet I know why….and let me tell you something ~  I used to hate making these cookies. I cannot tell you how. many. years. I failed at making a good sugar cookie before I finally baked and decorated one that didn’t give me a migraine or look like Jackson Pollock decorated it.   Ahem, that was an unintentional insult, by the way.  However, that does not negate the fact that I truly do not believe that what he created was art.  So there. 😉

Alrighty then, back on topic,  I started baking these when I was 19 and didn’t get them right until I was 29.  It took 10 years.  I am not kidding.

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That said, I was a little intimidated when I agreed to participate in the Good Cook Virtual Cookie Exchange.    I mean, I love baking.  You know this.  But, would I be able to create something Christmas-y and magical?  Well, ask my kids if they think these cookies are magical and they’ll tell you they’re amazing.  Does anything else matter?  Not likely.  And though I’m sure you’ll think these aren’t too bad, you’re probably wondering how (or why) I’m reinventing the wheel?

Royal Icing.

If you’ve ever made it, you have probably used Meringue Powder or Egg Whites.  Not me!  Yep, this is where reinventing the wheel makes a very simple and useful improvement, and  you’ll love it as much as I do.

So as you can see above, Good Cook sent me a huge Cooking Baking Kit.  And let me say, I’ve participated in several of their events this year.  This is my favorite, hands down.  I love every piece I received – right down to the color of the Sweet Creations Mixing Bowls.   It sounds ridiculous, but I swear I don’t feel like I’ve been baking.  I’m usually exhausted after making these, but that was really effortless.  I don’t know if it’s that the items were really so helpful or if I just wasn’t tired or something…Hah!

Anyway, I can’t pick just one item and tell you I like it best.  There are two, okay, three.

1.) The High Temp Spatula is a very nice piece, as spatulas go.  Plus, it has a nifty conversion measurement chart on the side that is super helpful.
2.) The cookie sheets are not coated (non-stick) and that’s why I like them.  They’re aluminum and heat evenly. For my cakes, I generally only use the Magic Line Aluminum Baking Pans because they will not make a cake dome like regular cake pans.  These cookie sheets make cookies turn out as wonderfully beautiful as my cakes.
3.)  The cookie cutters have soft handles in the perfect spot to fully cut through the dough.  Plus, they’re large and make almost jumbo size cookies.  Yep, we love that around here.

If you plan to buy some of these goodies, be sure and use the code COOKIES to save an additional 5% on your purchase of any Sweet Creations Christmas baking products.

Plus, you’ll want to be sure and like our cookies on GoodCook.com starting December 19th when you can enter to win 1 of 25 of these fabulous Cookie Baking Kits!

It includes these  items:

christmas sugar cookies with easy royal icing

Sugar Cookie Cutout Dough

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 cups all purpose flour (plus additional 1-3 tablespoons if dough is still soft after 3 cups)

Instructions

  1. Grease baking sheets or coat with non-stick spray.
  2. Blend butter, sugar, vanilla, milk, and egg until well combined.
  3. Blend in baking powder.
  4. Add flour and blend until incorporated, smooth and stiff.
  5. Divide dough in half and shape into balls, then flatten into discs between wax paper.
  6. Using a rolling pin, flatten to 1/4 inch thickness.
  7. Refrigerate on a cookie sheet for 1 hr. or 30 mins in the freezer.
  8. Preheat oven to 375.
  9. Remove cookie sheet from refrigerator or freezer and peel off the top layer of wax paper.
  10. Use your cutters to create shaped cookies and place them on your baking sheet.
  11. Collect scraps and roll again after covering with wax paper.
  12. If the dough is too soft, refrigerate for another 15 minutes.
  13. Remove wax paper and cut cookies again.
  14. Repeat until dough is gone.
http://dontmakemenuts.com/2013/12/christmas-sugar-cookies-easy-royal-icing/

Royal Icing (Meringue-Free and Egg White-Free)

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • Assorted Ateco Coloring
  • I used Red Red, Forest Green, Electric Yellow, and Sky Blue.
  • Oh, and a little chocolate frosting for the hair, eyes and mouth.

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix water, corn syrup, and vanilla extract until blended.
  2. Add confectioners sugar, one cup at a time, until well combined.
  3. Separate into smaller bowls and add coloring. Blend until well combined.
  4. Using spatula, scrape icing into the inside corner of a small ziploc sandwich bag and twist the bag above the icing to seal and allow you to apply pressure.
  5. Snip the teensiest end off of the icing corner, but don't apply pressure yet!
  6. Pipe around the edge of the cookie and then fill in the center. It should be thick enough not to run off the side of the cookie.
  7. If you like, you can allow the base layer to dry and then use a different color on top.
  8. These will not harden as quickly as 'real' Royal Icing, but they will form a crust. Do not stack them for at least 4 hours. I leave mine on the wire rack for this amount of time.
  9. Frosts 12 cookies.
http://dontmakemenuts.com/2013/12/christmas-sugar-cookies-easy-royal-icing/

 

When you’re done printing these fabulous recipes, be sure and make a note to come back to this post Thursday, December 19th!  Then, you’ll be able to head over to Good Cook  and take a look at our Kitchen Experts Submissions for the Good Cook Virtual Cookie Exchange! Vote for our entry, Christmas Sugar Cookies with Easy Royal Icing , and enter to win 1 of 25 Sweet Creations Cookie Baking Kits!  Also, be sure and follow Good Cook on Twitter to keep up with all the latest happenings, niftiest kitchen tools, and tasty recipes!

Note: The Good Cook Virtual Cookie Exchange contest for the Sweet Creations Cookie Baking Kits ends 12/31/13.

Disclosure I am a Good Cook Kitchen Expert.  While I received no financial compensation for this review, I received a  Sweet Creations Cookie Baking Kit from Good Cook to assist me in the construction of this recipe.  The thoughts and opinions here are completely my own.

 Christmas Sugar Cookie Plate with Easy Royal Icing

Glazed Caramel Cinnamon Monkey Bread Recipe! (Nut-Free)

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glazed caramel cinnamon monkey bread collage 1

Homemade goodies for Halloween are one thing….Unacceptable, that is.  Homemade cookies and cakes for Christmas are heavenly.  I’m not sure what the difference is, exactly, but it is palpable.  Hah!

This year, I’ve made several ‘gifts in a jar’  for family and friends.  They’re among my favorite gifts to give…and receive!   Homemade Body Scrubs, Body Butters, Cake Mixes and all sorts of other wonderful things have already been carefully combined.  Now, I’m starting to think about freshly baked treats.  After all, we’re just a couple of weeks away from the big day.

I usually make a Glazed Caramel Cinnamon Monkey Bread Tree and give it to my mother-in-law on Christmas Eve for their Christmas morning breakfast treat.   Now, I have a very nifty pan that will allow me to make little mini loaves to give to everyone else at the Christmas Eve party!  How fun!

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Apple Cranberry Streusel Pie – Good Cook Leftover Recipe #78 (Nut-Free)

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apple cranberry streusel pie

In addition to our Cranberry Cream Cheese Danish recipe, file this under “perfect Recipe for Thanksgiving leftovers” because it is.  It’s easy and decadent – two features that are an absolute must in my baking repertoire.

This pie has a buttery, creamy apple filling topped with cranberry sauce, then coated with streusel that gets crunchy when the pie is cooled.   This is our favorite pie recipe, hands down.  You’ll love it, too.

Just be sure and use a 9″ non-stick pie pan.  The filling forms a gel and has a tendency to ooze.  You’ll want to be able to easily remove slices from the pan.  I used the new 9″ Non-Stick Pie Pan I received from Good Cook.

Oh, yum.  It’s so good.

Apple Cranberry Streusel Pie

Ingredients

    Crust
  • 1 - 9in non-stick pie pan
  • 1 - refrigerator pie crust (you can use frozen already in the disposable pan if you prefer.)
  • Filling
  • 5 cups (5-6 medium) Granny Smith Apples, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 3/4 cup Cranberry Sauce (I make mine using a 12oz bag of fresh cranberries, 1 cup water, 3/4 cup sugar, and boil until thick and mostly smooth.)
  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • Streusel
  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Assemble pie crust shell in pan, if necessary. You can use a frozen ready to use pie crust.
  3. In a large bowl, combine filling ingredients - butter, sugar, vanilla and egg. Beat until well combined.
  4. Add flour and beat until smooth.
  5. Fold in apples until well coated and pour into pie pan. They will mound.
  6. Spoon cranberry sauce on top of the apples.
  7. In a small bowl, combine butter, white sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon.
  8. When well combined, stir in flour. It will be finely crumbled.
  9. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the pie - to the edges, too.
  10. Bake uncovered at 400 for 15 minutes.
  11. Reduce the temperature to 350 and cover the entire pie with aluminum foil. Return to oven and continue to bake an additional 45-55 minutes until done - apples will be tender if you stick a knife in the middle. It should sink right in.
  12. Be sure and bake pie on a large cookie or baking sheet. It may drip.
http://dontmakemenuts.com/2013/12/apple-cranberry-streusel-pie-good-cook-leftover-recipe-78/

When you’re done printing this fabulous recipe, head over to Good Cook where you can take a look at our Kitchen Experts 101 Best Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes!  Also, be sure and follow Good Cook on Twitter to keep up with all the latest happenings, kitchen tools and tasty recipes!

Disclosure I am a Good Cook Kitchen Expert.  While I received no financial compensation for this review, I received cookware and a 9 inch Pie Pan from Good Cook to assist me in the construction of this recipe.  The thoughts and opinions here are completely my own.


Glazed Cranberry Cream Cheese Danish – Good Cook Leftover Recipe #21 (Nut-Free)

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glazed cranberry cream cheese danish 1

 

My family hates leftovers, and I don’t like to waste.   Yeah, that’s not usually a good mix, but that did lead me to be very creative in the kitchen ~ especially after Thanksgiving!

Turkey is relatively easy to use around here.  No one complains about that, but Cranberry Sauce is not a favorite of my children. My husband and I love it.  Even still, you can only eat so much Cranberry Sauce.    Well, after Thanksgiving, I turn my Cranberry Sauce into something magical.  A Glazed Cranberry Cream Cheese Danish.  Oh, get out of town.  You have to try this.  It’s a favorite around here and an after Thanksgiving breakfast treat.  My kids think the filling is something other than cranberries.

glazed cranberry cream cheese danish

 

To make this pretty ring, be sure and have an 8 or 9 inch non-stick cake pan available.  It helps the ring maintain its shape while it bakes, and it won’t stick to the pan.  This is also very important because it is soft when baked.   You don’t want any sticking issues when you’re trying to remove it from the pan.   And as you know, I’m a Good Cook Kitchen Expert and I was given a new Good Cook 9 inch Non-Stick Cake Pan  to make mine.    That always helps, doesn’t it?  It’s amazing how having a new non-stick surface impacts how easily things bake.

Glazed Cranberry Cream Cheese Danish

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 can Crescent Rolls (or your own recipe)
  • 4oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2-3/4 cup Cranberry Sauce (I make mine with 12oz cranberries, 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar - boil until thick, stirring often.)
  • Vanilla Glaze Recipe - Halved

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Filling
  3. In small bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice.
  4. Blend well.
  5. Assembly
  6. Sprinkle flour on work surface.
  7. Open can of crescent rolls and unroll into full rectangle.
  8. Press seams together.
  9. Flatten evenly with rolling pin. I just do this to level off the edges - NOT to decrease the height of the dough or thin it out.
  10. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly around crescent roll rectangle.
  11. Spread cranberry sauce on top of cream cheese.
  12. Roll jelly roll style. Depending on how cold your dough and filling is, it may or may not be tight.
  13. Pick up the entire roll and curl it into a circle inside your cake pan - overlapping or connecting the ends. I usually lay one on top of the other - pinching the ends, so the filling doesn't ooze out.
  14. Bake 15 minutes or until golden.
  15. Allow to cool slightly, remove from pan, and drizzle with glaze.
http://dontmakemenuts.com/2013/12/glazed-cranberry-cream-cheese-danish-good-cook-leftover-recipe-21/

When you’re done printing this fabulous recipe, head over to Good Cook where you can take a look at our Kitchen Experts 101 Best Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes!  Also, be sure and follow Good Cook on Twitter to keep up with all the latest happenings, kitchen tools and tasty recipes!

Disclosure I am a Good Cook Kitchen Expert.  While I received no financial compensation for this review, I received cookware and a 9 inch Cake Pan from Good Cook.  The thoughts and opinions here are completely my own.


Mini Sunbutter Cups Recipe! (Nut-Free)

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

mini sunbutter cups

 

Everyone loves homemade peanut butter cups.   Depending on how they’re made, SOME people may refer to them as buckeyes.   I may break out in hives if I attempt to call them anything so…dumb.  After all, this is maize and blue country…..NOT buckeye country.   Nevertheless, we can all agree that these are a favorite treat – wherever you live! 🙂

Now, you know that my son is allergic to peanuts, so we had to give up quite a few sweet treats (before OIT!).  And as I’ve also mentioned, I don’t miss many of them.  These, however, were one of my holiday staples.   I have made the family Christmas cookie trays for years and I have always included these.  They’re truly irreplaceable.   So after my son was diagnosed with his allergy, I went on a mission to substitute and recreate as many beloved recipes as I could – determined to keep things as ‘normal’ as possible.

And I’m also not kidding when I say that this recipe is made better with the substitution of sunflower seed butter for peanut butter.  You can certainly use peanut butter, but Sunbutter gives them a milder flavor that we actually prefer.  And since we’re talking Sunbutter, take a look at this comparison I put together for you – Jif vs. Sunbutter.   Sunbutter has twice the fiber and some additional nutritional benefits as well.   It’s just another reason to love it.

 

Mini Sunbutter Cups (Nut-Free)

Ingredients

  • Mini Cupcake Liners
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sunbutter or sunflower seed butter or peanut butter (if you have no allergies)
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 - 12oz package Hershey's Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • Sprinkles

Instructions

    Filling Instructions:
  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, stir together sunbutter and melted butter.
  2. Gradually add powdered sugar - stirring until well blended.
  3. Shape into 1/2 inch balls and place on waxed or parchment paper.
  4. Chocolate Instructions:
  5. In microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and shortening in 30 second intervals on high power, stirring after each cycle until melted. This typically doesn't take more than 1 minute. If some chip pieces remain, continue stirring and the residual heat usually finishes the melting.
  6. Assembly:
  7. Place mini cupcake liners in rows on a baking sheet.
  8. Using a spoon, fill mini cupcake liners 1/3 with chocolate.
  9. Place sunbutter ball in the center, pressing down slightly.
  10. Cover with chocolate until level with ball.
  11. Add sprinkles.
  12. When you're finished, place your cookie sheet in the refrigerator or freezer until set.
http://dontmakemenuts.com/2013/11/mini-sunbutter-cups-recipe/

 

mini sunbutter cups 2


Santa Strawberry Shortcake Pops!

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santa strawberry shortcake pop trio

I’ll admit it,  I’m a wimp.  When it comes to holiday goodies, I try and take the easy road most of the time.  I mean, I have kids.  Not just any kids either.  Tasmanian children.  Spinning, destructive, noisy, yet darling and precious, tasmanian children.

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Haunted Halloween Gingerbread House!

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Haunted Halloween Gingerbread House

 

 

Have you ever made a gingerbread house?  I’ll bet you may not be thinking about trying to pull one off for Halloween (but you should!), but you’re probably kicking around the idea for Christmas.  Uh-huh, well, don’t panic at the thought.  Why?  I have an absolutely fail proof recipe for gingerbread.  It’s beautifully aromatic and tasty…if you don’t mind eating bricks.  Seriously.  You can eat this gingerbread, and it is tasty, but I’d recommend using it strictly for constructing gingerbread houses.  And for that, you can’t go wrong.  Truly.  I promise.  It will not fall down.

 

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