Looking for (inexpensive) gifts that will work as stocking stuffers can be one of the trickier aspects of holiday gift giving. (Of course, that might only be because when I was buying up Christmas stockings for our first Christmas together, I never considered the SIZE of the thing!)
When I’m buying stocking stuffers for my daughter, I try to look for things that are either consumable (like fruit), expendable (bubbles), or things that we’ll actually WANT to keep (aka, not super cheap little toys that I’ll trip over every day!). I discovered on our first Christmas with Raven that most board books make PERFECT stocking stuffers because most actually fit within the sock AND they’re items that we’ll use and love again and again.
And the best part? The vast majority of board books are relatively cheap—most are around the $5 range (and some, like The Giraffes Can’t Dance book below, you can even find for less than $3!). The titles below are a mix of books that we both own and that we’d like to own (with many that we’ll soon own, once I get around to ordering those gifts online!).
***Note: The titles and pictures below are affiliate links, which means if you click on them and then make a purchase, I got a small percentage of the sale (at no extra cost to you). No matter how you get your hands on these books, however, they are definitely ones I would recommend picking up if you haven’t already!
The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen
When I did my first post on some of our favorite board books, one of my close friends commented and asked if we’d ever tried The Pout-Pout Fish books (which we hadn’t). Since I’ve been introduced to the series, however, I feel that these are a MUST in our library! This first book in the series is still our favorite, but we also love The Pout-Pout Fish and the Big Big Dark almost as much! The book is basically about a fish that thinks he’s “destined to be glum” because of the way his lips are…until a fish who looks like him shows him a better mindset!
Dinosaur Dance by Sandra Boynton
No board book list would be complete without a Boynton title (or three), and this is definitely one of our very favorites by her. Raven had this book memorized after just a few read-throughs, and this is one you can get suuuuper into if you want (like, standing up and dancing and everything!). Since we’ve just been borrowing this one over and over from the library, this will definitely be in Raven’s stocking this year.
Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
Illustrations are half the battle with children’s books, and I personally LOVE the pictures in this one! This story is all about a giraffe who has been told he can’t dance over and over because of how he’s built, and he watches on with envy as all the other animals in the jungle seem to master complicated dance moves without any trouble. However, after some encouraging words from a wise friend, the giraffe learns that he just needs to dance to his own tune and not worry what the other animals think.
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
This is one that was read aloud at our local library’s storytime, and I love that this particular version (that’s linked) is a lift-the-flap book, which is always fun. Basically, a kid keeps writing to the zoo and asking them to send him some animals, but he quickly discovers that not all animals would make the best of pets.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.
This was one Raven got for a Christmas gift last year, and it’s easily one of her favorite book of all time. The catchy repeats and uses of alliteration and rhyme in this one make it a LOT of fun to read—almost like a song. (This one’s also really great for helping your kid to learn the alphabet!)
Barnyard Dance! by Sandra Boynton
This is another one that Raven will be getting this year, though I’ve actually not read it yet. I’m just such a big fan of Boynton’s stuff that anytime I discover a title I haven’t read by her, I’m determined to get my hands on it somehow! This one, as far as I can tell from previews online, follows Boynton’s signature style that combines rhyme and song-like structure with lots of movement so that you can “dance” along with the book. (Also, as a bonus title, Raven will also probably be getting Boynton’s Are You a Cow? book because she hasn’t stopped quoting it since we checked it out from the library MONTHS ago!)
Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss
This is one we’ve owned basically since Raven was born, and she’s always loved it. It’s basically full of all sorts of sounds you can mimic, and with Seuss, you just can’t go wrong.
Farmer Dale’s Red Pickup Truck by Lisa Wheeler
This is only a very recent find (like, in our last library trip recent), but already I can tell it’s one that would be worth buying. Basically, when a farmer drives his truck into town for the talent show, he finds a loooooot of animals needing rides out, and things get a bit, well, crowded. When the pickup truck breaks down, the animals learn that when someone is nice enough to serve you, you really should make the effort to serve them back, too.
Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino
My daughter thought this one was hilarious when we got it from the library a few months back. Basically, a llama goes around asking all her animal friends if their moms are llamas too (which of course they aren’t). It’s a simple book that’s been around for a long time, but it’s a fun one.
Honk Honk! Beep Beep! by Daniel Kirk
It’s hard to go wrong when a book is packed full of animals AND fun sounds, and this one has a particularly catchy kind of rhythm to it. It’s a little bit similar to Farmer Dale’s Red Pickup Truck, but without as much of a “message” to it.
Chu’s Day at the Beach by Neil Gaiman
If you’ve ever read anything by Gaiman (who writes YA and adult fiction as well), you’ll know that he’s a bit ODD—the Tim Burton of the literary world, as I like to call him. So, you must know right off that this board book is a little, well, ODD–but for some reason, Raven could NOT get enough of this story about a panda who, whenever he sneezes, BAD things happen.
Where’s My Fnurgle? by Jim Benton
This one is perfect for a toddler who is just starting to get the humor of being able to find something “hiding” that the grown-up in the book can’t see—on every page, the narrator looks for his “fnurgle” in vain, while the fnurgle gets caught in more and more unusual places. A fun read, for sure!