Launch Recite Me assistive technology

Last-Minute Stocking Stuffers for Your Little Tubie

29. Tubie Stocking Stuffers The Arc Amplified

Last-Minute Stocking Stuffers for Your Little Tubie

December 25th is now right around the corner. For many, the presents are under the tree. Gingerbread houses are already long built. Christmas dinner is planned out, and a grocery service has already delivered the ingredients for grandma’s special, green bean casserole.

The moms and the dads, and the aunts and uncles, and the grandparents and family friends, busy themselves wrapping gifts and stuffing stockings, late at night, away from prying eyes.

But, those stockings!!

As the doting mother of a “tubie” toddler, stocking stuffers can be quite the challenge. A tubie is a loving reference to a child who eats food through a feeding tube. Feeding tubes are wonderful, life-saving and health-sustaining, medical tools. My husband and I are immensely grateful that a feeding tube has provided a way for our son to receive nutrition, grow and thrive.

Stocking GraphicHowever, the fact that my son does not consume food by mouth limits our options for stuffing his Christmas stocking with most of the typical fillers. Not a single fruit snack, mandarin orange or chocolate coin will be found in our stockings. (Which is actually probably better anyway!)

So, how do you stuff a stocking for your #tubie?

That is the million dollar question! It is also a perennial question I struggle to answer myself. And, when you do not have the answer to a question, what do you do? Naturally, you decide to crowd-source yourself an answer. At least, that’s what I did.

I turned to my Facebook community, and — as always —they delivered!

So, for all the parents and families of tubies out there, who are struggling to find ideas for stocking stuffers, here is a list of last-minute, non-food options:

1.  Winter Gear — A cute, stocking hat and gloves can easily be rolled up and stuffed into a stocking. (Wrap before stuffing to give your child more opportunities to work on grabbing, pinching, and tearing paper. #EverydayTherapy)

Light up Water Cubes2.  ChewiesChew jewelry or toys are one option for kids that seek oral sensory input and fidgets. There are many choices, styles and colors, and they are small enough to fit in almost any stocking. They also provide oral and tactile exploration for kids unable to eat food by mouth.

3.  Light-up Water Toys — Small toys that light up in water can add a bit of magic to bath time.

4.  Stickers — Stickers are great for both play and learning. Many kids love stickers, and parents can use sticker-play to work on fine motor skills, or body part identification, or any number of other activities.

5.  Playdoh or Slime — Playdoh, slime, or other dough-like materials are another sensory item that make excellent stocking stuffers. Kinetic sand is another idea.

6.  Art Supplies — Small packs of color crayons or markers, or a watercolor paint pack can also be slipped into stockings. Wikki Stix are another fun art item.

7.  Wristwatch — A fun wristwatch featuring your child’s favorite cartoon or animated characters will make them feel like a big kid (and give parents a tool to work on teaching time).

8.  Socks — Cute, fluffy or “fancy” socks are also solid stocking stuffers. Especially, if your family typically sticks to functional and durable sports socks throughout the year, a splurge on a fancy pair of knee highs or socks with cartoon characters can be fun to pull out of a stocking on Christmas morning.

Sensory Balls9.  Sensory Balls — Sensory balls can be a big hit — especially among the toddler crowd. They often come in packs that can be opened and individually stuffed into stockings. (Hello, space fillers!)

10.  Other Oral Exploration Tools — Cool toothbrushes, reusable silly straws to practice sipping or blowing, fun shaped spoons or other adaptive utensils, etc.


Whitney Stohr is a Parent to Parent Coordinator at The Arc of Snohomish County. She is passionate about advocating for medically complex children and children with disabilities and their families. She is a mom and medical caregiver herself, who is energized by working closely with other parent/family caregivers. She lives with her three-year-old son Malachi and husband Jason in Lynnwood. Connect with her online at

logo t

The Arc office is open by appointment only

Monday - Friday from 10am - 3pm

127 E. Intercity Ave. Suite C
Everett, WA 98208

(425) 258-2459