stuffed snowman in decorative christmas box

10 Genius Christmas Eve Box Ideas for Toddlers

Need some toddler Christmas Eve box ideas?  This fun tradition is a great way to celebrate the season and these 10 genius Christmas Eve box ideas for toddlers will help you create a magical Christmas eve for your little one!

Christmas with kids truly brings all the fun and magic back to the holiday as an adult.  A toddler Christmas Eve box is a super simple way to create a bit of that magic.  gift wrapped Christmas Eve box

And would you believe that most of these Christmas Eve box fillers for toddlers are both fun and practical so you get all the credit of awesome gifts while also getting some mom life work done in the process!! 

Done right, a Christmas Eve box isn’t just another thing to do, but actually a helpful and joyful tradition to start.

**This post contains affiliate links meaning that I earn a commission on purchases made through these links at no extra cost to you.  As an Amazon associate I earn on qualifying purchases. Read my full disclosure. **

What Are Christmas Eve Boxes For Toddlers?

In case you’re here wondering, basically a Christmas Eve box is a present opened on Christmas Eve.  It’s something to be fun and entertaining while waiting for Christmas morning.  Less about the stuff itself and more about the magical festive feeling you can help create with the box items. 

toddler opening christmas box by a christmas tree

This fun tradition is believed to have come from the German tradition of opening presents the night before Christmas.  Personally, I remember always being allowed to open one gift from my parents on Christmas Eve, so for us it is a way of continuing that tradition!

The best part?!  Toddler Christmas Eve boxes are not meant to be big gifts – you don’t need to break the bank!


How To Plan The Best Toddler Christmas Eve Box

Pick some easy but awesome items for your toddlers Christmas Eve box.  Remember to keep it simple to keep it fun! 

Toddler Christmas Eve boxes are NOT meant to be about:

  • more stuff
  • wasteful spending
  • yet another thing for you to do

So what are toddler Christmas boxes all about?  Done right, they’re about the good stuff:

  • family traditions
  • quality time together
  • cozy moments
  • love
  • happy memories
  • Christmas magic


Christmas Eve Box Ideas For Toddlers – The Criteria

All of these Christmas Eve box ideas for toddlers are inexpensive and focused on something to DO when it’s opened, not simply things to have.  This not only makes for a fun Christmas eve, but also teaches a valuable lesson about the Christmas season. pinterest pin with title and wrapped christmas eve box

The season is more about who you’re with and what you’re doing than the stuff you get and give.  So here are some criteria used for these ideas to enhance that feeling:

  • consumable not clutter
  • action oriented
  • shared activity
  • create cozy/warm feeling
  • inexpensive
  • provide developmental learning opportunities

Honestly, it’s a great opportunity to make your toddler Christmas Eve box reflect your family’s values around the Christmas season.  Whether you focus on Santa and elves or the religious reason for the season, the birth of Jesus, you will find lots of options to suit your needs in this list!  

How to Shop The List 

Pick a few favourites, order them (every picture is a link for easy shopping) and voila one thing checked off your list in just the next 10 minutes!   

Remember, you do not need all of these in your toddler Christmas box!!  Honestly I think 3 little items is perfect – just enough different things to be exciting to open and have something to do!   

To help you, check out the awesome theme combos after the list that I’ve created for you using these Christmas Eve box ideas for toddlers.  And hey, if you find you love a lot of the ideas, these little toddler Christmas box ideas also make great toddler stocking stuffers too if you want to cross even more off your to-do list!

12 Genius Christmas Box Ideas for Toddlers

So here’s the list for you.  Happy shopping – enjoy getting another thing checked off your to-do list and all the great memories you’ll make this Christmas Eve!

Christmas Cup

Perfect for a Christmas Eve treat or just making their usual drink a little special for the holiday!  Fun for your child, practical for you.  Total win!

Amazon link to christmas cups with santa and snowman 

The straw is fun so these are perfect whether your toddler still only uses sippy cups or is older and doesn’t normally!  The fact that it’s a 2 pack makes it perfect for if you are doing a box for a couple kids.   

sippy cup with polar bear design Amazon link 

This Miracle 360 cup is so perfect! It’s holiday, but also just winter and can be enjoyed for months to come!

Christmas Socks

These are inexpensive and practical – you need socks in the winter!  Add some extra fun moments by having a Christmas dance party or sock sliding fun!  

cute red and green Christmas socks Amazon link 

Christmas Squish

Instead of a full plush toy, a squish is smaller but just as cute.  These squishes are perfect for squeezing and calming excited Christmas nerves or even for a fun game of Christmas bowling – just set up a few empty toilet paper rolls and roll these squishes at them!

snowman, reindeer and Santa stress balls Amazon linkThis 3 pack of stress ball squishes are so cute and inexpensive!

cute Santa stress ball Amazon link 

Isn’t this the cutest little chubby Santa?! 

elf, ornament, cookie, snowman, tree and santa set of stress balls Check off a bunch of gifts: Christmas box, nieces, nephews, teacher gift (one of these would make me chuckle!), gag gift for a many possibilities!

Christmas Puzzle

This is the best because it’s FREE!! I am making some awesome printable Christmas puzzles for you – they’ll be here for download before Halloween.  There are 5 different pictures and each one has an “easy” 4-6 piece option and a “challenge” 12-24 piece option.

wooden nativity scence toddler puzzle Amazon link          two toddler Christmas puzzles with Santa and a tree Amazon link 

Printable Colouring Placemat for Santa’s Cookies

christmas colouring sheet placemat with plate of cookies for santa to colour

This is the cutest thing – just perfect for Christmas Eve fun.  Your kids can colour and decorate it however they want!  Download the printable placemat for Santa then you can either print it at home on as big a paper as you can (it’s formatted for 8.5 x 11) or even better, print it large format from a print/copy store!  

Cookie Mix + Baking Accessories 

Yet another idea that will make a wonderful memory together as well as getting something crossed off the to-do list!!  Making cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve is a wonderful tradition to start.  It will create a lasting memory where you teach by example to slow down an enjoy time together even at such a busy time of year.   

But let’s be real, it is a busy time the night before Christmas so there is zero shame in a roll of Pillsbury dough or Betty Crocker mix!  Remember, keep it simple to keep it fun!!  

Make it special by adding a fun new Christmas cookie cutter and some cute kid size baking tools or a cute apron.  Honestly, you could just do this whole idea and make it a baking theme box this year and be done!


Betty Crocker Sugar cookie mix bag Amazon link pink toddler rolling pin Amazon linkred toddler apron with snowmen amazon link

Christmas Pipe Cleaners + PomPoms

Sound silly?   I think it’s because they’re a bit out of left field that they’re made more interesting.  Pair them with a strainer or just twist them together and make some fun shapes and structures! You could even make some easy pipe cleaner Christmas ornaments!  There are lots of cute pipe cleaner ornament ideas from

Add in some pom poms and the possibilities are endless – sort them, throw them, play tic tac toe with them.   christmas colours pipe cleaners and pompoms craft kit amazon link

This pipe cleaner craft kit has it all – over 500 items for some excellent loose parts, creative fun!

Full honesty, this is my favourite thing on the list – you could just pick this and be done now!  My plan this year for my 2 and 4 year old is to buy this kit, add a couple treats, and a book then my toddler Christmas boxes are done! 

Also, I know it may sound weird, but trust me, pipe cleaners are the BEST for toddlers and preschoolers – it’s why they’re on my list of best toddler travel toys.  If you’re travelling over the holidays definitely check it out! 

Christmas Stickers

A perfect thing to occupy excited little hands!  Fine motor practice hidden in festive fun!

create a face Christmas sticker book amazon link

These sticker kits are great for any age.  I love that they are stickers with a purpose – kind of a cross between pure sticker fun and a craft kit.  Perfect for any toddler age!

Christmas sticker book cover with Santa amazon link

Reusable Stickers!!   Let your kiddo play and create scenes in the book over and over again waiting for Santa! 

Santa Hat or Elf Hat

A classic Christmas accessory can be made even more fun.  Take turns wearing the hat and turn the actual box of your toddler Christmas box into a game! 

One person pretends to be Santa and fills the box with a couple toys your child already has while the other pretends to sleep.  The “Santa” leaves the box by the “sleeping” person and then that person pretends to open a present.  I love watching little ones act surprised and excited over things they’ve had forever with this game!  

child wearing knit Santa hat amazon link 

This game also has the bonus of giving you the opportunity to model how to say thank you and show appreciation for a gift one thing at a time, not just burning through opening things without looking or appreciating them.  Could be useful the Christmas Day!

Try a knit Santa hat because they’re truly a useful winter hat that your kiddo can use outdoors – again, making something fun also be something useful!  

Christmas Book

A special new book to snuggle and read is a great Christmas Eve activity to enjoy together. 

Amazon link showing book cover for Little Blue Truck's Christmas Love this addition to the LBT series – the lights at the end are a treat your kiddo will open to see over and over!

amazon link showing the book cover for Christmas in a Manger The sweet story of the first Christmas is a must-read for Christmas Eve.

Amazon link showing book cover for Little People Christmastime is Here Lift the Flap book 

These lift the flap books are fantastic – so many flaps it’ll keep your little one busy!

Christmas PJs

A tradition for many, pyjamas in your toddler’s Christmas box is a great way to help kids want to go to bed!

Amazon link to red and white strip pajamas say Santa's Helper         Amazon link showing 2 Christmas sleeper pajamas with Santa on them amazon link to toddler Christmas pajamas red and white stripe and pink top with santaamazon link to toddler pajamas with christmas lights print

Christmas Colouring Book

Engage your little one in some relaxing colouring fun as you wind down the evening and start getting your kiddo ready for bed.  It’s been a busy day and there’s a lot of excitement for older toddlers and preschoolers, so some quiet play may help with bedtime.  

amazon link showing cover of Christmas coloring book with santa and other christmas items   amazon link showing cover of The Nativity Christmas Advent Calendar Coloring Book for Kids



What’s In A Box?? 

There are almost as many options for the toddler Christmas eve box itself as there are ideas for what to put in it!

You can buy almost any type of box or use a cute bag. Do a Christmas Eve bag instead of a box, no one said it must actually be a box!    


Another great idea, and what I’ll be doing to keep the focus on the fun, is to start even earlier by making the box itself be part of your Christmas season fun. 

Save a cardboard box for your child and let them have fun decorating it!  Paint it, wrap it in wrapping paper, put stickers on it, colour it, glue paper shapes on it – the possibilities are totally endless!!!

Toddler Christmas Box Ideas Combo Suggestions

Feeling information overload??  I’m trying to walk the line of giving you lots of options to get your shopping done all at once, but also not overwhelm you with choices that can cause frozen indecision!! 

So to help with indecision of what items to choose, here are some combos that are a great way to pick a couple ideas that work well together:

The Crafty Toddler Christmas Eve Box:

Pipe Cleaners/Pom Poms


Free Printable Santa Place Mat

The Cozy Fun Christmas Eve Box:



Printable Christmas Puzzles

The Busy Bee Toddler Christmas Eve Box

Stress Ball Squish

Santa Hat (to play the presents game) 

Pipe Cleaners + PomPoms

The Very Young Toddler Christmas Eve Box

Stress Ball Squish



The Baking Christmas Eve Box for Toddlers

Everything from the Cookies idea

The Artist Christmas Eve Box

Colouring Book + Crayons 

Printable Place Mat

Cookie Mix (include sprinkles for decorating)

Toddler Christmas Eve Boxes On A Budget

Inexpensive or budget-friendly are both totally subjective terms depending on your income.  The beauty of many of the toddler Christmas box filler ideas is that they can be a special memory truly done for very little money. 

You can do a box for almost free if you take advantage of the printables.  Our local library has printing for 20 cents a page so check out yours if you don’t have a printer!  Visit the dollar store and you can make it possible to do a box for under $5! Christmas present boxes border with text of box filler ideas

Thoughtful, magical moments don’t require a lot of money for little kids.  They have no concept of money or prices – usually they’re just happy to spend some special time with you! 

Toddler Christmas Eve Boxes For More Than One Child

So you’ve got more than one little one all excited for the big day?! It’s so fun watching them play and get excited together…and unfortunately likely fight over stuff together too.  Ah, siblings!  

I sometimes say having my second didn’t double my parenting effort, it tripled it.  One effort level for parenting my first, one for parenting my second and one for nurturing (ahem..refereeing!) the relationship between the two!

pinterest pin with white toddler christmas eve box wrapped with red ribbonSo to keep things fun and fight free on Christmas Eve, do toddler Christmas boxes that have the same stuff just different variations.  Even if your kids are different ages you can make them similar in their contents. 

No one gets more than anyone else, it’s all the same just maybe a different colour or a different pattern or picture.  Then, when this is tailored to each personally – for example using their favourite colours hey won’t fight over it!


Enjoy a happy moment!

โค Sara

More great ideas:

The Best Paw Patrol Stocking Fillers Under $15

10 Must-Have Cheap Toddler Travel Toys

25 DIY Pin The Tail On The Donkey Games For Any Occasion

Road Trip Car Games For Preschooler

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7 thoughts on “Save Time: 10 Perfect Christmas Eve Box Ideas for Toddlers”

  1. Great! I love the idea of doing something fun with your kids on Christmas Eve, like puzzles or coloring books! Quality family time!

  2. I love this idea!! I no longer have toddlers around to enjoy this but I think it is a fantastic suggestion for moms out there that do. It’s awesome how you try to keep the suggestion low cost and nonstressful. Great article! I’ll be sharing it with my followers too!

  3. Aw! What a cute idea! We haven’t opened presents on Christmas eve before but this is a great idea!

  4. We used to get to open one gift from our parents when I was little, so this is our way of continuing it with our kids! We use the Christmas Eve boxes to create some family fun after dinner on Christmas Eve ๐Ÿ™‚

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