Once you’ve made the Santa Sacks, what do you put in the bag? We asked the elf! This follow-up post to our Sew Sustainable Santa Sacks is full of Santa Sack filler ideas. So you’ll have lots of little things to put in the bag.
Because we had lots of kids in our family, 6 actually, we needed to find ways to have a magical Christmas without costing the earth. Many of these Santa Sack fillers are more like props for fun family activities. Once they come out of the bag, they’ll take on a life of their own. Adapt them to suit any age. Hopefully they’ll get you thinking of your own ideas.
Put microwave popcorn and movie treats in the bag and watch a Christmas movie together.
Best mug ever
Get a fun mug and fill it with everything you need for marvellous hot chocolate. Add marshmallows, a candy cane and special sprinkles. You can do something similar for tea and coffee lovers.
Get some of those little bubble containers with the wand in the lid that you blow through. Then add some glow in the dark sticks in the bag. This is so fun with small kids in the bath together! Crack the sticks throw them in the bath and blow some bubbles. It’s a bath time they’ll never forget.
Bake something yummy
Fill your Santa Sack with the ingredients for cookies or cakes. You can measure out the dry ingredients on your own and include a recipe. Or pick up ready made box mixes. Add some fun extras, like fancy sprinkles.
Decorate the outside of the bag with a wooden spoon for stirring or cookie cutters. It’s a fun family activity and you get to eat the results.
Sewing supplies make wonderful gifts. Everybody loves thread! Rex London offer a sweet sewing toy for toddlers. You could make your own version with a hole punch, cardboard and some yarn. Author, illustrator and fabric designer Sarah Jane offers embroidery kit ideas for children. For adult sewists Sewing Bee finalist Jen Hogg @jenerates offers a whole range of unique and clever sewing tools on her online shop.
There are so many fun card games! And interesting packs of playing cards. Fill your sack with some fun playing cards add some bags of savoury and sweet treats to enjoy while playing cards. My husband used card games to teach our kids mental math skills. They never knew! Here are some of our favourite packs of playing cards.
Save the stamps from the envelopes of your Christmas cards and put them in a sack with a special stamp album for collectors. Older kids can steam the stamps off the envelope paper. Then stamps can be sorted all sorts of ways, like colour, theme, size and country. You can also pick up used stamps online and in many markets. Royal Mail also do all sorts of special stamps for collectors.
Write a letter
Put some pretty note paper in the bag. Add a nice pen and maybe some sealing wax and a stamp. In these days of texts, writing a letter is something unusual. It takes time and is tangible. The little extras can make it fun. Our daughters absolutely loved the sealing wax.
Feed the birds
Put ingredients in the bag to make treats for the birds. Hang them on trees outside and see who comes. Here’s a blog post to show you how. You could even add a little bird book so the kids could learn the names of the birds in your garden.
Read a book
Santa Sacks are just right for books. Books are great for people of all ages. Find fantastic second hand books or get a special book online. We have a Christmas book collection that we get out every year. For extra fun, add a book lamp so kids can read in the dark, under the covers, when they’re supposed to be asleep.
Design a treasure hunt
This is a fun activity for when you have people over. Design a treasure hunt with clues. Put the first clue in the sack and the ‘treasure’ at the end. Here are some tips. When our kids were little we made the clues. As they got older, they did!
Upcycle some dress ups
We had a big wicker box for dress ups. Most of them were upcycled from Charity shop finds. Our kids were inordinately happy about these presents and enjoyed them for years!
Make a mending kit for jeans
Put together a little sewing kit with scissors, needles and threads and some pretty scrap fabrics. There are so many fun ways to mend clothes on social media. Get inspired by Katrina Rodabaugh’s book, Mending Matters. You could even include some charity shop jeans.
Give a craft kit
Make up a craft kit or get the ingredients for an online or IRL craft class. Tabara N’Diaye’s Baskets book is one of my favourites for teens and adults. Have a look through Tabara’s website for gift ideas as well as kits and classes.
Get a pad of drawing or watercolour paper and some pens, markers and or paints. You could even include a frame that would fit the size paper in the drawing pad. Then the child could frame their favourite picture. Did you know that fabric designer Sarah Jane has developed creative drawing courses for children? It’s called Raising Wonder. It’s brilliant! There are freebies as well as resources and classes that you can purchase.
Presentation is everything
Whatever you choose to put in the bag, you can decorate your Santa Sack to match. Add wooden spoons and cookie cutters for baking gifts. Whisks and cinnamon sticks are fun for hot chocolate. The easy elegance of these home sewn sacks will transform the simplest gift into a treasure to open on the day.
We hope these Santa Sack filler ideas will inspire you to think outside the box about what to put in the bag. Simple pleasures are the best. As our Santa Sack fillers are mostly props for family activities, lots of the fun happens later. Don’t try to do everything! Pick one or two of your favourites. Keep it simple and enjoy the holidays. You can save the Santa Sacks, and the ideas, to use all over again next year. Repeat, Reuse, and Recycle has actually been happening for a very long time.