Stocking Stuffers for Gamers

 As you might have heard crackling over the speakers in your car or local shopping center, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. And, as many crooners have announced, it is the most wonderful time of the year for many, many people, myself included. The lights, the decorations, soft fires on quiet nights, movies snuggled up on the couch with people you love, it's just a joy. It's also a time where gifts are exchanged and a certain portly gentleman in red passes out packages and parcels both under the tree and inside a festive, oversized sock- stockings.

I think stockings are sometimes overlooked in the grand scheme of the holiday, but they have a potential to hold so many trinkets and treasures. In my household, it's the first things that are "opened," and we make sure to watch each individual, one-at-a-time, discover the contents inside. I love it when a certain item is pulled out and a huge smile spreads out on the face of the recipient. But finding small gifts that can elicit such a reaction can be difficult to find- especially for gamers who are engaged in an expensive hobby. I have attempted to give a few ideas of great stocking stuffers for the board game enthusiasts in your life.

(I am not affiliated with any of the companies below. Links are available simply to make accessing things easier. I am not receiving any compensation for any purchases made after using these links.)

Small Games

Perhaps more than anything, a gamer wants games! However, there are precious few boxes that could fit in a normal sized stocking. There are novelty gigantic ones that could easily conceal a copy of Twilight Imperium 4th Edition inside, but I'm looking at the traditional parameters here. 

Pandasaurus Games has several great games that could easily be held in a stocking. Ohanami and The Mind are wonderful additions to a game library. 

If your gamer primarily plays with younger children and family, Gamewright Games has a multitude of top notch selections for you. My daughter loves Slamwich, and Quixx is readily available at several retailers as well. Sushi Go and Trash Pandas are quick games with small packages that are sure to please the younger players at the table.

One of my family's absolute favorites is Coup, and it would be perfect to stuff into that festive sock.

If your family happens to have larger stockings, a couple of other games to consider are things like The Crew (either The Search for Planet Nine or Deep Sea Missions) or Fox in the Forest, a two-player only trick-taking game.

Great small games to put in a stocking!

Component Trays

Component trays really help keep a table clean and components accessible to all players. There are options in all price ranges as well. The ones I most often use can be found at Dollar Tree. The package holds ten small containers with lids for only a dollar. I prefer the circular ones as I've had more success fitting them inside game boxes.

Etsy is a great place to find sellers who are creating unique and amazing products. While I've yet to order any, I'd love to grab these from seller 3dBitSpace.

If you're planning on shopping at Miniature Market this holiday season (whether in person or online), think about adding some of their terrific Zen Bins.

Perhaps the best component trays of all are being created by the maestros over at Game Trayz. Seriously. Their products are fantastic!

Game Trayz on the left. Zen Bins on the right. Both are superb products.

Metal Coins

I have learned that I am an absolute sucker for metal coins. Their heft and shine make any game feel more epic, at least to me. There are many creators making metal coins for games, and some board game companies have made unique coins for their products. In my experience, Top Shelf Gamer's selection is amazing and the quality is excellent!

On the left- Dinosaur World metal coins from Pandasaurus. 
On the right- coins from an Etsy seller that I use for Clank!

Upgraded Components

This one is kind of a cheat since metal coins would count as upgraded components, but there are other pieces to make deluxe as well. Etsy is always a great place to start.

This is a category where I would also check with specific publishers. Companies such as Stonemaier and Elf Creek Games, among others have options to improve your game pieces. 

Upgraded components for Scythe, courtesy of Stonemaier Games.

Dry/Wet Erase Markers

If the gamer in your life enjoys any games that involve writing information down, I highly suggest purchasing a laminator. That won't fit in a stocking. However, dry and wet erase markers certainly will. My advice to you here is to not be too cheap. This is not the item to get at Dollar Tree. Expo and U Brands are two reputable brands that I've had solid experience with. I'd also advise purchasing markers with erasers on the cap. 

But dry erase or wet erase? Wet erase costs a bit more, but it definitely has advantages over its dry erase sibling, particularly if accidentally erasing something would require restarting the game. Larger roll-and-writes such as Dinosaur Island Rawr 'N Write and Hadrian's Wall would greatly benefit from the semi-permanent nature of wet erase. The downside to wet erase, however, is that small written mistakes are more difficult to wipe away.

What are your favorite board game related items to put in a stocking at Christmastime? Let me know below!


Popular Posts