I have found some AMAZING small shops to share with you this year!
When buying toys this past year for my son, I stop and think about three things. I ask myself if he will still like this toy in 6 months, if it’s an open-ended toy that will either educate or inspire him to use his imagination, and if it’s something we would keep to hand down to our future kids. I have donated and sold so many junky plastic toys that were just sitting in bins these past few months. Don’t get caught up in the hustle and bustle of buying cheap toys your kid circles in the department store catalogue. I am not saying plastic is terrible, we have plenty of plastic toys! My advice to beat the clutter and the constant whine of “I”M BORED” from your kids… be more mindful when buying their toys! The less, the better, in my opinion. So this year I am sharing six amazing brands that you can feel good about supporting! Please enjoy my small shop holiday gift guide for kids, and make sure to check out each brand’s shipping deadlines!
I was given these items for review and to share with you all. All opinions are my own and you can read my full disclosure here. All images are my own.
1. Christmas scented playdough activity kit from Squishy Dough
This playdough smells SO good! The peppermint scent is my favorite and my son loves the gingerbread scent. This is the perfect activity bucket to just grab and set out for your kids. No prep needed! I have been using this kit to keep my son occupied while I make dinner! Letting your children play with this squishy dough has more benefits than just keeping them busy! It is great for building hand strength, is calming to squish and mold, and unleashes creativity and imaginative play.
KIT INCLUDES :
Four jars of squishy dough (4.5 oz each) – Christmas Tree with Glitter , Cinnamon Kiss, Gingerbread, and Peppermint Snow.
1 Pouch of Decorating items: Cinnamon Stick, Mistletoe Blossom, Christmas colored Gem beads, Acrylic Snowflakes gemstones, and acrylic holy berries and trees.
Dough Care Card
Dough Play Ideas Card
2. Handmade Dolls by Top Knot Twirl
With 16 pre-designed dolls and the option to customize a doll just for your child, you will find something that is completely personal and special! The quality of these adorable dolls are top-knotch and I just adore that they make boy dolls too! You can even get your child’s name stitched into the leg and she makes extra doll clothes you can order such a cute winter poncho. My son was over-joyed to receive his boy doll and immediately curled up on his chair and started reading to him. (insert heart eyes !!) Make sure to follow me on Instagram and to check out the next few posts to enter to win our giveaway of a customized doll!
**Guaranteed by Christmas deadline is December 3rd
3. Personalized Stationary by Kitty Meow Boutique
Oh, the art of the hand written note! My mom use to make me write my thank you’s to my family and now I am doing that with my son. What is sweeter than receiving a little hand written card from a child? These dinosaur cards are personalized on the front and back with your kiddos name. Skip the small cheap plastic toys for stocking stuffers this year. Wrap this stack of cards with ribbon and add in some fun colored pencils or a silly pen, the perfect stocking stuffer! Encourage your kiddos to use these cards after the holidays to write their thank-you’s or to write to a friend or family member that lives out of state. Everyone loves a pen pal!
4. Seasonal Handicrafts Collection from Rooted Childhood
Each month of Rooted Childhood contains a introductory section with everything you need to get started. 8 simple handicrafts suitable for beginners with a detailed supply list, 3 whole food recipes, an idea for a family gathering/celebration, an original story, seasonal poetry, songs and fingerplays, and picture book recommendations, all geared toward families with a child under age 8. Below you can watch my video from the October Collection.
5. Handmade woodland animal toys by Toys From Anthony
These hand-carved toy animals are SO beautiful and well-made! I cannot wait to give these to my son for Christmas, I know he is going to flip for them. These wood animals are a perfect example of toys that we will be keeping for years to come! We can use them as adorable décor in my son’s mountain-themed bedroom or keep them in a special little box on the shelf where he can take them out and play with them whenever. (They do come in a cute linen draw-string bag, ready for gifting!) A few ideas on how you can set up an invitation to play for your children: 1. Make a forest and pond playscene with felt (like this). 2. Have them collect rocks, sticks, leaves, and pinecones to set up a forest scene. 3. Set out blocks with the wood animals to have your child build a cave and trees. 4. Read a book about forest animals together and have your child act out the story with the wood animals.
6. Superhero Peg dolls from Cloth
Cloth is one of those brands that you just feel good about supporting! From handmade wooden toys to beautiful and unique clothing items, my wish list from Cloth is ever-growing! These peg dolls are hand-chiseled from Urapán wood on an electric lathe, and are finished with USA-made non-toxic water-based paints. Each doll is unique and safe for little hands. They design the dolls in their Brooklyn studio and work with artisans in Bogotá, Colombia to help reproduce their designs. Their carpenter uses sustainably-harvested trees; when one tree is used, two are planted.
What items are you adding to your holiday shopping list?? Don’t forget, Shop Small Saturday is quickly approaching! (Nov. 24th) And when you purchase something from a small shop, there is an actual person doing a happy dance!