Here are some ideas for the children on your holiday gift list. Some are more unusual and we hope they will be new to you. Happy shopping from your comfortable chair!
Fanny at Chez Panisse is a delightful book by Alice Waters, founder and the renowned chef at Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, CA. Fanny is seven years old and we see life and food at a restaurant through her eyes. Kids will learn where food comes from and Fanny includes 46 recipes that are easy and inexpensive using basic ingredients and simple cooking techniques. $14.20.
Paper Punk sells very cool paper kits which appeal to kids and adults alike like the popular adult coloring books. There are kits to make everything from paper jewelry to dogs and kitties. This kitty kit is $15.95 and the kitty is 4.25” x 10” x 5.5” when finished. No scissors or glue are ever needed. The paper jewelry kit is $19.95 and will make two pairs of earrings, one necklace and one bracelet.
These Jellycat Bunnies are the most adorable stuffed rabbits! They are made in the U.K. and come in Large or Medium sizes, and in many colors. They all have the same adorable faces. Medium is 12” and $13.50 and the Large is 16” and $22.50.
This wooden crocodile alphabet puzzle teaches kids the lowercase alphabet in a very charming way. It is $38.69.
Stitch the Stars Calendar Craft Kit is one of three calendar stitch kits this site offers. In the Stars kit each month is screen printed with a constellation from the zodiac. Connect the dots using the embroidery thread & needle provided. Glow in the dark ink and thread makes the constellations gently glow when the lights go off. The other kits are Fruit of the Month Calendar kit where the fruit is to be embroidered, and The Year in Stitches Calendar the letters of each month are to be embroidered. Each kit is $25.00.
These animal hangers are very funny when clothes are arranged with the hanger heads sticking up. There are four animal combinations to choose from. It would be even better if one of the animals looked like your own dog or cat.
I love the whimsical aspects of Fiona Walker England’s products. Her pieces are handmade, eco-friendly and sustainable. There are stuffed animal head wall décor and stuffed animal bookends or book stoppers as they’re called in the U.K. This wool felt elephant book stopper is $65.00. Book stoppers also come as a fox, forest dino, fox terrier, lion, palomino horse, long neck dino, brown horse, bull dog, black beauty, pug, poodle, ram, tiger, giraffe, moose, unicorn, zebra, and a badger. Each is 10”w x 7”d x 5”h.
There are 47 different animal head wall decorations. Made from wool felt and stuffed, they are adorable. The fox head is 9”w x 9”d x 12”h and is $160.00. There are also felt stuffed animal hooks.
These crayons are the shape of pens so they are easy for all kids to grip. They never need sharpening because a simple pull on the string will peel the outer paper to reveal more crayon. This is a set of 12 non-toxic crayon sticks in bright rainbow colors. $13.86.
Zylie and her friends are adorable stuffed bears with very active lives. They have outfits and travel gear, and books that detail their adventures. The company was founded by a mother and son team who want to encourage children to engage their imaginations in good old fashioned ‘unplugged’ play. No video games, TV or tablets are part of Zylie or her friends’ stories. A bear and outfit is $19.99.
There is also a crafts blog on the Zylie site with instructions for ten projects. Perfect for snow days!
The founders of the GoldieBlox doll are unhappy that men outnumber women in science, technology, math and engineering and want to inspire the next generation of women to become engineers. The GoldieBlox dolls are designed to be action figures to empower girls to start building’. Studies show that construction toys help kids develop an interest in those subjects, but they have always been considered ‘boys’ toys. The GoldieBlox kits come with a storybook whose main character, Goldie or her best friend Ruby, have a problem to solve. The storybook tells the readers explains who they are helping and why. There are kits to build a zipline, a spinning machine, a dunk tank and a cat nook. Prices range from $10.99 – $29.99.
For babies and toddlers, the Bright Beats Smart Touch Play Space by Fisher-Price has an interactive touch-sensitive light bar, activities, music, lights, colors, songs and more. It grows with your baby’s skills from sitting and crawling to standing. $59.99.
Playskool Play all Day Elmo by Hasbro has two settings – one for toddlers and one for preschoolers. Elmo has 8 games and activities and is as cuddly as Elmo always is. He likes his tummy to be tickled and has over 150 responses to interactions. $42.99.
Educational Insights Design & Drill Brightworks is a drill and bolt set with a light up board and translucent bolts that glow when they are drilled into place. There are 12 patterns included, or creativity is encouraged! This set develops hand-eye coordination, matching, patterning and problem-solving. GoldieBlox would love it! It is best for 3 – 5 year olds. $24.08.
Around the Town Giant Floor Puzzle is a 48-piece puzzle printed on recycled cardboard. The puzzle is 24” x 36” when completed. Good for ages 5+. $16.99.
For the entire family over age 8, Leaps and Ledges is the hot new game. It has won awards and been a top pick for many new toy surveys. Players race to the top of a colorful tower, knocking off opponents, or being knocked off, along the way. $34.80.
Another treat for the entire family is the family-size Selfie Photo Booth! I have seen 5 adults squeeze into this. It is a home photo booth that includes a free smart device app. The app allows participants to get into place, choose from a variety of backgrounds using a special effects “green scene” technology. It is also possible to take 5 second videos with the same background effects and send as fun videos or use as personalized Ecards. It looks like a lot of fun! $59.99.