Yes, we still shop at Target some days and have our share of Hotwheels cars. But this year, we are choosing to only buy things for our children that we know where they came from. Hand made wooden cars from a grandpa on the east coast. Beautiful, simple baby dolls from a stay at home crafty mama. Carefully sewn light saber swords that won’t leave a mark when they “accidentally” whack you in the head.
Yes, it costs more to buy fair trade, local items. But I would argue that most kids don’t need the plethora of toys they are barraged with every year. Truly, less is more. Simple and classic can be wonderful. Just because it doesn’t have batteries doesn’t mean it isn’t cool.
So these are a few things that will be found under our tree this year (or under the trees of our friends with kids) in case you are interested in any ideas…
I bought a set of these cars for each kid for their stockings this year. I will have to restrain myself from the last minute dollar store run for just a ‘few more things’. But I think I can do it. And these heirloom quality, ready to be played with by boys and Rylee will be wonderful. My interactions with Grandpa Ernie’s niece (who runs the selling side of the shope for him) were downright entertaining and very speedy.
Have you ever been knocked in the head by your son’s plastic or wooden sword? Have you ever had to throw said sword into the trash 4 days after you bought it because it broke? Well, instead consider the thickly stuffed fabric sword from this mother of boys. They won’t dent your head or your wall and are modeled after the light sabers in Star Wars (in my opinion). Our boys are mad crazy for Star Wars and I’m quite sure this gift will be a highlight this December.
For the girlie girl in your life…fun hair clips and lovely hats and headbands. Made by a pair of moms who met while picking up their adopted daughters from South Korea, I have given these as gifts a couple of times and they are absolutely darling. I tried to make some myself. It did not go well. Now I have a lot of ribbon for….something.
At this little shop you can find I Spy bags. They are a fun, quiet, interesting little activity for children. Our kids are huge fans of the I Spy books. I actually bought do-it-yourself kits of these and sewed them myself last year. The kids LOVED them. Until our dog shredded them into pieces and I cried in the kitchen. They make a great gift.
This Tennesee mama makes amazing ring slings and other types of baby carriers. I have two of her slings myself and they are my first choice for carrying Audrey in. She has also done some other custom sewing for me and is quite talented. When Audrey was born we got Rylee a little baby doll sling for her to wear her baby. She loves it and now carries our cat around the house in it daily. The ones like Rylee’s at Li’l Peeper Keepers are now $15 but you can find many great choices in the $10 range here or here.
It was hard but narrowed down my choices and a doll from this shop will be Audrey’s gift this Christmas. I thought I’d get Rylee one too but I can tell she doesn’t really want a baby. She’d rather have a purse and a diaper bag for her baby things. And an outfit for her cat…so I’m working on sewing those myself (we’ll see how that works out!).