I debated creating a holiday gift guide for weeks, but decided I would share a handful of my favorite gifts for littles this year. These gifts are geared toward smaller children, but some are great for older kids and adults alike! I hope you enjoy. PS: if you’re looking for ways to put some structure around gift giving, I love the “want, need, wear, read” approach from Amanda Watters.
1// Personalized ornament prices vary
Gifting ornaments is a tradition in my family—growing up, my parents would give my sister and I a new ornament every year. I think my mom cried a little when she handed over my ornaments the year I had my first apartment after college. I’m continuing the tradition with my son, each year searching for the perfect ornament that coincides with his growing personality. This year, it’s a race car engraved with “Leo Racing” and the number 15, his birthday. Etsy is a wonderful source to find your perfect ornament, have it personalized, and support small businesses.
2// Loog mini guitar $79
This mini guitar is made of real wood and children can learn to play songs and scales in a single day. It’s award-winning design is approved by music educators and it’s coordinating smartphone app makes learning (and teaching!) fun.
3// Rainbow stackers from $33
Raduga Grez makes beautiful wooden toys—believe or not, these sets are great for adults too! I love challenging my brain to find balance in unusual ways. They make great decor, too.
4// DIY origami paper lamp $38 (includes US adaptor and light bulb)
A DIY project for you and your little, this paper lamp is so beautiful. From the maker, “did you know that elephants use their trunks to greet each other?” So sweet!
5// Gathre activity mat $140
I absolutely love the Gathre micro mat for on-the-go diaper changes (so teeny and portable!) so I was excited to try a larger size for park dates, beach play, and everything in between. This version, designed by the lovely and talented Amanda Jane Jones, is sure to be an absolute hit for my car-obsessed tot.
Moonlight Storybook Projector $40
This storybook projector is very cool—the attachment clips onto your phone (compatible with 90% of mobile devices) and brings stories to life. I’m so excited to make it part of our bedtime routine, on nights when we have a little extra time. The add-on story reels would be make great (and affordable) birthday gifts.
Toolbox set $36
My son loves to help with “projects”—I’m sure your kids do too. I searched high and low for a quality wooden tool set and this one fits the bill and is perfect for small spaces that don’t have room for a full tool bench. The wooden carrying case is a bonus!
Softcover photo book from $15
Kids love seeing photos of themselves—Leo has asked to “read” our family photo books before bedtime instead of his usual stories lately. He loves to point to different family members and call them by name. Since our families don’t leave close by, it’s a great way celebrate memories of times we’ve all been together.
Modo Dough $3-$10
I discovered this dough at Target yesterday, near the typical Play-Doh sets and I was intrigued. It’s fragrance-free (anyone else loathe the smell of Play-Doh?), the containers are substantial (BPA, Phthalate-free, and dishwasher safe) and each container comes with a silicone “stamp” band to make little designs in your dough. If you’re not sold yet, check out this mom’s review. Target sells individual containers and sets of 3 that are not available on their website, as the reviewer notes.
Rainbow wooden top $11
My son’s nanny brought back two wooden tops from her home country and I can’t tell you how many hours of play we’ve gotten out of these simple toys. This rainbow version is oversized, perfect for little fingers.
Bath crayons $4.50
Our family is always looking for new ways to change up bath time fun. As a working parent, I look forward to bath time as time when all of us can decompress after a busy day. Baths make for a great rainy day activity too, when you’re out of ideas and want to contain the mess :)
Reusable sticker book $11.50
Any guide for traveling with small children will tell you that stickers are a great activity to buy a little peace and quiet. My almost-two-year-old is very into stickers these days, even if he still needs some assistance peeling them off the pages.