A Thoughtful Guide for Children’s Gifts

Update: I developed this list for December giving, however it is suitable for any season or occasion, including Valentine’s day and birthdays. 

It’s that time of year when many people are thinking about gifts for the children in their life. So I decided to share my best recommendations in the interest of thoughtful acquisition. We are very minimal when it comes to gifts: for birthdays it’s one gift, for Christmas it’s two gifts. Over the years the children have grown a nice collection of thoughtful toys, books and play things, that are sustainably made, high quality and heirloom worthy. This list is based on our favourites (and a few wish list items) that both Ro (age 10) and Sen (age 4) enjoy now and did so at a younger age too.


Full Children's Gift Guide 2015

I didn’t include any clothing on the list because my children get little enjoyment from what they wear, but if you are looking for clothing recommendations, you can always email me or leave a comment, or check my Label Love series of posts, featuring ethically made, sustainable clothing.

  1. Studio Escargot Doll – small, soft loveable dolls that are beautiful but can still be played with, handmade by Sophia Smeekens, available here
  2. Mozartkugel Music Ball – handmade in Germany from sustainable wood sources, this wooden ball contains a wind up music box that plays Mozart, beautiful sound and beautiful to look at, available here
  3. Once Upon a Balloon – written by Bree Galbraith, a story about the magic and whimsy of childhood imagination, widely available, but you can find it here
  4. 12-piece Wooden Rainbow – made by Grimm’s Wooden Toys, this toy is deceptively complex and yet simple enough for a toddler to enjoy, hours of creative fun, available here (note: the entire line of Grimm’s toys is amazing, you can’t really pick something your children won’t love)
  5. Play Silks – hand dyed silk and cotton play scarves and scapes, hours and hours of creative fun, your children will never cease to come up with something new with these scarves, available from Sarah’s Silks here (note: you can’t really go wrong with anything from Sarah’s Silks)
  6. Global Guardian Project Learning Capsules – monthly digital magazine (including videos, podcasts and art downloads) for children and families to learn about global stewardship. Each month features a different country’s wild life, landscape and challenges, and includes art projects, activities, meditation, recipes and more! You can use my discount code: HIPPIEINDISGUISE for 10% off  and find them here
  7. Felt Bee Costume – handmade felt bee wings and mask from Wishing Elephant and Opposite of Far collaboration available here
  8. Ocean Warrior Necklace – handmade necklace made from amber and sterling silver, a reminder of our connection to the health of our waters and planet, from Tribal Dreaming available here
  9. Dancey Pants Disco Doll – sweet homesteading, yet adventurous dolls handmade by Michelle Housel available here (but often sell out quickly, so keep checking)
  10. Felt Vegetables – handmade felt vegetables, a friend of mine made Ro and Sen a set and they have been enjoyed for hundreds of hours, you can find the set shown as well as many others on Etsy from Little Farmer Felt here
  11. Slingshot with Felt Balls – handmade wooden and felt toy, made in Canada from sustainable wood source with eco paints, by Des Enfantillages and available here
  12. Swurfer Swing – handmade wooden surfing swing, watch some videos here to understand how fun and versatile this swing is, available for purchase here
  13. Blank Notebook – always in use for drawing, taking notes, blank notebooks are a staple, but always exciting as a gift, our favourites are from klt:works available here
  14. The ABCs of Homesteading – a fun, beautifully illustrated book with a hand screen printed cover, written and illustrated by McKenzie E. Ditter available here
  15. Jump Rope – handmade adjustable length wood skipping rope, made from sustainable wood and rope, water based paint, in Canada by Des Enfantillages and available here
  16. Toy Camera – handmade wood and recycled bamboo and finished with oil, made by Park Wood Shop available here
  17. Coloured Pencils – our favourite colouring pencils are made by Lyra, beautiful colours and great hand feel, widely available, but you can find them here for sure
  18. Binoculars – handmade wooden toy binoculars made by Fanny and Alexander and available here
  19. Sonya’s Chickens – beautifully illustrated book about love and nurturing, the realities of nature, life and death, written and illustrated by Phoebe Wahl available here
  20. Pencil Case – young artists need to be able to travel easily with their pencils, handmade from upcycled materials and available in a range of styles and colours, made by El Quiltro and available here

My favourite toy shop in Canada is Three Little Monkeys, they are located in downtown Ottawa, but have an amazing online shop and ship everywhere, so check them out.

Check out my Thoughtful Women’s Gift Guide — good for any season or occasion.

*Full disclosure: I’m not compensated for purchases or clicks to sites. I’m recommending these gifts because my children enjoy them, they are durable, sustainably made, and are likely to be kept and passed on to their children. They are heirloom quality gifts that children will thoroughly enjoy, that inspire creativity, open-mindedness, care and nurturing. UPDATE: I have updated some links on this page as Amazon Affiliate links, purchases made from links to Amazon from my site I will receive a small commission for.


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