Gift guide for kids featuring all small US businesses, shops, and artisans!
Michael and I have been making a huge conscious effort to shop local and small a lot more lately, for the Christmas season we made a personal goal to do over 70% of our Christmas shopping from small businesses as our little part. It’s been SO cool learning about new and amazing small shops out there. This post shares a ton of gift ideas for kids. Most gifts are ideal for kids 2-5, but there are a few older and younger gifts in here, too!
The best gifts for kids from small businesses
STEM Dino Robot – No longer available but check out the amazing Tale-Bot for a great STEM toy.
Never Grow Up Sweatshirt – LOVE this shop started by a mama in Idaho while raising her three boys. She has SO many adorable kid sweatshirts (as well as some cute things for mom, too) so make sure to check out her entire shop.
Playdough Kits – These playdough kits are SO cool and there are SO many options. Made by a mama in New York.
Name Crayons – These name crayons are literally works of art! Nicole started making them years ago when she was an Elementary school teacher, and her side hustle quickly became her full-time gig!
Handmade Wooden Stacker – I love this take on the stacker, which is usually plastic. Made by Bannor Toys, created by a couple in Iowa who was inspired by the wooden toys they found in their grandparent’s basement.
Name Felt Pennant – Handmade in Salt Lake, Utah, these are such a fun personalized gift for any kid’s room.
Name Felt Letter Banner – These felt name banners are a great gift for a new baby or child alike! They come in a variety of styles and colors, too. Made by Morgan who started crafting in felt when she was pregnant with her first child, and now crafts for others! Debating getting one for baby girl!
Day Dream Doll – Sold by New Creation, which is a non-profit created to counteract sex-trafficking. They offer survivor-made goods and fair trade accessories. The doll is made with locally-sourced fabrics from the markets of Moldova.
Dino Booties – These are booties with a STORY. When Kyrgyzstan (in Central Asia) became an independent country in the 90’s, many artists moved on to larger cities. But creator Gulnara Kydyrmyshova stayed and opened a small retail store. Her goal was to revive Kyrgyz craftsmanship while also relieving her nation of poverty through the trade of handmade felted works. She started by conducting free sewing classes to unemployed women in her community and has been helping support her community in this way for over 10 years!
They make a few other bootie styles, too, if you don’t want the dinosaurs (like dogs, fish, tacos, bunnies, lions, and more), as well as Toddler, sized booties. They also make baby rattles.
Eco-Dough – Handmade playdough made by a husband-wife team in Maine. Kip and Cammie were trying to find the perfect recipe for playdough that was made of all safe ingredients and Eco-Dough was born! Even cooler, they are colored with dyes from beets, spinach, paprika, carrots, purple sweet potato, red cabbage, blueberries, and tomatoes.
Felt Barn Animal Finger Puppets – (finger puppets sold out but see full line here) Sold by New Creation, which is a non-profit created to counteract sex-trafficking. They offer survivor-made goods and fair trade accessories. These felt puppets are made by women artisans in Kathmandu, Nepal. The women are taught the art of felting while also getting a chance to make an income and break the cycle of poverty for women in Nepal.
Hundred Frame – The hundred frame is a Montessori and Waldorf toy, designed for open-ended play to grow with your child. The Hundred Frame can be used in countless ways from fine motor skills to sorting to counting to subtraction and more. Made in Washington state, check out her entire shop because she has TONS of amazing learning toys. This board comes with the option to add felt counting balls.
Wooden Alphabet Blocks– Started by a couple in Iowa who was inspired by the wooden toys they found in their grandparent’s basement, they now run a thriving toy company making all homemade wooden toys.
Star Crayons– Created by LuAnn Foty who created her first crayons to teach her own kids about recycling. This led to her starting a crayon recycling program, where she turns crayon nubs into new colorful crayons in her Colorado studio. Crayons are 100% recycled, hand-poured, and packaged.
Sensory Play Tools – This set of handmade wooden sensory play tools are so beautiful. Wonderful for rice bins, water play, sandboxes, and SO much more. Sold by a mom of 2 from New Hampshire.
Homestate Hoodie – You can choose any state outline and have the words Roots or Made inside. They are made by a husband/wife team in North Carolina.
Wooden Playdough Tools – LOVE these beautiful wooden playdough tools. They are much nicer in quality and weight than the plastic ones you usually see.