No matter how much some of us may want to deny it, the holidays are FAST approaching. I’m making my lists and checking them twice, and as I do, I’m thinking of some of the best gifts my kids have ever received and some of my favorite gifts to give.
In trying to get ahead of the holiday season just a little bit, I’m sharing my gift guide now in case you also want to get started (or finish up) on your shopping!
Keep reading to see my favorite gifts for the youngest set — these are great gifts for newborns all the way to elementary school-age!
When it comes to gift-giving, I really try hard NOT to buy toys for kids. Sometimes exceptions must be made, but in general I feel like most kids don’t need more toys and new ones are often quickly forgotten in the piles they already have.
Instead I prefer to get them things they can keep for a long time and appreciate even when they’re older and that their parents will also appreciate having in their home.
Below are my favorite gifts for little ones. I have either purchased or received all of them, so I can vouch for their awesomeness:
While I generally think shoes on a tiny baby are kind of unnecessary, these are so sweet and soft, they’re really more like slippers. Perfect for finishing an outfit and keeping tiny toes warm, they’re also created to stay on by a mom who made and tested them herself. They are handmade from buttery soft leather and they come in lots of lovely colors. Bonus: they even make shoes for big kids now too!
I have been a fan of Sarah Jane since she just had a small Etsy shop , and now she’s got fabrics, wallpapers, and has even illustrated a book. I bought my first print from her 8 years ago and I still love it. Art for a child’s bedroom is, in my opinion, a great gift for a little one — it adds beauty or whimsy to their living space, it’s visible and appreciated every day, and it will last a long, long time. I also like this one and this one, too!
I cannot even begin to count the number of hours of entertainment this face painting book has provided for my kids. They LOVE it. And once they have their faces painted, they run off to the dress up bin and spend ages playing pretend. It’s one of my favorite rainy day activities. Although the book has tons of great ideas, head to Pinterest for more face-painting inspiration once you’ve done the options in the book too many times. As for dress-up clothes, THIS is the week to get them! All those Halloween costumes are on sale, so head out and grab a bunch of costumes, put them in a pretty basket with this book, and you’ve got a GREAT gift.
Absolutely the softest, sweetest snuggle blankies around! We got Quinn one of these lovey when he was a baby, and he carried it everywhere. These are great because they’re super snuggly, but small too, so they aren’t a pain to take along with you (although you may want to buy them two at a time for washing purposes!). I try to avoid stuffed animals, but I love this as a sweet alternative.
You can never have too many good books! Some classics that my children love and we still read over and over include Make Way for Ducklings (this is an all-time fave of all four children), Ferdinand, and Strega Nona. Write a personal inscription inside the cover and help start a wonderful library for a little one to inspire a love of reading. (Here are more of my favorite books for children!)
Bonus: I haven’t actually purchased these, but if my kids were still little, I would be all over them!
A custom teepee — I love this so much, and it’s a pretty addition to any room in your house, too!
A balance bike; I hear these help kids learn to ride without training wheels much earlier!
P.S. Although not all of these are from small businesses, most of them are — I try to shop local and/or small businesses whenever I can.