Gift-giving can be quite stressful when you've got Santa to compete with. We've rounded up 34 surprising finds for your favorite members of the underage crew.
2 of 34Jens Mortensen
Handmade Monster Hoodie
At the junction of warm and wacky, this one-of-a-kind hoodie will thrill adorable little ogres and their keepers. The zippered sweater features a brightly colored super-soft, faux-fur lining inside the hood and felt horns outside the hood. A tiny bird is perched on top, so he’ll always have a friend nearby. Available in a variety of colors—red, black, green, pink, navy, orange, and more—as well as an array of styles that skew a little less scary and more magical, like a unicorn. Sizes fit children up to 12 years of age. There are even a few sizes available for your fur babies, too.
Are you sick of asking your child (and then dealing with the inevitable argument that ensues) to put on her helmet before taking a ride down the driveway? For the scooter kid or the nonstop biker, this dry-erase headgear awaits custom art and is a safe zone for graffiti. Each helmet comes with five non-toxic dry-erase markers in assorted neon colors and eight stencils to get them started. The helmets, which meet industry safety regulations, are available in six colors (black, white, neon green, neon pink, neon orange, and pink) and three sizes for children ages three to 11.
This rider, from the folks who made your favorite red wagon, gets its horsepower from a hearty wiggle motion. (It can even do 360-degree spins.) The adjustable seat leaves room to grow. Ages three to eight.
For the queen of the block who’s always outside playing with the other neighborhood kids, a jump rope to match her high style. Colorful wooden handles and a thick rope provide more weight and substance than the plastic variety and add a little hop to her step while keeping those double Dutch skills in check. The artful jump rope is available in two sizes (eight feet and 20 feet) for both kids big and small. Choose from seven colors: yellow, mint, blue, purple, black, and salmon. Because the item is handmade in Canada, be sure to leave a few extra days for shipping and handling.
For kids whose default mode is “Let’s play house,” an enchanting, detailed soft-cloth creature looking for a parent to love. The tiny doll comes tucked in her very own bed—a compact matchbox that’s just two inches high, 3.25 inches wide, and 4.25 inches long. Have two little ones on your list this year? Give one kid this one, and let the other child have another (and equally as adorable) mouse in a box. They’ll love playing pretend together, and then carefully tucking their respective mice into “bed” each night after dinner.
With his pleasingly round head and plump, squishable belly (stuffed, believe it or not, with recycled-soda-bottle-fluff), this hand-crocheted organic-bamboo-yarn beast is one cuddly plaything they’re not likely to forget.
Take a break from braids and let a blingy headband befitting a Disney starlet handle her ‘do for a change. Bonus: It may just keep her from pulling your sunglasses out of your bag every time you turn your back.
You could spend hours poring over the intricate illustrations in French author Benjamin Chaud’s newest release—even without the added incentive to find where Little Bear is hidden on each page. The lively woodland scenes and chaotic cityscapes are equally enchanting.
Quick—what sound does a giraffe make? Definitely not, “but MOM, I don’t WANNA wear a sweater!” Convincing your wild thing to bundle up will never be a struggle again, thanks to this hooded cotton cardi’s irresistible embellishments (mane, tail, ears, and horns).
It’s okay to go a little overboard on a bath toy when it comes with this kind of design pedigree. The 10-inch cargo boat is made by Brooklyn-based furniture designer Daniel Michalik, whose other goods—like a full-size recycled-cork chaise longue—sell for upwards of four grand.
Adorned with the timeless classic’s 1943 first-edition cover illustration, this pre-softened cotton bodysuit would send any kid-lit lover (and his parents) straight to cloud nine. Pair the onesie with a copy of The Little Prince (don’t forget to write a message in the inside cover!) to help the little one’s family start building his library from a very young age. It’s never too early to start fostering a love of books. And who knows? Maybe this book will become his favorite—and they’ll only have you to thank for that. Plus, each sale comes with a book donation to a needy community.
This colorful wooden clock seems like more of a toy than a training tool. But, with movable hands and a foldout easel to jot down the corresponding time, you’ll be surprised by how soon he’s reminding you that you’re late!
For the girl who wants to get a little more specific with playtime: Enter the ultimate kit—pretend telescope complete with images of outer space, a display board with astronomy facts, and more—that takes your wide-eyed girl (and her doll) out of this world.
Eco-friendly (and non-toxic), these bead-filled wood-and-plastic blocks stack into vaguely Mondrian-esque towers and double as percussion instruments—but rattle you far less than a session of banging on pots and pans.
Sure, they’d probably be content with a plain old plastic bottle of bubbles (a few bottles would make a great companion stocking stuffer!), but this beech wood set elevates the sudsy staple well beyond the everyday. And with three differently colored wands in various shapes (a big and a small star, plus a circle) for simultaneous play, any debate over whose turn it is next disappears like magic. Stainless steel wands mean the kids will have years of playtime ahead. If tucked carefully in the attic, his own kids might even get to enjoy the set one day!
They’ll line them up, knock them down, stack them, trade them, and count with them—but they may never put this 100-piece set of colorful Japanese dominoes back inside the metallic-gold carrying tote. (That’s already been repurposed as a purse, thank you very much.)