We know, we know. Right now you’re saying to yourself, ‘another gift guide?’ But we promise that this one won’t have suggestion upon suggestion of random toys that the kids will only play with for a week and then lose interest. At Love, Mom we wanted to put together a short, yet sweet list of mom-approved finds that’ll last from one kid to the next. Just call it quality over quantity.
For the Littles: Under 5 years
If you don’t know about these mittens for kids, we’re here to tell you that you really should. Super warm, these babies won’t slide off (they go up to little elbows to keep out the snow) and are kitted out with cool, graphic designs (my daughter’s faves are the rainbow unicorn and alphabet, natch). Made by Toronto mama, Anna-Maria, her goal is to keep everything in the ‘hood, meaning that she designs and makes all her mittens, booties, backpacks (see below in the Over 5 section) and neck-warmers in Toronto, plus all fabrics and supplies are from Canadian companies.
Fidoodle Wildlife in Sweaters blocks, $35, at fidoodle.com
This year we’re trying to skip buying disposable toys and invest in playthings that can be passed on from brother to sister to cousin to friends. We spotted these graphic blocks (our fave is the Wildlife in Sweaters because hello: wildlife in sweaters…) and just had to share. Artist and illustrator Jen Bulthuis draws and prints her whimsical illustrations on FSC beech wood and organic cottons. Psst. We dare adults not to play mix-and-match..
Mini Rodini K2 Dog Parka, $183 (on sale!) at Minimodelgallery.com
A unisex winter coat with serious style. And really, who doesn’t love a weiner dog? Enough said.
KuKuKid cowl scarf in Constellations, $32 each, at Modern Rascals.
The cool-kid accessory that’ll take them from season to season. Plus, it’s black, has stars and constellations (right?). And, if the kiddos are really jonesing for something to play with, pair this gift with those cool blocks that we mentioned above.
We’re a sucker for a smart kid’s book that’s beautifully illustrated, and pretty enough to leave on the coffee table. Plus, these have feel-good messages that we can get behind.
Bobo Choses Jacket, $159 (on sale!) at Minimodelgallery.com
Eat your heart out Iris Apfel. This whimsical faux fur jacket is sure to be a conversation starter. Now, all they’ll need to complement it is a few grand accessories like a bunny headband and stacks of jelly bracelets.
Hape X Indigo Great Canadian Railway Train Table, $129.95, indigo.ca
While we loved our simple white IKEA kid’s table (you know which one we’re talking about), seeing this one that includes a map of Canada learning moment-slash-kids train and play table, shows us that it’s ok to add a different type of look to our modern living. Plus, it checks our box as another item that can be passed along and appreciated.
For the Littles: Over 5 years
Smart Cookie T-shirt, $35, La Petite ´Ecolière, (photo by Alabaster Jar Photography) ***ENTER TO WIN THIS T-SHIRT BY SUBSCRIBING TO OUR NEWSLETTER (yep, it’s that easy; click to sign up on our right rail).
Made in Canada of organic bamboo cotton and bamboo, founder Roberta Lindal creates T-shirts and sweatshirts to help support the work of charities that provide educational opportunities to girls and inspire them to learn. For every 10 shirts sold, the company will purchase school essentials for one child through Plan International Canada, and help fund meal programs and teacher training.
Electric Skateboard, $399.99, Winners
Show your preteen-slash-teen that you’re the cool parent with this sweet ride. The Jetson e-Punk electric skateboard has a 4 to 6 hour battery life, wireless remote control, push-button brake and built in USB output to charge portable devices on the go.
Erin Tracy MINIS 10k yellow gold butterfly necklace, $145, erintracy.ca
We knew we were in trouble when we saw jewellery designer Erin Tracy’s custom pieces when we profiled her here (psst, her diamonds and gems are mined and processed in Canada, plus certified under the Kimberley Process — an initiative to help stem the trade in conflict diamonds), and now she’s just introduced a line for the mini’s that don’t have gems, but are just as special.
Rosie Revere’s Big Project Book For Bold Engineers, $17.95, Iggy Peck’s Big Project Book for Amazing Architects, $17.99, both by Andrea Beaty. Both at indigo.ca
Both our daughters loved the first (feminist) Rosie Revere Engineer book, so we were beyond excited that the author made a part two which encourages mini Rosie Revere’s AND Iggy Peck’s (another brain-busting book) to invent, design and test all those fabulous ideas percolating in their growing minds.
Bluetooth Cat Ear Phones $19.99, at Winners
Yes, we’re a sucker for cute tech, so we couldn’t pass up these headphones that we know the kiddos will totally love.
Ok, we also couldn’t resist putting in Maria’s backpack. They’re sturdy, water resistant and so darn cute wax cotton backpacks, $85, also from mimitens.com