As promised, I wanted to share a few kids gifts ideas from the wonderful world of Etsy. I am not buying for many kids this year, but if I were, these are things I'd consider:
Pick Three Babushka Russian Matryoshka Cloth Dolls, $42
I absolutely love the Babushka dolls made by Tadpole Creations. They are SO adorable, and there are tons to choose from. I think they'd be great for babies up to older kids, and the ideal would be to pick three, because everything's cuter in a set! The dolls are 8" high x 3.5 " wide x 1.5" deep and machine washable, and individual dolls are $14 each.
Custom Fancie Heroes and Villains, $40
I love everything Fancie Fannie's makes so much, it took me forever to figure out what to highlight. These little hand-painted wooden dolls are pretty much the cutest thing I've ever seen, and the store features everything from Harry Potter characters to Star Trek's line-up to custom sets. Prices seem to be about $5/doll, so sets run from $15-$45 or so, depending on the number of dolls included. A perfect low-tech answer to some high-tech kiddie loves, I think.
Modern Christmas Lounge Set, $42
There a lot of people on Etsy selling baby clothes. One of my personal favorites, though, is Mountain Aven Baby. The clothes aren't cheap, but they are truly beautiful. The lounge set above is only one offering. Other favorites are a reversible holiday dress ($42) and all manner of appliqued tees and onesies. Definitely special occasion, picture-day type clothes, but I always feel better about giving my money to a small business than to Gymboree, don't you?
Fun Felt Foods Sushi Deluxe Tray, $30
Felt food is another thing you can find 1,000 versions of on Etsy, but c'mon, is anything cuter than this felt deluxe sushi set? For those who don't want to push raw fish on the kids in their lives, Sam McLean designs makes plenty of other felt food, too. But I like the sushi.
5X7 eco friendly nature themed alphabet wall cards, $32
One of the many reasons my hypothetical child will likely have an intense dislike for me one day is my insistence on decorating with the alphabet. I LOVE kids' alphabet cards of various types. These ones, from Art and Philanthropy, are both lovely and on sale for 20% off. It gets better, though. Art and Philanthropy has sets in Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese, Hebrew, German, and Swedish. It's honestly all I can do not to buy the vintage French farm animals set for myself.
Boy's personalized magnetic dress up doll, $30
So I'm not alone in thinking paper dolls are the coolest thing ever, right? Sandy Ford Design makes personalized paper dolls, based on photographs of the recipient. Neat, right? For $20, she'll do a PDF of the doll and five outfits, which you can print out on any paper you want (including magnetic paper for magnetic dolls), or for $30-$35, she'll print and trim the magnetic doll and outfits for you. She does adults, too. I'll admit it. I want one.
The Elephant Hat, $22
Tell me these fleece hats with animals on them aren't the cutest thing ever? They are made by Katie Segel at My Kids Lids, and she's also got birds, cats, dogs, crabs, monkeys, frogs, and various monster varieties. I'm no expert, but they totally look like something that adults would think was super cute but kids would also find fun.
Mr. Ethanol, $25
Oh yeah. Crocheted molecules! They're cotton, they're scientific, and they're adorable. Sold by Prime and Plush, there are several varieties available for Geek, Jr. Another of my favorite is ice, which is water with a scarf on.
Loose Vegan Mineral Eyeshadows, 5 mini jars for $13.50
Etsy can deliver presents for the older kids as well as the babies. For a newly makeup experimenting teen, how about a sample set of vegan mineral eyeshadows from Shiro Cosmetics? At $13.50 for your choice of five 1 gram shadows, that's not much more expensive that Wet N' Wild, and a whole lot better for your kid's eyes. Plus the color palette is awesome, with names like Wobbuffet and Moosh, and they come packaged in a nice organza bag. Stocking stuffer, anyone?
Wooden Hedgehogs and Mushrooms, $25
Finally, I have to recommend the beautiful wooden toys made by Imagination Kids. The little set of hedgehogs and mushrooms I have here is too cute to pass up, and there are tons of other toys hand-crafted from "sustainably harvested wood, AP Certified non-toxic paint, and our homemade natural wood polish made from beeswax, jojoba oil, and essential oils." Check out the amazing advent calendars, too!
It can eat up hours (which I'll admit I enjoy more than I should), but I really believe if you browse Etsy for long enough, you'll find something for everybody on your list (and probably several things for yourself). For the uninitiated, hopefully this gives you a place to start.