gift picks

This time of year I am always on the hunt for new and unique toy shops for the boys. Lately online ordering has become a serious blessing in my life. At this point, the less shopping we do, the better. And with so many places now offering free shipping, it just makes things, so, much, easier.

Plus, it's nice to have the option to support smaller business rather than simply dumping your hard earned dough into the regular (major) chains. I know for me, selling on Etsy for the past two years has totally changed my views on where I put our money when it comes to gift buying in general. We have seen nothing but loyal, solid support and gratefulness from the people who purchase our teepees and seem to truly appreciate all those goes into a handcrafted item, even if it means waiting a little longer and paying a littler more for something with old fashioned quality construction. Makes me conscious of giving back to a community where so many others are making all kinds of very cool products sitting sweetly under the amazon radar. Not to mention, these folks are genuinely thankful for every order that rolls their way. So buying actually feels good for a change!

Don't get me wrong, we have our fair share of target / toys r' us runs for plastic batman figurines, hot wheels, skate gear and whatever else they happen to become enthralled with on TV commercials these days, but I try to balance a few of their "wants" with a healthy mix of unexpected picks like a few listed below.

Magic Cabin is one of my favorites this year - relying on "old fashioned make believe" products made here in the states, that feed an "innate need to intact with simple, natural toys and crafts"

For Rex: 

Cherry Tree Blocks - 
"Made from the salvaged branches of clear-cut cherry and alder, they are cut in precise increments of length to enable easy stacking and building. Make fantastical natural towers, gnome castles, jungle habitats and more" - all good things. I think R & L will enjoy these equally. 

Alder wood sculpture blocks 
Each of these sculptural versions are beautiful and fun to rearrange, even outside of it's intended shape. 

Lady Bug Maracas
Because they're just so cute. And cheap! 

Green Tones Beginner drum set
This little contraption is super fun. So much fun I had a hard time putting back in the box for safe keeping. I'm a sucker for all musical toys. 

8 piece Wood Doctor Kit
Best quality version I've seen yet. And not something he even knows he wants, which makes it that much better.

There you have it. I have my eye on a few other things here for Leon too, but for the most part (outside of super heros) he and Rex share the same interests so I have to be careful that I buy wisely for the two of them.  As for Arlo, I'll be sharing some of his gift picks as they come this month and next. As well as a few of my go to Etsy shops I visit all year round.

Oh and please, feel free to share any favorite toys picks of your own. Fresh recommendations are always welcome.