Let’s face it – once you have kids, the holidays, much like everything else, are all about them. Their excitement about everything is contagious. I do look forward to seeing their happy faces light up when they open their presents. I have learned from experience that sometimes the simplest, less expensive gifts are the biggest hits. And I’m not just talking about toddlers playing with wrapping paper for hours – a few years ago we gave our nephew a $7 harmonica, and it was an instant winner. My sister-in-law wasn’t as crazy about the gift, needless to say.
So here’s our list of fantastic, simple and affordable Brooklyn-made gifts for kiddos this holiday season. No batteries required.
Obos – Planet Obo, $5 each
These little creatures are super cool and eco-friendly. The packaging is minimal (a strip of paper) and all the parts are stored inside the Obo’s body. Their parts are interchangeable, so kids can change them around and build their own little army of Obos.
The Green Line CD – City Stomp, $9.99
We are a house full of dancers. My kids have loved music since they were little butterballs, and I’ve gone through a lot of “kids music”, most of which can become annoying and will haunt you in the shower. It’s not the case with City Stomp’s awesome songs, which have become part of our family favorites. They explore music from different cultures and bring in some New York flavor. Their three albumbs are available on iTunes and babycd. Check out their site for more info about upcoming shows and classes.
Wooden peg doll kit – Goose Grease, $20
A family, characters from a favorite book, or maybe some Obo-looking monsters – these dolls are perfect blank slates to let their imagination run free. Available online.
Temporary tatoos, Monster set – Tattly, $15
I mean, it doesn’t get much better than temporary tatoos. Growing up in Spain we called them calcamonías, which is a pretty awesome word. This set of 8 adorable monsters is available at tattly.com along with lots more designs.
Hair clip – Brooklyn Owl, $10
Brooklyn Owl’s lovely pieces are handmade by Annie Bruce. The clip can be worn by itself or on a felt headband ($12). More info on their site, brooklynowl.com.
Mounted print – Kristiana Pärn, $50
Kristiana’s paintings captivate a timeless innocence and happiness that would shine in any kid’s room. You can find her at the Union Square holiday fair until December 24th, or check her Etsy store for available prints.
Paper bike kit – Paperbikes!, $3
These cool bikes come as a PDF printable model. Add scissors, glue, and some fun times with your tyke! Available at their Etsy store.
Art wallet – Windows of Agate, $22
This handmade art wallet has pockets for all their gear, including special slots for crayons, so it’s perfect for little artists on the go. It comes with an 8-page coloring book with drawings including the Empire State Building and the Plaza. Available on Etsy.
Pressed for time? Head to your local bookstore. The new Powerhouse branch in Park Slope has a great kids section, as do most other independent bookstores. There’s always room for more Dr. Seuss.