Handmade toys are wistful, charming and traditional, and often end up being those most prized amongst the myriad of toys a child will receive throughout their childhood. To ensure this is true of the handmade gift(s) you give the little person(s) in your life, here are three ideas that aren’t just made by hand, but which take real love to make and / or give.
- The Gift of an Adult Free Zone
What could be a more exciting gift to give a child than their very own adult-free zone? Giving a child a den in the form of a fort, pirate ship, space ship or fairy castle (the possibilities are endless of course) is to give a gift that does not just instantly excite children, but one which also nourishes their imagination, helps to nurture their sense of self and in an albeit complex and subconscious but none the less a very real way shows respect for a child’s growing awareness of their right to privacy and boundaries.
Rather than build a child a den that will need dismantling in time, potentially never to be rebuilt again though, a really great option is to instead shop for the perfect teepee from Just For Tiny People. Makers of handmade teepees that comes in so many designs that browsing through tem all takes far more time than erecting one of their designs, this is a gift that is safe, fun, and space saving as it can be brought out whenever wanted and as well easily put away in between uses. Hence, to give a really special gift that shows a child they are not only loved, but as well respected, consider giving them their very own teepee.
- Their Very Own (Not So Secret) Garden
A gift that provides the perfect excuse to get hands on and enjoy spending a significant amount of time with a child, whether as a parent, grandparent, other relative, godparent, or whatever your relationship with the little person(s) in your life, this is also a gift that couldn’t be more handmade. It is also a fantastically creative and educational way to engage a child in a long term project that, when continued, can help to provide a kid with a real sense of achievement and teach them the value of determination – even in the face of adversity.
What is being spoken about, of course, is the gift of giving a little person their very own garden plot. Whether this takes the form of a rented allotment plot in which to grow vegetables, lifting a flag to create a self contained mini garden of their very own, giving them a corner of the garden at home or even creating a super mini garden in a big flower pot, the potential and limits to what can be achieved are limitless. Even if crops fail, flowers get trodden or bulbs fail to bloom, the lessons learned and experience of working side-by-side with a child on a sustained effort are massive. Further, with so much to learn about when it comes to the botanical world, this can provide you both with an adventure to embark on together, or provide you the opportunity to pass down your own gardening skills.
Then, to learn more about getting green fingered and how to go about giving the gift of time and a handmade garden, two fantastic resources are the Kid Spot website which features its own Making a Miniature Garden Guide and as well the BBC Gardening with Children Online Resource.
- Handmade Toy Box Toys
Last but not least, handmade toy box toys are those which most people are likely to think of. For this reason, and no other, they feature last on this list and do so whether taking the form of a lovingly handmade teddy bear from bear making aficionados, the Great British Bear Company, a wistful wooden train set or Railway via expert carpentry and toy making team at the Rob-Roy Company or a more modern and lavish yet also handmade bicycle via the Early Rider Company, which makes bikes suitable for children of seven months up.
The point to make is that handmade toys, being as such and often also custom made or personalized, really do come in every shape and design. The trick then is to find the one that best fits the child for whom you are buying. A great way to find out is to sneakily quiz the recipient ahead of their birthday; children often have a long list of items they want and it is likely that one or more of these can be provided in the form of a handmade version, and will probably be loved even more for being so.