Cue the sleigh bells!
It’s holiday time. You’ve got a list of loved ones you hope to find the perfect gifts for. From your children to your spouse to extended family and friends, there’s a lot of ground to cover.
We’ve got the gift guide you’ve been looking for. Here you’ll find recommendations for “kids from 1 to 92.”
Many of these items are made in a sustainable manner with safe, environmentally friendly materials; none of the items on our list were manufactured in China. We looked for high-quality, screen-free products that you’ll be delighted to give to those you love most.
Whether you’re stuffing stockings or searching for the big “ta-da,” it’s all here.
For Baby (0–2)
When it comes to material items, babies don’t need much. A sweet stuffed animal to cuddle, some toys for the tub, and some basic blocks to manipulate will provide just the right tools for exploration, fun, and comfort for the tiniest loved ones on your list.
What’s more classic than an adorable teddy bear? Aurora is one of the few brands you’ll find within a reasonable price range and that offers adorable stuffed animals not made in China. Many, though not all, are made in Indonesia.
My First Christmas Bear ($14.50) is almost too cute and just the right choice to commemorate a special first for baby.
Made in Germany, HABA’s Baby’s First Basic Blocks set features 12 brightly colored wooden cubes in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Simple and well-made, this set provides just the right amount of stimulation and learning as baby holds, explores, and eventually stacks these classic blocks. $19.99. HABAusa.com
All of Green Toys products are made in the United States. from 100 percent recycled materials with high safety standards. Their Tide Pool Bath Set brings water table play to the bathtub! The seven-piece set includes a starfish, scallop, abalone, snail, squid, and jellyfish, as well as a seaweed-patterned storage bag. Little ones can scoop and pour to their heart’s content, making bath time an extension of playtime. $19.99. GreenToys.com
For the Toddler Set (3–5)
Carefully chosen, high-quality play staples with few bells and whistles are the way to go for this age group.
Literally the building blocks of play, blocks are essentials that every child should have. There are a variety of wonderful options for preschool-aged kids.
Blocks, Extra Large Starter Set
Possibly the only block set they’ll ever need, this classic set of natural wooden blocks features 102 pieces in various shapes. Beautifully crafted, this substantial set is an investment that can provide hours of building fun for children for years to come. $129.99 HABAusa.com
Wooden Train Track Set
Wooden trains have enjoyed enormous popularity with this age group, thanks to a certain “tank engine,” but did you know you can find tracks that are compatible with the mainstream brands that are not made in China?
Their NameTrain collection includes the Long Oval with Bridge Set, which would make an ideal starter set for any child. $115.
Stuffed animals play such a special role in the lives of children. They act out stories and snuggle up for love and comfort. As previously mentioned, the Aurora brand is an easy-to-find choice with many options that are not made in China—a rarity in this category.
Toddlers often develop a keen interest in nature and animals. This Elephant Mama and Baby from Aurora’s Destination Nation line is a sweet choice. Soft and realistic, the baby is also a finger puppet. $26.40. AuroraGift.com
Another classic building toy with endless possibilities is a set of building logs. RoyToy has been making its products in the United States. since the 1930s. Whether you opt for the Classic Log Cabin in a Large Canister ($29.95), the Original Fort ($11.95), or the 550-Piece Deluxe Set ($79.95), you can’t go wrong with these classic toys. RoyToy.com
Board games bring the family together and offer different learning opportunities to kids. Most games are made with slightly older children in mind.
HABA’s My Very First Game – First Orchard gives younger children the opportunity to join in the fun. Made in Germany, First Orchard is an edited version of HABA’s original Orchard game. Featuring high-quality game pieces, First Orchard fosters understanding of colors, counting, following rules, and social skills. The game pieces themselves can even be used for free play. It’s an adorable pick for this age group. $25.99. HABAusa.com
Make believe is a huge pastime among 3- to 5-year-olds. While some toys come with so many bells and whistles there is little room left to the imagination, others enhance the important work of pretend play so little people can develop creativity, social skills, and their innate strengths.
Plan Toys offers high-quality, safe, and sustainably made toys for all kinds of pretend play. Their Sink and Fridge ($70) create a compact kitchen space for every pretend meal. Other toys for role-playing that would make great holiday gifts include the adorable wooden Makeup Set ($30) and Doctor Set($30). PlanToys.com
Plan Toys also has some great options in educational manipulatives. The Animal Memo game ($25), a lovely wooden tile version of the classic Memory, Alphabet A-Z ($38), and Numbers 1-10 ($20) give little hands educational tools to manipulate and use in a variety of ways, all the while enhancing their development.
For Young Children (6–8)
As children get older, their dexterity improves, their creativity blossoms, and their need to play only grows. They’ve got a longer attention span, more patience, and greater endurance for the hard work of having fun.
One toy company that meets the needs of this age group beautifully is Playmobil. Their iconic play figurines and all of the accouterments of their respective work and living environments are available in finely detailed play sets that entertain young children for hours. Whether you’re looking for a vehicle set like the Summer Camper ($44.99) or a slice of city life such as the Cupcake Shop ($44.99), Playmobil has something for everyone.Playmobil.us
This is also a great age for a dollhouse. Plan Toys makes a number of varieties, but the Creative Play House ($150) allows for the most versatility in design and creativity. This is a great gift to couple with one of Plan Toys doll families ($20). PlanToys.com
Every artist needs proper tools. Did you know that Crayola still makes many of its products in the United States? There are also some items, such as construction paper, that are made in Canada. To be sure, check labels. Items like crayons, scissors, paper, markers, paints, and modeling clay can be combined for a great gift for any young child. Prices vary. Crayola.com
As kids get older they are ready for the wonderful world that is LEGO. Many LEGO products are not made in China, but you do need to check labels. This is one of those brands that stays with children throughout their childhood and can even be passed down to the next generation. Did you know that LEGOs made now are still compatible with the original LEGO bricks manufactured in 1958?
For Big Kids (10–13)
A classic game of checkers never goes out of style. Maple Landmark makes a number of wooden checkerboards and pieces. Their Basic Board measures 15 square inches and comes with a pouch. $30.50. MapleLandmark.com
L.L. Bean’s Backyard Bean Toss is just the motivation kids need to head outside. Portable for easy storage, it comes with two hardwood targets and eight cotton toss bags filled with recycled plastic pellets. $199. LLBean.com
Also by L.L. Bean, the Woodland Animals Snow Kit is an adorable twist on the classic snowman kit; kids can create their very own forest animals when the snow hits your neighborhood. $34.99.
Big kids tend to have busy schedules. They often need snacks and drinks on the go. Tervis’s double-walled drinkware is made in the United States, is BPA-free, and is guaranteed for life. They are great for both hot and cold beverages, are microwave- and dishwasher-safe, and fit most cupholders.
Prices vary. Tervis.com
For Teens (14–17)
Gifting to teens is all about recognizing their individual interests. By now, they’ve likely begun to hone an artistic talent, or delve deeper into their interest in nature, engineering, or reading. Whatever they’re into, there’s a gift out there to support it.
Design Works makes an interesting product line that would appeal to budding architects or designers. They offer a 3-D Home Kit, Home Quick Planner, Architect’s Drawing Kit, Quick Home Planner, and Architect’s Drawing Kit. All are made in the United States. Prices vary.HomePlanner.com
On the Go
If it’s filling stockings you’re focused on, here are a few ideas for kids of various ages.
Urban Halo Headband. $15. UrbanHalo.com
It can be more difficult to find gifts for adults than for kids. Whether you’re shopping for your children’s teachers, a distant cousin, your spouse, or your parents, we’ve got some ideas that are sure to be winners for many of the adults on your list.
Face Mask Set
TonyMoly is a cosmetics company offering products made in Korea. Exclusively at Macy’s you can try a whopping 19 of their best-selling facial masks. Perfect for your wife, your mom, or any woman on your list, this gift is sure to pamper. $45. TonyMoly.us
When it comes to the men in our life, sometimes the most basic gifts are the most appreciated. Sticking with classic staples is the way to go, and it doesn’t get more classic or staple than L.L. Bean’s Essential Leather Belt in black or brown, made in the United States. This full-grain leather belt can be worn everyday by your favorite guy. $39.95. LLBean.com
One of the best gifts for any occasion, L.L. Bean’s legendary tote bag comes in a variety of sizes and colors and exudes classic style. They are practically indestructible and a must-have in every home. Prices vary. LLBean.com
Anyone who loves to entertain can appreciate this lovely pack of conversation starters from Lumitory. They may just take your next dinner party to another level. $15. Lumitory.com
When in doubt, caramel. Am I right? Handcrafted caramels by McCrea’s Candies come in flavors such as Dark Roasted Mocha, Ginger Fusion, Rosemary Truffle Sea Salt, Single Malt Scotch, Black Lava Sea Salt, Tapped Maple, Cape Cod Sea Salt, Classic Vanilla, and Deep Chocolate. They are exactly what you should give when you don’t know what else to give. Try the Party Box or Flavor Family sampler. Prices vary. McCreasCandies.com
Tervis drinkware isn’t just for kids, of course. Their 16-ounce insulated mug in holiday designs would make for a great gift for a tea or coffee drinker. $14.99. Tervis.com
Home Decor Accessories
If you’ve got a beach lover on your list, check out Lime & Leaf. This beach-inspired home decor company based in Virginia is owned by two sisters, who found inspiration from their fond memories of family vacations at the Jersey Shore and incorporated them into comfortable, lovely items for the home. All of their products are made in the United States. The Palm Vase($54), Sea Salt Candle ($38), Sand Dollar Throw Blanket ($148), or Mixed Coaster Set ($28) may be just what your loved one would enjoy.LimeAndLeaf.com
Published with permission from The Epoch Times