I love, love, love Etsy. In the last 4 years Etsy is by far the website where I’ve done the most shopping. I’ve created lists, started following even more awesome shops and I’m getting tons of ideas and inspiration for crafts and home decor. I love Etsy. You can follow me here. One of my favourite things to search for are cool and unique toys for the girls. Here’s a roundup of 10 of the girls’ favs (mine too):
Wooden stacking dolls – Tinocchio – Made in Israel. Stacking toys are so important for toddlers. I love the simplicity in the design of these gals (yep, to us they’re girls). Every time Mila plays with them, Danika inevitably wants to also.
Crowns – Felt Like Celebrating – Made in New Zealand. They each got their crown for their 1st birthdays. Danika wears hers all the time. Mila is getting used to hers.
Pretend play camera – Little Sapling Toys – Made in USA. Danika loves to drop down on one knee and say “Over here… look at me…. say cheese…. click, click click… look!” Then she turns the camera to us, to show us the “viewfinder” like she’s seen us do with our real camera countless times. She’s so funny.
Roadster – Hill Country Woodcraft – Made in USA. Mila loves this car. It rolls really well and the peg person is great for her hand-eye coordination.
Little heart cars – Darlingling – Made in Canada. These have spent many night outside in the sandbox after hours of play. They’re still great. I love their colours.
International peg dolls – I Got You Pegged – Made in USA. The girls line them up. Put them in a little pouch I made. Take them out, line them up again… I especially love the little Dutch girl, being half-Dutch myself.
Doll – KraKracraft – Made in Slovenia. She was Danika’s reward for graduating to a big-girl bed. The owner of the shop is amazing. She could do anything! I told her I wanted the doll to be a little in Danika’s likeness, which colours and patterns she liked. She gave the doll those light blue eyes and blond hair with wispy little pig tails. When I placed my order, I was also still mourning the loss of my old girl Maya (she was my faithful, 4-legged baby, who got really, really sick), so I asked if it was possible to somehow include a brown dog (Maya was a beautiful chocolate lab). I couldn’t be happier with this whole experience. Danika calls her Dolly. She sleeps with her every single night without fail.
I Spy bag – Chicks & Chickadees – Made in USA. This is one of those purchases I could have waiting a little longer to order and gift. Danika is only now starting to play with it but she’s had it a while. I actually stored it this week. I’ll take it out again later this summer. Nevertheless, I really love the personal touches. Her name is in there, as are some of Danika’s favourite things (animals, colours, etc).
Finger puppets – Stay Awake & Play – Made in Canada. Always popular. These come out at least twice a week and have since the day we got them. Danika loves putting them on and singing Old McDonald to her sister waving (with great difficulty) the finger with the animal she’s on, which is what I used to sing and do for her. Still do.
Memory game – 3Princesses – Made in Canada. The tiles themselves can be played with like blocks or dominos but now that Danika is old enough, we’re finally playing the memory game. We started with 2 pairs turned over, then 3. That’s where we’re at now. We’ll gradually increase the number of pairs as she gets used to playing. I love watching her grow and develop like this.
What about you? What have been your best handmade toy purchases on Etsy?
Truth be told, I’m always scouting for small toys and accessories that would make great age-appropriate stocking stuffers at Christmas, Easter egg stuffers and road trip supplies. I store them in a box in the basement until the right time comes. I buy these throughout the year to take advantage of sales (especially liquidations) and impromptu visits to our local dollar store that odly enough, yields some pretty cool and unexpected finds.
When scouting for small toys or if you want to give a few different ones, the idea is to think outside the “packaging” so-to-speak: You don’t have to use every piece of the puzzle (unless it’s part of the Easter Egg hunt game), or all the beads, or all the glow-in-the-dark stars… Open the packaging and just put a couple of the pieces in the eggs. Once the hunt is over, bring out the rest of the packages. We keep all tiny toys in a small cardboard suitcases that the girls love carrying around.
Here’s a collection of items my eldest daughter (now 3) received last year (and still plays with) and some new ones she will find in her Easter eggs this year*.
Coloured hair elastics – From the dollar store
Peppa Pig characters – From eBay and Amazon (In Canada, Peppa Pig sets aren’t sold at Toys R Us but you can find them in the US)
Easter version of the Barrel of Monkeys game but with bunnies – From the dollar store
Lottie Doll outfit – These are a fav in our house. Purchased a couple of outfits in a toy store closeout sale but I have also seen them on Amazon
Fairytale Finger tattoos – purchased during a closeout sale of a local toy store but also saw them on Amazon
Vintage Strawberry Shortcake figurines – From my own collection – my mom had the forethought to stash many of our cool toys – but I have seen many on Etsy
My daughter has a couple of finger puppet sets – We love this Etsy shop Stay Awake and Play I think they make the best and cutest felt finger puppets
Bracelet and necklace set (on an elastic) – purchased during a closeout sale of a local toy store but have seen them in many toys shops near the cash
Zipper charms – From Gap kids (saw them at the cash)
Bubble Guppies Puzzle – From dollar store but any you think your child will like, which has pieces small enough to fit into eggs will be perfect
Play-Doh – dollar store
Little felt doll – handmade by moi
EOS lip balm – From any drug store. My daughter *loves* lip balms but the shape of these ones are, I find, the best for her little hands. She can open and close it herself easily
Kiss Naturals lip balm making kit – I’ve been waiting until my daughter was old enough to give her this set. I know she will love making these and gifting her friends with her creations
Charlie and Lola peg people – My daughter *loves* Chartlie and Lola but finding merchandise on this side of the ocean is futile. I turned to Etsy and found Tiny Clementine who makes these adorable miniatures
Schleich figurines – I’m a huge believer in teaching my girls what animals really look like, instead of the cute cartoon-look other figurines take on. These are a bit of an investment, yes, but I have also found tons of used ones online (Kijiji for us in Canada or eBay). I trust Schleich because they have been around for decades and I’m not worried when my little one puts the figurines in her mouth either.
Djeco wooden patisserie set – purchased during a closeout sale of a local toy store but saw them on Amazon too
Wind-up hopping bunny – Have seen them in many toy stores near the cash area
Wooden beads – from Michael’s – Came in a bucket!
Felt sea creatures for magnet fishing game – handmade by moi
Mini Slinky – From the dollar store
Wind-up flipping lady bug – Have seen them in many toy stores near the cash area
Glow in the dark stars – My eldest already has a “gallaxy” spiralling above her bed. These ones will be for my youngest. Got them at Michael’s. What I love is that during the day they recharge with daylight and as the night progresses, they glow less and less so it’s not a distraction for Zzzzzs
So there you have it. What are some chocolate and candy-less options you are including in your kids’ Easter eggs?
* This post contains some affiliate links to Amazon and Well.ca.