Our ParentMap holiday gift guide features gifts that children want to play with again and again, are safe and well-made, and encourage “unplugged” creative play.


Baby quilts. Handmade by local quilter Rebecca Hewitt in a beautiful range of vintage cotton fabrics. $68. (Clover)

Haba Toys. Safe and sturdy wooden toys, including great block sets. $12–$40. (Teri’s Toybox)

Camden Rose maple teether and cherry rattle. Smooth shapes that are easy to hold and super-soothing for tender gums. $13–$17. (Izilla)

Vilac push cars. Brightly lacquered and smoothly rolling little wooden vehicles. $25–$30. (Izilla)

BooksBarnyard Bath

Barnyard Bath by Sandra Boynton

Growing Up Green: Baby and Child Care by Deirdre Imus

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury

Foodie Babies Wear Bibs by Michelle S. Colman and Nathalie Dion

No No Yes Yes by Leslie Patricelli


Socktopus stuffies. The world’s cutest stuffed animals, made by a Northwest artist from recycled sweaters. $25. Red Snapper, 510 Commercial St., Anacortes, or www.friendsofsocktopus.com.

Playmobil Circus. Brightly colored circus set. $10–$100. (Izilla)

Ecotronic. Good for kids who like noise and action, and great for parents, too, as these toys are not powered by batteries! Wind or shake for planet-friendly techno fun. $14.49–$49.99. (Teri’s Toybox)

DinosailorsSkuut wooden balance bike. Allows kids ages 2 and a half to 5 to learn to balance so they can ride a bicycle without ever needing training wheels. $90. (Clover)

Pintoy. Your toddler will love pushing a sturdy little shopping cart or adorable baby buggy made in Thailand from sustainable rubberwood. $50–$70. (Izilla)


Fix-It Duck by Jez Alborough

Dinosailors by local author Deb Lund Artie and Julie by Chih-Yuan Chen

Early readers

Hooray for Fly Guy! by Tedd Arnold

Fancy Nancy Sees Stars by Jane O’Connor, Robin Preiss Glasser and Ted Enik

Are You Ready to Play Outside? by Mo Willems


Green Toys. Made in the USA from 100 percent recycled milk jugs, these are safe toys that contain no BPA or phthalates. Tea sets $27.90; 27-piece cookware and dinnerware sets $43.90. (Kids Club)

Breyer horsesBreyer horses and accessories. Classic well-made horses that will be passed down and played with again and again. (Tree Top Toys)

Karito Kids. Six dolls from different countries. Each time you buy a doll or accessory, you can choose how to donate a portion of the proceeds to different charities. The charities help kids in each doll’s country to get clean water, food, housing and education. Every doll comes with a story book. $99.99. (Kids Club)

Thames & Kosmos Renewable Energy Science Kit. More than 20 experiments and projects, including building a working wind turbine. Ages 8 and older. $52.90. (Kids Club)

eeBoo paper dolls. New, ethnically diverse modern paper dolls. $8. (Clover)

Dragon SlippersBooks

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Warriors series by Erin Hunter

Larry Gets Lost in Seattle by John Skewes and Robert Schwartz

The Seems series by John Hulme and Michael Wexler

Demonkeeper by local author Royce Buckingham

Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George


Trips: Teens love water parks, and two area resorts offer you the unique opportunity to take them on a “winter water park experience.” Create a gift certificate for a trip to Cle Elum’s Suncadia Resort, which offers a large indoor pool with water slides. Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound, just south of Olympia, features a large indoor water park. Both destinations are less than a two-hour drive from Seattle.

The Writer in Me!The Writer in Me and The Artist in Me. These kits from Workman Publishing include all the tools your tween or teen needs to be inspired and start creating. $18.95 each. (Teri’s Toybox)

The Klutz Shrink Art Jewelry kit. Tweens and teens get to make beautiful, sophisticated jewelry through the magic of shrink plastic. $21. (Izilla)


Rapunzel’s Revenge, a graphic novel by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale and Nathan Hale

Beacon Street Girls series by Annie Bryant

Hatter M: The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor, Liz Cavalier and Ben Templesmith


TerraCycle. Fabulous shopping bags, messenger bags, lunch/snack boxes and pencil cases, all from totally recycled materials. $2–$20. Fred Meyer and Target.

Give to others together. You can teach your kids about compassion and the true joy of giving by adopting a family or individual for the holidays. An easy way to get started is by visiting United Way of King County and clicking on “Adopt a Family.”

Kathleen F. Miller is a Sammamish-based freelance writer and mother of two.


Clover Toys
5335 Ballard Ave. N.W., Seattle

Kids Club
2690 N.E. Village Lane, Seattle

Izilla Toys
1429 12th Ave., Seattle

Mockingbird Books
7220 Woodlawn Ave. N.E., Seattle

Teri’s Toybox
420 Main St., Edmonds

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