Toys stores these days are filled with cheap plastic toys made overseas in factories. These items often break easily, make a lot of noise, or don’t inspire and educate children like the toys of old. Many parents and grandparents are looking for sturdy and meaningful handmade gifts for kids and babies. These toys are often made of wood or fabric and many are educational or personalized to match the child. Some crafty parents even make toys and gifts on their own. If you’re not the DIY type, you’re still in luck. There’s plenty of options to buy handmade gifts for the children in your life.
With sites like Etsy offering toys and gifts made by artisans and crafters across the world and Amazon offering an entire section of their site dedicated to handmade items, it’s easier than ever to find unique handmade gifts and toys for babies and kids. These gifts are great for Christmas gifts, stocking stuffers, Hanukkah gifts, birthday presents, or to give for any other special occasion. We’ve listed some of our favorite handmade toys below, categorizing them by age. You’re sure to find something perfect for the child you’re shopping for.
Handmade Gifts for Kids
Gifts for Babies (up to 12 Months)
Handmade Personalized First Name Puzzle
This is one of the best handmade gifts for kids that becomes an instant keepsake, especially if you’re shopping for a baby or toddler. J&P Wood Products is an artisan shop based in Michigan and they specialize in making handmade wooden puzzles customized with your child’s name. These puzzles are made when you order them, which means they will be able to feature the exact spelling of your kid’s name (which you know can be tricky if your child has a unique name).
The puzzle features multicolored letters that are raised from the puzzle surface and easily grasped by little hands and fingers. Not only will this puzzle help your baby or toddler learn their name, but it also helps them develop motor skills and problem-solving skills. J&P Wood Products also offers a premium puzzle that features your child’s name and the numbers 0-9. When you order you have a choice of primary colors or pastel colors. All paints and coats are non-toxic and safe for children. Dimensions: 4.25″ wide and 12″ – 24″ long (depending on length of name). Meant for children 6 months of age and older.
This makes a fantastic baby shower gift or first birthday gift.
Gifts for Toddlers (1 – 3 Years)
Handmade Custom Superhero Ragdolls
We absolutely love these dolls and have never seen anything like them in stores. La Loba Dolls is based in Hungary and makes these lovely custom handmade ragdolls. Each doll is a superhero and comes with a mask and cape. La Loba Dolls celebrates diversity, offering a variety of skin tones to help children have a sense of self-worth and view themselves as a superhero.
La Loba Dolls makes boy and girl superhero dolls and since they’re handmade they can be customized for any hair color or skin tone combination. This means you can order a doll that looks just like your child by placing a custom order. That makes this a precious gift for any child that feels forlorn because the dolls in stores don’t look like them. This is also a great gift for girls who are into comic books and superheroes. This doll will become a constant companion and best friend to your toddler or kid and makes a unique gift they will cherish.
The dolls are 19″ tall and handmade from cotton fabrics and wool felt and stuffed with hypoallergenic polyfill. Recommended for children 24 months and older.
Lacing Cheese Toy
Another handmade wooden toy for toddlers, this block is crafted to look like a hunk of swiss cheese. Designed to help toddler develop hand eye coordination, fine motorskills, and lacing skills, there is a cotton rope with a wooden needle attached. Your child can lace the rope through the holes in a variety of patterns, helping to develop creativity and problem solving as well.
Recommended for children 12 months of age and older. Made by Wood Store Gifts, their shop is located in Russia (require slightly longer shipping times). They make a variety of handmade gifts for kids, with a focus on educational wooden toys. Their toys are beautifully crafted and completely unique–nothing like the plastic (or even wooden) toys you’ll find in local big box stores. All of their items are sourced from natural and eco-friendly materials so they are safe for children.
Gifts for Preschoolers (3 – 5 Years)
Handmade Wooden Toy Train
Aero1Toys is an Etsy shop that sells a variety of wooden trains and other handmade wood toys for kids, run by a man who has been a professional toymaker for over 29 years. These trains are designed for play without traditional tracks and do not work with other train toys. The lack of track is actually a bonus–it means the train is easier to store and takes up less space, plus it doesn’t limit your child’s play. The cars are connected with a hook and loop system and you can buy additional train cars to make even longer trains. All of the shop’s toys are made from pine, birch, and maple woods in the USA.
The train pictured above is their paint-free train that has no stains, varnishes, or paints and is 19.5″ long. It features a locomotive, flat car, tank car, gondola car, and caboose. The shop also sells trains in a variety of colors and designs, including a circus train set, Army trains, and multi-colored sets. The painted trains feature lead-free finishes that are safe for children.
This train set is meant for children three years of age or older. It does contain small parts that could be a choking hazard for younger kids.
Modular Castle Tower Playset
When most people shop for handmade gifts for kids, they often don’t think of shopping for dollhouses or similar types of playsets. This handmade, wooden playset is a great choice for preschool age and older children. Made by Manzanita Kids in their Seattle workshop, the set is made from sturdy birch plywood, which is eco-friendly. All of their playsets are meant to be modular, meaning they can be assembled and arranged in many different combinations so your child can create a unique playset each day. When they’re done playing, all of the pieces come apart for easy shelf storage.
Because the walls and floors are moveable, this playset is compatible with many sizes of dolls and toys. Your child will have no limit to their creativity or imagination with the castle set. Manzanita Kids makes a variety of wooden playsets like this, including smaller sets that can be used in combination. They also make a variety of other handmade wooden toys for babies and kids. This set is meant for children 3 years of age or older.
Waldorf Hand Kites
This is a surprisingly simple gift that will inspire a lot of fun playtime running around the yard. Just hand your son or daughter these hand kites and they will immediately run and jump as they watch the ribbons dance through the air. These hand kites are a great way to get kids to expend extra energy and creatively move their body and dance. It’s such a magical experience, you may want to dance with them yourself.
Comes in a set of two hand kites. The rings are 2.75″ ride and finished with homemade beeswax wood polish. Each hand kite has six ribbons. The shop sells a variety of color options and also sell them in bulk at a discount perfect for classrooms or birthday parties. Made in the USA by Bright Life Toys. Intended for children 3 years of age or older and should be used under adult supervision.
Gifts for 6 – 10 Year Olds
Handmade Wooden Mancala Board
Mancala is a game that’s played around the world (often called “sowing” or “count and capture games”) that’s perfect for children and adults and it makes a great family game. (You can learn more about the history of mancala at Wikipedia.) The game is played with two players who take turns distributing beads around the board, with the objective of capturing the most stones. Playing the game helps develop counting and strategy skills. This is a great board game to add to your family game night that will become a cherished family heirloom.
This mancala board is made of solid rubberwood and comes with quartz pebble game pieces. Instructions are included if you’re new to the game. Recommended for children 5 years of age or older (not for children under 3 years, because the glass gems are a choking hazard).
Classic Wood Yo-Yo
YoYos are one of those classic toys that most kids become fascinated with in their childhood. And it’s another type of toy that’s been overrun with cheap Chinese plastic versions. Instead, you can buy your child this beautiful wooden yo-yo that will become a precious family heirloom. These handmade wooden yo-yos were created by CNN Designs, an artisan based in Alabama who makes wooden toys and home decor items.. Designed to work like a classic yo-yo, this toy is made from unfinished wood with a star pattern burned on the sides. It’s also a great yo-yo for newbies to learn on.
Intended for children ages 6 years and older. The yo-yo size is 2.25″ diameter and 1″ wide.
Yard Yahtzee! AKA Yardzee!
This is a great game for the summer months that the whole family will love. Made by Creative Bitz, a shop based in New York, they’ve adapted the classic tabletop game Yahtzee to a super-sized yard version. It’s played by the same rules as regular Yahtzee. You’ll roll the oversized yard dice to score combinations and get the highest total score to win the game.
This Yardzee set comes with a bucket for shaking the dice, five large wooden dice, 2 laminated score sheets, and a dry erase marker. The entire set is made to order and can be customized with your choice of color for the dots on the dice and the decals on the bucket. You can also personalize the bucket with a name for an additional fee. This makes a great gift for any Yahtzee fan or for family and kids who love to be outdoors.
Check out more lawn games for family fun.
Looking for more gifts to enrich creative kids? Check out our articles on gifts for aspiring young authors and art gifts for kids and young artists.