Best Handmade Gifts for Kids and Babies

Best Handmade Gifts for Kids and Babies

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

Handmade Custom Superhero RagdollsWe 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

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

Handmade Wooden Toy TrainAero1Toys 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.

Art Sets and Supplies for Young Artists

7 Art Gifts for Kids & Aspiring Young Artists

Art Gifts for Kids & Aspiring Young Artists

If you have a kid or young person in your life who is interested in drawing or painting, you probably want to encourage their artistic inclination. However, it can be tricky to come up with creative and artsy gifts for these aspiring young artists. Luckily there are plenty of art gifts for kids that are fun, inspiring, and perfect for a younger age set that is still learning and exploring their artistic skills.

We’ve rounded up a bunch of these gift ideas for artists in this article. We cover the basics like art supplies and sketchbooks, along with instructional books, and gifts to inspire creativity. While these gifts are targeted at children, many of them work for teens and preteens that love art or are learning to draw and paint for the first time. Check out the gift ideas for young artists below.

Art Gifts for Kids and Young Artists

Art Sets and Supplies

Art Sets and Supplies for Young ArtistsThe first thing a young artist or kid needs to work on their art is art supplies. What you will buy for your aspiring artist depends on their age and interests. For a child who is interested in drawing, you may buy a set of drawing pencils and colored pencils. An older drawer may enjoy pastels, gel pens, or markers. If your young artist wants to paint, there are many sets of watercolors or acrylic paints available.

Find out what mediums your little artist is interested in exploring and buy them the art supplies to help them express themselves. If your child is super new to art or likes doing everything, we have your solution for the perfect art set gift after the jump.

Art 101 Kids 179-Piece Art Set with Easel

If the aspiring artist you need a present for likes all kinds of art, then this is the perfect art set to get. It’s made especially for kids so it’s affordable, has a portable carrying case to keep everything organized, and features enough variety in the 179 pieces to let your young artist try everything.

The supplies in this set include crayons, colored pencils, oil pastels, watercolors, markers, and even paper. It also has a sketching pencil, paintbrush, palette, and sponge. The set also comes with a built-in easel, so your child can work like a “real” artist. This is a great starter set and a good choice if you’re looking for art gifts for kids.


Sketchbook for Young ArtistsOnce your kid has the art supplies they need, they’ll need something to make the art on. Once of the best gifts you can get an aspiring artist who is interested in drawing and painting is a sketch book. This allows them to practice and hone their skills, as well as inspire creativity.

While you may be looking for a certain price point or looking for sketchbooks that have a certain color cover, there’s something more important you should have in mind. You need to make sure the paper in the sketchbook will work with the medium your young artist will use. If they’re just going to sketch and draw with colored pencils you can buy almost any sketchbook. But if they’re going to use charcoal, watercolor, or markers, you must make sure the paper is appropriate for that. There’s a lot of options available, so you’re sure to find something your kid will love.

Dover How to Draw Books for Young Artists

Written specifically for kids and young artists, these drawing books by Barbara Soloff Levy are extremely popular for children learning to draw. They break down complex drawings into simple shapes, helping a kid go from a blank page to a beautiful piece of art, while teaching basic drawing skills that will be the foundation of future art and drawing.

Popular titles in this series include instruction on drawing people, pets, flowers, insects, and more. These books are so affordable, it’s easy to pick up a few of them so your artistic child can learn to draw all of their favorite kinds of things. Pairing these books with a sketch pad and some new pencils makes a great gift for any aspiring young artist.

You Can Draw in 30 Days

This instructional drawing book is targeted at older artists, so it makes a great gift for preteen and teenagers that are too old for the Dover books. Written by Emmy award winning PBS host Mark Kistler, this book gives easy step-by-step instructions to draw over 500 images. The tips and tricks in this book help an artist learn how to create the illusions of depth and three dimensions in any drawing.

While this book can be used at any pace, it’s designed to be done in 20 minutes a day for thirty days. Even busy teens can improve their drawing skills by following these lessons. Anyone can go from no skill at drawing to creating realistic objects, buildings, and even people. This is a great gift for any new artist.

642 Things to Draw: Young Artist’s Edition

Sometimes artists need a little inspiration to fuel their drawings. This book is perfect for that, filled with 642 imaginative and unexpected prompts to sketch and draw meant specifically for young artists. Prompts include creative ideas like “purple lightning,” “baking Olympics,” and “a porcupine with a blue Mohawk.”

Each page is a blank canvas with a simple prompt written in plain text. It’s up to the artist to let their imagination fill the page. All they need are pencils, crayons, or markers and a little creativity. In the end, this book will become a precious keepsake of their drawings and art.

There’s also a version of this book for young writers.

Pocketdoodles for Young Artists

This pocket sized books is great for inspiring young artists on the go. This prompt book focuses less on developing artistic skills and more on developing creativity and having fun. The prompt pages feature half finished pictures, story prompts, or simple drawing prompts.

The Pocketdoodle books make unique art gifts for kids because it works for a lot of different types of creativity, and it’s good for young writers as well. Pocketdoodles is great for road trips and long plane rides, keeping your kid busy and creative. Plus, if they love this one, there’s a whole series of Pocketdoodle books to keep inspiring their imagination.

Is the young person you’re shopping for also interested in writing? We have a bunch of unique and fun gifts for young writers.

Need more gift ideas for your children or grandchildren? Check out these articles:
Weather gifts for kids

Yoga and meditation gifts for kids

Space and astronomy gifts for kids

Gardening gifts for kids

Best hoverboards for kids

Activity trackers for kids

The best action cameras for kids

15 Amazing Gift Ideas for Aspiring Young Writers

Amazing Gift Ideas for Aspiring Young Writers
Many young writers aren’t quite sure where to start. Or they know where to start, but haven’t had any opportunity yet for formal instruction in creative writing (beyond what a school teacher can give them). Luckily, there are scads of resources written by professional writers to nurture the young writer and help grow their talent. We’ve gathered together some of the best inspirational books for aspiring authors along with fun and creative gifts to help them write and get their stories on the page. These gifts can also help them grow their thinking and problem-solving skills and learn how to express themselves more easily.

Gifts for Young Writers and Aspiring Authors

1. Letters to a Young Artist

Anna Deavere Smith, actress and playwright extraordinaire, offers advice to young artists from high school age to adult in this sometimes-funny sometimes-heartfelt tome. Smith shares anecdotes from her own life as a writer and artist, and also shares struggles she overcame during her decades-long career. This book is meant not only for young aspiring writers but also “performers, actors, and artists of every kind.”

This book will make an inspiring gift and give great insight on how Anna persevered and built a successful career and reached her goals and dreams.

2. Before They Were Authors: Famous Writers as Kids

It can be hard for kids to imagine one day being a grown and successful author, but this book makes it a little easier to relate to big names. Written for kids 10 years old and older, this graphic novel tells us about the childhoods of now famous authors like Maya Angelou, Roald Dahl, and J.K. Rowling. Covering their struggles and their triumphs, this book not only educates the reader about the lives of these writers, but also shows the hard work that goes into a successful career. Inspiring, fun, and insightful for aspiring authors.

3. The Storymatic Kids

The Storymatic Kid - Gifts for Aspiring Authors

This creativity game for adults now has a version for kids that’s perfect for young writers. Storymatic is a box of cards that works like an inspiration machine. You use the 360 cards by drawing them at random and trying to form stories from the cards. You never know where the story will go or how these cards will stretch your imagination.

These cards can be used solo by a writer working on a new story or as a game for the group. And youngsters aren’t limited to writing stories with the ideas. It can be used to inspiring drawings, songs, plays, or even more. When used as a game it’s great for families, friends, and even passing the time on road trips. Adults will have as much fun as kids when they play Storymatic. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

4. Future Best Selling Author T-shirt

Inspire the aspiring author in your life with this fun t-shirt. This shirt boldly proclaims: “Future Best Selling Author.” This is a fantastic gift for young writers because it shows them that you support their writing and you know they have a future full of amazing stories and novels ahead of them.

Printed on 100% cotton shirts, available in men’s, women’s, and kid’s sizes. Available colors: black, blue, red, brown, and purple.

5. 6 in 1 Retractable Pen

A good pen is a great way to inspire a writer to get some writing done, and this pen is a lot of fun for young writers. It’s actually six pens in one–the barrel holds six different colors of 0.5mm ballpoint pens. The different colors are perfect for brainstorming, drafting, or even editing.

Check out more unique pens for writers.

6. The I Love To Write Book: Ideas & Tips for Young Writers

Reccomended for ages 9-14, The I Love To Write Book offers writing exercises, tips, and techniques for young writers to hone their craft. This book offers information about how to start writing a story (as well as poetry, book reviews, news articles), write compelling characters, and even how to revise writing and get your work published.

It also includes inspirational quotes about writing from authors of young adult fiction. Inspiring the budding writer in your life with this awesome gift.

7. Rory’s Story Cubes Set

These fun cubes were originally created to foster creativity in younger writers. These story cubes are for when you’re stumped trying to come up with a new story idea or they make a fun game. The dice feature illustrations drawn on each side. To play, simply roll the dice and try to create a story idea incorporating all of images. Sometimes it requires really stretching your imagination to make all of the elements come together.

The Story Cubes can be played as a game or used by an aspiring author to break their writer’s block and get a new story idea. There are many themed sets available to match the interests of your young writer. Recommended for ages 8 and up.

8. LapGear MyDesk Lap Desk

Writers can’t control where creativity strikes and a good lap desk allows them to work almost anywhere. Whether they’re outside, on the couch, or even in the car, this lap desk makes it easy to write or draw by hand. It’s also big enough to work on a tablet or laptop on it.

9. The Amazing Story Generator Writing Prompts

Sometimes the biggest struggle for a young writer is coming up with an original story idea. The Amazing Story Generator is the perfect anecdote to writer’s block. Colorful and wacky, this prompt book is perfect for kids and young writers.

This is how it works: the book is spiral bound with three sections on each “page” that turn independently. The three parts are situations, characters, and events. Those three elements can be flipped to numerous story prompt possibilities.

Some example prompts:

  • On New Year’s Eve, an unsuccessful comedian is transported to another galaxy.
  • In a post-apocalyptic world, a gold prospector assumes a new identity.
  • Upon winning the lottery, a reformed hit man meets the ghost of Ernest Hemingway.

This story prompt book is great for young authors and adult writers as well. This book will help inspire your young writer with thousands of exciting and unexpected story ideas.

10. Novelist at Work sign

Now here’s a very cute idea for a younger writer: A “Novelist at Work” sign. Or heck, even an older writer with a sense of humor. It’s no secret that writers often take inspiration from the real world, and this sign makes that plain.

Designed in the same familiar style as other “WARNING” signs, it reads “Warning: Novelist at Work – Bystanders may be written into the story.” It measures a foot long by 8 inches wide. This sign is great for decorating a bedroom or office and signifying a dedicated writing space.

11. 642 Things to Write About: Young Writer’s Edition

Writer’s block beware!

This great guide for 8 to 12 year olds provides a wealth of writing exercises for any young writer. With prompts ranging from “create a haiku about your shoes” to “write a to-do list for a villain,” the aspiring young writer in your life won’t run out of ideas, or at least won’t run out of ideas anytime soon. This book describes itself as “the ultimate playground for imaginative children.”

Adult writers, don’t be jealous, there’s a version for you too: 642 Things to Write About.

12. Illustory Make Your Own Book Kit

There’s no better way to really inspire and support a young writer than giving them the gift of publishing their own book. This kit has everything you need for your child to make their own storybook. They write and illustrate the story and then you mail it in and receive a professionally bound hardcover book. Your child will be featured as the author on the back cover.

This gift not only gives your child the chance to be published but also creates a beautiful memento that will be even more meaningful when they’re a successful author when they’re older. Recommended age 6+.

13. Spilling Ink: A Young Writer’s Handbook

Spilling Ink has been called one of the best books on writing for young adults aged 9 to 14 out there.

It contains 288 pages of ideas and tips for young writers, in an easily readable format. With chapters like “Now we get to the weird stuff: plot” and “Is it really this simple?” Spilling Ink also offers advice on how to journal and name your characters.

Unlike other books, it doesn’t offer “exercises” but instead calls its writing prompts “dares.” Note that this book also contains illustrations.

14. Recycled Book Journals

Sneetches Recycled Book Journal Gift

Many young writers are inspired by books they’ve read in their childhood. Now you can give them a gift that helps bring that creative inspiration directly to their writing. Tell Another Story takes old books and recycles them into spiral bound journals.

Filled with 60 pages of unlined pages, these journals are perfect for writing stories, drawing illustrations, or just sketching. This is the kind of fun gift a young writer will really enjoy.

15. Cici’s Journal: The Adventures of a Writer-in-Training

Aspiring writers 8 to 12 will relate to Cici. In this graphic novel, Cici dreams of being a novelist while solving mysteries. She keeps a notebook recounting her adventures as she observes the people around her and tries to discover their secrets.

The graphic novel is presented with pages from Cici’s journal, scrapbook pieces, and her own doodles. An inspiring and imaginative story budding writers will enjoy.

Is your young writer also interested in drawing or art? Check out gift ideas for kids and aspiring artists.

Help encourage the young write in your life with these writing activities for kids.

Need more gift ideas for your children or grandchildren? Check out these articles:
Gifts for aspiring filmmakers
Weather gifts for kids
Space and astronomy gifts for kids
Gardening gifts for kids
Gifts for aspiring artists
Best hoverboards for kids
Activity trackers for kids
The best action cameras for kids