The cliche is true; good things do come in small packages. While we hate to lump them together—but also find it funny—some of our favorite small ones happen to fall in the children and pets categories. Both offer unconditional love, plenty of laughs and the occasional mess. And it’s important that they know, year ’round, our love and appreciation as well. Here, we’ve selected some of the best gifts for the little ones in your life—from games to puzzles, treats, toys and treasures. Take a look at our full BUY guide for more.
Fire Captain Rocking Toy
Forever a staple in children’s rooms (or playrooms), a rocking toy encourage imagination and physical activity. With Rosenberry Rooms’ high-end (but not obscenely priced) options, one finds bright hand-painted colors atop premium carved wood. The fire engine 01 model ($156) happens to be our favorite and encourages anyone over the age of two to be a hero.
What We See in the Stars
Beautifully illustrated by artist Kelsey Oseid, the new hardcover “What We See in the Stars: An Illustrated Tour of the Night Sky” ($11) explores the long-lasting human fascination with outer space. From identifying and explaining the constellations to myths, stories, science and more, the book contains 100+ hand-painted images. For kids and adults alike, it’s a delightful trip into the cosmos.
Unlike any other desk we’ve seen, Soren Rose Studio’s creation (made for Homris) has a clear aquarium in the middle. Made from acrylic, the cube-shaped aquarium ($264) appears to be floating somehow, and will transform any office space.
Pet Travel Tote
Available in small or medium, Mr Dog’s tote bag ($260) makes it easy to travel around town with a pet. Super-soft and cushioned, the bag has a dense latex foam interior that offers comfort to the creature within. The exterior boasts a camo print, and the entire product is washable. There’s also an attached leash to make sure your dog (or cat) doesn’t get away.
3D Printing Pen
With the most popular iteration of the 3Doodler, dubbed the 3Doodler Create ($99), over 100 modifications have led to the most impressive 3D printing pen thus far. It produces colorful, heated non-toxic plastic that instantly hardens—allowing users to draw in 3D. Among the updates were a simplified control system that makes it a more intuitive—and precise—product to use. This is for all doodlers who dream outside of a page of paper. The brand also has a pro-model and one for much younger kids.
Designed by Hunter Craighill, the Jack Puzzle ($95) feels just at home in the hands of child as it does on the desk of someone working in a creative field. Crafted from brass, the game involves six notched bars, interlocked in a very specific—if not challenging—order. It also doesn’t occupy all that much space—though it certainly offers great distraction.
Made from sheet steel that’s folded and powder-coated, this pet board ($79) is the perfect snoozing spot for cats who like to climb. It’s lightweight and comes with everything needed to install. Further, the minimal shape and simple colorways (smoky blue or white) mean the design pairs well with all styles. Plus, it will free up a little floor space. Price is in Euros.
Crimson Winter Toile
With a classy, crimson and white nature patterning on high quality fabrics, this Howl + Hound premium crafted bandana ($14) makes for a seasonal accessory. Each bandana is made to order in Brooklyn and quantities are limited. In no way twee or tacky, the refined pattern here really makes all the difference.
Clue 3D Luxury Edition
From WS Game Company, an offshoot of Hasbro tasked with stylish, contemporary upgrades to heritage games, comes a 3D version of the classic Clue ($168). In fact, the game is a 3D-wood cabinet version of the mansion with each room of activity displayed beneath a tempered glass top. Wood character movers meet plated die-cast weapons. Decorative metal plaques round out the premium attributes. It’s a beautiful way to play a game so many know and love.
Snuggle Pod Footmuff
For keeping babies warm when strolling, nothing tops the soft cozy feel of pure sheepskin. Elks & Angels use 100% Australian sheepskin in their footmuff ($260), using a nylon outer shell to resist wind, rain and stains. Scandinavian wood toggles add a dose of style and the design is compatible with all five-point stroller harnesses. Last but not least, it unzips flat so you can use it as a playmat—or in a pinch, a blanket.
With a sweet kitty sitting atop the lid, Miriam Mirri’s cat food jar ($32)—designed for Alessi—is both functional and charming. The vessel is made from glass, while the lid is thermoplastic resin—available in black or yellow. It measures just under 11 inches in height.
Waterproof Dog Coat
After making high-performance rainwear for humans, Cleverhood has begun making coats for dogs. Their pooch coats ($89) are durable, waterproof and warm—thanks to a heavy-duty exterior and a lined interior. Completely washable, they come in five different sizes so dogs of all types can enjoy a run in the rain.
Stackable Popsicle Molds
Made from BPA-free platinum silicone, this set of four stackable popsicle molds ($18) is practical and kind to the environment. Create all kinds of flavored frozen treats (including healthier options) on your own or take tips from the accompanying recipe booklet that includes ideas for lactose- and gluten-free options. Dishwasher-safe and ideal for summer months, they are available from the MoMA Store.
For little ones just learning to ride, this bike is pedal-free—encouraging kids to figure out the balance of a two-wheeler before attempting the real thing. Made for children around the age of three and up, the Balance Bike ($139) comes almost completely assembled and has seat and handlebar adjustments in order to change as your child grows. The minimal design is available in green, pink, powder blue or red.
Images courtesy of respective brands