A garden oasis and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River

From The Shop: Staff Picks for the Holidays—Gifts for Children

Jenah Barry, Retail Manager of The Shop at Wave Hill, brings to the position the sensibilities of artist and floral designer.

As a mom, one of my greatest delights is sharing in my daughter’s adventures and her sense of wonder as she explores the world. Wave Hill is an idyllic setting for childhood, and our programming offers so many wonderful opportunities for kids to explore nature and their own creativity. Some of my favorite products in The Shop are children’s gifts. As someone who believes in the magic of the season, it was really lovely to put together this list of some of my favorites:

To nurture an early love of reading, we have a beautiful collection of books to inspire your little ones. Lois Elhert’s beautifully illustrated books—Waiting for Wings, Leaf Man, Hands: Growing up to Be an Artist and Planting a Rainbow—all encourage creativity and a meaningful connection with nature. Charlie Harper’s charming graphic illustrations of the natural world are delightful in educational board books, puzzles and coloring books.

Eeboo is a fantastic toy company;  their products continually win multiple Oppenheim Toy Portfolio awards. We always have a wide range of their toys in stock. Customer favorites include About Face, a puzzle by artist Saxton Freymann. It provides kids with photographs of objects found on the streets of New York to arrange in endless expressive faces. Another favorite is Tot Tower’s stacking and nesting blocks for your toddler’s joy, a variety of arts and crafts projects which, like Wave Hill’s Family Art Project, provide hours of fun indoors while the weather is cold outside. And lastly sweet Paper Dolls. Take your cue from the Winter Workspace artists at Wave Hill and select the ‘Artist and Musician’ pair, or follow our horticulturalists and choose the ‘Explorer and Naturalist’ doll set.

Maileg’s toys are full of old-world charm and appear to have stepped straight out of a fairy tale. They have sweet little toys, including boy and girl elves, angel bunnies and a delightful deer. These elegantly designed toys put a smile on my face!

A precious dish set for little ones includes a plate, bowl, spoon, cup and toadstool egg holder with little poetic tales. A favorite:  Bunny Green went up the hill near the sun where he sowed the seeds and watered the earth, After some sunny and rainy days, and a full moon night he pulled up  the green top and a fine carrot came up. Best of all this pretty dish set is made of sturdy, unbreakable melamine.

I am a huge fan of wooden Plan Toys. This local company uses a mindful selection of materials and processes to enhance children’s development in an eco-friendly way. Responsible and environmentally sensitive materials include soy ink, non-toxic glue, water-based dyes, organic paint, chemical free rubberwood and other recycled and recyclable materials. They even use alternative energy in their manufacturing and support a reforestation program. Their beautifully designed toys are charming and fun! Choose from the ‘Ladybug bead rattle,’ ‘Bumblebee beeper,’ ‘Butterfly mirror,’ ‘Mushroom Kaleidoscope,’ ‘Toadstool Pounder,’  humorous ‘Pull-along snail’  and musical toys that really sound great—I promise! The ‘Melody Xylophone’ produces notes true to scale and the ‘Wooden Drum’ has a wonderful ,warm tone. We have so many outstanding concerts at Wave Hill and these instruments are meaningful gifts to encourage your kids’ love of music

Finally we have a great selection of gifts under $10 for kids. These include bubbles, bird whistles, kaleidoscopes, binoculars, crayons and other treats, childhood classics which make perfect stocking stuffers!

Seasons greetings.  I look forward to seeing you at Wave Hill!


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