If you’ve got a child in your life and want to give them a special gift, experience or memory this holiday season, check out these unique – and local – ideas.
Sparrow Stitches' handiwork is the definition of homemade. Handmade in Lianne’s home, her sewn projects are a delight to children of all ages. Crafting both reusable advent calendars and custom children's aprons, her work adds fun and function to the holidays and mealtimes year-round. Lianne expertly crafts each piece from 100 per cent cotton fabrics, choosing coordinating pieces for bright pops of colour and seasonable embellishments. Practically speaking, thoughtful details on the aprons like roomy pockets – because what kid doesn’t love pockets? – and neck straps secured with D-links (for easy removal and to avoid a choking hazard) make them an ultra-kid-friendly choice. Let your little helper gear up in style with these custom, washable, and reusable fabric crafts. Custom order via email or Instagram or shop in-store at Rustic Daisies.
Masked Cuddle Buddy
Cuddle up with Bekki, a hand-sewn raccoon stuffie with plenty of grumpy charm. Lovingly created by Hamilton artist Kristy Woudstra, each unique Bekki is made from recycled materials to inspire play and wonder and reflects her passion for sustainability. Despite her resting grump face, Bekki loves exploring new foods and bath time fun. She cares deeply about her habitat and sparks joy in kids and adults alike. Bring home this quirky, eco-friendly character for snuggles, giggles, and tales of adventure.
Give the gift of presence and connection this season at the Always Connected Family Room. This fun and inclusive hub encourages creative play and connection for children of all abilities along with their caregivers. Built for parents by parents, the Family Room provides a hub for quality time, skill-building, development, and peer interaction (both parents and kids). Gift a session or a membership that will help families connect more through play
SEE THE COMPREHENSIVE HCM GIFT GUIDE HERE!
Let your little acorn's sense of wonder bloom at the Royal Botanical Gardens. The Oaks and Acorns Nature playgroup immerses two to five year olds in outdoor exploration and discovery. Held mornings in the Natural Play Space, this program taps into young imaginations through nature walks, storytelling and hands-on play. Kids are free to move, create and explore while making connections with the natural world. Expert-led activities like loose parts play, spark curiosity and foster a lifelong love of the outdoors. Share precious bonding moments with your little oak as they learn about plants, animals and ecology at the RBG.
Nurture your child's creativity with Play with Clay's pottery classes. Emphasizing hands-on fun and the joy of making, Play with Clay unlocks clay's possibilities for artistic play and skill-building. Their relaxed, encouraging environment helps kids gain confidence working with clay and exploring artistic expression. Budding potters learn fundamentals like wheel throwing, hand building techniques, and glazing through discovery-based instruction. With clay's forgiving nature, kids are free to make mistakes and find solutions while creating. At the end of the class, they'll have developed new skills and awesome handmade pottery
Send your pint-sized daredevil skyward with an extra special toy from Citizen Kid. The Extreme Parachutist, is an affordable and imaginative gift option that launches a colourful character up, up, and away before gently floating them back to earth. With a quality-made matching parachute and a cord that won't tangle, this super trooper is ready for open-ended play and adventure. As Hamilton's home for unique, high-quality playthings that inspire lasting fun, Citizen Kid curates toys to provide hours of laughs and learning. The Extreme Parachutist is ready to bring thrills and skills for kids ages 3 and up, but if it’s not up your alley, their selection of thoughtful toys can’t be beat!
Give your favourite little elf something cozy to cuddle this season with KPG Knits' darling, handmade stuffies. Lovingly hand-knit, each snuggly creation features charming facial expressions that make them impossible not to snuggle. These sweet toys start as a labor of love – first imagined by Kristine, the creator of the homegrown brand, then brought to life stitch-by-stitch. A variety of stuffies are available and custom stuffies are available for order with only a week turnaround time. A KPG Knits original makes a thoughtful, feel-good gift that recipients will treasure for years.
Local teacher and singer-songwriter Bruce Simpson's heartwarming tale "Paislee and the Talking Tree" celebrates the magic of friendship, trust, and listening. When a little girl discovers her neighbour's tree can talk, a touching bond forms between the two. Whimsical illustrations by Hamilton artist Rae Bates capture their playful connection. This charming adventure about finding friendship in your own backyard comes to life through Simpson's original song. ASL, French ASL, and braille versions are also available.
Keep your little one cozy and stylish with adorable new threads from Piper’s Closet. Created by moms with a passion for children's apparel, Piper's Closet offers laidback looks made for playtime and everyday wear. This jogger set bundles up fashion and function in one outfit, making it a perfect gift any time of year. Though it's especially good for keeping chubby arms and legs cozy in the winter weather. With its thoughtful details and gender-neutral versatility, it's an insta-worthy wardrobe win
Kids In The Kitchen
Cook up confidence in the kitchen with Little Kitchen Academy's Montessori-inspired cooking classes. The age-based curriculum teaches 3-18 year olds practical skills and food literacy during fun, immersive, and highly relevant 3-hour sessions. For at-home practice, LKA's first-of-its-kind progressive knife set lets kids hone culinary talents safely. The 2 smaller knives feature stainless steel blades and rubberized, non-slip handles and rounded tips. The larger two are suitable for the whole family, making it a worthwhile investment for all. Most importantly, buyers get access to knife skills videos that are demonstrated by kids of all ages. Empower budding chefs to gain competence and joy in cooking and foster a lifelong love of healthful, made-from-scratch food.