Inspiring finds for kids
Isn’t it interesting that there is evidence of people making toys for children to play with in almost every civilisation throughout history? Yet we’re often taught to dampen our imaginations as we grow older. I believe items made for children should be full of magic and created with kindness. That’s why I always turn to small businesses like these; bursting with originality and innovation. Here, you’ll find everything from stereotype-busting prints and clothes for future artists, to curated art kits and more, all with playfulness, joy or learning at the heart. Just wait till you read the stories behind them, too. It won’t just be the minis who are smiling.
Acorn & Pip
Yorkshire-based Acorn & Pip is a celebration of ‘bricks and clicks’ retail theatre for the minis in our lives. A carefully curated retail space, play centre, and café all under one beautiful roof.
Annual Store is an eco concious design-led brand founded by Faye. Beautifully curated, and synonymous with the instantly recognisable ‘Home S’Cool’ slogan that took Instagram by storm in 2020.
Dating back to 1880, Benjamin Pollock’s Toy Shop is a children’s wonderland, creating magic with toy theatres, shadow boxes and puppets.
The brainchild of Kristina Currie, Bon Tot is a curated kids clothing store championing circular fashion with the first Buy Back program for independent clothing brands.
Book of Deer
A beautifully illustrated collection of swaddle blankets celebrating iconic women and exemplary men by textile designer and founder of Book of Deer, Eilidh.
Beginning as a way to help build her daughter’s confidence after she experienced racism at school, Serlina launched the UK’s first magazine to celebrate, empower and inspire young Black girls: Cocoa Girl.
Clarkes Closet handmakes rag dolls and children’s accessories in many different skin tones, so that all children can find themselves represented in the collection. They also use local, fair trade suppliers and upcycle where possible.
Fable Heart creates long lasting dress up clothes, that encourage meaningful play, in the most enchanting way. In a costume industry full of throw-away items, they stand out with their dedication to making sure each piece lasts for generations.
Designed for minis, Fabled is an inspiring place to create and share their stories. The platform and its books help children fall in love with creative writing and offers tales and storytelling advice from authors aged 2-12 (while they’re at their magical best).
Magnificent Stanley is home to the original, beautiful, personalised Liberty print t-shirts and gifts for babies and children. Lovingly made in East Sussex.
Lots of Lovely Art
LoLA founders Alara and Selina, are passionate about engaging children of all ages in art, and so created interactive boxes to create artist inspired masterpieces at home.
Molly Meg is a design-led children’s shop offering a wide range of innovative finds for kids. From truly original furniture and homeware to stylish party supplies and gifts, it’s likely to make mums and dads just as happy as it will the little ones.
Not Just Nibbles
Founder Danielle wants to encourage children to cook more, and give them all they need to develop a healthy relationship with food because it can help us see, think and feel better. So she makes clever culinary subscription kit boxes for kids.
Pattern Loves Print
Children’s clothes with a modern twist unlike anything you will see on the high street. Pattern Loves Print handmake sustainable, vintage children’s fashion designed to stand out from the crowd.
A resource and active community, led by founder Claire, to equip anyone caring for babies and young children with all the tools, inspiration and resources to encourage play in the early months and years.
A truly magical brand with direct links to the North Pole and the big man himself. The Polar Post office is designed to transport children to another world, to a land where anything is possible.
A treasure trove of beautifully made, organic and sustainable children’s toys and clothing, Sea Whistle makes us all wish we were five again.
Stib stands for ‘Spark Thinking in a Box’ and founder Emily creates positive products designed to get children talking and thinking about their dreams, feelings, worries and plans.
The Crayon Bug
The Crayon Bug is founded by mum of two, Rebs, who uses her art degree background to create truly beautiful and uniquely-shaped crayon sets, to delight children and grown-ups alike.
The Little Worne Store
London College of Fashion graduate Brittani founded her brilliant business in lockdown. She makes beautifully hand-knitted and hand-embroidered personalised cardigans, jumpers and accessories, that you might just fall in love with.
The Wood Life Project
Passionate about quality and sustainability, Hazel and Jimmy create beautiful, innovative, fun and practical wooden items for everyday use.
Launched in the 2020 pandemic, dad of two Tom created Wonderwalls, a brand full of fun and inspiring prints and products designed to encourage kids to embrace their individuality.
Young Double is a small batch printing brand founded by Rox. They create and curate clothes that say something about who we are, that we can all relate to and feel good wearing.