If you’re in the market for a soft, safe animal friend for the little person in your life, look no further than Bears for Humanity. The company’s 12” and 16” organic teddy bears are hand-sewn in the U.S., hypoallergenic, and made from organic cotton, which means they’re free of harmful plastics, chemicals, or dyes. For every bear purchased, Bears for Humanity donates one to a child in need. If your child wants a pal who’s a touch more exotic, the company’s Animal Pals collection offers 14 options, everything from a shark or dinosaur to a penguin or patriotic eagle, all made from the same organic materials as their teddy bear peers. $25. bearsforhumanity.com.
Lights…camera…creativity! Spark some big-time dreams in your child with Smartphone Movie Maker by Bryan Michael Stoller. This unique kit offers a 48-page essential guide to making movies on a smartphone, outlining easy-to-follow tips, techniques, and instructions for ages 8-12. Even better, the box transforms into a lens-fitted film projector into which you slot a smartphone and show the film. Also included in the kit are a storyboarding book to sketch out a shot-by-shot breakdown; card sheets to make a retro popcorn box; and pre-printed tickets to invite family and friends to the premiere. candlewick.com $22.99.
The toy farm is a staple of many play rooms, so why not purchase one that is a little more Earth- and child-friendly? Green Toys’ Farm Playset includes a barn, pick-up truck, farmer, fences, and animals, and it’s made in the U.S. from 100% recycled plastic without BPA, phthalates, or PVC. Even better, all pieces fit inside the barn for easy cleanup, it’s packaged with recycled and recyclable materials printed with soy inks, and it’s even dishwasher safe! $49.99. greentoys.com.
The How To Draw Cool Stuff series by art teacher and professional artist Catherine V. Holmes guides readers through the basic principles of illustration by concentrating on easy-to-learn shapes that build into complex drawings. The series — How To Draw Cool Stuff; How To Draw Cool Stuff: Shading, Textures and Optical Illusions; and How To Draw Cool Stuff: Holidays, Seasons and Events — offers lessons on creating shading and texture for more realistic artistic renderings; step-by-step tutorials on drawing fun and beloved characters; valuable lessons in how to make drawing easier and more fun; and more. $18.99 and up. howtodrawcoolstuff.com.
It’s the next generation of protective outlet covers, but with a new twist. Easy-to-install, SnapPower SafeLight transforms any outlet into a child friendly night-light with a built-in sensor that automatically turns on and off based on lighting in the area. The SafeLight is equipped with sliding outlet covers, which help prevent children from electrical shocks and hazards, yet keep your outlets available when you need them. $17. snappower.com.