The choice wasn’t easy, but we’ve settled on our very best toy picks for the 2014 holiday season based on quality, uniqueness and value. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do! Don’t miss the other categories in this year’s guide or our big toy giveaway! Find them both here.
Talk about a fairy tale! We can’t tell you how much we love this amazing, wooden castle from master craftsman David Smalley of Elves and Angels. Its distinctive design, gorgeous construction, large size and functional drawbridge make it an heirloom quality piece that is well worth the investment. The deluxe set pairs the castle with a full compliment of Fortress Walls. These two items together only increase the imaginative fun that is sure to come from playing with such high quality, made in the USA items!
This gorgeous crane is huge and so well made it sure to provide many years of creative fun. Kids will delight in being able to actually pick up and deliver objects during play! Made in Germany of beechwood.
We’ve been blessed to have reviewed many small dolls over the years here at Mothering, and these amazing little finds are the most gorgeous and well made we have ever seen. The construction is super strong, the materials natural and simple, and the detail astounding. They are a joy to hold and will give any gift giver some serious pride. Each doll is handmade in the US by a talented craftwoman and is a unique work of art. This set is a family of four, with the mom holding a fifth little darling. Look for more examples from this line elsewhere in our guide.
It’s no secret here at Mothering that we love Bamboletta Dolls. Unsurpassed in quality and created from 100% natural materials, these sweeties are handmade by a small team of moms with lots of love and attention. Each lovely girl or boy is a delightfully detailed, truly one of a kind friend with his or her own unique personality. The little ladies are seriously sought after though, so they do sell out very quickly. If you are interested in buying one make sure to visit their website and read their instructions for how to secure a doll.
- $130 and up from Bamboletta
Create a picture with these markers and then use the magic wand to transform the colors. Or write a secret, invisible message with the wand and reveal it with one of the many color options. These sturdy and long lasting markers are a unique way to provide hours of creative fun at just about any age.
This gorgeous wooden street roller is truly a one of a kind construction toy. Made by skilled craftsman out of maple and beechwood it is sturdy and ready for play.
We love these blocks! The sizes, shapes and colors are just right for building towns, towers and train stations! Made in Poland, the large set comes in a handy wooden box for storage.
There are as many reasons to love the new YOXOBug as their are pieces in this creative set. Kids can create a huge 3 foot long dragonfly and then use the durable 100% recycled links to build an endless array of other items. Add in items from around the house, such a paper towel tubes and food containers, to increase the fun and possibilities. Awesome price and made in the USA!
This magical mobile is made from 100% merino wool felt right here in the USA. Each mobile is made by hand with care to ensure that your little one has a truly special gift this holiday season. Several varieties available.
This tiny train and tender are made of sustainable pine in Minnesota and are sure to add an extra spark of excitement to any floor play. A perfect stocking stuffer or reasonably priced gift for toddlers and older children.
Another new addition to the Green Toys line, this train set comes in two color options and is sized right for small hands. Sturdy and offered at a great price, you’ll love gifting this 100% recycled toy.
A knight like no other! Finely crafted and ready for any fairy tale castle, kids young and old will delight to play with this special friend.
What a fun gift for the dollie lover in your family. This cute set comes with a diaper bag, a quilted changing pad, two dolly diapers, and a soft cotton wipe. Handmade with care in the US.
If you’re looking to splurge a bit on a wooden toy kitchen this year, this exquisite option is not to be missed. Made with your choice of maple or pine and backed with birch, the quality of this kitchen is unsurpassed. Each one of these heavy duty cooking centers is handmade in Maine by master toymaker David Smalley. Standing 40″ tall and 28″ deep, it is plenty large for more than one child to play with simultaneously. A sink and stove, oven, cabinet, counter space and two gorgeous styled shelves make this kitchen functional and beautiful to look at.
The Matryoshka doll from Little DeMoura Designs is a beautifully crafted doll at a great price. This huggable girl is the perfect size for toddlers and offers a choice of several colorful hair colors and dress designs. Constructed from 100% cotton, handmade in the USA. Two sizes–the smaller version is also a rattle.
This new kit from A Child’s Dream will allow older children to create two magical winter fairies. It’s an art project and toy all in one! No sewing required and the materials are all natural, including the acorn caps.
The possibilities for play are seemingly endless with this silk scape from Sarah’s Silks. Use it in a fort, on a castle, as a cape or as a dress…you get the idea.
What a unique idea from A Toy Garden. This doll is designed to be completely washable, a must for toddlers who put their toys through so much! 13″ tall and handmade in California, this sweet dollie is sure to delight.
Looking to bring some science into your home? Need a way to spread the gift giving throughout the whole year? This is the perfect combo. Subscribe and you’ll get an exciting and educational science experiment kit in the mail every month, or buy the kits individually. Best for older children.
A classic toy with a safe twist. This wooden slingshot is just the right size for kids three and up and comes with a canvas bag to contain the many colorful wool felt balls. Made in the USA.
This teether rattle is as simple as it gets, but that’s what makes it so special. This toy is made in Oregon of remnant wood, meaning no living trees are ever cut down for production. It’s eco through and through. Perfect!