Nobody wants their child to be a material girl in a material world, but we can’t help ourselves when it comes to spoiling our little ones with gifts. In this article, Geraint Bojé created a gift guide for kids to showcase some fun and quirky local creators and their creations. From utensils to necessities, this list will hopefully make your shopping easier.
Have we missed any of your favourite spots? Please let us know in the comments below or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Colour Me Kids came to fruition when Kylee, an early-childhood teacher, and her husband saw there was a need to help kids express themselves.
The central notion was that the limited colours available in any standard box of crayons or felt-tip markers left a sense of “We are more than just peach or brown in colour”. So, Colour Me Kids took it upon themselves to create crayons and pencils that grant kids the ability to draw themselves without having to mix and match a hundred colours before getting the right tone.
After the success of the art supplies, Colour Me Kids branched out to cute puzzles for kids and of course the ultimate favourite for most children, the colouring book. These products encourage kids to express themselves and aid them in demonstrating their individuality. This company, or rather fun partnership, really created “stationery for the skin you’re in.”
Where: 80 Sandpiper Cres, Flamingo Vlei, Cape Town
When: Fri: 1pm – 4pm | Sat: 10:30am – 4pm
DreamHeartsSA is a company based in Milnerton that started during the initial weeks of the Lockdown in SA. As most people know, it was an extremely tough time for businesses (big or small) and entrepreneurs. Sticking to the theme of dreaming, instead of giving in, the founder decided to dream big and start their own business.
The company creates customised wooden toys ideal for newborns. These gifts can be educational or entertaining and fun, and range from puzzles, lamps or simply storage space for all the “firsts” the kids will experience. The latter refers to Dreamheart’s best-selling product known as a Dream Box.
The gifts are locally made from 12mm birch plywood. They are kept in their natural wooden look to emphasise the non-toxic element. However, when opting for colour (as found in the puzzles) the wooden letters are either dipped in food colourant or hand painted with ProNature’s natural non-toxic paint. Depending on whether you choose the Pastel or Rainbow colour option.
Where: 6 Algoa Rd, Milnerton, Cape Town
When: Mon – Fri: 9am – 5pm
Founded in 2010 by Anke Scheffel (one of Naartjie Clothing’s lead designers) Eco-Punk is a proudly South African and locally made clothing brand. With entrepreneur Chris Hoffman, and designer Kirstin Sham, the business has grown substantially one hand-made item at a time.
Eco-punk does not import any of the fabrics or designs. This means that all of the fabrics used in their clothing are locally sourced, natural and breathable materials. Therefore, it ensures that the items they make are eco-friendly, high-quality, durable, and can be handed down once the wearer outgrows them.
With the confidence of the kids at heart, Eco-punk wants every kid to feel comfortable when running, jumping, climbing, playing, or just being themselves in their attire. The clothes range from jumpsuits, comfy pants, hoodies, board shorts and button-up shirts.
Want to wear matching outfits with the kiddos? Take a look at their range for Mommy-and-Me and Daddy-and-Me specifically made for such an occasion.
Where: 77 Main Rd, Kalk Bay, Cape Town
When: All week: 9am – 5pm
Do you have a love for plush toys? Did you ever wish to own one but could never get the claw of those big toy-catching machines at the exact angle? Or perhaps you managed to get the claw machine angled correctly but the laws of physics failed you once the claw reached the top and dropped the toy as it shuddered against the roof of the glass container. Well, Shongololo Toys might just be the answer for you.
Shongololo Toys are handcrafted plush toys made with the best locally sourced materials. The shweshwe fabrics they use are 100% cotton and uniquely South African. In case you’re scratching your head whilst trying to figure out what ‘Shweshwe’ means, it’s a traditional South African fabric rich in history, with vibrant and vivid colours.
The plush toys on offer range from a variety of different African animals in teddy bear form, or in accessory-styled shapes and sizes. They also have cute dolls in stock and adorable baby bibs for the mess makers.
Where: 17 Dock Rd, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town
When: All week: 10am – 6pm
If you grew up with siblings or had friends over on a regular basis, you ought to know how spectacularly magnificent, if not majestic, it felt to hang out or hide out in a blanket fort. My Tiny Teepee is pretty much a pre-made version of that. The luxury of a blanket fort made easily accessible and mobile for the little ones.
Firstly, allow us to admit that, yes, blanket forts and tents aren’t exactly the same thing. However, it does more or less serve the same purpose. Although that’s probably determined by the level of delinquency your kids get up to. Secondly, if you didn’t know, a Teepee is a unique Native American-style conical tent.
My Tiny Teepee can be ideal for cornering off a play section in a room or suffice as a shaded spot for the little ones as the family adventures out to the beach or park during the day.
Where: 33 Constantia Nek estate, Hout Bay Main Rd, Hout Bay, Cape Town
When: All hours – Online
Established in 2009, Timber Toys is the proud importer, distributor and wholesaler of over 1000 toys. These include various award-winning toys that are generally wooden materials and meticulously sourced toys on an international level.
However, don’t let the name fool you. The company has branched out a lot during the time of its success and currently also includes soft toys in its catalogue. Timber Toys also has a variety of stationery supplies, such as colouring books and chalk.
See here to learn more about the different brands and toys that the company works with or imports.
Where: Unit C3, The Bridge, 18 William St, Maitland, Cape Town
When: Mon – Fri: 8am – 4pm
Ikhaya Crafts is a South African toy and novelty craft manufacturer with an eco-friendly and environmentally conscious ethos. The owners’ history and background in teaching granted them the knowledge of how important it is for kids to play. Subsequently, this led to the making of toys that aim to counter the overwhelming lure of technology.
The company’s range of dollhouses warrants hours of playtime, where kids can lose themselves in their imagination and create worlds of their own. The houses come with small accessories that have immaculate attention to detail. These are miniature miscellaneous objects such as magazines, computers, or even frying pans with fried eggs in them.
Essentially this is the tangible and realistic version of the SIMS game without being limited to the computer’s coding. The children’s imagination is the only limit to the endless fun that these Ikhaya dollhouses can provide. Claiming not to be too big to take up all the space in the room yet big enough for kids to access the toys easily, these dollhouses are in the goldilocks ratio of perfection.
Follow the link here to see more of what they offer in addition to their bespoke doll houses.
Where: 17 Dock Rd, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town
When: All week: 9am – 5pm
Nunabean started off as a small company that created handmade shoes for toddlers and has grown immensely since then. Currently, they have a wide variety of newborn and baby clothing, trinkets and toys overloaded with cuteness, baby bags, soaps, and gift bags for baby showers.
By holding workshops with the means to empower underprivileged women in the local communities, Nunabean gives back to the community and helps others improve their lives. These workshops have a specific focus on senior citizens, and at the moment, Nunabean employs 33 seasoned knitters and seamstresses. So, to support this company is easy pickings.
All their products are locally sourced, handmade, eco-friendly and completely natural with the health and care of our offspring, and the future of the planet we leave behind for them, at heart.
Where: 2 College Rd, Rondebosch, Cape Town
When: Mon – Thu: 10am – 5pm | Fri: 10am – 3pm | Sat: 10am – 5pm