by Lori Hinton
There’s no doubt, West Seattle loves its kiddos. Stroll The Junction and you’ll be delighted to see a few dedicated kids shops. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find that almost every store has a soft spot for the wee ones too. So holiday shoppers, do not fear, there’s no shortage of great gift ideas for kids this year—right here!
Don’t miss Curious Kidstuff—an absolute mecca for cool kids toys for 16 years running. Some specialty toy picks for this season include the Keva and YOXO Play from Scratch building kits, Think Fun’s Robot Turtles Game for little programmers, and the popular GoldieBlox kits designed to introduce girls to engineering. Your little lass can learn to build everything from merry-go-rounds to zip lines and parade floats. The Kid O walking toys are great for toddlers, and the California Creations windup morphing toys are a hoot for all ages, “It’s a truck, no it’s a dog, no it’s a truck!” And be sure to take a trip down memory lane to see the Fisher Price classics like the xylophone, movie viewer, rotary phone, record player and more.
Speaking of classics, Northwest Art & Frame is the source for Shrinky Dinks! Remember those? And what kid doesn’t want to know how to make a Pom Pom Puppy? Klutz Kits activity books are all the rage with materials and directions cleverly included in the packaging.
Got a silly goose to shop for? Check out Zamboanga for animal alarm clocks, lucky cat figurines, goofy teeth and whoopee cushions—stocking stuffers sure to summon laughs and smiles.
Want something for the wee one? Wander up to CAPERS for precious little baby gifts like Pebble fair trade crocheted rattles, stacking blocks and locally made SwaddleDesigns swaddle blankets. You will also find a little holiday magic in the hand knit cardigans by Phyllis Cameron, who, in her 90s, still rides the bus all the way from Ballard to deliver her wash and dry kids’ sweaters to West Seattle.
For more adorable kids’ clothing, scurry over to City Mouse Store. Known for its fashion brands like Tea Collection and See Kai Run, City Mouse is more than a clothing store. It’s also a photo studio specializing in children’s photography (a photo session gift certificate perhaps?), and it has great gifts too. Check out Lap Desks for doodling, Finger Monsters, tutus, fun umbrellas and Janod wooden push mowers.
And for a traditional gift that never gets old, opt for a bright, shiny new kids bike from West Seattle Cyclery. The Marin kids bikes offer frames that transition up a size easily so you can get more mileage in between growth spurts. For tiny riders in training, consider the colorful Kazam balance bikes or the new 100% recycled Wishbone 3-in-1 scoot-style bike that converts from a trike to a little and big bike. Balance bikes (aka scoot bikes) teach kids to balance on two wheels as they scoot along and eventually ride without needing training wheels! And don’t forget a helmet! Make sure your kids’ noggins have not outgrown their current helmets. If so, it’s a great excuse to get one of the fun Little Nutty designs from Nutcase helmets. Looking for stocking stuffers? Grab a pair of colorful streamers, fun bike bells, and reflective lights. Ask to see the spoke light that makes circles when you ride!
Is your under the tree real estate completely full yet? Save some space because that’s just the beginning! Duck into your favorite Junction stores for even more great kid-finds right here in your own backyard.