Minnesota makers have kids covered from infancy and beyond with blankets, books, and more. Here are just a handful of the gifts you can get to spoil your children this summer.
A good, cozy blanket is amazing, but Abbey Pattison’s business, Abbey’s House, goes beyond that. Pick the blanket that is its own storybook, asking you to use your blanket to help the characters with their adventure. For whimsical, go for the blanket that shows you different ways to fold a paper airplane. Even their less interactive designs are full of Minnesota love and discoveries, like one with a Minnesota alphabet and another with labeled Minnesota tree leaves. Right now, Abbey’s House is transitioning to only sell products with their original fabric designs, so many of their non-original designs are on a nice 40 percent off sale right now as well.
Some of my earliest memories are my parents reading to me, and it’s probably never too early to grab a book. One of the books that has nabbed some accolades is Pickles + Ocho, by Minnetonka local Dan Wellik and illustrated by Tou Yia Xiong. Based on a true family, it follows the charming story of Pickles, a French bulldog, whose idyllic doggy life is interrupted when his two human dads decide to adopt a second French bulldog, Ocho. (This story is also available in Spanish.) Don’t forget to keep an eye out for Pickles and Ocho stuffed animals coming mid-summer!
These minimalistic, felted mobiles scream wholesome and imaginative. The airplane, hot air balloon, and bird themes can make your child feel like they can go anywhere, but my favorite are the elephants. Just picture it. The brightly colored elephants are grazing peacefully above your child around a large community tree. It’s family, peace, and the magic of nature, all in one slowly spinning scene. Full disclosure: The couple who makes Dundry Hill products moved to the Dakotas to be closer to family, but they still come to visit Minnesota markets! (Perhaps you saw them at the Edina Art Fair last week?)
Laura Roos has been curating some of the best gift sets in the Twin Cities since 2016, and luckily for us, that includes some treasures for the little ones. While the Baby Bird box has many classic notes with its stuffed animal bunny and swaddle blanket, I cannot stop cooing over the Baby Fawn box. The Floppy Fawn stuffed animal from Manhattan Toy Company is so North Woods and looks so irresistibly soft. The box also includes Minnetonka Moccasins, a Bibby Bubby red buffalo check bib, fall/winter knit hat and onesie from Colored Organics, and Worker B balm.
Besides its boutique merchandise, Oh Baby! has a line of clothing perfect for every season. (For summer, I can just picture a baby in the whale-printed onesie or a toddler in the indigo shorts and Labrador T-shirt.) If you’re giving the gift to someone else’ child, it’s a win-win. You’re assisting the parent in the struggle to clothe a rapidly growing baby, and you can subtly try to steer them in the right fashion direction to boot. The color palette of the brand is a lot of grays, dusty roses, and navy blues, but a pattern or focal point design keeps things from getting dreary.
Based in Luverne, Personal Stitch Gifts on Etsy has a variety of personalized cute gifts for your tykes, including Gotcha Day stuffed animals for adopted children, blankets, and little backpacks. However, here’s a gift idea for one of their caretakers: a tote bag with all of their loved one’s names emblazoned on it. You choose what names and colors you want on the bag, and then Mom, Grandma, or whomever can have a little reminder of family whenever they’re on the go.