What is Ideal?

Ideal is a carefully curated shop composed of unique, design-conscious gifts and accessories. The objects we choose are creative, authentic, and refined. They are inspired by the vision of talented artists and designers from around the world.

Our store was formed with our own ideal in mind: that shopping should always be a personal and thoughtful experience.

Enjoy our blog and please come visit our shop in beautiful, downtown Bellingham. If you can't make it in, we take orders over the phone - just call (360-752-5522) or e-mail info@anidealshop.com.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gifts for Kids

Hello! The holidays bring lots of gifts for kids, many of which require batteries, make unpleasant noises, and are made from cold, hard plastic.  If you are partial to toys made of natural materials that do not flash, beep or talk, we have a good selection of gifts that are beautiful, fun, and foster creativity. We also have ideas for the older kids on your list.

Nearly every toddler who comes into the shop heads straight to the Soopsori wooden toys to play. The lovely range of colors in these sets is a result of the different varieties of wood used and all are finished using safe linseed oil. 
Soopsori Breakfast Set (17 pieces), $69
Soopsori Doctor Set (6 pieces), $38
Soopsori Musical Instruments (set of 3), $38
Soopsori Cement Mixer, $15

Cate and Levi toys are handmade in Toronto, Canada, using recycled sweaters. Each has its own unique personality since the materials used change from day-to-day:  
Cate & Levi Giraffe Puppet, $30

Cate and Levi Walrus Pencil Set (includes pencils and notebook), $30

Miller Goodman PlayShapes are not just for kids. A set of 74 blocks in an amazing array of shapes, PlayShapes allow you to build vertically, horizontally, stack, balance - you name it. Comes with a poster illustrating some suggested designs but your imagination is truly the only limit. This set will be enjoyed by generations.
Miller Goodman PlayShapes (74 pieces), $150

For the budding scientist, we have a pocket microscope, the opportunity to build your own kaleidoscope, and remember those Spirograph sets from a few decades back? We have a similar pocket-sized version that will be fun for parents, too.
Pocket Microscope, $12
Build Your Own Kaleidoscope, $12
Hypotrochoid Art Set, $10

 Fear not when faced with the mess of empty boxes, bows, and wrapping paper on Christmas morning. Before recycling boxes, bows, and wrapping paper, turn them into sculptures! Makedo Find & Make Sets include reusable connectors, hinges, and a kid-safe cardboard "saw" for constructing either a bouquet of flowers or a robot.  
Makedo Find and Make Robot Kit, $12

Mealtime is often a challenge for parents and kids alike. Modern Twist placemats can help. These food-grade silicone mats are silky smooth to the touch, easy to clean, and best of all they double as a coloring book when paired with Modern Twist's kid-friendly dry-erase markers.
Modern Twist Silicone Placemat, $18.95

Modern Twist Silicone Placemat, $18.95

A cheery Marimekko bib is lightweight and rinses quickly clean and our favorite snack set from notNeutral is now available in red/black.
Marimekko Bib, $11.95
notNeutral Snack Set (6 pieces) $26

Cuddly slugs? Kristin Loffer Theiss of kltworks accomplishes the impossible. These sweet pals are handmade in Mount Vernon, WA and are machine-washable.
kltworks Northwest Slug Lovey, $25

Zid Zid Kids make fair trade toys in Morocco. This airplane toddler backpack is perfect for the little adventurer.  And Zid Zid's sweet animal cushions make a snuggly friend as well as a pillow on which to rest a sleepy head. 
Zid Zid Toddler Backpack, $52
Zid Zid Crocodile Cushion, $40

Tegu magnetic wooden blocks are as much at home on a coffee table as in a toy room. Made from sustainably-harvested wood in Honduras, these sets allow sculptural constructions that defy gravity. We have the 22-piece Endeavor Set and the 8-piece Pocket Pouch (great for strollers and in the car). 
Tegu Endeavor Set (22 pieces) $62
Tegu Pocket Pouch (8 pieces), $32

We have a deep fondness for children's books and have a great selection of favorite titles, from beautifully illustrated picture books to clever activity books that will be cherished mementos one day. Here are just a few examples - we have many more in the shop:
My Listography, $12.95, prompts kids to make intriguing lists.
642 Things to Draw, $16.95
Tomi Ungerer's Adelaide, $14.95, tells of a brave kangaroo with wings. 
J.J. Sempe's Martin Pebble, $19.95, a sweet story about a boy who blushes uncontrollably.
Herve Tullet's Game of Light, $8.95. Use a flashlight to make patterns on the wall.
Herve Tullet's Doodle Cook, $14.95, gives "recipes" for drawing.

This clever Design Your Own Lamp can grow with your kid. Simply insert a drawing between the sheets of the shade to personalize. Easy to switch out, so the design can change with your child's interests.  
Design Your Own Lamp, $32

Chigo Playthings are handmade in Japan from local woods with an emphasis on artisinal craftsmanship. These beauties will be equally coveted by parents and children.
Chigo Playthings Wooden Bowling Set, $65
Chigo Playthings Wooden Yoyo, $15
Chigo Playthings Wooden Toy Camera, $68

If you have a budding photographer in your midst, the KOLA camera accessory is sure to be a hit. This set of pocket-sized color gels makes it easy to give your shots interesting optical effects.  
KOLA Camera Accessory, $14.50

These colorful Twelve Watches are as popular with middle-schoolers as college students (and beyond).  
Twelve Color Watches, $18 each

Here's a sweet deck of cards illustrated with various zoo animals on one side, and a curious boy peeking in the window on the other:
Zoo Playing Cards, $12

David Week's Cubebots are a challenging wooden puzzle (you try getting him back into a cube!), as well as just plain fun to play with and pose:  
Guthrie Cubebot by David Weeks, $32

 That's just a few ideas for kids - don't forget the $10 or less stocking stuffers we sent out two weeks ago. There is much more to see in the shop so please come by for a look or give us a call with any questions. 

We'll be in touch very soon with more gift ideas, but until then here are a few reminders: 
  • We have extended our hours this week and next to help with your holiday shopping. December 12-17 (Monday - Saturday) and December 19-23 (Monday - Friday) we will be open until 8pm. Christmas Eve we will be open until 4pm.    
  • Parking is free downtown until December 26! Shop and dine without worrying about the meter and save those quarters for holiday treats.


1 comment:

  1. Nice blog! You have worked hard on jotting down the essential information. Keep sharing the good work in future too.really i like it .you have good gift for kids...gifts for kids