Whilygig Toys: Lion

Arts & crafts: Let Toys Be Toys gift guide

If you’re looking for a gift for an arty child, and want to shop outside the pink and blue boxes of gender stereotypes, check out our inclusive gift guide for fun, gender-neutral present ideas for boys and girls. 

Sometimes the biggest difference between “boys” and “girls” aisles is not what is there, but what isn’t.

In toy shops using gender stereotypes, arts and crafts toys are often conspicuous by their absence from the boys’ aisles, while tired old stereotypes like beauty and appearance are used to sell arty toys to girls. It doesn’t have to be this way!

This gift guide is a celebration of brilliant, creative toys, marketed in a way that encourages both boys and girls to explore a wonderfully diverse world of making and doing. All shops featured on this page have received the Let Toys Be Toys “Toymark award” – our good practice award for the stores that are getting it right.

Felt Squirrel Cushion

Squirrel Felt Toy
This simple cushion kit is perfect for a first sewing project.

Sew the cushion using pre-cut pieces, guided sewing holes and a plastic needle through – all very safe – then build your very own squirrel on the front complete with large googly eyes.

Recommended age – 3+
£7.99 at whirligigtoys.co.uk

Make Your Own Snow Globe

snow globe

The award winning make your own snow globe by Seedling is a great modern twist on a traditional children’s ornament.

The kit includes: A plastic globe, make and bake polymer clay, snow globe stand, glitter and instructions. All that you need to add is imagination!

A great gift for Christmas!

Recommended age – 6+
£15 at giftsforlittleones.com

Sew a Tea Towel Lion

lion whirlygig

A tea towel with a difference! A fantastic sewing project, based on a 1970s wallpaper design.

Simply cut out the pattern and follow the instructions printed on the cloth to make your own cute lion.

Suitable for sewing by hand or with a machine.

Recommended age – 8+
£11.99 at whirligigtoys.co.uk

Paint Your Own Unique Nesting Christmas Tree

Krasnaya: Christmas tree toy

Everything you need to paint your own Christmas Tree, Santa and Snowman nesting doll toy.

From a range of unique three-piece paint-you-own Russian dolls from Krasnaya, including nesting doll penguins, Santas, snowmen, robins, owls, pandas, dragons and more.

£15.00 at krasnaya.co.uk

Creative Creatures

creative creatures

These Japanese-inspired animals are very popular: each printed blank comes with lines for you to colour your own creatures.

Great for children who love design and pattern, they can also be made into unique greetings cards as the pack contains lovely envelopes for mailing if required.

Recommended age – 5+
£13.99 at whirligigtoys.co.uk

Nostalgic Cory Hammer Picture

Nostalgic Cork Hammer Picture

Playful learning that develops creativity and dexterity.

Brilliant pictures can be created from countless variations of coloured geometrical wooden parts, nailed on the cork board using the small wooden hammer

Recommended age – 5+
£14.99 at toysofearth.com

Wooden Alphabet Stamps

Wooden alphabet stamps
A beautiful gift box of wooden alphabet stamps with ink pads from the Les Jolis Pas Beaux range by Moulin Roty. This very pretty gift set is packaged in a beautiful ‘drawer’ designed box containing 28 wooden stampers (26 Alphabet letters and 2 images of a button and a dog.)

A lovely gift for little ones who enjoy art and creative play and practicing phonics and letters in a fun colourful way!

Recommended age – 3+
£18 at giftsforlittleones.com

Sew your own Badger and Fox

Whirligig Toys: badger and Fox

Badger and Fox are two of our favourite creations from Whirligig Toys in Brighton.

The kit comes with everything needed to make both furry friends – just add your own stuffing, and the pattern can be reused to make as many as you like.

A great gift for older children who have some sewing experience.
Recommended age – 10+

£19.99 at whirligigtoys.co.uk

Threading Pearls

This set of threading pearls in a wooden box can be used to create interesting and beautiful bracelets, while helping children develop fine motor skills.

£9.99 at toysofearth.com

Threading Pearls

Finger Paints

Rachel's Toy Shop: Finger Paints

Time for some hands-on art!
These bright tubes of non-toxic finger paints make creativity fun and easy.
Six tubes of washable finger paint and a plastic mixing sheet.

Great for all ages: children under 3 should be supervised.
£9.99 at rachelstoyshop.co.uk

For more on stereotype-free shopping:

Check out our Toymark Directory of great retailers, join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter #shopoutsidethebox, or come on over to Pinterest to see more brilliant, stereotype-free toys.


Arts and Crafts on Pinterest

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