Parents, we've all been there, haven't we? The mere anticipation of the coolest new toy that sings, dances and entertains your child (only requiring 100 batteries), far outweighs the grandeur of it all after the five layers of packaging have finally been opened at the birthday party and it's been played with a mere ten minutes before your child loses interest!
What if the simplicity of a toy or craft cost you less and engaged your child longer? That sort of thoughtful choice is what the buyers at Uncommon Goods seem to be offering via their unique online store. My kids were so excited about the gifts they chose that they surprised me by cleaning their rooms early on a Saturday so they'd be allowed the open the box. They each chose two modest items that involved crafting and creativity
. It's hard to believe they've already outgrown their baby stage, because I would have loved to get them some of the adorable organic cotton toys
available for the toddler set.
My oldest daughter chose the Notebook with 100 "Elements" and couldn't wait to show her friends what she'd done with it. The 100 "Elements" are letters, numbers and symbols for expressing your personality. Inside, the thick sketchbook paper plus lined pages are blank canvas for more creativity. She's just begun learning how to use the Hypotrochoid Art Set with its templates, gears and colorful pens. It's a challenge that mixes art with math, stored in its own compact container.
The Fairy Tales Finger Painting Art Set was a hit with my younger daughter. She instantly saw how to replicate its sweet and simple characters with her fingerprints plus stamps and colored pencils. The eco-conscious brown packing paper that came in the larger box was plenty of canvas for her.
The item that engaged my kids the longest was the Balloon Modeling Kit. They quickly learned to use the red hand pump and turn modeling balloons into cute critters. When they involved my husband, he critiqued the kit and declared the instructions too unclear to create a proper pink poodle as his daughters requested. The girls were unphased; they were soon making their own versions of swans, butterflies, whales and more. The little stick-on eyes helped them avoid having to use a magic marker.
While he failed at balloon making, my husband is a great dad and is usually good at working with his hands. With Father's Day rolling around, it's hard to say which thoughtful item
he'd appreciate more: the Working Man's Hygiene Kit or a writing pen carved from a wooden baseball park seat. While browsing, I found a wide range of gift choices for dads with every interest and for dads who have everything.
Although I fell in love with the Glass Memory Locket for myself (hint, hint to my loving family), and saw plenty of thoughtful gifts under $50 to check out at http://www.uncommongoods.com/gifts/by-price/gifts-under-50
, I'm glad the kids enjoyed their arts and craft projects. The best part of their picks was that the goodies and gadgets kept them occupied, making them a good value in my book.
While my kids thought their new things were fun, I appreciated the thoughtfulness involved. For instance, the funky notebook was made with a recycled rubber cover. Some of the plastic packaging was neat envelope styles that could be saved to use again, and all of the Uncommon Goods
packaging seemed recyclable and minimal. I appreciate Uncommon Goods' stated commitment to sustainability, fair wages, and supporting independent artisans. The company is a founding Certified B Corporation
Disclosure: Our family received $50 worth of free merchandise from Uncommon Goods that we reviewed in this post. My opinions are my own.