Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Out of the Box Gift Ideas for Kids!

Gifts of toys and material items can be really fun for kids! There is certainly a place for them of course but sometimes the overload of toys and stuff during the holidays can really be a lot for both the kids and the parents that need to find a place to put all of these new things! We've been working on some great gift ideas that are a little bit outside the norm, a bit Out of the Box.  We have some traditional gift ideas as well as some experience gift suggestions that will be sure to please.

A Subscription Box!

No matter if you opt for a single month or a full year a subscription box can be a pretty cool way to bring something a little special into your house that is engaging, hands on and creates a great way for parents to interact with their kids and learn something at the same time!

Green Kid Crafts offers some pretty cool STEAM (Science, Technology, Art, Engineering and Math) activities delivered right to your house! There is plenty of time to order one of these in time for your little one to open one on the holiday. Sign up for a subscription

Some of their holiday themed boxes are actually discounted up to 70% right now,grab one before they're gone!


Bramble Box provides monthly subscription boxes and pretend play kits to kids ages 3 - 8. Each themed box provides fun, educational and engaging dramatic play props and activities, delivered right to their door every month. Each box is mom-designed and, of course, tested by kids!

A new themed box is produced every month; past themes include Post Office, Detective and Bramble Bakery. Subscriptions can be ordered month-to-month, on a 3 months or 6 months basis and also annually. 

One of these creative options would be an awesome way to spread your holiday gift through the whole year!

Little Passports offers the chance for your child to explore the world one entertaining box at a time! 
Choose from a variety of kits geared towards a variety of ages and interests! Use the code JOLLY15 to save 15% off your subscription

Gift A New Experience!
Maybe your kiddo has been begging to try karate, or dance or theater classes, but you just haven't have the time to sign them up yet. These options are great local programs with stellar reputations in the community that would provide a great WOW factor especially for older kids. Many of them also would be a great option to "gift" something to a toddler or baby who doesn't understand the value of toys.

As the premier martial arts program in the Lehigh Valley LVMA is fully prepared to instruct a child of any age at any experience level.
Click here to inquire about a class location in Palmer, Emmaus, or Trexlertown!

Offering tumbling classes, gymnastics and sports enrichment programs for kids aged 10 months and up gymtiME is a great experience gift for the curious gymnast or adventurous mover you have at home!

More than Music 
More Than Music LLC offers engaging music and art classes for preschoolers and toddlers.  Families sing along with instruments, move about and play!  They offer both art based drop in classes and full sessions of their You and Me music classes.

My Smart Hands
These energetic and educational classes are wonderful for babies and toddlers. They offer an opportunity for young children to socialize and work on early communications skills using sign language in a fun setting with a loving caregiver or parent.

Elite Sports Academy
Is it off season for your baseball or softball star? Keep their skills sharp with a high quality sports training program at Elite Sports Academy. Grab a punch card to their weekly open play sessions for the little ones, these sessions are a great way for kiddos to run off some energy during the cold winter months!

Sing N Move

Sing N Move offers very popular Kindermusik classes for children, with new sessions every few weeks there's lots of opportunities to get in on a class. Gift the gift of music to your little one this season! Classes available for babies through age 5!

Gallery 415
This up and coming art studio offers drop in mommy and me art classes each week, are ideal for toddlers and preschoolers. Their weekly art and theater classes are perfect for school age children!  Their Wine/Paint evenings would be great hit for a gift to your significant other!  Gifts for everyone, call for gift certificate information!

Unique Stocking Stuffers 

We absolutely LOVE these Pura brand bottles. Our kids have had them for a few years and its wonderful to be able to continue to use them long after they outgrew bottles. Just change to top and your bottle becomes a sippy which transforms into a straw cup and so on! They are eye catching, eco-friendly , plastic free and super easy to clean. Available at Ju-Ju Monkey in Allentown!

These awesome Kid-O Magnatab products are fantastic. They provide children with a hands on opportunity to practice writing/drawing with awesome sensory feedback as each little magnetic sphere pops into place. Check out the video demo above! Call ahead or shop online to view current stock Available at Ju-Ju Monkey in Allentown!  

Games, Puzzles, books and oh my!  Ditch the technology for a minute and consider grabbing a new storybook or chapter book for your little reader.  Let's Play Book's recently expanded store is the perfect place to find something special.  Gift a parent child date experience to your kiddo and pair it up with a stop at Sweet Memories or Sugar So Sweet and select a special book or toy together.  They will love the extra one on one time and you can be sure to choose something they love!


A membership to Please Touch pays off in just about 2 visits for a family of 5. Make an excuse to visit multiple times with a membership for 2017 and save using the code GIFT2016! 

Visit as many times as you like with a membership to The Crayola Experience!   Their exhibits and activities change so there is always something fun to see and do!

A Lehigh Valley Zoo membership offers experiences year round including discounts to special programs and events including their annual Winter Light Spectacular! 

A Handmade Touch

Check our our other holiday gift guide from this season featuring 6 local crafters who create personalized gifts that really are special and sure to bring a smile to someones face!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Mom Made Gifts II - A Holiday Gift Feature

Have you ever searched for a gift and felt at a complete loss? The things you've found in the big box retailers just don't fit the bill?

Sometimes person you are giving to means so much more than a quick grab from a shelf! We've teamed up with some extremely talented Lehigh Valley artisans and crafters for a feature post about some great out of the box gift options made by local Lehigh Valley moms!

Each of our featured crafters offer something unique and special. Please consider contacting them to help you select something that is just right for the person on your list that is hard to buy for. These moms are fellow Lehigh Valley residents and buy purchasing from them you help support small business!
#shopsmall #lehighvalley

First up is Jonley Gifts!  This business is a Whitehall husband and wife team that pride themselves in offering unique made to order items with a handcrafted twist. They can apply a special photo onto anything from a mug to a shirt to a cutting board! Gift options for kids, babies and the in-laws alike are all available in their Etsy shop. Check out their customizable wine and cheese platters and coasters, they make such cool wedding or housewarming gifts!

After recently working with Ashely from Jonley Gifts I was absolutely impressed by her quick turn around time and dedication to ensure I was pleased with our items. She shows incredible attention to detail in her work and the items were presented in perfect gifting boxes that were all ready to be wrapped and placed under the tree.

This adorable keepsake mug keeps your little one's artwork close by as you enjoy your hot tea or coffee! What a cool choice for a grandparent or God parent!

I am absolutely enamored with these baby bodysuit sets! Could there be a cooler gift for an expecting parent?! Jonley Gifts' beautiful graphics really make these stand out.

 We've had a family tradition of turning our holiday cards into ornaments each year, year after year we add a new one and more memories get added our tree becomes a beautiful reflection of years past. I've fallen behind with ordering our ornaments for a few years now and after coming across Jonley Gifts I figured it was the perfect time to catch up on a few I missed out on!

This adorable kids apron can be customized with your kiddo's name on it. Pair this up with a little cookbook and some simple cooking tools and your little chef will be on their way to making magic in the kitchen! 

MKP Artistry is a small business, based in Bethlehem, PA, which specializes in handcrafted, wood burned decor. The artistic talent and owner of MKP Artistry, Michelle K Prozonic, has been practicing and perfecting her craft for many years. What started as a hobby, turned into creating gifts for friends and family, and now into a small business. Michelle prides herself on creating personalized, truly unique gifts for her customers which can not be found anywhere else. 

Michelle's works are beautiful and provide a truly natural, organic feel. The grains of the woods and the contrast created through the burning process are sharp and eye catching.  I placed an order for a number of ornaments for some special people in our lives this season to add a little something special to their gifts. These are great heirloom ornaments to keep for years to come and could be customized to add a year on the back in order to commemorate this season. 

 In addition to her signature holiday ornaments she offers wood burned decor for the home, holiday decorations and much more including customized items ideal for a wedding, anniversary or any occasion. 

One of her displays at a recent craft show highlights the array of items that are available.

Thanks to MKP Artistry for joining us as a 2016 Mom Made Gifts Sponsor

Anna's Custom Crafts is busy cooking up some super cute items this season and year round!  From custom birthday chalk boards to room decor and the sweetest custom growth charts. This local crafter is ready to create something just for you!

Her giant growth charts make tracking your little ones growth an adorable keepsake that can come with you even if you move! We recently ordered a few for some special little guys in our life and a cool addition to their new big boy rooms!

Her custom pintas make a great birthday surprise or would be awesome for themed room decor for your child's room. See Anna's Facebook page for more examples!

These party photo props are great for an upcoming celebration!

This beautiful hand painted wall hanging is amazing for a newly married couple, for a house warming gift or just anyone who loves the look of something handmade!

Find Anna on Facebook and check out her recent projects or inquire about having something made you've been thinking of putting together but haven't found the time for yet!!

Thanks to Anna's Custom Crafts for joining us as a 2016 Mom Made Gifts Sponsor!

We are (literally) anxiously awaiting the birth of a little girl due to be born any minute to some amazing friends of ours.  Gifts off a registry sometimes just don't cut it when you are looking to gift something that just means more to people who have been practically family for many years.  

Ammoms Angels of Center Valley creates one of a kind pieces that do just what we were hoping for - create a gift that says more than just congrats! but really express our truest well wishes for this little girl who is already so loved. 

Ammoms Angels offers
 Custom outfits
Hand sewn burp cloths
Reusable nursing pads
Bow ties 
Tag Blankets 
Custom Onesies
Wooden Teethers 
Car Seat Ponchos (great for kiddos who should not be wearing their coat while in the car!)
Car Seat Covers
Baby carrier accessories 

Here are the items that we hand picked for our friends' baby girl! Ammoms Angels signature item the Patented Onesie was beyond perfect for this family as her daddy just happens to work in the Patent industry! We hope that they find this gift to be as special as we do!

Wooden teether and custom Fox patterned tie
2016 Patented onesie
Fox print Tag Blanket 
and Fox print one piece romper  

For reference the gift pack we chose included the each of the above photographed items and cost around $60 we chose to coordinate all of the items to make it appear as a cohesive gift but customers are welcome to order items individually and choose from the array of fabric that Ammoms Angels offers.

Their convenient pick up option made it super easy to avoid costly shipping costs as well! 

Thanks to Ammoms Angels for joining us as a 2016 Mom Made Gifts Sponsor! 

Allentown based Graceful Stitches Boutique is a made to order/custom business specializing in embroidery, appliqué, vinyl decals, Photo gifts and more.  Each item is handmade just for you! 

We are planning a trip to Disney World in March  after watching friends travel there over the years I've been taking notes on all of their adorable accessories and these have been on my wish list since we started planning. Our kids don't know that we are going (yet) and will be opening a special gift made just for them by Graceful Stitches Boutique to announce our trip on Christmas morning!

Our shirts are still in the works but Amannda was really easy to work with and will be creating some shirts just like the ones shown below ( Image: littlepchic @ Etsy) I can't wait to see their faces!

This gorgeous birthday girl outfit is absolutely stunning! Amannda can create custom outfits for any holiday occasion or milestone, she is very easy to work with and was very accommodating when I showed her what I was looking for in our order! 

Unique teacher gifts are easy to come by in this shop! Desk signs, tumbler bottles, traveler mugs and more are all on display on the Facebook page and all can be customized to your liking!

These coloring page shirts would make a great stocking stuffer! Choose your image (many more than shown are available!) and one will be created just for you! Kids can color, wash and repeat as many times as they like! 

Graceful Stiches Boutique can also add photos to mugs, pillows or just about anything else! Check out this keepsake photo pillow below.

Thanks to Graceful Stitches Boutique for being a 2016 Mom Made Gifts Sponsor!

To Pluto has been creating made to order items for local families for nearly a year, with graphic bodysuits and shirts ideal for special celebrations, holiday items and much more, you can easily find something to complete your holiday check list. 

I've been after one of these beautiful custom Santa bags for years! These are a really efficient way for Santa to deliver gifts to the children without wrapping each one individually.  I had an aunt who used a similar concept for their kids while we were growing up - no wrapping! She placed each of their gifts in a bag with their names on them and they took turns reaching in and pulling out only the first thing they touched. It is a lot less work for Santa, it saves paper and they can be re-used year after year.

To Pluto's momma and me sets are super cute and come an a few different options. To Pluto specialized in custom orders so they can create a design or place jut about any design you desire onto a clothing item, mug or cup, see their Facebook page for tons of samples of their work!

How clever! A Santa watching system that doesn't require moving that blasted elf around your house every night! Its adorable and the kids won't know it isn't real! Just hang on your tree and observe angelic behavior!

Water bottles are essential these days! We all know the benefits of drinking water regularly and having a water bottle that feels like an accessory might make putting all those ounces back each day a little bit more fun! They can apply monograms, initials, or a design of your choice onto both plastic and stainless steel traveler mugs!

Celebrate an upcoming birthday with a custom T-Shirt or onesie for your little one! The below items are a collaboration between Fairy Tale Tutus and To Pluto!  I ordered three of these (shirts) for each of our 2017 birthdays! I always scramble last minute to get a cute outfit for my kids' birthdays and now we will have them stashed away and ready for their big days!

Thanks to To Pluto for joining us as a 2016 Mom Made Gifts Sponsor!

If you have an idea, business or activity you'd like to see featured on our blog please 
contact us right away! 

Sponsorship Disclaimer: only exists because of hours upon hours of work that comes directly from the heart of a mom who wants to make the Lehigh Valley a better place to raise your family. Because of our effort we publish a resource that makes your life as a parent easier, makes the Lehigh Valley more welcoming to a family new to the area and helps make the Lehigh Valley a more vibrant and engaging place for families to grow and live. In order to make it possible to continue doing this we must find ways to generate an income from our work. At times you will see posts from sponsors who pay us a fee to help them spread the word about their business or event. Barters and fees that we receive help make the website the best it can possibly be, they put food on our family's table and allow us to keep doing what we do! By patronizing the businesses who support us and by choosing to opt in to offers we share you keep alive - making it possible for us to continue to provide information and engaging content for years to come. Without you and without our valued sponsors the website could not continue to operate. We love all of our LVFGS Families and thank you for you support.