I find it all too easy to pop to the toy shop or hop on Amazon but I am making a big effort to support little businesses this year be it local independent shops in my town or cute online makers that I have found. Mainly through the joys of Instagram I might add! Today I’m focusing on toys as who says that you only have to hit Toys R Us? Yes there will be the pre requisite Barbie and I’m sure a mound of lego if Edd has anything to do with it but I have also fallen in love with a multitude of special gifts that are squirreled away for the girls come Christmas morning. I’ll be bringing you more gift ideas from independents next week.

Cotton Twist is my new favourite site. I came across them on Instagram and may have gone a bit mad with the gift buying this year. They produce the sweetest little craft kits which were initially designed as party bag favours but are the perfect stocking fillers. Cute little wooden bracelet kits, peg dolls and fun rocket crafts abound. Even better are the new gift boxes. Molly is going to love her unicorn bracelet set and my niece is going to get crafty with her mask and wand set.

Another recent find was Happy Little Folks who create beautiful wooden toys for children. I first fell in love with their woodland friends set which is perfect for hours of imaginary play but their wooden cars and trucks will be loved by my friends little boys.

I’m sure lots of you have seen the gorgeous name flags by This Paper Flag but this year I have been buying up their Flash Cards for little gifts. Even better they are currently on sale. The story time cards let you create your own story and you can buy add on packs plus they come in a little box so are a great gift.

A few years back the girls were gifted the most AMAZING wands from Sparklechild. They have been a firm favourite in the dressing up box since. Rainbow colours, glitter and ribbons are a winner and I know Alice would love the superhero mask or pirate patch this year. Glittery too of course.

Talking of superheros, these capes from Little Kit are sure to send any kid racing around the house with one arm up in the air doing their best flying impression. In fact I think any of their dressing up sets would make the perfect gift to inspire imaginative play.

Sarah and Bendrix have the most amazing array of gifts but their delightful wooden toys will be treasured for years (and look as good on the shelf as off!). I have fallen in love with the little pull along mummy and baby duck and their stacking animals are perfect for little hands.

My kids love colouring and I think they would adore the pencil cases and bags from Eat Sleep Doodle. In fact they would probably love the bedding too. They are great for any creative little minds as they can colour to their hearts content and then when they want to change the design simply pop in the washing machine and start again. The dinosaur designs are particularly epic.

Maileg Toys are some of my absolute favourites as they are just adorable. Bluebells Burrow has a fantastic selection and having ordered from them before I know the service is excellent. I may have a few new mouse tutus squirrelled away for stockings.

For the cutest soft toys you must check out Albetta. From crochet unicorns to cuddly koalas they will love cuddles at bedtime. You might also fall in love with the superhero skittle set.

I also wanted to give a mention to some of my favourite online stores who are worth a peruse for all manner of goodies. Scout & Co, This Modern Life, Molly Meg, The Tipi, The Modern Nursery, Archies Boutique and Marshes and Flint are all on my go to list for everything kiddy.

Do you have any favourite independents or makers that we really should know about?