I’m convinced that with each year that passes, time goes by quicker and quicker. This year is set to be a big one for most with a lot of families being reunited after the COVID pandemic, but it is also a very sad time for many, many families.
The amount of home industry and “homemade” businesses in South Africa has increased dramatically over the past year, and I am all for it, we need to support each other as a country as much as we possibly can! As they are locally made, a lot of them need some lead time so get to ordering quick quick to get yours before Christmas.
Here are some of my favourite picks for locally made toys and Christmas decor accessories this year:
- With your little one as the main character, this personalised story book by Beautiful Stories is set to become a firm favourite. Customise this book by adding your Childs’ name and choose between a selection of illustrations.
- I feel like I’ve been a part of Charlie Loves Studio right from the start and the pieces just keep getting better and better. This Christmas these gorgeous “My twinkle tot” dolls need to be on your wishlist!
- Toy Project is a community-based initiative started in 2011, in order to help unemployed women. The company has a strong focus on up-skilling women in underprivileged communities. I love these stuffed African animals, all handmade in shweshwe fabrics.
- Christmas themed sensory book from “The Learning Toy Box” Jacoline’s attention to detail and variation of activities has left me in awe for years. Have a look at her full collection, but these are books to last a lifetime.
- Kidz Solutionz has fast become one of my favourite wooden toy manufactures. 100% female owned and proudly local, Saffiya’s designs are fun, funky and easy for little hands to hold. From puzzles to paint your own ornaments, her Christmas range is very cute.
- Baskiti’s beautiful indoor swing to gift to your child. This makes such a unique gift and a place to create many bedtime story memories.
- YBIKE is a locally made balance bike with a dual position adjustable frame allowing the bike to grow with your child. It’s the perfect “first” bike for all terrain use and hours of fun.
- The Colour Jar offers a range of Activity Packs and Books with South African inspired illustrations. Something unique and creative to keep the kids entertained, it’s conveniently sized to fit small, confined spaces such as cars, handbags and restaurant tables. I love that you can choose your “theme” or city of choice as well. These are top of our wish-list and definitely one to send to any family overseas! Available here.
- Funda Toys have these gorgeous sensory blocks that come in a set of 18 pieces. Created with primary-coloured perspex, as the colours mix and cast secondary colours on the floor, it encourages learners to inquire & discover cause & effect. These have my name written all over them!
- Djembe Drum , every child loves to drum a beat, so why not give them something to celebrate our heritage? They also double up as a great home decor feature or convenient bedside table 🙂
- Mud Kitchen from One Two Play – we are so blessed in Southern Africa to have the most incredible climate. Outdoor play happens all year round, so gift your kids with a gift to last throughout their childhood with a mud kitchen. Hours and hours of endless play!
- Imagimags – One of the best gifts we have ever been given, these locally produced magnetic tiles are truly a staple if you are into open ended play. The building possibilities are endless and they are incredibly durable.
Now let’s move onto the accessories, more for mama and her love of decor and all things pretty 🙂 These are some of my favourite locally made accessories to bring in all the festive feels into your home.
- Obsessed is an understatement. I have added these tea light houses from Calico Ceramics “to cart” and can’t wait to see them light up my console table.
- What’s festive season without a little family baking? My Gingerbread House Kits take out the hard work and let’s you skip straight to the fun decorating. Disclaimer, mine have NEVER looked this good (because it’s about family effort right”, also, my sweets mysteriously dissapear throughout the day 🙂
- Baskiti’s “Naked Wreaths” have me planning out my front door decor. You can order accessories and baubles straight off their website as well, but you can bet i’ll be decorating these babies with some florals.
- Join the movement to stop single use plastics with “My Bag Use”, this mistletoe bag is going to give all the festive feels while you go about your holiday shopping. It would be the perfect stocking stuffer for someone special.
- Kidz Solutionz features once again with their Christmas Tree easy connect puzzle. I would use these on my table as little “side plate” presents for the children.
- You saw me feature these on my stories, but I just had to mention them again. My Christmas Co has the most incredible Jute Christmas Sacks available. All sacks are made to order and 5% of all proceeds s will be donated to Downside up South Africa. Downside Up South Africa is a non-profit company focused on creating awareness, furthering education and providing support for people with Down Syndrome and their families. Use these as a traditional “stockings” or even better, wrap up your presents under the tree in them. Not only do they last a lifetime but the sacks are a spacious 80 x 53cm in size, so even your largest gifts will fit.
- I am obsessed with Holly and Ivy. I often pick up their decor stuff for things like bridal showers and birthdays, but their Christmas range is out of this world. They have an incredible array of styles, from cute “make it yourself” crackers as a fun activity to do with the kids, to the more luxurious crackers for the adults to enjoy on your festive table. One of my favourites is the range is features African fauna.
- My Christmas list wouldn’t be complete without a feature on “The Little Banner Company”. Claire’s advent calendars are incomparable, her attention to detail is incredible and these handmade advent calendars will be 100% unique to you.
- I could not stop swooning when I came across Anna Soo’s website. The natural elements that are used and the minimalist designs are so on trend. I think this wooden bead garland would be the ultimate accessory for any mantle piece.
There you have it, my top picks to support proudly South African companies this festive season. Behind every brand is a person putting their all into creative design and creation, the talent we have in this country is absolutely incredible don’t you think?
Do you have any other favourites you’d like to mention?