Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Holiday gifts A-Z: A largely local guide

Gifts locally made, available in local shops or supporting local causes

Editor’s note: This holiday gift list is not a paid advertising section. It reflects the research and opinions of the writer.

We should also warn you that it’s a long list. 

That’s because we’ve found great gifts for every letter of the alphabet to guide your holiday giving. Not all of these gift ideas are made in Washington, but many of them are and all have something besides the gift itself going for them. For example, many can be found in locally owned shops like Childish Things in Crown Hill or Snapdoodle Toys & Games with locations in Seattle, Kenmore and Redmond. Some are handmade or cooked by Pacific Northwest artisans. Several help great causes. And finally, a good portion of these gift ideas promote family connection, imagination, brain development and just plain fun. 

There’s something for everyone here, no matter your child’s age.


Art by Kate Engle

Art to hang

Whimsical Prints & Books. Collage artist Kate Endle’s prints a perfect gift for babies, toddlers and whimsical older kids as well. Kate is also the illustrator for her husband, the musical artist Caspar Babypants, and will have autographed CDs of the new release, “Easy Breezy!” in her online shop and at her spot in Pike Place Market. Prints start at $20, original art starts at $85. 

Also at Pike Place Market: Artist Wendi Chen creates colorful personalized illustrations of kids, families, and pets! Wendy’s art prints, available online or at Pike Place Market, start at $25. Prices for commissioned portraits vary. Contact Wendi through her website.

Art classes

Give your child of any age the gift of expression through art. Seattle is home to numerous wonderful kid-focused art classes, schools and instructors, many of them working artists.To find the right class for your child, check out “18 Places for Kids to Paint, Sculpt, and Create Art.” 

An animal to love

A lot of dogs and cats were adopted during the pandemic when people had more time on their hands to provide pet care. And a lot of them have been returned to shelters and animal adoption agencies as “the new normal” has settled in. If your family has been thinking about pet adoption, and has the time and resources to commit to pet care, consider giving the gift of love to both an animal in need and your child. Google pet adoption for a shelter or adoption organization near you. And be sure to read “Kids and pets: what to know before adopting an animal on our website to ensure your family is ready for a pet.

Bewilderness puzzle


A book with an important lesson

Kirkland author Michelle Olsen’s recently released book, Bonnie Blue Button is a Bully, is “a lively story with a worthy message about kindness,” according to Kirkus Review. The story of how a button turns her pain into bullying — and how other buttons help her change through kindness — is the third in Olsen’s world of buttons series. The first two, “Norman” and “Norman’s Gift,” were named Kirkus Review books of the year. Gift the whole set for your child aged 4 to 8. Bonnie retails at $14.99 at Secret Garden Books in Seattle and is available at other bookstores and online. 

Bewilderness, a whimsical puzzle

The holidays are about slowing down and being family. Nothing slows kids down more than a great puzzle. The Bewilderness Mount Rainier whimsical puzzle not only leads to a lovely rendering of Mt. Rainier, it also includes 27 whimsy pieces in shapes taken from Pacific Northwest lore. Who will find and place the Big Foot piece in this 496-piece wooden puzzle precision-laser cut from high-quality birch and basswood? The Tree? The whale? Ages 3 and older. $99 online at Bewilderment or at Made in Washington stores in Seattle, Lynnwood and Bellevue.

Fran’s chocolate sauce in support of Neighborhood House



What is a winter holiday without it? Seattle is home to wonderful commercial and artisan chocolate makers, so stuff those stockings with a local maker rather than a conglomerate’s brand. Our top pick for moms, dads and the true chocolate connoisseurs in your family is Fran’s Chocolates. Fran’s chocolate perfections support local charities including Safe Crossings, YWCA and Neighborhood House. In the charitable line, we love Fran’s Dark Chocolate Sauce ($12.75). Available in store boutiques Seattle and Bellevue and online

Or, make the kids laugh with a milk Chocolate Slug Sucker, made in Chehalis, Washington And accompanied by a packet of salt, and also available at the Pacific Northwest Shop in Wallingford.


Take a journey to the Pacific Northwest as you compete to create the most harmonious ecosystem in Cascadia! No, not the new country that some Washington and Oregon residents threaten to create, but the beautifully illustrated game. Turns are simple — select a tile/token set and place each into your expanding ecosystem. Earn points by fulfilling wildlife goals and creating the largest habitat corridors. With variable scoring goals, each game of Cascadia presents a new spatial puzzle. Fun and educational for ages 10 and older. Cascadia is available online and at Snapdoodle Toys & Games locations in Seattle, Kenmore and Redmond.  


For more than 120 years, strange and curious things have been on sale ont the Seattle Waterfront. The trays and shelves and nooks at Ye Olde Curiosity Shop are filled with animal bones, shells, and a whole lot of oddities that a kid with a curious mind is likely to find fascinating, gross and delightful. Shrunken heads, scorpions suspended in plastic, an old padlock from Alcatraz, framed butterflies . . .it’s a great place to collect stocking stuffers, particularly for scientifically minded kids ages 6 to 18. Did we mention the mummy? Prices vary, but fun can be found for under $10. Curiosities are available at the Seattle Waterfront store or online at Ye Olde Curiosity Shop.   

Duck Runner


Duck Runner push toy, a classic!

The first time my grandfather rolled Duckie across the floor in front of my 3-year-old feet lo those 52 years ago, I was smitten. Duckie flapped the ground with leather feet as Grandpa quacked. For days I pushed the toy’s extended handle everywhere I went. Years later, my own kids loved Duckie just as much, almost as much as our pet cat. Such a simple toy brought decades of joy. Handmade by Fall City-based Deep Forest Woodworks, the Duck Runner push toy is a throwback — and in invitation — to simple memories and simpler times. Ages 2 and older,  $39. Available online at and at the Pacific Northwest Shop in Wallingford.

Disney Villainous Game

Designed on Capitol Hill by board-game giant Ravensburger, the Disney Villainous Game speaks to the Maleficent in all of us. Not to mention that it won the Toy Foundation’s Game of the Year award in 2019. It’s the perfect escape for moody tweens, Disney-loving parents and a whole family eager to exercise their competitive natures around the holiday table. Ages 10 and older. Available on Amazon, $34.99.


Experience playing at KidsQuest Children’s Museum



Do you really want to give them more STUFF? Why not give your kids the gift of adventure and togetherness in the form of experiences to look forward to? High tea at The Queen Mary tearoom, a concert your teen has been dying to see and which they won’t believe you’d ever consider seeing, a Pacific Science Center pass for your curious kid, a foraging class with a naturalist. How about a trip to Seattle Opera? Or consider a family membership at KidsQuest Children’s Museum where 25 innovative exhihits encouraging learning through play with an enphasis on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). 

The possibilities are as wide as your kids’ interests, or your own. The cost of experiences vary, but the gift of experience is priceless.

Eat, play, learn

Ok, they are not locally made or sold in local shops. Still, the Eatable Alphabet Kitchen Activity Card deck is one gift I sure wish I’d had when my kids were young, back when they thought all food was grown at a store. Each card in this colorful, spill proof, 26-card set features a letter, the name of a food (English and Spanish), nutrition information and a few simple recipes. At the same time, they promote sensory experience, language acquisition, number recognition, math and more. Developed in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics, funded by the CDC. Ages 2-6. $24.95. Available online at Chop Chop Family

Pocket Disk handmade frisbee at Snapdoodle Toys


52 Ways to Nature

There are so many fun, interesting and/or challenging things to discover in Washington State’s great outdoors. But gathering information about them and choosing which direction to go can be daunting work. Where do you go? What do you need to know? 

Seattle author Lauren Braden has made the task of finding and choosing awesome outdoor adventures all year round easy with her new book, “52 Ways to Nature Washington: Your Seasonal Guide to a Wilder Year.” Wrap it up and make it a “whole family” gift. $22.95. Available online at Mountaineers or at the Mountaineers Bookstore in Seattle.

Flower Press

The simplest gift idea on our list, the Clover Toys Flower Press in Ballard is made especially for this beloved children’s toy story. At 5 x 9 inches, the laser-cut flower press can squeeze some fairly large blossoms or other plant forms.  It’s made of draft board, recycled cardboard and rubber bands; although it can be used with any paper, the staff at Clover suggest printer and watercolor papers get the best results. Ages 3 and older. $16. Available in-store or online at Clover Toys.

Fair Trade: Local shops bring a world of gifts to you 

This holiday season, step out of line at the big-box retailers and give your kids handmade gifts from local stores dedicated to ethically produced items from communities in our region and around the world. Got someone on your list who would love a knitted hat topped with a unicorn horn ($29)? Head to Fair Trade Winds in Ballard for an array of wonderful animal hats. The Silly Monster Sock Puppet ($24.99) is just one kid gift that can be found at Ten Thousand Villages  in Seattle’s Roosevelt neighborhood. And at  Casita International on Capitol Hill, wonderful locally authored baby books, clothing and other infant gifts are eager to put in an appearance under your tree. For a great stocking stuffer, check out the fair trade Pocket Disk ($11.99) available at Snapdoodle Toys & Games. This cotton crocheted frisbee is handmade by the Maya of Guatemala and purchases support that community. 

GeoKidz kits


GeoKidz Kits Really Dig it! 

Got a digger in your family? Inspire a budding earth scientist to go deeper with a GeoKidz Geology Dig Kit, created by Lake Liberty parents Melia and Justin Rice (Justin just happens to be a professional geologist). Kits include the right tools and guidance for fun and authentic scientific exploration. Ages 5 and older with a parent, 12 and older on their own. Available online at Explore GeoKids or at Made in Washington stores in Seattle, Lynnwood and Bellevue.

Puzzles, art and more by the artist Henry


Huggalugs hats, leggings and more

Huggalugs’ soft, stretchy leg warmers scrunch to keep baby’s legs warm, then extend to cover school-age calves and arms. Add a bandit-themed sweater and beanie for the full, too-cute effect. Based in Redmond, Huggalugs can be found at specialty retailers worldwide or at

“Henry” prints, puzzles, plushies and more

The work of Ryan Henry Ward, who signs his colorful piece with the simple black-and-white moniker Henry,” can be found on more than 400 murals around Seattle. It can also be placed under the tree this year  – on canvases, prints, plush animals, hats, tee-shirts, stickers, posters, mugs, giclee prints or patches. Recently, the artist turned some of his favorite works into wooden puzzles, starting at $40. Find Henry art at

Hand warming mug

It’s New Year’s Eve and you’re gathered around the fire in the cold and dark. The kids’ teeth are chattering. What better way to warm up the celebration than with handwarmer mugs, handcrafted in the small town of Milton-Freewater, Oregon. Big and little hands will fit right “into the mug.” Left- and right-hand options. $26 each. Available in person or online at the Pacific Northwest Shop in Wallingford.

Locally handmade hula-hoops and hacky sacks

Sure, you can pick up a factory made, official brand Hoola Hoop and send your kids off in hip-swirling action, but the handmade hula-hoops created by a local artisan and sold at Snapdoodle Toys & Games have something extra – a special gift of color that will keep young ones exercising just for the fun of it. While you are there, pick up a few hacky sacks for stockings; they are handmade in the Puget Sound area as well.

Car prints, calendars, books and more from local photographer Anthony Schmidt


Images by Anthony Schmidt

Have a car lover in your family? Young or older, the photos taken by Anthony Schmidt will capture their heart. Anthony is a 15-year-old Woodinville teen with a steady creative hand, a sharp photographer’s eye, and autism. He makes highly detailed model cars, sets them in ultra-realistic dioramas and then shoots stunning images of the scene. Anthony’s book Small Cars, Big Inspiration is $49.99. His images (framed, on a calendar, on T-shirts or other items) are available online at

Introduce them to ice skating

King County doesn’t get a whole lot of snow year to year, but there is year-round ice in Seattle, Shoreline, Lynnwood, Kirkland and other cities – not the least of which is the Kraken Comunity Iceplex where you can give your kids a cold-weather tradition: ice skating lessons. Kraken Community Iceplex offers classes for ages 3 to adult and an adult-and-child class as well. Starting at $216 for eight classes. Perhaps wrap a few youth “Squid Squad” t-shirts ($14.99 at the Simply Seattle store in downtown Seattle and on Pier 54) for under the tree, as a hint to the fun ahead. Highland Ice Arena in Shoreline, Lynnwood Ice Center and Sno-King Ice Arenas in Renton in Snoqualmie and Renton also offer kid classes. Most arenas offer financial aid for those in need.

Leather journals from No Boundaries Books


The Juno Bassinet

Got a baby or grandchild coming into your life? Have an infant under three months you want to travel with in the new year? Sometimes great ideas — like a fully recyclable bassinet — are simply old ideas elevated to the next level. Literally. The Juno Bassinet was developed by Seattle dad Herman Chan and his business partner Thomas Duester and is partially inspired by a nearly century-old Finnish tradition. It’s a lightweight, paperboard infant bed that folds down flat, travels easily, is built “like a hammer” and designed to last through at least a few siblings. $150. Available online at

Socially responsible jewelry

Local jewelry maker Boma became a Social-Purpose Corporation in 2019, committed to seeking social and environmental balance in their business. In addition, Boma runs a grant program that helps BIPOC jewelry designers, creative directors and entrepreneurs. Check out Boma’s animal, fruit, unicorn and whimsy earrings and other products. $26 and up. Available in stores throughout Seattle and online at Boma.

Handmade leather journals

Journals are an excellent way for children to explore their creativity, express their thoughts and improve their writing skills. Leather-bound journals at No Boundaries Books age beautifully and will stand the test of your young writer’s secrets and inspirations. During the month of December, if a customer purchases $100.00 (before tax) worth of leather journals from No Boundaries Books, they will receive a free pocket-sized journal ($20 value) of their choice. Best for older tweens and teens who love to write. Large journals $63 and up, pocket journal $20. Available at Pike Place Market or online at No Boundaries Books.

Jellycat animals and books

These cute, cuddly creatures are certainly not locally made, but Jellycat London’s plush animals remain wildly popular this year. For one of the best assortments in Seattle, head over to Childish Things located in the Crown Hill neighborhood in Seattle. You’ll find not only a world of colorful, delightful, collectable animal toys, but also Jellycat’s wonderful line of “If I were a . . .” (rabbit, tiger, unicorn) board books. Jellycat animals start at $15, Jellycat books at $12.50.

Inside a kaleidoscope from Kaleidoscope Artistry


A Kaleidoscope they’ll hold on to

A kaleidoscope is a magical thing — a telescope that reveals the ever-changing colors and patterns of ordinary things. The handmade scopes created by Friday Harbor artists Luc and Sallie Durette are works of art your child will cherish and carry with them through life. With dynamic interiors made of wood, glass, metals, ceramics, and acrylic lacquers, they showcase objects as diverse as tumbling dried flowers, imported beads, exquisitely detailed flame-worked glass and brilliantly colored hand-coiled wires. Best for ages 10 and older who will treat a scope with respect. $195 and up. Available online at the Kaleidoscope Artistry website.


A closer look

Give your child – or your whole family – the gift of looking at the natural world and the universe up close. Cloud Break Optics, located in Ballard’s Sunset Hill neighborhood, is the place to go to discover the wide world of binoculars, telescopes and other optical equipment. Sure, you could get great gear online. But it’s the shop here that’s worth the trip and a return trip for learning after the gift is unwrapped. The FirstScope Signature Series: Moon by Robert Reeves is a good stargazing start, with its wide field-of-view providing bright, sharp images of the moon’s mountains and craters.  It’s a great tool for panning the Milky Way and more. $71.95. School ages and older. (For younger ages, only with supervision – it’s not a toy, it’s a real telescope! A good set of binoculars starts around $69. Available in store or online at Cloud Break Optics

Bring your scope out to stargazing events held by Seattle Astronomical Society and learn from night sky experts! They’ll have scopes for you to look through as well.

The Child model from Metal Earth


Metal Earth DIY metal sculptures

SeaTac-based Metal Earth makes intricate metal sculptures for you to assemble: everything from dinosaurs to the Space Needle, Star Wars to Looney Tunes characters. The amazingly detailed models are cut from 4-inch-square steel sheets. Pop the pieces out and bend tabs to connect them; no glue required. Kits range from easy to challenging. Does your teen love The Mandolorian? Consider sculptures from the series, including The Child model,  priced at $24.96. Ages 14 and older. Available online through Innovatoys.

Make your gift at Seattle Makers!



You do not need to spend a lot of money to give great gifts. How about skipping the toys and offering your child a chance to create their own magical thing. Head to your local hardware store to load up on interesting low-cost bits and pieces of wood, piping, zip ties, odd nuts and bolts, strange doodads and building innards. Put it all in a series of boxes that lead to your toolbox with a holiday card that says, “Let’s create!” All ages. Prices vary, but ask store clerks for directions to the clearance bins or for unsaleable items to keep costs low. Need a different space to create? A membership at Seattle Makers, which offers both space for experimenting in DIY and also help, varies from no cost to $245/month. Go go

New-to-them clothing and other great stuff

In these days of inflation, why spend an arm and a leg to put children’s clothing under the tree? Most of the gently used items you’ll find at Childish Things in North Seattle look brand new and it’s never too soon to teach your kids the value of not needing brand-new everything.  This little store packs a punch with hundreds of thoughtfully selected new-to-you items for sale, including maternity clothes, furniture, and more. Checks the boxes: Save money, save the environment, shop local! Prices vary.

Owl stuffed animal kit from Two Owls


Owl stuffed animal kit

Two Owls oare better than one, when it comes to unique kids gifts. This Capitol Hill shop offers kids’ toys, organic cotton clothing and more, inspired by the Waldorf natural-materials approach. The store, which works in collaboration  with Bootyland Kids, is located on Chophouse Row. But back to owls. Our pick for this show is The Owl Stuffed Animal Kit. $30, ages 8 and older with parent support. Available online at Two Owls  with in-store pick up.

Rachel the Pig ornaments in support of Pike Place Market


Pike Place Market picks

Seattle’s historic downtown market is full of unique and local small businesses, each with its own gift ideas. Along with artists Kate Endle and Wendi Chen (see A on this list), here are a few shops to consider. 

Eighth Generation is owned by the Snoqualmie Tribe and has beautiful products designed and made by Native artists. Do you give socks each year? The ones found here will be treasured and cost only $16.50. And at $29, the shop’s eagle beach towel is a great gift for a tween or teen. Available in store or online.

The Made in Washington store is full of locally made products including kids’ toys, starting around $20.. Consider the book P.S. Boats by local author Susan Gibbons Wolf, featuring award-winning artwork and cheerful, rhyming text about boats and unique qualities of Puget Sound. $19.95. Available in store and online.

The Rachel the Piggy Bank sculpture at the center of the market is a kid favorite. Start the tradition of giving your child a new tree ornament each year by wrapping a  Rachel the Ornament for them this year. $35. Proceeds go to the Pike Place Market Foundation.

Or consider a handmade piggy bank from Stephanie Schull’s Pike Place Pigs, which offers ceramic piggy banks in a rainbow of colors and featuring a cork nose. Available at Pike Place Market or online at

The gift of warmth from a handmade quilt


Hand-sewn quilt

The Washington Stars Quilt Guild, based in Olympia, offers quilts for sale and has a wonderful array of options, including designs your kids will love. Wrap them up in a unique gift they’ll love for many years.. Baby quilts start at $50 and kids’ quilts range, on average, from $60 to $200. Available online through the guild.

Noi’s fabric flower necklaces from the Refugee Artisan Initiative


Refugee Artisan Initiative gifts

If you’ve got a child, tween or teen in your house who loves handmade necklaces, hats, scarves and other accessories, head to the Refugee Artisan Initiative. Gifts purchased here will look great and help refugee and immigrant women in the Seattle area build a new life. Crafters hail from countries all over the world, including Ethiopia, Afghanistan and Vietnam. All the profits from sales go directly to the workers. Two items the kids are sure to love: Noi’s fabric flower necklaces, starting at $30, and laminated zipper pouches, to hold school supplies or other items, $15. Available online through the initiative.

Recycled plastic kid shoes

OK, we’re cheating again. Rothy’s, the maker of these very cool kid sneakers made from recycled plastic bottles, is not based in Seattle. But it is based on the west coast and in America’s top recycling town of San Francisco (keep trying, Seattle!). Wonderful colors and styles, soft and comfortable. All sizes. $55. Available at Rothy’s in University Village or online through Rothy’s website. 

Sk8 Dad Summer, a great gift for parents by Seattle’s Child cartoonist Brett Hamil


Sk8t Dad Summer

Yes, we know it’s winter. But give a dad in your life a great “my world has changed” read by Seattle’s Child’s resident cartoonist and “You’d Cry Too” artist Brett Hamil. Sk8t Dad Summer is a gnarly illustrated read. And also a sweet, funny, poignant little book that rides along one dad’s commitment to personal growth after a child comes along. $10, available online from Bird Cage Bottom Books.

Simply Fun games

Bellevue-based game maker Simply Fun is on a mission to grow young brains. The company’s games are fun to play and they help bolster the life and educational skills kids are developing in the more structured settings of school and at home. Give the gift of face-to-face attention and togetherness. Our pick is SavannaScapes. The game is set in the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem with its amazing diversity of animal life. Players take turns moving around the play area choosing specific tiles and placing them next to others to provide them with their needed habitats, creating an ecosystem. $40. Ages 7 and older. Available online at Simply Fun.


Not local, but Scrollino interactive rewinding books are a fun and eco-friendly way to learn, read and draw for kids of all ages — and adults too. Insert pencil and scroll your book forward at your own pace. The books are fully recyclable and compostable. What’s local here? Right now a handful are on sale for $5 at local independent toyseller Snapdoodle Toys & Games.  

The Trainbow by Lummi Island author and illustrator Nina Laden


The Trainbow by Nina Laden

This little book is one of the newest from one of the Pacific Northwest’s most prolific and beloved children’s book author/illustrators. This accordion cutout board book folds out to reveal a beautiful, colorful train with rainbow steam. It’s both a book and a toy. With The Trainbow, Laden offers a piece of her own childhood to her young audience. The rainbow-colored train depicted here was inspired by art Laden drew at age 6. Ages Newborn-3. Available for store pick up from Elliot Bay Book Company three days after online order. Or, available online at

Tacoma (or Seattle) Playing Card Decks

Yes, we are putting the Tacoma deck first, well, because ‘T.” This collectible deck of cards presents the unique story of Tacoma, Washington, told through fifty-four original illustrations and photographs by local artists. A fun stocking stuffer if you know the area and perfect for rounds of Go Fish!, War, Crazy Eights and other old-time family card games. $20.99. Ages 6 and older. Available from a Pacific Northwest Shop in Seattle or Tacoma or online through the shop.

What about Seattle? You and your kids can get in a game on a Seattle-based deck as well. The Seattle Art Museum Shop has a deck designed by Portland, Oregon artist Aaron Trotter which features 52 drawings of iconic scenes around Seattle. Ages 6 and older. $20. Available at the Seattle Art Museum or from the museum’s online store.

The Story of Ukraine: An Anthem of Glory and Freedom


Ukraine in art and prose

Kids have certainly heard about Ukraine and the war raging there. Here’s a book that will help them understand the people of that country. The Story of Ukraine: An Anthem of Glory and Freedom by Olena Kharchenko and Michael Sampson, and illustrated by Polina Doroshenko, walks readers through each line of the Ukraine national anthem while providing details of land and life in the country. Presented in English and Ukrainian, this book gives readers of all ages the opportunity to put a context around the news they hear. No, it’s not local. But it is an example of how crisis in the world impacts us here at home. $17.99. Ages 4 to 8. Available on Amazon.

Fill your Flever dollhouse with tiny furnishings from Miniatures and More in Edmonds


Very small things

Let your child of any age explore the world of small things in a home they build and decorate themselves (with your help, of course). A dollhouse can be as simple as a wooden box turned on its side or as elaborate as the Flever DIY Victorian Dollhouse available on Amazon. (Recommended for 14 and older to build alone; younger kids should work with a parent.) Along with a DIY dollhouse, give your child a handmade certificate that they can take to Miniatures and More in Edmonds. That’s where they can collect all the tiny things they think belong in the perfect tiny house. Prices vary, but start with tiny tables at around $8.

Wonderful wooden toys form NW Alpine


A world of wooden toys

Simple wooden toys tap a child’s imagination the way plastic and electronic toys often don’t. In fact, a study out of Eastern Connecticut State University found that when it comes to encouraging problem-solving, creativity and positive social interactions, simpler toys are best. More durable than most plastic toys, well-made wooden toys are often safer and more sustainable. Find them at: Mirus Toys (Vancouver), Autumn Creek Custom Toy (Clear Lake), Northwest Alpine Woodworks (Marysville), and Tom’s Woodshop (Silverdale). Check out “The wonder of wooden toys” at 

Washington State Book Award Winners

These three won this year’s top prize in the Washington State Book Awards contest and are sure to please readers of different ages and stages. 

  • Picture Book: “Rock by Rock: The Fantastical Garden of Nek Chand” by Burlington writer Jennifer Bradbury and illustrated by Sam Boughton. Ages 4-8. 
  • Books for young readers: “Mighty Inside” is a historical fiction and coming-of-age story by Renton-based writer Sundee Frazier. Ages 8–12.
  • Books for Young Adult Readers: Seattle-based author Margaret Owen’s “Little Thieves” is a colorful tale of the mythical adopted goddaughter of Death and Fortune. Ages 14-18.

Call ahead to your  locally owned bookstore to ensure these books are in stock. All are available on Amazon.

Made in the PNW — Inner Rhythm Xylophone


Xylophone (Yes, a Xylophone!) 

Give the gift of a handmade musical instrument that will help a child of any age discover their own inner rhythm. The Inner Rhythm Xylophone is handmade by David Quill at Applegate, Oregon-based Inner Rhythms. Made of ash and fir, it’s functional and will last a lifetime. Quill also offers an array of other handmade instruments perfect for kids just starting to explore. Check out all of Quill’s handmade instruments on his Etsy site

Everybody needs a Yeti


YOU (or them) as An Animal

There’s an animal in each of us – and it changes depending on the day. Local artist Michelle Lassaline invites kids and adults alike to be the animal they want to be. And she will capture that animal essence on canvas as part of her You as An Animal art series. Bring a photo of your child to one of Lassaline’s pop-up You as an Animal art performances in markets across the region. Or contact Lasserline through her website to find out how to have your child’s inner animal captured in art. All ages. Prices vary. Check out “Imagine: You as an animal!” on

Everyone needs a Yeti Doll 

This super-soft wooly Yeti makes a great companion and a fearsome pillow! It stands 13″ tall and is 11″ wide. Each yeti is hand-crafted in Seattle, in a variety of color combinations. But don’t stop at Yetis. Careful it Bites! offers a wide array of wonderfully unique and original plush animals and mini-monsters. Let them know if you have any color preferences. All ages. Prices vary. Available at Pike Place Market, Pacific Northwest Shops and online at Careful It Bites!

Give them the gift of land and see at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium


Give them a zoo (and aquarium)

The best gifts are the ones that are not only fun for your kids, but support a good cause, like animal conservation. Give them the gift of a year of zoo visits by becoming a member at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma or the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. Becoming a member family has benefits – including a lot of savings on multiple trips, discounts in the zoo shops and advance information about wonderful holiday events like WildLanterns display (at WPZ November 11 to January 22 this year) or PDZA’s Zoolights display (November 25 to January 2). All ages. Point Defiance Zoo family memberships start at $165. Woodland Park Zoo family passport membership costs $225. 

P.s. We know aquarium goes under A but since we’re talking creatures, consider putting a family membership to the Seattle Aquarium under your tree this year and help continue the aquarium’s marine conservation efforts.

More at Seattle’s Child:

“Give experiences not things this year”

“Check out the holiday lights displays 2022”


About the Author

Cheryl Murfin

Cheryl Murfin is managing editor at Seattle's Child. She is also a certified doula, lactation educator for and a certified AWA writing workshop facilitator at