Last year, right around this time, my daughter was eight months old—which it turns out, is too young to really “get” the holidays—and lucky for me because I had no idea what to get her. This year, by the time we get to Christmas, my kiddo will be 20 months. We’re excited because we think many of the details that were lost on her last year (a house decked out in lights, a shiny and sparkly tree, hot chocolate) will be full of magic for her this year, including opening some special gifts.
Luckily, there’s no shortage of amazing, age-appropriate gifts, and I’ll be getting most of them from Peeka & Co., a digital marketplace with a curated selection of toys and gear for little kids. The brand also manages to check off a few other boxes on my list when it comes to spending money and shopping specifically for my kid.
While not every toy has to have educational value, it's a bonus to discover one that's not only fun but benefits your kid's development as well. That's why Peeka & Co. offers a range of products that have received a stamp of approval from child educators and healthcare professionals. Expert-recommended is just one of the values in the online marketplace and it's a staple of many of the brands available.
The values-driven shopping experience doesn’t end at expert-backed. Peeka & Co. has identified several core values that can inform your shopping experience. These include clean ingredients, ethical production and child development. If supporting BIPOC-owned brands is an important element of your shopping experience, you can filter for it at Peeka & Co. The same goes for mom-owned brands and even brands that have a giving-back element to their identity. It’s never been easier to put your money where your values are and support brands that align with your own core beliefs.
Perhaps my favourite thing about shopping at Peeka & Co. is the easy-to-navigate website. You can filter your search by core values, but you can also isolate for age, the type of play or gear you’re looking for, by brand and also by event or price if you’re looking for a gift.
I love these simple wooden circles with different shapes and colours on them. There are two of each type, so the goal is to practice matching and memory, but this game also allows for fine motor skills development and promotes concentration and focus. And while those last two are in short supply in a toddler, there’s no harm in practice, right?
Brand values: clean ingredients, child development, giving back, made in North America, ethical production.
Listen, I don’t know a toddler who doesn’t love to build a tower ultimately to make it crash to the ground. And this set of nesting blocks—with black and white illustrations, numbers and baby animals—will be perfect for that favourite activity. But it will also allow us to practice naming animals, count in order and talk about size.
Brand values: BIPOC-owned, clean ingredients, giving back, child development, ethical production, mom-owned.
When she was born, my daughter was gifted all sorts of stuffed animals—but it’s only now that she seems to enjoy them in an interactive way. That’s why I’m excited to add this hand-loomed hand puppet to her collection. With a little help from Mom and Dad, playing with Zena the Zebra can be a fully interactive experience. Storytime is about to get a lot more silly voices.
Brand values: mom-owned, clean ingredients, giving back, BIPOC-owned, ethical production.
It would be the understatement of the year to say that my daughter is an active kid. She does not sit still. And so, trying to give her alternatives to climbing the shelves (anchored to the wall) and balancing on the coffee table (with a soft rug underneath) is hard, especially on days when the weather doesn’t allow us to go outside. This is why bringing a little piece of the playground inside will be a huge help. She can climb and balance and rock back and forth, practice her coordination and balance—hopefully while allowing her parents to enjoy an uninterrupted 10 minutes of coffee drinking on a weekend morning.
Brand values: child development, clean ingredients, made in North America, ethical production, give back.