Although we may be best known for our pottery studios, each of our four Pottery Cafe locations have an inviting cafe on-site and a toy shop crammed with irresistible gifts for children. From cuddly Jellycats to classic games and craft kits, our Little Toy Shops focus on fair trade, traditional and wooden toys – things that look every bit as good as they seem. Indeed, we don’t like to boast but we think Father Christmas could do a lot worse than send his elves to one of our Little Toy Shops to stock up. And if he needs any pointers for stocking fillers, here are our recommended top ten:
1. Emma Bridgewater melamine beaker or cereal bowl
These shatterproof cups and bowls come in some of our favourite Bridgewater patterns for children. Choose from Dancing Mice, Men At Work, Pink Hearts or Starry Skies. Or for those children who’ve been exceptionally good this year, there’s a six-piece melamine set of plate, bowl and mug, with matching cutlery.
2. Flower Fairy or Peter Rabbit glitter beaker
Younger children will love these beautifully illustrated plastic cups, featuring either a Columbine Flower Fairy or Peter Rabbit. The walls of the beaker are filled with sparkling glitter suspended in water and, as the drinker tips the cup up, glitter floats bewitchingly through the liquid.
3. Miniature Jellycats
Is there any child that doesn’t have their own Jellycat to cuddle? Most of the Jellycat animals come in a wide range of sizes from bear-huggable to pocket toy. We think one of the tiny bunnies or mice peeking out of a stocking would cause some suitably joyful squeals on Christmas morning…
4. Gruffalo giant snap
These playing cards not only feature Axel Scheffler’s gorgeous illustrations from Julia Donaldson’s much-loved classic ‘The Gruffalo’ but, being oversized and laminated, they’re easy for little hands to handle. The colourful tin keeps everything together and makes tidy-up time a cinch.
5. Finger Printing Art Set
We love finger prints to personalise our pottery but they can also make unique art on paper! These themed kits make it fun and easy, with a selection of rubber stamps and coloured ink pads that turn your prints into fairies, dinosaurs or monsters. Perfect for budding artists.
Simple but timeless, kaleidoscopes hold no end of fascination for children. Drag them away from the TV or computer screen and watch their faces light up with wonder as they discover the incredible patterns and explosions of colour they can find through the lens of this classic toy.
7. Wooden Animal Castanets
Satisfyingly chunky wooden castanets, colourfully painted in a variety of animal characters. Choose from ladybird, frog or monkey designs. They make a perfect introduction to sound and rhythm and are easy for small hands to use, encouraging manual dexterity and co-ordination.
8. Wind-up Animal Torch
A good torch is an essential bedside accessory: vital for secret “lights out” book reading, midnight feasts and any other impromptu nocturnal adventures. Best of all is a torch that doesn’t need batteries! Just wind one of the ‘animal’ arms to charge it up. Choose from a delightful menagerie of torch animals.
9. Tiny Pottery Jug
For a more grown-up stocking filler, we think you can’t beat a miniature Chesselware jug – perfect for serving bijoux amounts of cream or milk. They’ve even been known to be used as little vases. Either decorate your own jug in the studio or choose one painted with our ever-popular strawberry print.
10. Personalised Pottery
If you can get it to Santa in time, hand-painted pottery makes a wonderful present, especially for a doting parent or grandparent. Great stocking fillers include egg cups, tiles and jam or soap dishes. Paint it in the recipient’s favourite colours or use our sponges to create a seasonal pattern. We even have special pens to help you write on a personal message, name or date.