Ride ’Em Cowboy
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys. Oh, never mind, let them do whatever they want! This super-adorable rodeo romper ($25) starts ’em off right and ready to sign up for mutton bustin’ as soon as they can walk. The fringes on the arms and legs really complete the look. Get yours, plus everything else you need to outfit your little cowpoke, at Yippee Yi Yo (54 E. San Francisco St., 988-2757).
Not all parents want their children to become tattooed adults but, for those who do (you know who you are), baby tattoos ($5.75) are a great starter. They’re perfectly sized for pint-sized arms, and are gentle enough not to harm young skin (unlike an ink-filled needle traveling at the speed of light). Doodlet’s (120 Don Gaspar Ave., 983-3771) is a treasure trove of toys and crafts for both kids and grown-ups.
Visions of Sugarplums
The pop-up book finds a whole new life in the hands of visionary designer Robert Saruda, whose pop-up incarnations delight pretty much anyone who cracks the cover. Poem (in Sena Plaza, 125 E. Palace Ave., 820-7884) has a holiday stock of Clement Clarke Moore’s The Night Before Christmas ($26), featuring brilliant and intricate paper designs.
Build Outside the Block
The toys at Toyopolis (66 W. Marcy St., 988-8994) encourage kids to create, build, play and exist in unique ways, and Dado products are no exception. The easy-to-use toys, in both square ($22.99) and cube ($27.99) sets, create 3-D constructions of which Legos can only dream of.
Who wants their kid to hump a heavy load to and from preschool? Certainly not parents who shop at On Your Little Feet (in Sanbusco Market Center, 530 Montezuma Ave., 983-3900). Sassafras Pull-along Backpacks ($30) take the forms of moose, horses, bears, zebras or cheetahs (not shown) and have handles that pull out, just like the best wheeled suitcases in the airport. Scoliosis be damned!
Booties Worth the Bronze
On second thought, don’t bronze these felted wool baby booties ($40). Keep them just the way they are—they’re much prettier that way. At Indigo Baby (in DeVargas Center, Guadalupe Street and Paseo de Peralta, 954-4000), you can find these booties, along with tons of other locally made, sustainable, organic and generally wholesome products for moms and kids alike.
In da Hood
Hoodies aren’t just for Ma and Pa anymore. Actually, pretty much any clothes you think are best-suited for adults (faux fur, puffy jackets) are available for half-pints at Merry Go Round (150 Washington Ave., 988-5422). We especially like these hoodies, whether your favorite kid opts for the embroidered butterfly ($74.95) or the skull and crossbones ($44.95).
Some kids start jonesing for a car way before high school. Sate the appetite for horsepower with Bruder trucks ($34-$96 at Play, in Sanbusco Market Center, 500 Montezuma Ave., 820-3338). Bruders are made with impeccable attention to detail, from a detachable hose on the fire truck to a rotating canister on the cement truck.
Bring Nature Home
Hansa animal toys are handmade in Indonesia, and bring an exotic element to the playroom. The realistic animals come in every shape from rodents to hyenas and run from $10 to $60 at Moon Rabbit Toys (in Plaza Mercado, 112 W. San Francisco St., 982-9373). Even bigger and pricier ones are available, such as a life-size buffalo but, until there’s room in Moon Rabbit’s chock-full shop, there is indeed a price ceiling. Hansa also creates model animals for zoos and museums, so their artisans really know what they’re doing.
Coyuchi creates blankets and towels out of awesomely high-quality organic cotton. The American company, which ethically produces its textiles in India, embroiders its products (which range from sheets to shirts to baby onesies) with adorable wilderness creatures. BODY of Santa Fe (333 W. Cordova Road, 986-0362) carries many Coyuchi products, including the hooded terrycloth towel ($49) and the incredibly soft receiving blanket ($64).