Shop Small

12 Holiday Gifts From Small Businesses To Delight & Inspire Kids

Every lovely item on this list is from a small business owned by people of the global majority.

Sponsored
Raising Anti-Racist Kids
We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

The holiday season is upon us, and as always, I have mixed feelings about shopping for my kids. I’ll admit I’m a wee bit obsessed with the traditions surrounding Christmas, so we make a big deal about it at our house. Can I be honest, though? I’d love it if I could give my kids no gifts and not partake in the commercialization of the holiday season. However, the reality is that they have their own desires and things that they’re really into. We also celebrate Hanukkah, so the gift giving can start early. What’s the middle ground, you ask? Is there a way for us to bring smiles to our kiddies’ faces while combating some of the commercialism of the holidays?

There’s no perfect answer but I’ve been finding it helpful to be more intentional about what I buy my kids and from whom. Enter the wide array of ethically and thoughtfully made goodies from small businesses owned by people of the global majority. I recently discovered Goodbuy, an online platform, browser extension, and mobile app designed to connect us conscious shoppers with small businesses. (It’s good to note that small businesses donate 250% more than large corporations to local nonprofits and community causes.)

Goodbuy works with more than 185,000 small businesses offering more than 19 million products. I love selecting from 15 business owner identity and values tags, including Black-owned, certified ethical, cruelty-free, sustainable, and so much more to find items that are thoughtful and ethically made and that push us all further along in our antiracist journey.

Here’s a peek at what my kids are getting for Hanukkah and Christmas this year.

An introduction to an icon of Black history, from Kido Chicago

Black-owned, women-owned, family-owned

My daughter loves arts and crafts and dolls, so she’s going to love these paper dolls that teach about Black history. In addition to the Josephine Baker doll shown here, you can add Stacey Abrams, Angela Davis, Nina Simone, and Zora Neale Hurston to your collection. Created by Adrienne Brown-David, each doll comes with a short educational bio and one additional outfit. Kido Chicago is a family-run business that I’m thrilled to support.

Crayons to see yourself in, from All Of Us Art

Black-owned, women-owned, sustainable

It wasn’t too long ago that “flesh-colored” crayons were limited to pale skin tones in the crayon box. Started by a mom who couldn’t find a beeswax crayon in the perfect shade of brown to draw her own mom for her daughter, All of Us offers a remedy to this with a set of eight richly pigmented, nontoxic crayons. Lovingly handcrafted with sustainably sourced beeswax, plant waxes, and natural earth pigments, The Rounds are just the right shape for little fingers to grasp. Our family is always on the go, so I love that this comes with a cute carrying case.

Black boy joy, from Post 21 Shop

Black-owned, women-owned, family-owned

My son and I do affirmations before school every day, so I fell in love with these Black Boy Joy Affirmation Cards that lead you on an empowering journey through the alphabet. Each card features a letter from the alphabet, a phonetic word, and affirmation to share with your little one. It also comes with two blank cards so you can create your own affirmations together!

Nontoxic, vegan nail polish from Habit Cosmetics

Black-owned, women-owned, sustainable, cruelty free, vegan

My daughter is obsessed with makeup and she’s only 3, so I’ve been on the hunt for clean makeup for her. Founder Aja Frierson launched Habit Cosmetics to build an inclusive beauty brand. Habit is nontoxic and vegan and comes with sustainable packaging. I love its nail polish for my daughter. Maybe now she can stop stealing mine.

A T-shirt with a subtly powerful message, from ThunderVoice Hat Co.

Indigenous-owned

Made from 100% organic cotton, this adorable tee is ideal for layering and made by ThunderVoice Hat Co., a small business that carries on the lineage of Indigenous fashion that emerged from a collaboration of cultures.

A gorgeous book about imagination and spirit, from Reparations Club

Black-owned, women-owned

Jacqueline Woodson’s little masterpiece answers every justice-minded parent’s question of how to teach our kids about injustice while not robbing them of their joy. This book tells the story of little kids who learn to fly with their imaginations and their spirits. This comes in especially handy as they learn about their history and move to a new neighborhood where they face some obstacles. This is one of those rare kids books that delights kids and adults alike.

A doll with beautiful curls and big plans, from Healthy Roots

Black-owned, women-owned

My daughter’s curls are just coming in, and I know it’s never too early to surround her with toys that reflect her identity. Healthy Roots dolls bring curl power to the toy aisle with products that reflect the diversity of our world. With a diverse range of facial features, skin tones, and hair textures that can be styled in countless ways, Healthy Roots offers dolls and storybooks that empower our kids.

Zoe is shown here with the future astronaut outfit, which is sold separately ($14.99).

A puzzle that celebrates Filipino food, from Kido Chicago

Black-owned, women-owned, family-owned

Raising antiracist kids includes teaching them about the many cultures around us. This Filipino food wooden puzzle is a great introduction to Filipino food for my kids, and I’m hoping it inspires an appetite for new foods from around the world.

A cute & scrumptious tee, from Mochi Kids

AAPI-owned, women-owned, family-owned

Mochi Kids started as a hobby and grew into a family-run business that prioritizes social responsibility and supporting fellow small businesses. This adorable tee, screen-printed in the United States, offers a fun graphic in a great color.

A board book that inspires little changemakers, from Kido Chicago

Black-owned, women-owned, family-owned

Board books are a huge hit in our home, and I love that A Little Book About Activism actually speaks to kids in simple terms about what activism is. Introducing kids to the practice of activism very early on helps build a culture of service to the community in your home.

A pho real delicious food puzzle, from Kido Chicago

Black-owned, women-owned, family-owned

As you can tell, I love these food puzzles. My toddler is really into puzzles, so I picked this Vietnamese food wooden puzzle for her because it’s critically important to teach our kids about the many cultures not just in the world but also right here in our country.

An engaging introduction to a complex concept, from Post 21 Shop

Black-owned, women-owned, family-owned

Next up in my obsession with board books is A Little Book About Justice. For little ones who love vibrant colors and powerful imagery, this powerful little tool can help teach kids about the strength of their own actions.

A beautifully crafted balancing game, from I-Hos Gallery

I-Hos Gallery, owned and operated by K’ómoks First Nation, showcases traditional and contemporary Northwest Coast artwork produced by First Nations artists. I’m always looking for toys that help with hand-eye coordination for my toddler. This adorable and vibrantly colored set is sure to catch her eyes and keep her entertained for some time. The Bear & Cubs design shown here was created by Coast Salish artist Simone Diamond; you can also choose the Salmon & Eggs design by Haisla, Heiltsuk artist Paul Windsor.

Raising Anti-Racist Kids is a biweekly column written by Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs focused on education and actionable steps for parents who are committed to raising anti-racist children and cultivating homes rooted in liberation for Black people. To reach Tabitha, email hello@romper.com or follow her on Instagram.