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5 lovable baby gifts—that make the world a little better, too

3. Brain-building wooden blocks that are good for the forest. This company plants 983 trees for every one used! 

5 lovable baby gifts—that make the world a little better, too

Who knew doing the

right thing could be so adorable? We know, mama. You’re busy. You want gifts


for your baby (and for your friends’ baby showers) to be beautiful, useful, and

ethically produced, but who has time to do that much research?

That’s what we’re

here for.

We’ve done a little digging into production practices, materials, and

missions, and we would love to share what we found with you. Here’s a roundup

of some of the best gifts for babies that you can feel good about buying and

gifting, or using yourself.

1.

A gorgeous nursing cover from a cottage

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business with a mission to support nursing mothers.

These

luxurious, hand-painted, printed, and dyed nursing covers by Galileo Linens are

currently single-sourced from a factory in Lithuania where the fibers for the

linen are also grown and woven, and the finishing and original artwork are all

done by hand in the New York homes of the designer and her parents.

The

designer is dedicated to supporting women in bonding with their babies through

providing this important tool for nursing whenever and wherever. As the

designer herself says, we shouldn’t have to cover if we don’t want to, but if

we do want more privacy, there should be a joyful, convenient way to get it

that celebrates mother and child.

They are soft but crisp, super-airy and

breathable, and get more beautiful with every wash.

2.

A quirky and lovable doll that supports UNICEF.

Monsieur

Tse Tse is the funny, friendly doll from genius Montreal design studio

Raplapla. With his big lovable smile and soft, snuggly, organic, fair-trade

cotton body, he provides comfort at naptimes.

Plus, 10% of the proceeds from his

sales go to UNICEF (The United Nations Children’s Fund) to defend the rights of

children.

3.

Brain-building wooden blocks that are good for

the forest.

Tegu

creates addictively entertaining magnetic wooden blocks that the whole family

will enjoy. Not only is the wood for the blocks sustainably harvested, but for

each tree Tegu uses, they plant (get this) 983 more. That’s a lot of trees!

Additionally, Tegu is

committed to ethical employment standards and community improvement. They pay a

living wage to their employees and also partner with a school to provide an

education for children whose families work at the Tegucigalpa city dump.

It’s a

beautiful thing when you can help your baby learn and grow with a fantastic

toy, while also helping other families by supporting a responsible producer

like Tegu.

4.

A hang-anywhere puppet theatre that inspires

imaginative play and keeps traditional handcrafts alive.

The

team behind Nhocchi travelled through the mountains of Vietnam by scooter to

find a small village where artisan seamstresses harvest, spin, weave, dye, and

sew the bright cotton and silk fabrics that make the hang-able, fold-able

theatres, puppets, and other toys from this easy-to-love brand.

The woven

designs and naturally-derived dyes reflect the specific culture and traditions

of the ethnic minority community to which Nhocchi’s handcrafters belong.

5.

A dreamy blanket that empowers marginalized

women.

Each

charming, heirloom-quality blanket and accessory from Elliefunday is made of

the softest organic cotton and hand-embroidered with love by marginalized women

in India who are at a high risk for human trafficking.

Elliefunday is committed

to supporting and empowering their handcrafters through gainful employment at

fair wages and to providing shelter, healthcare, education, and counseling

through a non-profit arm, Handcrafted for Life.

Join Motherly


14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Meri Meri: Decor and gifts that bring the wonder of childhood to life

We could not be more excited to bring the magic of Meri Meri to the Motherly Shop. For over 30 years, their playful line of party products, decorations, children's toys and stationery have brought magic to celebrations and spaces all over the world. Staring as a kitchen table endeavor with some scissors, pens and glitter in Los Angeles in 1985, Meri Meri (founder Meredithe Stuart-Smith's childhood nickname) has evolved from a little network of mamas working from home to a team of 200 dreaming up beautiful, well-crafted products that make any day feel special.

We've stocked The Motherly Shop with everything from Halloween must-haves to instant-heirloom gifts kiddos will adore. Whether you're throwing a party or just trying to make the everyday feel a little more special, we've got you covered.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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