One of the most important changes we made to the Sunshine Sam store layout when we moved to Montclair was to display products by interest and not by age. We found that shoppers asked us to recommend a gift for a child who likes to build, play sports, is a fashionista, enjoys puzzles, etc. Age was the second characteristic they mentioned, and as we all know, children develop skills at different paces. Similarly, every family is different. One size doesn’t fit all, but these picks are fantastic for all types of personalities.
6) BEST WAY TO EXPRESS YOURSELF: Wear Your Flair!
New to Sunshine Sam this year, is a giant collection of “FLAIR” from all over the world. Flair can be a button that makes you laugh, a cool patch that turns a plain jacket into “your unique awesomely cool jacket”, or even a unicorn horn head band. Flair starts conversations and makes people smile…so wear your flair. (pictured: Smarty Pants Balloon Dog, Whistleburg, Australia Koala, and Baymoon Studio in Pennsylvania.
7) COLLECTIBLE JEWELRY FOR THE FASHIONISTA: Strong, Smart, Bold Necklace by Gunner & Lux
Father-daughter team John and Riley (age 7), the artists behind Little Lux, send sunshine into the world with jewelry that is meant to be collected. Whether it’s my current favorite, the “Strong, Smart, Bold” tassel necklace, or another with a curious little gnome, all of G & L’s necklaces are statement pieces. Riley’s success inspires children to pursue entrepreneurism and follow their dreams at any age. After all, I don’t know many seven year-olds who have been written about in Forbes and Vogue!
8) FOR THE HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTEST: Mistaken Lyrics coasters, Bright Beam Goods
We’d all like to think we know the lyrics to our favorite songs, but when you’re singing the wrong words it’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser! These coasters are a surefire hostess hit that everyone will want to jam to! “ Hold me closer, Tony Danza…”
- Handcrafted in Austin, TX out of laser cut cork. Lyrics are engraved.
9) BEST SANITY SAVER: Wiggle Box by The Idea Box Kids
Idea Boxes are small boxes of wooden “coins” with activity suggestions on them. If you’ve ever shopped at Sunshine Sam, you know I rave about Idea Boxes as a “must-have” tool for all parents. Jennifer Young, the busy mother of three, is the creator of these simple but genius boxes that range from science experiments to scavenger hunts. At this time of year, especially, The Wiggle Box has been a life-saver on those rainy or snowy days when Sam really needs to get his energy out, but playing outside isn’t an option. We grab The Wiggle Box and pull out a coin, which directs him to do a creative, safe and active task. One of our favorites is to act like a boxer. Air box fast, then slow, then as fast as possible for as long as possible. Before I know it, Sam is exhausted and calm is restored!