Paul looks a little shy, someone give him a hug please

I was talking to a mother at school the other day about how quickly kids seem to grow up these days. She’s a lot younger than me, with an eldest child the same age as my youngest. Halfway through our fairly serious conversation, she asked me if my eighteen year old son still gave me cuddles. One of the things she was dreading about her boys growing up was the gradual decline in affection.

Well, I can confirm that my 6ft tall and very independent eldest son is still generous with his hugs when he’s at home. He’s still a big softy, in fact, and I hope he stays that way forever!

I often think that boys get a rough deal in the soft toy department online. I see a lot of products of every description for girls, and of course, “gender-neutral” designs are increasingly popular, but soft toys for soft boys are often few and far between. Or maybe, I haven’t been looking hard enough? It’ll be Christmas soon, let’s see what we can find…

Oh my, what beautiful faces you embroider Kukloferma

Handmade vintage-style boy doll for approx. 24 EUR from Kukloferma on etsy

Kukloferma is one of my favourite toy maker finds this year. I love the facial expressions this Ukrainian artist handembroiders onto her dolls, and the attention to details in their clothing and hair. Although this little vintage-style boy is not a toy, it would look beautiful displayed on a wall in a nursery or by a child’s bed. A new night time confidant perhaps? Sweet dreams…

Ukkonooa’s DIY soft toy set is giving me lots of ideas!

Yet another clever DIY toy from the very talented maker Maija at Ukkonooa

A while ago I came across this simple soft toy DIY on Ukkonooa’s site, and I think it looks brilliant. Inspired by a piece of eye-catching children’s fabric that she found in a charity shop, Maija used the vehicle pattern to create a fun playset for her daughter. She cut out the characters and cars, etc then sewed and stuffed them to create soft toys. This is a great idea to replicate using any material your child loves; I know my youngest son would have loved a Bob The Builder set when he was a toddler.

Jungs & Sohne make wonderful soft toys for boys!

Soft astronaut toy for approx 12.50 EUR from Jungs & Sohne on etsy

Talking of Bob The Builder, if you have any little keen handy men or women at home, you simply have to check out this toy shop on etsy. Berlin-based Jungs and Sohne sell all sorts of soft drills, hammers, saws and diggers, as well as a bright array of quirky, squidgy fellows like this super astronaut. It’s Christmas soon folks, get your orders in early!

Pirates have never looked so cute!

Soft Pirate Doll for approx 86 EUR From Oh Sew Cute By Mel on etsy

Character dolls are usually a safe bet if you are looking for something soft for boys. I stumbled upon this rather friendly looking pirate whilst hunting for Supermen dolls the other day (this shop actually makes a coloured Afro-American model, which I love!). Inspired by Jake and The Never Land Pirates, he’s very sweet, and I’m sure he’ll be the star of many an adventure with your child’s imagination.

Cuddle a Dino today!

Soft Dino Pillow / Toy from Sian Zeng, prices start at approx 44 EUR

Last but not least, check out the latest addition to Sian Zeng’s creative family  – a soft dinosaur pillow. Hand screenprinted on both sides (dino looks wild and ferocious in his all-together but quite a gent when you flip him over to see his dapper outfit). Dinosaurs are a classic favourite, and I’m sure this one will appeal to big and little lads alike! Ahh!

Picture at the top of this post: Paul the crocheted mushroom for approx. 107 EUR from Dudu Toy Factory on etsy