I like to include a few gifts in their baskets. When I started this tradition with Miranda, I tried to stick to Spring things like seeds, gardening supplies and skates. Then one year I got lazy and just picked up some stuffed animals--which then set an expectation for upcoming years. So this year I attempted to return to something less commercial and either made or bought handmade toys.
These were from a set of dollhouse dolls no one ever played with. I removed the hair, repainted them, added new yarn hair and clothing and now they have a Gnome and a Night Elf for their castle. I needle felted a little pet for each doll, Cornflower the Night Elf has a black cat and Lilivy the Gnome has a rabbit. Cornflower also has a knife (she's a hunter) from a dollhouse set and Lilivy has a staff made from a bamboo skewer for her weapon. I used the book Wool Pets from the library, which I really liked. Needlefelting seems as though it's supposed to be a soothing, Waldorf craft, but I usually end swearing far too much and decidedly un-soothed. This time my attempts at needle-felting turned out much better than previous projects and I only pricked my fingers a few times.
I also bought some handmade wooden animals from Dad's Wooden Toys on Etsy. Not only does the vendor make great toys, he was so nice about making a custom toy for Ivy. Her favorite animal is the fossa, as you might imagine there aren't a lot of fossa toys out there. There aren't any. But the artist used some images I sent to create this wonderful little toy for her--and completed and shipped everything so quickly I had them in plenty of time for Easter
From left to right: cougar, wolf, lion and fossa. The fossa is actually disproportionately larger than all the others, it's really about the size of a cat. But the artist wanted to be sure the tail was strong enough and Ivy doesn't mind at all, she's delighted with him and named him Slinky.