I went to a product launch event a few weeks ago (more on that in February) at a lovely little children's store near NYU called Estella. Owner/inventor Chike Chukwulozie specializes in providing unusual discoveries for kids 0-6 years.
Sourced mostly from Europe, Estella's (named eponymously for his daughter) assortment strikes out in bold directions. From hand knit sweaters to solar-powered toys, this website and store are packed with gift-worthy ideas. Here are a few favs from my recent visit.
Playsam Xtreamliner Car:My daughter couldn't keep her little hands off these dear Scandinavian designed cars. They look and act like little bobsleds. Take the people in and out and race these cars all over town. Perfect for any child of a Porsche owner. $50
Larucci layette: I challenge you to resit the temptation to snuggle into one of Larucci's faux-fur blankets. Sure go ahead compare them to cashmere, but goats be damned--these items can be machine washed. I'm definitely getting one for baby #2. $35 for a security blanket/ $120 for baby blanket.
Solar-powered Helicopter: Toss out those batteries, this toys uses the sun to get spinning. Parents will delight in the design, kids will just think this is a cool toy. $28