Elli writes… The shop at Tate Modern is always a good bet for off-beat gifts. I’ve picked up some lovely bounty there, from stylish mugs to funny postcards, quirky jewellery and lots more in between. There’s plenty of eye candy on offer including some good ideas for children’s gifts. I should declare an interest here and mention that I have worked for Tate, but with my totally impartial hat on I can honestly say I think this stuff is great!
My pick of the bunch is the very sweetÂ Shape Caterpillar Rucksack (above left). It looks good enough to eat. The rucksack is part of the designer Shape range which includes a matching babygro (right) in 100%Â cotton, plus melamine tableware and sketch books. The rucksack is Â£14.19, the babygroÂ Â£14 in size 0-6, 6-12 or 12-18 months.
Sticking with rainbow colours, this eye-poppingÂ Colour Tray Toys (above right)Â would outshine anything you put on it. The grown-ups would have as much fun with this at a real tea party as the children would using it for make-believe. And as a sledge, you couldn’t lose it. It’sÂ Â£9.79.
Tate also stocks lots of art-inspired gifts, of course, with this gorgeous grass-greenÂ Elephant Puzzle my top trumpety-trump. (Sorry.) The artist Alexander Calder – known for his hanging mobiles – made it for his grandchildren in the 1920s. It is crafted in hand-painted wood, the antithesis of the plastic invasion of many toy boxes nearly one hundred years later. At Â£39.15 it’s probably one for display in the nursery, but would count as an artwork and you could easily spend that much for a framed print on the wall (she tells herself, very reasonably, she thinks).
Finally, I wanted to highlight two gifts for the budding artist baby. Start them early with anÂ A is for Artist alphabet book in hardbackÂ at Â£12.99. Or for your crafty older nipper, these Craft Boxes are filled with inspiration. Â£8.32, available in blue or pink.
You can buy atÂ Tate online with delivery starting at Â£3.60 and taking 3-5 working days. Either that, or pocket your change and head to your nearest gallery instead. As well as Tate Modern on the Southbank there are three other galleries – Tate Britain in Pimlico, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives.