Weeks before Santa Claus shimmies down chimneys across the world to deliver gifts, children in the Netherlands are already enjoying their Sinterklaas presents – delivered not under a tree, but in a shoe. Each night leading up to the holiday, Dutch children leave out shoes filled with a carrot as a treat for Sinterklaas’s horse, and in return, they get a gift. Take part in the tradition and slip one of these unique Sinterklaas gifts in your children’s shoes – and watch for their smiles in the morning!
ARTIS Jaguar Backpack
Your kids will be the coolest cats in town with this powder blue backpack spotted with jaguars, designed for the ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo to mark the arrival of two black jaguar cubs in June. Made from recycled plastic bottles, the backpack is as environmentally friendly as it is sturdy. You can even pick up a few matching pencil cases to make it a full set.
ARTIS Jaguar backpack, €19.95, I amsterdam Store
KLM Stewardess doll
It may be the opportunity to travel the world, the chance to meet new people every day, or even just the outfit that makes kids dream of air travel. Whatever the reason, your children will love taking off to exotic destinations with the KLM stewardess doll. She’s dressed up just like a real flight attendant, complete with the iconic KLM uniform, scarf and trolley bag.
KLM Stewardess doll, €19.95, I amsterdam Store
Colour Your Own Van Gogh
You can’t take the artwork from the Van Gogh Museum home with you, but you can certainly recreate some of the masterpieces. With the Colour Your Own Van Gogh colouring book, kids and adults in need of some relaxation can get inspired by Van Gogh’s work and then make it their own. Thirty of his works are outlined in the book, printed on heavy paper designed for display, so you can frame it when you’ve finished.
Colour your own Van Gogh colouring book, €14.99, I amsterdam Store
Tony Chocolonely Letter Chocolate Bar
There’s just something about biting into a larger-than-your-average chocolate bar, especially when it’s shaped as your initial, in the Sinterklaas tradition. Each year, Dutch sustainable chocolate maker Tony’s Chocolonely releases its line of chocolate bars in every letter of the alphabet, so every kid can get their own personal chocolate bar. If you’re feeling particularly generous, buy a few to spell out the recipient’s whole name – just don’t let them eat it all at once!
Tony Chocolonely letter chocolate bar, €3.29, I amsterdam Store
The gift that’s a dozen toys in one. The Foooty, designed by Amsterdam-based concept agency Apollo 11, is a foldable, flexible ball made for rugby, football, frisbee and even juggling – the perfect toy for kids who love to play outside. Foooties are sold in packs of flat plastic parts that easily interlock, letting creative minds construct their own imaginative 3D toys.
Foooty foldable ball, €12.95, I amsterdam Store
Find these gifts at the I amsterdam Store at Central Station.