8 Child-Friendly Souvenirs to Buy in Nepal
Nepal is certainly a traveler’s paradise with its friendly locals, affordable prices and sweeping views of the Himalayas. And whether you’re an adventurous family or a doting relative there are plenty of child friendly souvenirs to bring home with you. Here’s a list of my 8 favorite kid friendly souvenirs to buy in Nepal.
1. Felt Toys
Felt handicrafts can be found all over Kathmandu. From finger puppets to stuffed animals to baby mobiles there are a ton of souvenirs to choose from. And felt is so lightweight and sturdy that it’s easy to back into a small suitcase or backpack. A handful of finger puppets can be bought for less than a dollar, making these an affordable option for any traveler.
2. Earrings and Jewelry
Nepal has an incredible selection of jewelry, from earrings to necklaces to mala beads. If you’re looking for something unique to Nepal then seek out jewelry containing yak bone, bodhi seeds or Rudraksha seeds.
Malas are a string of beads, similar to the style of a rosary, that are used in meditation. You can find these beads in abundance around the Monkey Temple in Kathmandu. Many shopkeepers are friendly and willing to explain the significance of certain pieces of jewelry. If you’re curious, just ask!
3. Tigers and Goats Game (Bagh Chal)
Bagh Chal is a unique board game that originated in Nepal. It has 21 pieces: 4 tigers, 20 goats and a grid-style board. The object of the game is to surround either side, with the goats surrounding all the tigers or the tigers capturing at least 5 goats. The game is made of various materials but the most popular ones are sold with brass pieces and a slate board that is usually hand carved by the shopkeepers. In fact, you will see many vendors carving outside their shops or on the streets. It’s interesting to watch them work!
4. Singing Bowls
I’ll admit that I didn’t originally think singing bowls would be a child friendly souvenir. But after bringing one home for myself I discovered that my daughter was enthralled by the magic of this simple bowl. It didn’t take her long to figure out how to make the bowl “sing” and is always eager to try it out. Singing bowls come in various sizes, the price depending on whether it’s handmade or machine made. You can get one for as little as $5 and the smallest ones are perfect for travelers who have little space in their luggage.
5. Beaded Slippers
In Nepal you can find elaborate costumes and accessories. In the Thamel district of Kathmandu there are plenty of fabric stores that can make custom dresses. Many of these stores also sell beaded slippers for children. The sizes run a little small so if in doubt buy a larger pair. The price is very affordable too, around $5 per pair.
6. Dress Up Clothes
Along with beaded slippers you’ll find a plethora of colorful costumes to buy. From scarves to hats to full attire there are plenty of options to add to a child’s dress up box. Bhaktapur has a strong Indian culture and that’s where I found an elaborate costume to donate to Stink’s preschool. And it was only $30! The boys’ hats were around $5. Perfect gifts for introducing a child to cultural clothing from Asia!
Wood, clay and fabric marionettes are a popular souvenir in Nepal. Some of these puppets depict different forms of Gods and Goddesses of the Hindu religion, such as Ganesh and Shiva. Many of them have two different faces on opposite sides and each one is unique, making this a perfect item to bring home from Nepal.
There are dozens of bookstores around Kathmandu, my favorite one being the Pilgrims Book House. It has a large section of children’s books, some in both English and Nepali. There are also books by local authors as well. Yak and Nak Go on a Trek by Hermione Roff was one of my favorites. It’s the story of two yaks (“nak” is the name for a female yak) who are tired of carrying loads up the mountain. So they try their hand (hoof?) at being guides, cooks, and various other jobs only to discover that it’s better to just be a yak.
There are so many kid friendly souvenirs in Nepal to fit any budget! You’re sure to find something unique and memorable for that special child in your life.
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