Since 1946, Ten Thousand Villages has supported the work of artisans in over 30 countries including Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. The company has grown to over 145 retail stores. They continually strive to improve the lives of artisans in developing countries through the expansion of fair trade. Most of its artisan partners use environmentally friendly processes, sustainable natural resources, and recycled materials for their products.
I was able to try out the Handmade Caterpillar and Butterfly Puzzle. Now, this is a tad too old for Will (who is 18 months old), but Madison (my 4 year old) seems to handle it pretty well. You can definitely tell this is a hand painted puzzle. It has the detail that you don't normally see. The butterfly puzzle has more pieces, but the bottom of the tray is also painted with a butterfly, so it makes it easier to figure out where the pieces go. The catepillar is less pieces, so it is a tad easier to do. As for materials, this is painted albizia wood (and the paint is nontoxic).
Ten Thousand Villages has many other items to pick from also. I focussed on the toys, but you there is really something for everyone there. I found gifts for women, men, and even teachers! If you are a looking for a one of a kind gift this Christmas, Ten Thousand Villages is your answer.