Month: November 2009

Paper dolls that will blow you away, not the other way around

I’ve become a strong advocate of paper dolls since realizing that my girls can spend hours entertaining themselves with them. The only issue? That whole paper thing. Let’s just say freak decapitations are are not an uncommon occurrence. So when I saw the book of cardboard paper dolls called Totem Figurines from the Dutch company Kidsonroof, I knew they were genius. The book contains a dozen sweetly illustrated cardboard people and animals, each with their own cardboard stands. So play time is less about dressing them up and more about creating tableaux in which the Dutch girl with the...

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Children’s games still made with wooden pieces and great design? It’s true.

Next week is Thanksgiving, and if you’re like my family, that means lots of little kids around. The cousins are all getting to the age where they can entertain themselves (hallelujah!) which means we’re stocking up on craft supplies and games. To be honest, I think of Germany toymaker Haba for their fabulous wooden toys for children, not for their games. But as it turns out, they make quite a few. in fact, there are close to 200 Haba games listed at online toyshop Maukilo, which is like Haba central. Maukilo is not as easily navigable as some other...

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They’ve Got Mail

It’s no secret that mail is cool. I’ll bet I’m not the only person who still gets a little flutter of excitement when I come home to see envelopes poking out the top of my mailbox. In fact, I know I’m not the only person because my daughter usually races me to the porch to see what’s there.  I can only imagine, then, the fun she would have with the new Letters to Grandma and Grandpa Mail Set which can be found at one of CMP’s favorite gift shops, What Every Baby Needs. This adorable wool felt set is an...

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Make your own holiday ornaments – so awesome

If you’re looking to knock off a half-dozen of teacher gifts or cousin gifts or classmate gifts in one fell swoop, I love the idea of the holiday ornament kit from CMP fave, Thomas Claire. This wonderful mom-run company will hook you up with a dozen unfinished ceramic ornaments, the paints, brushes and everything else your kids need to make their own sunglass-wearing snowmen and purple Christmas trees. Then you send your custom-painted ornaments back, and the company will glaze and fire them for you and return them finished. It even comes with six cute little plastic gift bags...

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Holiday plaid for Christmas and beyond

With my family spread out around the country, my husband, kids and I often spend the holidays alone, which means I don’t have the greatest excuse to buy my children fancy holiday-best clothes. So instead, I tend to look for festive clothes for the holidays that still work the other 364 days out of the year. Take the Holiday Plaid Shirt from one of our favorite special occasion boutiques, Velvet and Tweed. The bright red accents in the plaid pattern give a definite holiday-inspired look to this boys’ button-down, but the neutral brown and khaki undertones make this 100%...

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The Ringley teether family just got bigger and better

Considering my youngest is getting all her molars and eye teeth in at the same time (no kidding), the super smart Ringley teether, a mom-invented natural wood and organic terry cloth teething toy, is in regular rotation around my place. But now the Ringley teether family has expanded, with two very cool new products that are perfect for sore gums and budding teeth. For a little larger toy, there’s the Ringley Junior (left), which is similar to the original untreated Canadian maple teething ring, only with two knots instead of one, plus a larger piece of terry cloth. The Ringley...

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National Family Volunteer Day – one of the few made-up holidays we’re really okay with

Especially this time a year, we love opportunities to get our kids, even the really little ones, into the idea of doing nice things for other people. So we were glad to discover that November 21st is officially National Family Volunteer Day which gives us a good excuse to get on that whole charity thing. In honor of the day, Volunteer Spot which is an awesome website for those of us who have ever tried to organize a classroom holiday party or a Cub Scout field trip, has put out a free eBook on Family Friendly Volunteering. It’s filled...

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Cool Gifts for the Holidays? Look no further than our Holiday Gift Guide!

Steer clear of the fruitcake and stinky pine candles, mamas! If it’s cool holiday gifts you’re looking for, then we’ve got you covered with our brand spankin’ new 2009 Holiday Gift Guide. We’ve scoured the web to help you solve every holiday gift giving dilemma and keep your butts out of the mall with over 100 (Yes that’s right! 100!) of the coolest holiday gift ideas in every price range – whether you’re shopping for that vehicle-obsessed toddler, the perfect grandparents, or your Twilight obsessed niece. Niece – riiiiiiight. And aside from the recession-friendly prices, like a whole bunch of super cool Hanukkah...

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Baby Bjorn goes organic

With all the baby slings and carriers I’ve collected over the last five years, we’ve always kept the Baby Bjorn on regular rotation thanks to its simple, smart style, versatility, and ease of use. Plus, it’s the only baby carrier my husband seems to feel comfortable wearing. Go figure. So now the Baby Bjorn gotten just a little bit better – at least for the earth – thanks to their new organic line. Completely identical to their classic styles in function, the new organic Baby Bjorn carrier is more muted in color, as it is made from organic cotton...

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Custom rubber stamps – The stocking stuffer to end all stocking stuffers.

Oh my gosh am I excited to have discovered the personalized rubber stamps from Craft Pudding. I already loved the idea when I found them earlier in the year from Vlijtig – and while hers are gorgeous, and entirely customized based on a photo you send, they are a little on the expensive side since you’re paying in Euros. (Stupid dollar.) The Craft Pudding stamps range from ready made designs, to a basic child with a custom name (shown) or a much more customized rubber stamp where you choose from more than 80 children’s faces and add a child’s...

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