Since Cool Mom Picks started a decade ago, we’ve made it our mission to find small, independent stores that sell unique, eco-friendly, hard-to-find toys for your kids so that all you have to do is scroll and shop. My newest favorite, Oh! Toys, goes to great lengths (or maybe I should say great distances) to find beautifully made toys that encourage open-ended play. Just think of the airfare they’ve saved you!
Here are just a few of the really special, creative gifts there that you simply aren’t going to find at your local mall or big toy store chain.
One of my favorite finds is the gorgeous KORXX building blocks from Germany. As the name suggests, these brilliantly hued blocks are made from eco-friendly cork that is both sturdy and fun to stack, but hurts a whole lot less when your toddler throws it at someone’s head (gah!). Plus, when the structure they built up comes tumbling down, you’ll appreciate how quiet cork can be.
These wooden animals from Spain — Nanodonts (shown above and at top) and the larger Mastodonts — are a sweet addition to any nursery, plus the art becomes a toy once your child is old enough to take apart and put together the magnetic puzzle.
By combining geometry with design, Sina Spielzeug’s Pyrom Design Blocks, which include 40 blocks based on a rhombic dodecahedron (do-dec-a-WHAT?), can entice even the wee little ones to manipulate the blocks into some pretty awesome-looking geometric sculptures. And for building blocks that inspire unique structures, I love Il Leccio of Milan’s European Maple interlocking Totem 24 and Gropius wooden blocks.
Kids want to bang on the drum all day? Check out the super-strong but lightweight Trommus Drums from Denmark. Kids can play them with their hands or with padded drum sticks; they can even turn the drums on their sides to sit while they bang away.
Visit Oh! Toys to discover even more unique and hard-to-find toys from Europe and Asia.