Category: Toys + Playthings

Three cool LEGO add-on sets that make your builds even cooler

I’m not so sure my kids could ever get bored of the LEGO sets that are currently blanketing the floor of our playroom, but just in case, I found three cool LEGO add-on sets that will make their builds even more exciting. These sets are for kids who are able to follow the directions of a basic LEGO build themselves. In other words, your 5-year-old who’s a major LEGO fangirl would probably love these too, but will need help putting them together. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: 16 essential skills kids learn from LEGO, and fantastic resources to help get them going...

Read More

The courageous action figure that helps kids with cancer. Now that’s super!

This fierce, courageous action figure does something pretty amazing: She helps kids fight the toughest battle of their lives. For each Courage Core Power action figure purchased, one is donated to a child affected by cancer who could use a little courage. That’s her real super power. But she can also run, stand, and sit on a My Little Pony without it getting awkward, thanks to 30 points of articulation. And we like her rad accessories — check out that flaming energy sword and her awesome courage shield — and the fact that she has the body of a fit, strong woman (no...

Read More

Meet BoyStory, cool boy dolls that kids will love. Parents, too.

If you’re excited about the new American Girl boy doll that was just announced, we’ve found a mom-run company at this year’s Toy Fair that’s already making boy dolls that are diverse, too. Created by two sisters who wanted their sons to have quality dolls that looked like them and were ready for adventure, Boy Story currently makes Mason and Billy, two fully articulated 18″ plush and vinyl boy action dolls that can be purchased together or separately, with lots of accessories, clothes, and adventure books (sound familiar?), coming soon. Related: Here are 6 of the coolest and most diverse dolls.     Related: Naturally...

Read More

Why the awesome new Wonder Woman doll from Mattel is worth waiting for.

The Wonder Woman movie isn’t out until June, but the new Wonder Woman doll from Mattel will give little girls plenty of fierce dreams until then. Ahead of this weekend’s New York Toy Fair (which we’ll be covering, of course!), Mattel unveiled several Wonder Woman figures to support the film (as one does these days) exclusively through Entertainment Weekly, and you have to check it out. Based on Gal Gadot’s arse-kicking depiction of her in the Patty Jenkins-directed Wonder Woman (whoo, more girl power!), you’ll find  Diana in training gear, a party dress disguise, and fantastic armor. There are also majestic horses,...

Read More

It’s a boy! Finally, the first boy in the American Girl Doll line.

Finally, after begging for years, we’re pleased to learn there’s going to be a boy doll from American Girl Doll this Thursday! His name is Logan Everett, and he plays drums alongside his friend, Tenney Grant, a female singer-songwriter from Tennessee. It’s actually not clear just yet if he’s the “sidekick” or they’re trying to market them as an equal team, but we will see. Logan is part of the 2017 collection of new American Girl Dolls (can we even call it that anymore? Is it now just AG Dolls?) — which happen to include several more diverse figures, including Girl of...

Read More

Indoor playhouses so fun, your kids will wish every day was a snow day.

We live in New Mexico, which means our kids look forward to playing in winter’s cold air and occasional snowflakes so much, they’ll dart outside without jackets, socks, or shoes, and — on one memorable occasion — pants. Still, their cold tolerance is low enough that it’s not long before they’re back inside, looking for something else to do. That’s where these genius playhouses come in. From make-it-yourself to buy-and-install, hallway hangouts to interactive hideaways, each one of these fun indoor playhouses for kids can help turn your house into its own kind of wonderland this winter. Related: The most outrageous playhouses around CMP is an rstyle affiliate Handmade cloth card table playhouse...

Read More

A brilliant new maker box that combines digital and real-world play for kids. And wow, the possibilities.

To my nieces, screen time is like water. Without it, I think they’d go all limp and cockeyed. So I love discovering apps for them that encourage both tech literacy and imaginative play. The two come together together beautifully thanks to the brand new Get Qurious Maker Box, which we think parents will be really happy to discover. Related: The coolest birthday gifts for 4 year olds | The Ultimate Birthday Gift Guide You may have heard about its super successful Kickstarter campaign last year, and now that the box is finally out, I think that Get Qurious is going to be a fantastic gift...

Read More

How a rag doll is helping to spread random acts of kindness around the world.

This past holiday season, my 9-year-old asked for a boy doll. “But not a boy baby doll,” she said, “because they’re exactly the same as the girl baby dolls when you take the clothes off. They are just girl dolls! Only in blue clothes! Though sometimes they don’t have eyelashes. And anyway, I have so many girl dolls and it’s just not fair that there aren’t boys too.” Can you tell she’s my kid? We did find a rag-style boy doll for her who she absolutely adores; but I admit I wish we had found The Doll Kind a month ago,...

Read More

The STEM building sets that empower girls to engineer their futures.

A few years ago, my now 9-year-old daughter had an epiphany while wandering the toy aisles at a discount superstore. She eyed a pink toy vacuum cleaner with suspicion, then asked to go to the boys’ aisle instead, because she wanted to be where the bulk of the cool building sets were. In the last few years, there have been serious strides in STEM toys geared toward girls, but it’s this one that I wish had been on the market on that fateful shopping day. Related: 12 cool STEM gifts for girls (and hey, for boys too)  Wonderhood Toys is the brainchild of two business-school...

Read More

10 cool snow tubes to make your kid the raddest sledder on the slopes

It’s time to protect that cookie sheet and get your kid a cool snow tube this winter! What I love about snow tubes for kids is that they’re not heavy to lug around (although, maybe a bit bulky) and they don’t crack after one run like the cheap plastic sleds I bought for my kids last year at the grocery store. Plus, they deflate and fold up small to store in a box once it’s time for winter to bid adieu. So I looked around and found some cool snow tubes for kids that will really stand out on the hill. Grab...

Read More

New helmet designs so cute your kid might actually want to wear theirs.

We’ve been longtime fans of Nutcase bike helmets, since they offer some of the cutest designs and trustworthy safety features for our kids. So I’m very excited about the brand new launch of their newest designs for their Little Nutty line. My favorite? The Tin Robot design (shown above), which reminds me of the friendly droids from Star Wars. But I also like the Bluebirds & Bees, which encircles your child’s head in a wreath of flowers, birds, and adorableness. Oh, and the Ahoy! helmet with a pirate map on one side? Sold. Related: Turn signal gloves, inflatable helmets, and other cool bike...

Read More

Good luck charms to help get you through 2017

As we bid adieu to 2016 — or, more appropriately, don’t let the door hit you on the way out, 2016 — I’ve been thinking about friends who’ve had it particularly hard this year. If you know anyone who’s had a rough go of it too, then you might like this idea we’ve had to send notes of well wishes and a little good luck charm for a better 2017. I first got inspired to do this when I spotted these wooden good luck charms at Areaware. These little desk toys are what I’m going to add when I want to send just a bit...

Read More

5 of the hottest Star Wars toys your kids totally want. Trust us.

With the perfectly timed December launch of Rogue One, of course Star Wars toys for kids are all the rage. Again. If you’re looking for an awesome gift for your little padawan — even if he or she isn’t quite so little — here are 5 of the hottest Star Wars toys right now that we wouldn’t mind getting in our own Tauntaun fur-lined stockings. But hurry, with all the urgency of a quadjumper pilot using hyperspeed! Because if you order all these Star Wars toys now, you can still get them in time for Christmas or Hanukkah delivery — most with...

Read More

Diverse, interracial dollhouse families: Reader Q&A

After featuring Georgette’s post on 6 toymakers making diverse interracial dolls for kids, Facebook fan Melissa asked us if we know of any interracial dollhouse families. I love this question. So many of us want to bring more diversity into all our kids’ doll collections, whether you have children whose heritage is Asian, African or Latino and they want dolls that reflect themselves back to them; or you have Caucasian children, like my daughter, who has racial and ethnic diversity among her closest friends and family members, and loves surrounding herselves with dolls that reflect her world. That said, most dollhouse families you find...

Read More

This gift for the classroom will keep on giving. Yes, more than a Starbucks card.

Very little in life is as terrifying as being handed a wad of cash by desperate parents asking you to find a group teacher gift that’s meaningful, memorable, and not a lifetime supply of Best Teacher Ever mugs. This year, you can forego the stack of Starbucks cards and present your kid’s classroom teacher with a gift that keeps on giving: a beautiful game that helps teach empathy and problem solving, all in one. Consider it the Venti Mocha Frappuccino of classroom gifts. Related: 6 DIY holiday gifts for teachers from the kids that will get an A+ The Empathy Toy was...

Read More

17 of the best subscription gifts for kids: From babies to teens, we’ve found something for everyone.

It feels like the holidays are going to be here in a minute, and I’m not ready! If you’re like me and are still scrambling for a few great gifts that will make your kids think you’re pretty awesome, then you might want to look into one of the cool subscription gifts for kids we’ve been scouting out. Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen so many companies with such good ideas for subscription boxes that range from developmental toys for babies to science kits for our bigger kids. And we know from experience that our kids are thrilled to receive actual, real packages...

Read More

Hello, Dolly! Here are 6 of the coolest and most diverse dolls for holiday gifts this season.

As a mom to two beautiful biracial girls, I know just how difficult it can be to find diverse dolls for them to play with. When my firstborn was a baby, it was downright impossible. Today, there are so many dolls for girls and boys that capture the beauty of different skin colors, hair textures, and facial features. You just need to know where to look to find your child the perfect companion who looks “just like them.” Here are my picks for the coolest, most diverse dolls for this gift-giving season. If one of these dolls isn’t on your child’s wish list yet, it...

Read More

Custom superhero action figures for kids with imagination

With Marvel and DC pretty much taking over entertainment for the past decade or so, plenty of kids are clamoring for superhero action figures for the holidays. But what I think is even cooler than Chris Evans in miniature (not that I’d complain if I had the full-size version, ahem) is a new company that lets you customize your own superhero action figure, right down to the sex, skin tone, name, and superpowers. Started by a husband-wife team, Hero Me Lab is a small company I discovered when they reached out to send me an action figure to check out and…wow. Color me super impressed. (Get...

Read More

Bitsbox: The fantastic STEM gift idea that taught my 4 kids to code their own apps.

It’s no secret that parents love finding tech gifts for kids that we can justify as being both fun and educational, but the true test isn’t whether we think they’re cool — but rather, whether our own kids play with them. Over and over again. That’s why we we’re so thrilled to have partnered with our newest sponsor Bitsbox. (And you dedicated Spawned podcast listeners already know just how thrilled!) This clever subscription box gift masterfully and clearly teaches kids how to code their own apps that actually work on smartphones and tablets. Like my 9-year-old son’s Burping Obama app. (Not coming to an app store near you,...

Read More

The best group card games to play with the whole family: Game night, bring it.

Now that Thanksgiving is in the rearview mirror, it’s really starting to feel like Christmas to me. And as much as I love the shopping and the hot cocoa and the decorations, my favorite part is the parties. Instead of sending the kids to the playroom to watch a movie while the adults hang out this year, I’ve found some really fun group card games that the whole family can enjoy together. From competitive strategy games for the geeks in all of us, to light party games that are more about having fun than winning, these are our favorites. Of course,...

Read More

Art With Edge coloring books for tweens and teens makes coloring in the lines cool again.

Move over grown ups, there’s a new coloring demographic in town. And, we’re not talking about kiddie books filled with hearts and teddy bears. Art With Edge — Crayola’s latest line of seven cool coloring books and two coloring kits — are filled with zombies, sugar skulls, graffiti, bold and fearless sayings, and quirky cartoons just begging to be filled in with color by the tweens and teens in your life. (They also have two superhero books, Justice League and Batman, which may be a great option for some kids, but to me, they didn’t seem to fit in with Crayola’s new and edgy line for our bigger kids.) My girls, ages 12...

Read More

The subscription box for kids that ships pure imagination

In a world where a quick Google search can answer even the toughest question in just seconds, we love the delicious act of waiting for a surprise in the mail. But while most subscription boxes give you a pretty good idea of what to expect (makeup and books, hooray!), we found one very unique subscription box for kids ages 9 to 14 that remains just as magical and enigmatic as the Loch Ness Monster, right up until they open the box. Thanks to the geniuses at Wonder and Company, every few months, your child will receive a Kids’ Mystery Box delivered right to...

Read More

The handmade, organic Frida Kahlo doll: Art history degree not required.

The first-ever gift I gave my daughter was a beautiful handmade doll I found on Etsy, and ever since then I’ve had a thing for gifting my kids one-of-a-kind dolls. Of course, she has her fair share (and then some) of American Girl everything, but when I find a keepsake like the handmade, organic Frida Kahlo dolls made by Mexican artists Maroma + Arte, I feel compelled add to her growing collection. She certainly doesn’t need another doll, but I really want her to have this one. And a little lesson in art history and female empowerment to go along with it won’t...

Read More

We found them! 15 seriously awesome preschool birthday party gifts under $15

When you’ve got a little one, you probably know that means you have a whooooole lot of preschooler birthday party gifts to look for over the course of the year. One gift for each party for each kid in your child’s preschool class? Yeouch. That’s a whole lot of gifts. And it definitely adds up. While every family has a different birthday party gift budget, it can be tough finding ones that cost in the $15 range or less. So we did the work for you! We all put our heads together around here and came up with a great list of...

Read More

Turn signal gloves, inflatable helmets and other cool bike safety gear for the whole family

This summer my family hit a new milestone on our bikes: my youngest learned to ride without training wheels, and my oldest is now big enough to be trusted to ride his bike a couple blocks to his friend’s house on his own. (Although I still sit next to the phone until that “got there” text comes through. Exhale.) But now that my kids are growing more independent on their bikes, I’m thinking of some gear — beyond the mandatory helmet — that can help them stay safe on the roads during the day and night. From innovative lighting...

Read More

Handcrafted fairy doors that invite magical visitors from Hobbits to House Elves. No lost teeth necessary.

When I discovered the incredibly adorable, beautifully handcrafted fairy doors from Sugar Bush Fairies on Etsy, I instantly fell in love. Because I’m all about bringing a little magic and enchantment into my kids’ lives — but I’ll be honest, I’m kind of a failure when it comes to Pinteresty crafts. After filling up a bag with glitter and scrawling the words “Fairy Dust” across the front, I’m kind of at a loss. This is where these enchanting wooden fairy doors come in. They’re all handcrafted and handpainted by a husband and wife team, then adorned with bronze or silver knobs and accents. You’ll find Hobbit...

Read More

The easiest, cutest bike bell? Ding ding ding! We found it.

We all know the transition from balance bike to training wheels to full-on bicycle takes a while (and can get a little wobbly). Add the required coordination to ring that out-of-my-way-new-rider-here bell and your kid may be in danger of an all-out collapse on the pavement. Which is no fun for anyone involved. So I’m pretty stoked to discover the Mirrycle Incredibell Jellibell Bicycle Bell (try saying that five times fast), which requires a mere touch to deliver its bell sound. That’s something even the most novice cyclists can handle while still balancing on two wheels. Related: 7 of the absolute coolest ride-on toys...

Read More

Cleary Bikes: Like having a mountain, road, and BMX bike, all in one

With four kids who can ride their bikes to school on pavement and sidewalks, but also love to do a little off-roading as well, it’s been a little challenging trying to figure out what kind of bike to get them. Until I discovered Cleary Bikes, which are the perfect mix of mountain, road, and BMX. When the Cleary bike box arrived at our house to test out, I was pleased to discover that they come 99% assembled, which meant it didn’t take long until my kids were riding it around our neighborhood. And then fighting over who got to ride it around...

Read More

A safer trampoline, because fewer trips to the ER is a good thing.

Our neighbors have a trampoline in their backyard, and I’m pretty sure it’s been there for the last 30 years. It has no net. No cover for the springs. It’s kind of a parent’s worst nightmare, but the kids beg to get on it every day. And who can blame them? Trampolines are so much fun. So, I’ve been searching for a safer option for my kids (and the neighbors’ kids) and stumbled upon Springfree Trampolines, and I have to say, I’m intrigued. The designer behind Springfree has the philosophy that the problems related to trampoline safety should be re-thought, redesigned,...

Read More

FinFun: Mermaid tails for swimming that take summer fun to new heights. Or, depths.

The coolest thing you’ll encounter in the water this summer may be my daughter, who has transformed herself from a normal 13-year-old into a full-fledged mermaid. And, whoa, if you have a child who would love to swim like one of these creature of the sea, you’ll want to check this out this awesome product my kids had the chance to try out. FinFun Mermaid Tails are real swimmable tails for kids, teens, and adults (though I’m leaving this trend to the kids) that actually let you swim through the water like Ariel — or Ponyo, depending on your family’s animation preferences. Related: Blankie Tails turn...

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest