Category: Toys + Other Playthings

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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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,...

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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