Category: Toys + Other Playthings

LEGO: The Art of the Brick. And by art, we mean whoa.

And here I get all excited when my six-year-old puts together a LEGO Lord of the Rings set and only asks for my help twice. Recently opened, artist Nathan Sawaya’s solo show Art of the Brick features unbelievable creations all created out of LEGOS. If you happen to be a New Yorker or just visiting my fair city any time through the fall, this looks like one to take the kids to for sure.   They may not get the references to the Winged Victory, Girl with the Pearl Earring, or Edvard Munch’s Scream, but I’m sure their minds...

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Bon appétit! Even the play food from France is amazing

Though my kids’ bin of play food has been a source of countless hours of play, from “grocery store” to “let’s make mommy breakfast,” I can’t say the food (which includes an orange hot dog and floppy slice of pizza) is all that inspired. I may have to look across the pond to import some delicious play food that I might actually want to pretend to eat. Created by much-loved Moulin Roty, the Monday Market Groceries set, or Marché du Lundi, consists of beautifully illustrated cardboard cans and cartons packed neatly into a little storage box. I love that the “French market”...

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Celebrate La Fête Nationale with your very own French village playset

I dream of taking the kids to Paris, strolling past little cafes, and gazing at La Tour Eiffel. On this Bastille Day those dreams are still just that–le sigh. But I’ve discovered the cutest handmade play set that will have visions of croissants and crepes dancing in my kids’ heads too.  With incredible handpainted detail on both sides, this three-part French Village playset by Melbourne’s Red Loves Green would be equally at home as room decor or as a toy on the floor. Kids will love opening the “doors” to the two stores and finding a happy mother and child...

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Taste the rainbow of adorable felt play food. But don’t really taste it.

If you love showering your children with all-natural goodness in a rainbow of colors, you’ll love this veritable smorgasbord of vibrant veggies, scrumptuous sushi, and fruit fit for a king. Just don’t let them eat it. Because it’s all handmade felt food. And felt on your tongue feels pretty gnarly. We’re salivating over the colorful array of beautiful felt play food from Creation by M on Etsy… which is kind of weird, because we do know it’s not real. Each piece of play food is lovingly hand-stitched of eco-felt, which is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. And many...

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Corolle’s new doll is ready for bathtime. Even if your kid never is.

Despite all the water play of the season, summertime means extra bathtime for my kids to wash off the grimy residue of the day’s sunscreen, sweat, and sand. To keep the kids company, long-time favorite Corolle offers plenty of dolls for the bath, and this new one is adorably suited up for some serious bathtub swimming. We’ve always liked Corolle, which make about the least creepy of all baby dolls. (Admit it: some are very creepy.) And since kids want to take them in the tub anyway, the new Corolle Mon Premier Bebe Bath Doll comes outfitted for snorkling in the...

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Alphabet lovers young and old will swoon over these gorgeous blocks

We bet you’ve at least once bought a set of alphabet blocks as a new baby gift. But buying a set of alphabet blocks that a new baby can enjoy all the way into adulthood? Now that’s a really cool gift for a baby born into a home full of, say, graphic designers or word-lovers. Fine fonts rule!     These beautiful mahogany and pine alphabet blocks from Areaware will make sure that baby gets off on the right foot when it comes to a love of great design and excellent craftsmanship. What I love most of all, though, is that these...

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When you chomp upon a star: unique handmade teething toys

Move over, Sophie the Giraffe. There’s a bright star of a new chew toy in town, and it’s handmade, eco-chic, and…deliciously pointy.  These luscious fabric balls from Timo Handmade in Israel are a sparkly new addition to the galaxy of chewy-but-pretty baby toys. Each star-shaped toy is around six inches across, handmade in Tel Aviv of new and vintage natural fabrics. They’re safe to chew, baby-sized, and oh-so-pretty, sure to get quite a few oohs and ahs at a baby shower. In addition to nifty, nubby stars, Timo also makes some pretty funky rabbit, bird, and mouse dolls (like that...

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Take a ride on the Peace Van: hand knitted toys and rattles with purpose

If you’re into peaceful babies and peaceful communities, you’re going to love this sweet collection of hand-knitted rattles and toys that helps artisans in Bangladesh rebuild their lives. The toys and rattles from Kahiniwalla are all hand-knit of 100% cotton by artisans at Hathay Bunano in rural Bangladesh. They’re so fabulous we even included them in our 2013 Baby Shower Gift Guide. The program centers on providing livable working conditions and fair trade wages in rural areas so that women aren’t forced leave their families to work in larger and more dangerous garment facilities. Each piece is carefully designed...

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Up to 50% off the coolest toys, gifts and more at Kangarooboo

We’ve loved the wonderful mom + pop owned toy shop Kangarooboo since we first found them back in 2007, so we admit we were super bummed to hear that they were closing shop after all these years.  Road and Rail Crane Train, $20, now $12.79 As we wish Justin and Jennic well on their new adventures, we wanted to share their big closing sale, where you’ll find the coolest indie toys, accessories, and more at pretty awesome discounts while supplies last. Here are just a few of our favorites: BlaBla Baby Sookie, $52, now $31.79   Recycled Plastic Tool...

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Personalized puzzles that make perfect birthday gifts. Maybe not just for kids.

I just finished spring cleaning my kids’ bedrooms and, while I was able to part with many things, I held onto almost anything that had been personalized with their names. If you too find that personalized gifts hold a special place in your heart, then you won’t be puzzled by my enthusiasm for something beautifully made–yet affordable–that could become a treasured plaything to hang onto for a long time. We’ve loved TinyMe’s colorful personalized labels, and we’re also smitten by their adorable wooden jigsaw puzzles that come in a huge array of styles and colors. The lovely muted color...

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