Category: Toys + Other Playthings

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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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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,...

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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...

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The 2016 best board games of the year from Spiel des Jahres. Family game night just got a whole lot cooler!

During the summer I usually let my kids stay up late, but we ditch the screens and play board games together instead. So, each year I keep my eye on the Spiel des Jahres award-winning board games to find the best new board games that are guaranteed to be interesting for the whole family. Sorry, Chutes and Ladders. This German-based award that literally means “game of the year” is basically the Pulitzer prize of board games. They consider games from all over the world, and we’re never disappointed with their choices. So, we wanted to share the winners that were announced today, because it just so happens we have loved...

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The Disney LEGO castle that has us all wishing upon a star.

We all know that there are some pretty amazing possibilities when it comes to LEGOs, from the skills they develop to the fantastical forms they can take. But the new LEGO Disney Castle is honestly pretty jaw-dropping. Disney fans, this is no glorified plastic silhouette of the castle. It’s incredibly detailed, with over 4,000 pieces (yep, you read that right) for your kid’s construction pleasure, along with a few of their favorite characters. But before you get lost in a Fantasia-like stupor looking at these pictures, know that the asking price is definitely a little steep ($349.99) for a...

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