Category: Toys + Other Playthings

The best scooter for little kids? The one that’s the best for big kids.

There is no question in my three-kid household that one of the favorites in our fleet of ride-on toys is the Mini Kick scooter. From the moment they could balance on the stable footrest, my kids were cruising the driveway and declaring it “best scooter ever.” But now, even the youngest kids can fall in love with their own Mini Kick without having to wait until they are “scooter ready.” And, even better, this Mini Kick is made grow with them, making it a toy they’ll use for years. The all new Mini Micro 3-in-1 Scooter is basically the...

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Morphology Jr: Pictionary for the 21st century

Board games have a lot to compete with these days. Ever tried to get your older kid to put down Angry Birds in favor of Monopoly? That’s why I’m thrilled to find this interactive (albeit battery-free) board game that’s not boring in the least. And my kids agree. Meet Morphology Jr. It’s like Pictionary (remember that game??) for the 21st century. Teams have to guess secret words from a stack of cards, but instead of drawing the objects, you have to assemble them using things like string, and blocks which are all provided with the game.  It’s really fun...

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Special delivery: awesome DIY cardboard toys for kids

When I was a kid, my father ran a factory and on the rare special evening he would come home with big cardboard boxes for my sister and I to play with. I have memories of late nights setting up giant playhouses in the basement where we spent hours cutting, decorating, coloring and making it all our own. I had kind of forgotten about that feeling until I was introduced to Metamorphic Toys. Metamorphic Toys is a green toy company that provides kids creative freedom by enabling their imaginations through design. We’ve featured cardboard DIY toys before, like this cardboard playtown, an...

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Handmade dolls for people who like weird handmade dolls. Which includes us.

Striped or polka-dotted, these lovable handmade dolls have us mesmerized. Each adorable polkadottydoll is entirely unique, handcrafted in cotton without a pattern in black and white according to Alberta artist Lynda Black’s imagination. They’re nicely sized, bottom-weighted to sit on a shelf, and…sweetly mesmerizing. I mean, check out those eyes. The listings don’t mention it, but judging by the buttons and threads, these little dudes probably aren’t for ages 3 and under. Still, we know that black and white are colors most interesting to babies, so maybe just put one on the shelf for later? Like, maybe your shelf?...

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The most spectacular vintage paper dolls. We want them all!

Paper dolls are the perfect emergency boredom-buster to have on hand, at least if you’re our family; every fall, a bunch of annoying colds and coughs descend on my children, leaving at least one of them at any given time home on a school day, moaning “I’m boooooored.” I’m loving this wonderful Etsy find as an alternative to 12-hour movie marathons. We’re already big fans of the gorgeous collectible carved Alice in Wonderland dolls at Etsy shop Cart Before the Horse, but we’re so happy to find their awesome articulated paper-animal dolls which are just as lovely. Just cut...

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Well, hello, dollies!

I’ve got some folks I’d like you to meet. These pretty custom dollies are hand-sewn, have hand-painted faces, and each cost less than $50. Um…Barbie who? I’m downright twitterpated over the beautiful handmade dolls at Hen and Chick on Etsy. Each doll is hand-sewn of a fetching mix of new, vintage, and repurposed fabric and sports a unique face painted by shop owner Rachel Linquist.  You can buy one of the ready-made dolls in her shop for $40, or order a custom doll for only $45–a steal for such a special gift. Create the doll of your dreams by...

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This DIY dollhouse delights (with free wallpaper designs, no less)

I have a dollhouse-obsessed five year old…and I’m not complaining a bit. I love the fun creative play and imagination it inspires. (Currently, the little girl who resides in the dollhouse is named “Frodo.”) If you’re more interested in the idea of play than the idea of packing it full of expensive collectible furniture, this dollhouse kit might be for you–including some amazing free downloads (yes, free!) to help make it your own. The birch plywood dollhouse at Ferm Living is right up my alley–simple and unadorned. Plus for those of you with space issues, you can mount it...

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Shake, rattle, and drool: handcrafted heirloom baby rattles

Let me rattle off a few words for you to chew on: heirloom, handmade, safe, affordable. Also: pretty. These Heirloom Baby Rattles from Windfall Boutique on Etsy are everything you could possibly want in a baby toy–but at half the price you might expect to pay for something so classic, sturdy and beautiful. At only $16.50, each rattle is handmade of domestic cherry, walnut, and maple, laminated with food-safe glue, filled with jasmine rice, and finished with food-grade mineral oil. That means you get a toy that’s attractive, unique, and hard to break. It also requires no batteries, has no...

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Fighting childhood cancer with the strength of 1000 ladybugs

Before I was a cool mom, I was a cool aunt with very high standards. Lucky for me, being a cool aunt in New York City isn’t tough, as fabulous boutiques beckon from just about every other corner. But one in particular really captured this cool auntie’s heart…in more ways than one. [Keep reading after the jump for a chance to support the children of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital!] I’ve been loyal to the wonderful NYC-based Beatrix brand for three special little ladies now. I always knew the brand had a fun, high-quality product line, but now I know the company has...

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Puzzles that are curiouser and curiouser (and cooler and cooler)

I’ll admit it–puzzles don’t normally pique my curiosity. But when you combine a beautiful painting with intricate laser-cut wood pieces that are works of art in themselves, you have me grinning like a Cheshire Cat. Artifact Puzzles is pure puzzle genius, with offerings like we’ve never seen. Alice in Wonderland by artist Justin Hillgrove is just one option–they’ve got tons of others to charm you as well.  Each sophisticated puzzle is laser-cut of 1/4″ thick wood in the most interesting shapes. From cats to octopi and teacups to toadstools, these are not your average wiggly bits. And they’re not for...

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