Category: Toys + Other Playthings

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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Turning kids’ art into accessories with My Pretty Monsters

There’s an avalanche waiting to happen. Somewhere in your house, a pile of drawings and paintings is teetering, just waiting to collapse and terrify the cat. At least, that’s what happened to me.  Here’s a better way to honor your kid’s creations: by wearing their art as accessories. My Pretty Monsters transforms children’s artwork into lovingly crafted keepsakes. Whether you choose a messenger bag, a phone zippy, a purse, or even a giant stuffed animal, this gift will please your child as much as it pleases you.                      These aren’t assembly-line works, either. For example, each...

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The animal blocks that might lead to Tetris greatness

First, the bad news: when you get all these block animals lined up just right, there will be no fireworks over the Kremlin. The good news: they’re seriously cute and probably won’t obsess you like Tetris. Oh, and your kid can play with them, too. We’re always big fans of My Sweet Muffin, and their new Eco-Wooden Animal Blocks are no exception. In addition to their stunningly adorable design, you can also rest easy knowing that they’re completely child-safe for mouthing and banging. Each block is handmade of different woods, finished only with linseed oil. The set comes with...

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Crayons straight from the farm. In France. Via schoolbus.

Since a shiny new box of crayons is de rigeur for back to school season, I am loving this awesome set of crayons that might make a perfect “You’ll do great, honey!” gift for a new preschooler or kindergartener. And of course, her mom can borrow them too. The French-made Animal Crayon Set at Giggle is beyond cute. It’s those plastic based crayons (you know the ones) and not wax, so they’re not only semi-erasable, they’re great for keeping little hands–and your coffee table–clean. Yes, even if you use the piggie. –Liz Find the Animal Crayon Set and other...

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Baby gift sets from the land of driving on the wrong side of the road

While we’re all still on this post-Olympic London kick (man, aren’t you dying to go right now?) it was great timing that we discovered this brand new children’s line straight out of London. [don’t miss a fantastic limited time discount for CMP readers after the jump!] Designed by new mum and former architect Jen Taylor, Hokolo (an amalgam of Hong Kong and London) has just introduced its very first line showcasing adorable baby clothes and toys based on the Crown Jewels. These are super special baby gifts,  especially if you’ve got friends in Britain. Although certainly we ‘Merikins will...

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Happy 80th Birthday LEGO! Some of our favorite LEGO picks over the years, tied up with a bow

For all the complaining I do about the tiny bricks scattered all over the living room floor, I adore LEGO bricks for how much they fully engage my kids even more than the latest video game. So we’re delighted to you a very Happy 80th Birthday. Based on how much you are still loved, I suspect you’ll be as relevant in another eighty years as you are today. So today, we’re rounding up some of our favorite LEGO picks over the past years.  –Christina [see more of favorite picks and resources for cool LEGO things after the jump] [LEGO...

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Keep the Olympic games going with these Playmobil sets

Though enjoying the Olympics means that we are all watching about 2000x as much television as we normally would on a nice summer’s day, I love how inspired my kids’ play has become. Whether they are turning the couch cushions into hurdles or doing somersaults on their bed, the Olympics has become a huge part of our days. The 15 affordable Playmobil High-Performance Athletes sets cover everything from those popular gymnasts and swimmers to some of the less-promoted sports of table tennis and hammer throw. I know that my light-saber-obsessed son would love to play with the two fencing figures, though...

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A fabulous toddler game when you need a break from Candyland.

If you’ll be doing some packing before you hit the road this summer, chances are you don’t want the kids to help too much, lest you end up with six pairs of socks and no pants in their suitcases. So try channeling their I can help! persistence into a game in which you have to pack away your clothes before they spill all over the place. And it really doesn’t matter if they pack six pairs of socks into a single suitcase either. Elephant’s Trunk is an easy-to-learn game for toddlers and their parents who will be relieved to know that...

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