Category: Toys + Other Playthings

The ultimate awesome gift: Your own custom box of Crayola crayons.

I still remember how special it would feel to get a brand new box of 64 Crayola crayons just for myself — and that was before Crayola My Way, a super cool new way to create a box of totally custom Crayola crayons. Not only can you personalize the outside of the box with photos and a short message or name, but you can also choose which colors go inside. Does your child only color with Cornflower blue? Always run out of the metallics first? Love everything purple? No problem. Best birthday gift ever! Related: Ultimate Birthday Party Gift Guide It’s super simple to personalize...

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Naturally Perfect Dolls: A standout at this year’s Toy Fair

There’s something special about getting a doll that looks “just like you.” It’s one of the many reasons Cool Mom Picks loves companies like Corolle who make baby dolls of color as well as boy dolls for our sons to love. Of course it’s partly why American Girl Dolls became so beloved. And it’s the reason I was stoked to stumble upon Naturally Perfect Dolls at this year’s Toy Fair this week. The idea for the Naturally Perfect Dolls line, created by parents Angelica and Jason Sweeting, was inspired by their young African-American daughter asking for yellow hair and white skin — for herself — so she...

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Oh boy, Oh! Toys: The cool kids’ gifts you just can’t find anywhere else

Since Cool Mom Picks started a decade ago, we’ve made it our mission to find small, independent stores that sell unique, eco-friendly, hard-to-find toys for your kids so that all you have to do is scroll and shop. My newest favorite, Oh! Toys, goes to great lengths (or maybe I should say great distances) to find beautifully made toys that encourage open-ended play. Just think of the airfare they’ve saved you! Here are just a few of the really special, creative gifts there that you simply aren’t going to find at your local mall or big toy store chain. Related: The ultimate birthday fift guide: Coolest gifts for...

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Treehouse Kid & Craft: A cool indie toy shop that makes you want to buy everything.

If you’re the type willing to seek out creative, responsibly made, well-designed gifts for your kids — or for one of the endless stream of birthday parties they get invited to — then you have to check out Treehouse Kid & Craft. We just discovered this little gem of an online shop which features tons of the kinds of cool toys for kids of all ages that we’ve always loved supporting. And the prices are surprisingly decent, too. What I’m drawn to most is their drool-worthy DIY section of toys and gifts which are inspired by the hands-on workshops for kids they host at their brick-and-mortar stores in Georgia. If you’re lucky...

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A look at the brand new curvy Barbie: Will you buy her? | Thinking: Parent

Well, after oh, only sixty years or so of women complaining about Barbie’s unrealistic figure, Mattel has decided to get with the 21st century zeitgeist and the changing look of the world, today releasing Barbies with three brand new body shapes — curvy, tall and petite. And you know, looking at them? They actually are curvy, tall and petite. Yes! Interestingly, they’re called the Barbie Fashionista line, which I suppose is a smart marketing move as opposed to calling them something like Barbie Body Shape. Or Bootylicious Barbie which I imagine was off the table immediately.   Of course we had to have...

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15 of the coolest indoor playhouses for kids, from DIY to a few splurges

As someone living in Massachusetts, I’ve always gotten the appeal of having a great playhouse for kids. For many of us, our kids’ primary playtime through the winter will take place indoors where it isn’t 20 degrees and icy. So if you’re looking for ways to make your indoors as fun as possible for your kids, a cool playhouse can give them endless hours of imaginative fun that doesn’t involve bouncing off the walls or jumping on your couch. So we’ve rounded up 15 cool DIY and ready-to-buy playhouses for kids that can be put in a playroom, bedroom, or even a corner of...

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19 cool Rey Star Wars toys and gifts: She might not be in Monopoly, but she sure is here. | Spawned episode 28

We’ve been super frustrated with the lack of Star Wars toys for kids featuring Rey. Not just because she’s a woman, and all of our kids — male and female — love her, but uh…she’s the hero. How the heck do you make a Star Wars Monopoly set or a Star Wars 6-piece Action Figure set “with all your favorite characters” but not the main character of the entire movie? above LEGO Force Awakens Rey and BB-8 art photograph | Holtzman Customs Even JJ Abrams doesn’t get it. We discussed the issue on this week’s Spawned Show: Where is Rey? — especially Mike...

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Telestrations: Like Telephone meets Pictionary meets so much fun

Kudos to my sister-in-law who scored with arguably the biggest hit of all the gifts this holiday season, Telestrations. Or actually, credit may go to my 9-year-old niece who saw it in a store and said, “hey, that looks fun” which was the understatement of the year. Related: 8 of our favorite family board games for 6 or more players of all ages. Essentially Telestrations like a game of telephone with drawings — you sit in a circle, and each player gets a different word or phrase to write down on a dry-erase flip pad. Then, you flip the page and illustrate that word...

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The 22 best kids’ toys of the year (and other playful gifts) : Editors’ Best of 2015

When you think back to the best toys of the year (and other playful gifts for kids) you probably think about tech, tablets, and things that require cords and batteries. And yet there’s so much more, from wonderful board games, to handmade dolls, to decidedly unplugged toy that inspire tons of creative play and imagination. While we’ve got all the cool tech toys covered for you over at Cool Mom Tech, here are 22 of our favorite new toys of 2015 that captured our — and our children’s — attention. Most are from small brands that really value all the attention they get, but...

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Sesame Street + Tattly = Best stocking stuffer ever. For the kids, too.

I have a longstanding love affair with Sesame Street, so you can imagine my excitement when I discovered that our friends at Tattly recently teamed up with the Sesame Workshop to create a Sesame Street character set of temporary tattoos. Yes, I understand that they’re for kids, and don’t get me wrong, I know a few kids who will be finding these in their stockings this year. But I’m digging them for myself, too, which is why I’m excited they’ve got a Sesame Street Nostalgia set for us old people. I can’t be the only one who secretly wanted a Grover tattoo. Or…...

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