Tag: dollhouses

The STEM building sets that empower girls to engineer their futures.

A few years ago, my now 9-year-old daughter had an epiphany while wandering the toy aisles at a discount superstore. She eyed a pink toy vacuum cleaner with suspicion, then asked to go to the boys’ aisle instead, because she wanted to be where the bulk of the cool building sets were. In the last few years, there have been serious strides in STEM toys geared toward girls, but it’s this one that I wish had been on the market on that fateful shopping day. Related: 12 cool STEM gifts for girls (and hey, for boys too)  Wonderhood Toys is the brainchild of two business-school...

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Diverse, interracial dollhouse families: Reader Q&A

After featuring Georgette’s post on 6 toymakers making diverse interracial dolls for kids, Facebook fan Melissa asked us if we know of any interracial dollhouse families. I love this question. So many of us want to bring more diversity into all our kids’ doll collections, whether you have children whose heritage is Asian, African or Latino and they want dolls that reflect themselves back to them; or you have Caucasian children, like my daughter, who has racial and ethnic diversity among her closest friends and family members, and loves surrounding herselves with dolls that reflect her world. That said, most dollhouse families you find...

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Creative kids can now design their own dream dollhouse and take it everywhere they go

We’re big fans of toys that inspire creativity in our kids. And if they’re small enough to fit in a backpack, even better. The Dollhouse Book by Rock and Pebble is perfection. This house-shaped cardboard-cover book is a 30-page blank canvas, literally, for your child to custom-create their own dream house. They can design at home or on-the-go. No more impatient waits for food to arrive at the table or for a sister’s dance class to be over. And once they’ve designed every room of the most amazing home ever, they can set it up to play — anywhere. Which they totally cannot do with that...

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The best kids’ toys, dolls, and games: Editors’ Best of 2014

From amazing dolls to cool new games and imaginative toys, there have been so many fantastic options out for kids at play this year that encourage things we love, like creativity, imagination, building, interest in STEM pursuits, defiance of gender stereotypes and more. Wow, what a year! Plus so many toys are starting to incorporate tech now, that we included some favorites from Cool Mom Tech as well. We hope our list of the coolest kids’ toys of the year includes some new favorites of your own.   This is post is part of of our annual series of Editors Picks of the Year. No...

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A gift for kids who believe fairies are real. Aren’t they?

I may not allow Elf on a Shelf in my house, and Peter Pan is definitely not welcome to fly through my kids’ bedroom window, but having some magical fairy visitors would be just fine. Especially if it means my kids go eagerly to bed in the hopes that one will stop by while they are sleeping. The Dreamland Fairy Kit is just the kind of place a fairy may want to visit and would make an awesome fairy gift for kids who believe that fairies are real. Developed by moms Cassie Slane and Ami Van Dine after their six-year-old daughters proposed the...

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Print your own super kawaii toys in ten minutes flat. And we mean flat.

In a world exploding with 3D printers and landfills full of old junk, there’s something refreshing about toys that start out as paper and end up as, well, more paper. In fact, you can print these toys at home, build them yourself, store them in a folder, and recycle them when you’re done. And you don’t have to untie 47 little twisty ties and cut tape out of anybody’s hair. It’s fantastic. Check that–it’s Fantastic Toys, an Etsy shop filled with retro-designy worlds you print and build yourself. From dollhouses complete with furniture and landscaping to Alice in Wonderland playsets to...

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A natural wooden dollhouse so adorable, an elephant couldn’t forget it. Especially in this case.

We’ve seen just about everything in the  dollhouse world, but we’ve never seen an elephant you could live in. The natural wooden dollhouse called the Ele Villa (“elephant house”), from natural, sustainable toy company Rock and Pebble definitely brings something new to the world of imaginative play, and I love the underbelly parking as much as I love the well-dressed people who live there. Don’t miss limited time free shipping below! The Ele Villa dollhouse is made of birch and is totally sustainable, natural, and non-toxic. With two floors standing 16″ tall and eight rooms that can be painted or decorated to your heart’s content, it’s as...

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Lille Huset: The diy dollhouse kits we wish we had as kids.

We adored Lille Huset’s eco-friendly, laminated, recycled paperboard DIY dollhouses the moment we discovered them at Toy Fair  earlier this year. Founder Alyson Beaton’s mission is so wonderful: to encourage kids to build and customize their homes, not just play with preexisting ones. Besides, they’re beautiful. So we are thrilled that we are now carrying the US-made Lille Huset kits at the Cool Mom Picks indie shop, along with other wonderful handmade and indie items from makers around the world. Lille Huset’s houses come flat-packed so that you can actually dissemble them whenever they aren’t being used to sit in a bookshelf, not in pieces all over your house. Each kit also...

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6 of the coolest dollhouse kits that promote building, design, and imaginative play. We want to live in them.

Dollhouses have always been a common feature on the floors of Toy Fair, but Liz and I noticed more and more options this year with dollhouse kits that add building and design, and sometimes even circuitry, to the act of play. Future architects and designers of the world, we’ve found the toys for you.   Roominate Dollhouse Building Kits Combining building, engineering, and design, Roominate’s clever dollhouse building kits come together in so many different ways, kids can conceivably construct a totally different house every time they sit down to play. And I love the many ideas on their...

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Smart toys for girls that defy the pink aisle. In other words, no princesses, ballerinas or “fashionistas,” whatever career that is.

This week at Toy Fair, I must say a progressive mama like me had a much harder time than expected scoping out smart toys for girls that defy the pink aisle. In other words, the girl dolls and figures were wearing something beyond princess garb or sparkly pink lace tulle. To be clear, I have no problem at all with ballerinas or fashion design kits or or traditional little baby dolls swathed in pink gingham–we feature plenty of them here But I have always wanted my daughters (and all the boys out there too!) to have choices. And if...

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A DIY Christmas tree dollhouse, also known as “how to put those Amazon boxes to good use”

If your house is anything like mine, you’ve got two energetic kids trapped inside by nasty weather and a huge stack of shipping boxes waiting for the recycling truck. Put them all to good use with this DIY project that creates an adorable Christmas tree dollhouse out of supplies you already have on hand. You can even build in a jail, if your Elf on the Shelf is particularly naughty. Our pals at Mr. Printables have found a simple way to turn those plain cardboard boxes into something extraordinary — and useful. All you need are their free printable...

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You won’t need a second mortgage for this dollhouse

Once you enter the land of American Girl, it’s not easy to come by real estate that can accommodate dolls of her stature. But we’ve found a doll house on the market that is just the right size for her and a couple of friends. And you won’t even need to take out a second mortgage to afford the closing costs. This isn’t your regular little ol’ doll house with itty-bitty rooms. Our Generation’s Wooden Dollhouse is three-and-a-half feet tall and over three feet wide. Think of it as the McMansion of doll houses, minus the four-car garage. I know more...

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Lundby Dollhouses: the perfect combination of imagination, technology and DIY

Got a dollhouse on someone’s holiday or birthday list? There’s an option you might not be aware of. Or maybe I am the only one in the world not aware of these cool houses, since they’ve been around for 65 years and keep coming up with really novel ideas. The Lundby Smaland Doll House is the newest addition from this Swedish company whose houses and furniture, not surprisingly, look like they could have come right out of IKEA or some mid-century vintage store. I received one to check out and I will say that the lightweight plastic panels mean it’s not...

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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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It’s a chair! It’s a dollhouse! It’s genius!

Welcome to our home full of teeny kids’ chairs that are good for one thing. Or two if you count tripping over them. But these cool handmade chairs from CMP-fave Paloma’s Nest are good for three, or more. Just when I thought we were done with kids’ furniture, I spy the amazing Children’s Chair from Paloma’s Nest that actually doubles as a doll house. Or “colonial house” to be specific. Unless you prefer the Victorian House chair. So genius, right? They can sit and then play underneath, or play while someone else is sitting, or… you get the idea....

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The coolest dollhouse for kids isn’t a dollhouse at all

With a house full of girls, you can bet that I’ve seen and owned my fair share of dollhouse toys, all of which have been some of my kids’ favorite gifts from us. Or uh, Santa Claus. But for as many version of the traditional dollhouse toy that I’ve seen, none can compete with this rug that I’m sure would get tons of playtime for many years. The Playhouse 3D carpets are the brainchild of a mom in Turkey who wanted to encourage outside-of-the-box creative play in her own kids, and wow, are these brilliant! Each completely handmade 3...

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The perfect first dollhouse

I still remember taking my girls to a friend’s house for a playdate, and realizing that my youngest daughter, then about two, could lose herself for an hour or more with the little girl’s dollhouse without making a peep. I knew from then on that imagination-building toys would rule her world and the hunt for the perfect dollhouse would begin. If you have a boy or girl in the same boat–or house–I’ve found just the one to get them started. This new child’s dollhouse, simply called “Playhouse,” is the perfect first dollhouse. With just three floors, enough furniture to...

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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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Best dollhouse for holiday gift – Reader Q&A

I was wondering if you could recommend a classic dollhouse for my two daughters’ Christmas gift? Would love any suggestions you have. Thank you!! -Amy Ooh, dollhouses! One of our favorite things to look for, now that there are so many to choose from. If you’re into modern, Plan Toys makes several lovely eco-friendly dollhouses. Our editor Liz’s girls adore their modern Plan Toys Chalet Dollhouse (above). It is made up of two units that can be repositioned so that your two girls can play simultaneously without getting in each other’s way, and the furniture sets are fairly sturdy...

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Home sweet doll home

I have this fantasy every Christmas of convincing my extended family to go together on one big gift for my children. You know, instead of everyone doing their own thing and my kids ending up with a playroom full of blinky-light, noise-making, play-with-once-then-ignore toys. (And trust me, I know that karma will kick me in the butt when I’m a grandmother and wanting to choose my own gifts for my precious littles. Oh, I know.) But do you want to know what I’m working on for this year? Only the most glorious wooden dollhouse in the entire world. It’s...

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