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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More