I have always said that I’m not anti-princess, just pro-choice. When it comes to my daughters’ toys, I’ve always wanted them to have a variety, which is why we don’t limit ourselves to “girls’ aisles” in toy stores. And now IAmElemental comes along and gives us actual action figures for girls–a phenomenal option to inspire creative play right alongside their action movie-themed LEGOs and rag dolls and American Girl Dolls and everything else in the toy chest. Still in the midst of a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, this mom-run company is reinventing the female action figure, with a series made for actual girls to play with–instead of adult collectors to ogle. You...Read More
We were so excited when we discovered Lottie, a doll who skips the stilettos and miniskirts (and curves) for clothes that look like what an actual kid would wear. Lottie comes with lots of skin and hair colors and has oodles of outfits and activities from martial arts to horseback riding to butterfly-catching. Until now, she didn’t have a superhero costume, but that’s about to change. Until May 7, kids can help design Lottie’s superhero persona, and one winner will see her costume actually made for Lottie dolls everywhere. We love Lottie, and we can’t wait to find out...Read More
Corolle Les Cheries dolls: The best dolls for 5 year olds who are more interested in berets than burping.
I still stand by Corolle baby dolls as the best of the bigger brands. Designed in France and smelling lightly of vanilla, they’re really everything you want a doll to be. Unless when you’re looking for the best dolls for 5-year olds who have outgrown the baby doll stage. And you don’t want to spend $100 on one. And you want seriously awesome accessories and clothes to play with. Voila: The lovely new line of Corolle Les Cheries dolls. Designed for kids in that wonderfully imaginative 4-7 range who really love dressing up their dolls (though even my 8 year-old...Read More
Heart for Heart Dolls: Because African Girl Dolls, Mexican Girl Dolls and Laotian Girl Dolls are just as fun as the American ones.
While I have finally come around to accept my daughter’s affinity for American Girl Dolls, suddenly Saige and Marie-Grace have serious competition with Rahel, the Ethiopian doll from the Heart for Heart Girls dolls collection. I cannot say enough wonderful things about Heart for Heart Girls, which are each based on 10 real ten-year-old girls from Afghanistan, Belarus, Laos, India, Ethiopia, and beyond. I really like that each one one gives your child a chance to learn more about her story and her area of the world, while a dollar from each purchase is donated to a nonprofit that...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
Now that my house is overflowing with too many toys (thanks to very generous grandparents), it’s time for some serious storage solutions. I’m desperate for some organization for all those Rainbow Loom bands, LEGO pieces and American Girl doll clothes, just to name a few. So, here’s a list of some of our favorite storage ideas, from kids’ stuff to your stuff. Storage Solutions for LEGOs (above) The one toy our readers keep trying to figure out how to best store are their LEGO collections. Do you sort by color? By kit? All in one huge bin, which gets...Read More
There are always so many of the coolest kids’ toys from small companies for us to discover each year and 2013 was no exception. In our Editors’ Best of 2013 series, we offer you our very favorites of the year, each of which was chosen for its originality, craftsmanship, great design, and low wear-out factor. They’re not all the toys you’ll find in the big stores, and that’s in part what we love about them. The Rainbow Loom As our editor Liz said on CNN this year, 2013 was the year of the Rainbow Loom! Girls...Read More
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...Read More
The Lottie doll has a lot in common with your little girl. Like being an actual little girl. At last.
I don’t mean to be a traitor to my generation, but Barbie has always made me a little uncomfortable, with her unrealistic proportions and the way her vet uniform is shorter than my negligees. That’s why I’m so excited to introduce you to a new doll that little girls can actually relate to, because she looks like them and shares their interests. Bonus: she can bend her legs to ride her pony and isn’t always on her tiptoes. This is Lottie, and she’s a lot like your kid. She likes butterflies, robots, gymnastics, karate, horseback riding, and fashion, although...Read More
Want the best deals, tips, and trendspotting from Cool Mom Picks? Then you’ll definitely want to become a subscriber. This month, one lucky subscriber will win an exclusive prize package from CMP favorite Corolle, including a Bebe Classique Happiness doll, a gorgeous carriage, and two outfits. Just in time for the holidays, right? To subscribe, just click here and enter your email in the handy dandy box. You’ll soon get our monthly newsletter with exclusive deals and editors’ picks, not to mention the deets on how to win that giveaway. But you won’t get spam, because we’re just not...Read More
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...Read More
Ever since the AAP changed the car seat recommendations for children, kids are staying in rear facing car seats and eventually, booster seats, even longer. So I’m happy to find a car seat accessory for dolls, which can help kids understand car seat safety by taking care of their own little babies. The new Car Seat for Dolls by German company Gotz, is perfect for dolls up to 16.5 inches, like a Corolle Baby Doll–but not quite an American Girl Doll, which might have been your next question. It even has a retractable top, should the baby doll need a little protection from the...Read More
We can pick our friends, our noses, but not our families. But thanks to this kit? We can pick exactly what the fam looks like and what they’re wearing. Including ninja relatives. Here’s what I love so much about this DIY Fair Trade Wooden Family Craft Kit from our pals at the Brooklyn Makers Shop: no matter who’s in your family, you can paint ’em. You can paint two moms, two dads, grandparents, or a mom and dad. You can paint the four smaller dolls as kids of different ages, friends, pets, or, yes, ninjas. And you’re not limited in...Read More
Despite all the water play of the season, summertime means extra bathtime for my kids to wash off the grimy residue of the day’s sunscreen, sweat, and sand. To keep the kids company, long-time favorite Corolle offers plenty of dolls for the bath, and this new one is adorably suited up for some serious bathtub swimming. We’ve always liked Corolle, which make about the least creepy of all baby dolls. (Admit it: some are very creepy.) And since kids want to take them in the tub anyway, the new Corolle Mon Premier Bebe Bath Doll comes outfitted for snorkling in the...Read More
This sweet ninja is soft, cozy, and comes with a minky sword. Who better to protect your baby from nightmares? This sweet ninja security blanket from Koddalie on Etsy is a unique and cuddly way to keep your baby happy–and safe from the bad sort of ninja. Because all new moms have ninja problems, right? Handmade of black dimple-dot minky and soft pink cotton, it measures in at 12×12, but can also be made at 18×18 or 29×29, if you need extra ninja protection for the little one. She’s washer and dryer safe, and even comes with her own...Read More
Soft, sweet dolls that are handmade with love and look like art? We’re big fans. And when you can add personalization? Even better. We love the simple, lovely elegance of these handmade dolls from the blita shop on Etsy. Each one is carefully double-sewn in Portugal of quilting cottons and felt, stuffed with polyester, and given a sweetly embroidered face. Just like our kids, they’re tough and beautiful and ready for adventure. There’s even a personalization option on this Red Riding Hood Doll: just tell them which name and which fabric you’d like for the hood, and your doll will...Read More
Passover is creeping up on us before we know it (quick! Buy matzoh before it’s all gone from the supermarket!) and while it’s not really the giftiest of holidays, I’m loving this sweet handmade toy set that can get little ones through a seder with minimal fussing. The Passover peg dolls are lovely little handmade wooden dolls that represent Moses, Pharoah, and those ever-lovin’ 10 plagues in an appropriately un-gruesome way to help bring the story to life. There are also 3 random “Israelites” (dying to turn one into Leo G Carrol as Dathan), plus a clever tent...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
I’ve done a lot of babywearing in my day. A lot. And though my “baby” is a hand-holding toddler now, my daughter still remembers her little brother’s carrier days and wears her own doll babies with pride. While it’s no secret we at CMP love babywearing, it’s not often I’ve come across a really great babywearing doll. I just love the adorable Babywearing Mommy Doll (with equally adorable baby, of course!) from the Freja Toys Etsy shop. She’s so sweet and happy toting her baby around in what must be the world’s tiniest ring sling. And with several hair...Read More