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
I caved. After years of avoiding the store and hiding the catalog, I finally gave in and bought two American Girl Dolls for my daughters for Christmas. But in doing so, I swore that I’d support Etsy artists and crafters by buying as much handmade clothing for American Girl Dolls as possible. With help in part from Grammy (thanks Grammy!) who helped find so many of these great designs, here are a few shops to keep your eye on should you be looking to style Kit or Kaya or McKenna in something a little off the beaten path. And...Read More
We love nothing more than finding toys for kids that are handmade, or at least, don’t require an on and off switch and 300 batteries. Instead, our favorite toys of 2012 are all powered by the imaginations and little hands of kids. Liz LEGO Friends As one of the original they’re doing WHAT with LEGOS? cynics, I have come full circle, completely respecting the way that LEGO Friends sets give more girls the chance to combine building skills with imaginative play. I will say I prefer the veterinary clinic, flying club, or invention workshop to the uh, beauty salon; but hey, no one says...Read More
We’re so happy to wish a happy 40th anniversary to Free to Be…You and Me, that groundbreaking collection of songs and spoken word pieces that introduced me to the concepts of equality and tolerance at such a young age. For instance, take the song William’s Doll. The story about a little boy who just wants a doll to love and hold—and the mocking, teasing chorus—came back to me years later in playgroups when I’d hear parents worrying that their sons wanted a doll, or (gasp) a kitchen set. Wow, 40 years later, we’re still worrying about this? So in honor of...Read More
Baby, have we got a good deal for you. All you have to do is subscribe to our newsletter, which is jam-packed with awesome offers, exclusive discounts, top picks, style trends, and of course, our monthly subscriber-only giveaway. This month, FOUR lucky Cool Mom Picks subscribers will win this Corolle “First Doll” Collection valued at over $200 each. Right in time for holidays too. Want a chance to win one? Just subscribe to our newsletter and find the details this week. All the cool picks, none of the spam. Yeah,...Read More
Striped or polka-dotted, these lovable handmade dolls have us mesmerized. Each adorable polkadottydoll is entirely unique, handcrafted in cotton without a pattern in black and white according to Alberta artist Lynda Black’s imagination. They’re nicely sized, bottom-weighted to sit on a shelf, and…sweetly mesmerizing. I mean, check out those eyes. The listings don’t mention it, but judging by the buttons and threads, these little dudes probably aren’t for ages 3 and under. Still, we know that black and white are colors most interesting to babies, so maybe just put one on the shelf for later? Like, maybe your shelf?...Read More
I’ve got some folks I’d like you to meet. These pretty custom dollies are hand-sewn, have hand-painted faces, and each cost less than $50. Um…Barbie who? I’m downright twitterpated over the beautiful handmade dolls at Hen and Chick on Etsy. Each doll is hand-sewn of a fetching mix of new, vintage, and repurposed fabric and sports a unique face painted by shop owner Rachel Linquist. You can buy one of the ready-made dolls in her shop for $40, or order a custom doll for only $45–a steal for such a special gift. Create the doll of your dreams by...Read More
When I survey my children’s toys, I have two thoughts: 1. I should have purchased stock in Duracell. 2. How can one household amass so much plastic? So I was thrilled to come across a world of handmade toys, interactive ideas, and three oh-so-beautiful words: “no plastic parts.” If you’re seriously nostalgic for simpler toys like I am, you’re going to adore the online toy store Once Upon a Treehouse. Once Upon a Treehouse is the charming brainchild of two mamas, Lori and Tara, who are sisters. The background story of their business is as sweet as their creations....Read More
I jumped through many hoops to get my son to finally use the potty: candy rewards, sticker charts, pleading. But I never did try a potty-training doll since I found most of them to be kind of unappealing as a doll that you’d want to snuggle at night after squeezing some liquid out of its belly. But now that one of our favorite doll companies has come out with one of these drink-and-wet dolls for both boys and girls, I’d add this to my arsenal of tricks to use when trying to transition little ones out of diapers. Corolle’s...Read More
When I was a young girl, my favorite pastime was playing with paper dolls. I loved dressing them up and creating stories with each of them. I think it’s great that they have made such a comeback into toys and decor because my own daughter loves them as much as I did. These vintage paper doll pillows hail from one of Cool Mom Picks’ favorite little shops, Baby Gardner, and are the perfect accent for accessorizing a little girls bedroom or play space. Betty and Sally originate from an authentic 1940s paper doll set and are now dressed up in...Read More
When I brought home a Best Pals rag doll for my youngest daughter, I had no idea it would end up becoming one of her very favorite of many (many) dolls an stuffed animals. I mean, clearly I loved the simplicity of the design and the wonderful backstory behind its creation, but I was thrilled to know it doesn’t take batteries or “real chewing action!” to make a kid happy these days. Now the Best Pals have new mini versions, and they’re just adorable. If your daughter is going off to camp or kindergarten for the first time and needs...Read More
We love the whimsical designs, beautiful black and white contrast, and durability of Wee Gallery products. So not surprisingly, they make for some of the most interesting nesting dolls we’ve ever seen. Hurry, though– quantities are limited, and you’ll want them. The Wee Gallery Nesting Dolls are disarmingly charming. The 4″ tall lion, cat, and owl tuck up tidily and straddle the line between cutesy and chic. Based on a set of nesting dolls painted by Wee Gallery co-founder Surya Sajnani for her own children, the dolls are made in Russia and just as appropriate for the bookshelf as...Read More
As much as my kids and I love Japanese Kokeshi dolls, I can’t bring myself to let another collection into the house, what with all the stuffed animals and favorite rocks already displayed around my girls’ room. But, I’ve found a way to combine Kokeshi cute with another collection I can totally get behind: Books! And, trust me, these adorable stories are just as sweet as a shelf full of dolls. Chronicle Books’ two new stories, Yumi and Aoki, follow the “day in the life” of two Kokeshi–little Japanese wooden dolls. What I love about the titles is that...Read More
What’s that old adage about how spring is coming, and a young girl’s thoughts turn to mermaids? Oh right, that’s not an adage. Still, my girls seem to be extra interested in them these days, and I’m happy to see so many cropping up that don’t have a wide-release animated feature tie-in. Here, six adorable indie picks for a mermaid-loving little girl. Or hey, little boy. And I wouldn’t blame him one bit. –Liz The Su Chi mermaid t-shirt at Tea Collection (above) is inspired by a Balinese wood carving. Call me stodgy, but I kind of like finding...Read More
I spent a good portion of my childhood coloring, drawing and creating and was very proud of what my mother assured me was some serious talent. I can’t even imagine how excited I would have been if she then had one of my creations turned into a doll from my very own artwork. Child’s Own does just that in an incredibly accurate and impressive way. What started as a way to make one boy’s wildly imaginative drawings turned into this uber cool home-based business. Their attention to detail what makes these handmade works of art so so special; if your kid’s monkey...Read More
I am all about empowering girls. Especially when it seems like so many media messages out there do just the opposite. So I’m glad to find some handmade girl power on Etsy. The Super Girl doll is handcrafted goodness to the tune of braided hair, yellow goggles and black boots that spell smart and savvy. She’s one rag doll that’s business, with a bit of spunk, and I love it. Also, check out the hipster rag doll while you’re there. Because guys with ironic glasses need love too. –Eva Super Girl is available at the Miscellany Shoppe on...Read More
Owls are some seriously cool animals. They have big eyes, they’re nocturnal, and they “whoo.” They’re also the requisite cute kids motif of the decade, which you know if you’re an avid Cool Mom Picks reader. You know what’s cooler than an owl though? An owl with a tie and striped pants. Little DeMaura Designs has carefully crafted this little Owl Rag Doll, who’s made to withstand toddler strength with ease. I’d imagine your little dude or dudette will not be able to put this guy down. After all, artist Gina DeMaura would know–she also makes the toys for...Read More
I grew up playing with muñecas de trapo (rag dolls) so when I saw the new modern doll line by Cool Mom Pick favorite Petit Collage I was instantly smitten. They’re just like the dolls I grew up with — except that, well, they’re not exactly made of rags. Far from it, actually. The fabrics designed by Petit Collage are so pretty and whimsical that you almost forget these dolls are toys meant for children. But they are! And how beautiful would they look on a shelf until your baby is old enough to take good care of them. There are three...Read More
Enjoy these, our Editor’s top picks of 2011 for toys for babies, tots, and big kids too–all of which we think will keep kids happy for more than a few minutes. That’s pretty rare these days. And not a battery compartment in sight! Little Sapling personalized alphabet blocks Liz: I think this is just about one of the best baby gifts or shower gifts ever (at top)–they’re handmade, personalized, and they’ll actually be played with. After which, you’ve got a lovely heirloom. You can’t say that about tickle-me-anything. Breastmilk Baby Doll Liz + Kristen: We have to give a shout-out...Read More
If you’re the type who likes to fill your holiday gifts with handmade love, we’ve got a whole bunch of beautiful ideas for you. My grandmother was a crocheter who made such hilariously bad gifts (sorry, Grandma!), they were the highlight of our holidays. Thankfully, Grandma was a great sport who laughed the loudest. But after looking at these 10 beautiful and interesting handmade gifts, I think maybe I could follow in her footsteps (in a good way) and create something of my own to give. Crafty moms? This one’s for you. –Christina 1. RETRO MAGNETIC PAPER DOLLSMy girls...Read More
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