Tag: handmade toys

No way: Custom plush animals that look just like your actual pet.

A few years ago my kids tried out the cool service Budsies, which turns kids’ drawings into stuffed animals. They were so excited when their creations arrived, and they still have them in their beds today. So, when we heard that Budsies was launching a new company called Petsies, which creates a stuffed animal for you based on a photo of your pet, we were intrigued. Yes, it’s an interesting way for some people keep a memory of a pet around after they’ve gone to “join the circus” or “moved to the farm” or went to doggy or bunny heaven. Maybe you think that’s creepy, maybe you think...

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The cast of Hamilton gets bigger and cuddlier

Of our entire 2016 holiday gift guide, by far one of the most popular gift ideas were the genius handmade Hamilton dolls by Christina of Etsy’s Bobeena Shop. What can we say, you all have good taste in artists — and game-changing Broadway musicals. Now she’s out with a few brand new characters to help round out the most adorable founding fathers (and mothers) around: John Laurens and Hercules Mulligan. Add them to favorites like the Schuyler sisters and Alexander Hamilton himself and you’ll have the most enviable pop culture doll collection on the planet right now. Related: The best Hamilton party theme ideas: Decor, invitations, treats, and...

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10 sweet first Easter gifts for the new baby in your life

If the new spring season also means a new baby in your family, don’t miss these 10 sweet first Easter gifts we’ve found at some of our favorite indie shops and makers this year. From keepsake ornaments to baby wraps so cute you won’t be able to resist Instagramming them, these are our favorite first Easter gifts for babies this year. As if you needed an excuse to spoil them any more, right? CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: 15 cool bunny gifts to fill up your baby’s Easter basket Every kid needs their own Easter basket, and I love these handmade custom...

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15 of the coolest bunny gifts for all your kids’ Easter baskets

Are you ready for Easter yet? It’s coming soon. And we’re here for you! I’ve spent hours browsing my favorite indie shops for the coolest bunny gifts for Easter and I’ve found 15 of the most adorable ideas for kids’ Easter baskets. Pick one or two of these gift ideas for their baskets, add a couple pieces of candy or a delicious homemade Easter treat, and you’re done. So, hop to it! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: Need more ideas? Here are 20 more awesome bunny gifts for kids I’m a big fan of the natural, creative play of Waldorf toys,...

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How a rag doll is helping to spread random acts of kindness around the world.

This past holiday season, my 9-year-old asked for a boy doll. “But not a boy baby doll,” she said, “because they’re exactly the same as the girl baby dolls when you take the clothes off. They are just girl dolls! Only in blue clothes! Though sometimes they don’t have eyelashes. And anyway, I have so many girl dolls and it’s just not fair that there aren’t boys too.” Can you tell she’s my kid? We did find a rag-style boy doll for her who she absolutely adores; but I admit I wish we had found The Doll Kind a month ago,...

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Freshly Picked Marketplace: The new indie marketplace you need to bookmark for your holiday shopping

When Kristen and Liz started Cool Mom Picks, their desire was to highlight cool, indie shops that make innovative products with fresh ideas for kids and families. A decade later, that’s still our driving passion, and the chic handmade baby moccasins at Freshly Picked is one of our favorite indie shops to recommend for baby gifts. We’ve always loved Susan Petersen’s eye for style, and now she’s using that to highlight other small businesses too, with the Freshly Picked Marketplace. This online community is a hub of small shops curated by Susan, and when I browsed through the site I immediately added gifts from each one to my holiday shopping...

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The handmade, organic Frida Kahlo doll: Art history degree not required.

The first-ever gift I gave my daughter was a beautiful handmade doll I found on Etsy, and ever since then I’ve had a thing for gifting my kids one-of-a-kind dolls. Of course, she has her fair share (and then some) of American Girl everything, but when I find a keepsake like the handmade, organic Frida Kahlo dolls made by Mexican artists Maroma + Arte, I feel compelled add to her growing collection. She certainly doesn’t need another doll, but I really want her to have this one. And a little lesson in art history and female empowerment to go along with it won’t...

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Handcrafted fairy doors that invite magical visitors from Hobbits to House Elves. No lost teeth necessary.

When I discovered the incredibly adorable, beautifully handcrafted fairy doors from Sugar Bush Fairies on Etsy, I instantly fell in love. Because I’m all about bringing a little magic and enchantment into my kids’ lives — but I’ll be honest, I’m kind of a failure when it comes to Pinteresty crafts. After filling up a bag with glitter and scrawling the words “Fairy Dust” across the front, I’m kind of at a loss. This is where these enchanting wooden fairy doors come in. They’re all handcrafted and handpainted by a husband and wife team, then adorned with bronze or silver knobs and accents. You’ll find Hobbit...

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Our new favorite stuffed animals from To The Market

We’re already big fans of To The Market: Survivor-Made Goods, which produces the most gorgeous accessories, home goods, and toys. A couple of years ago, our editor Liz featured the store and its mission to support causes such as the fight against abuse, poverty, and genocide. And it’s all too easy to get lost in this online store filled with beautiful handcrafted jewelry, cashmere scarves, and hand-stitched sari throws, especially knowing every item is economically empowering these survivors and amazing artisans. Now, To The Market has partnered with MULXIPLY to create a new line I can’t stop cooing over: these adorable stuffed elephants, dogs, and giraffes, all hand-felted by female artisans...

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Your kids will fall in love with these mini dolls on a big mission

You may remember Cuddle and Kind’s beautiful hand-knit dolls, which we featured last fall. We gushed over how cute the line is, and even more impressive, their amazing mission to feed hungry kids with ten meals donated to major hunger-fighting charities with the purchase of every doll. And, wow, did our readers ever respond: This remarkable company has already donated over 200,000 meals to kids in need in just over half a year. Now, Cuddle and Kind’s Little Collection — a new line of the same sweet dolls, but mini versions of their originals — is matching the mission. For every Cuddle and Kind doll purchased, whether it’s their original 20″ or their new 13″ doll,...

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13 amazing superhero gifts for girls who can (and will) do anything

I love that it’s become par for the course these days to raise our girls with the knowledge that they can do whatever they want and be whomever they aspire to be — astronaut, organic farmer, singer, plumber, President. And we’re all hoping they use their undeniable powers for good, which, if you think about it, is kind of the essence of a superhero. So, in honor of National Superhero Day (yes, that’s a real thing!), we’ve rounded up some of our favorite superhero gifts for girls who can do, well, anything. (Top image: superhero capes from Lovelane) From dolls and capes to books and artwork, I think these are some wonderful gifts that...

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Over 20 of the best bunny gifts for Easter, whether you’ve got toddlers or tweens

Ready for Easter? We weren’t either until we started searching the web for ideas, and got excited when we found so many totally adorable bunny gifts for Easter out there! And there’s no chocolate, Peeps, or jelly beans in this bunch — not that there’s anything wrong with those. We just thought it would be fun to find some cool, non-candy gifts for Easter baskets, for babies all the way up to our not-too-old-for-Easter-gift tweens and teens. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Shaped like those iconic Peeps candies we can’t stop eating despite ourselves, these Easter bunny crayons from Custom Crayons by...

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Happy Year of the Monkey, baby. You’re intelligent, creative, and darnit, people like you!

Today starts the Lunar New Year, and lots of little Year of the Monkey babies are soon to be born. If not already. I’ve always loved Tree by Kerri Lee‘s beautiful wooden birth year blocks, which a make sweet gift for a special little someone. Handcrafted by artist Kerri Lee and featured in her sister’s Etsy shop, you can order these in three colors, all of which feature characteristics of a Year of the Monkey baby. I think they make such lovely, affordable keepsakes, whether the lucky recipient is super into the Chinese zodiac, or just appreciates the thoughtfulness of a...

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21 cool Valentine’s Day gift ideas for kids of all ages | Valentine’s Gift Guide 2016

We always have the best time looking for cool Valentine’s Day gift ideas for our kids, whether they’re toddlers, tweens or teens.  Hey, it’s not like they’re expecting spendy chocolate truffles or diamond jewelry! Of course not every family exchanges Valentine’s gifts — and we still think cards are always terrific — but for those who do, we love all of these cool Valentine’s gifts for kids. Think of them as sweet ways for kids to give a little love to a sibling or best friend, or for parents or grandparents to shower a child with love, with something besides those chalky...

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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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The coolest baby gifts and gear of the year: Editors’ Best of 2015

We’re so excited to wrap up our year by featuring our very top picks in all sorts of categories, starting with our very favorite cool baby gifts and gears that were new or new to us in 2015. This is a tough category to be sure, so we went through our archives, talked to our editors and writers, and put together the few from our archives that we think deserve an extra special nod this year. And perhaps a spot on your baby registry too! In no particular order…our picks for coolest baby gifts and gear of 2015.   This...

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The Originals: Brand New Noise handmade recording gadgets make everyone smile

My kids were in a museum gift shop with friends this summer and of everything in the store, all four spent the entire time fighting over (I mean, taking turns with) what’s best defined as a handmade voice  or music recording gadget from a cool little Brooklyn company called Brand New Noise. And while you might have seen something like their nifty sound boxes, nothing tops the original, which is why we’re happy to include them in our series on original makers, thinkers, and artists. These recording toys are like the best of tech toys meets the best of low-tech toys,...

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14 cool skateboarding gifts for your favorite shredder.

We’ve got a few passionate skateboarders in our lives so we’ve been super excited to have the opportunity to spend some time searching around for cool skateboarding gifts then sharing our faves, thanks to our most awesome new sponsor, The Parking Block skateboard stand. We are stoked (see how we did that?) to welcome them, because, wow — we don’t know if this is a better gift for boarders, or for any parents who are constantly nagging them to get their skate gear off the floor! Plus, we’re always happy to support an amazing, entrepreneurial small California-based business that’s created something really smart and useful,...

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7 unique nativity sets for families with young kids. So basically, not glass.

Now that it’s officially December, I will soon unpack and set up my childhood nativity set, even if our holidays are largely secular nowadays. However after three kids who turned my nativity into a sort of dollhouse toy each year, it’s time for me to consider something new. Which is why I have been looking around the web for a beautiful and unique nativity set for families that won’t be easily destroyed, should the kids get a little handsy with the Wise Men. In other words, no $800 porcelain figurines painted with 14k gold leaf. So I came up with seven nativity sets I really...

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14 of our favorite small shops and online children’s boutiques to help you #shopsmall for the holidays.

Since the first November it launched several years ago, even long before we teamed up with partner American Express who is now sponsoring and championing the campaign, we’ve been staunch advocates for Small Business Saturday. And we’re still thrilled to mark on our calendars each year. In fact, supporting small businesses is the whole reason we started Cool Mom Picks in the first place. So this is very dear to our hearts. While it would be impossible to share every small business we adore (i.e. visit our archives in every single category since the beginning of our site),with the help of our editors, we’ve somehow managed to narrowed...

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