Tag: handmade toys

Holding out for a custom handmade superhero doll.

I’ve been searching for the perfect gift for my niece this Christmas. You know, the one that will make me the favorite aunt. (Kidding. Well, kind of.) As I was scouring Etsy, I found these adorable handmade superhero dolls at La Loba Studio, and I think they would make an amazing heirloom gift at a great price. Emese, the Hungarian artist who creates these dolls, has such a fun eye for color and personality. I love that so many of these dolls celebrate adventure and strength with their superhero capes and masks on. And yet they are sweet and cuddly and excellent bedtime companions,...

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Pop culture peg dolls, for fans of The Penguin, Harry Potter, pirates, princesses, or Percy Jackson.

Though there are sure to be many awesome high-tech toys out there this holiday season, our latest obsession is the adorably low-tech wooden peg dolls by Wooly Llama on Etsy. I mean, what could be better than hearing your kids playing their own imaginary game of Star Wars while making their best beep-beep-boop noises for the wee little R2D2 peg? Or doing their own version of Harry Potter complete with a rolly-polly Hagrid? Beyond those two huge franchises, Wooly Llama has even more incredibly cute wooden peg dolls, with sets paying homage to the casts of Lord of the Rings, and Percy Jackson so you can pick one that appeals...

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Unicorn horn headbands for Halloween or everyday. Because being a magical, mythological creature never goes out of style.

When these adorable unicorn horn headbands landed in my inbox over the weekend, I immediately forwarded it to Liz and said “Cool, right?!” which is why you’re seeing them right now. If you’ve got an indecisive little one in your house, or hey, want a little quick and easy Halloween something for yourself, hurry up and order one of these. The handmade unicorn horns from BrooklynOwl.com are actually something my kids would wear all year long because really, winter, spring, summer, or fall, they’re all-season creatures. Ha.   Related: 9 really creative, last-minute Halloween costumes for kids you can DIY They...

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An artist transforms Bratz dolls into real female role models and the results are amazing.

When we first discovered Tree Change dolls, our readers went wild and with good reason — mom Sonja Singh is taking one of the most polarizing children’s toys (Bratz) and refashioning them into some of the most beloved children’s toys (wholesome little girl dolls). So now we’re so excited to see that artist Wendy Tsao has found inspiration in Sonja’s own work, and credited her as the impetus for her Mighty Dolls project, an art project in which she upcycles the same Bratz dolls, turning them into a powerful and diverse collection of female role models. Take a look at her site and you’ll recognize author JK Rowling, Nobel...

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cuddle + kind: The new handknit dolls good at snuggling, playing, and feeding kids in need

We love companies that help us do a little extra good when we purchase their products, like TOMS shoes and Bears for Humanity and Mitscoots Socks which each have “buy one, give one” business models. And now we’ve discovered a line of adorable new handknit dolls called cuddle + kind that not only will make our kids squeal from the cuteness, but also help combat child hunger in the US and around the world by providing meals to children in need. Based on the incredible amount of support they’ve received just a week into their Indiegogo campaign, clearly we’re not the only ones who...

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Baby play gyms as beautiful as they are fun

A new baby may be small, but they all have some magical ability to fill an entire home with all of their things. So we’re always looking for those gifts and gear essentials that both baby and you will love looking at, like baby play gyms. I love all three of these wooden play gyms that I found from makers on Etsy; they’re all such beautiful alternatives to those big plastic contraptions that can be eyesores in the middle of your living room. But while these are all simple and modern in terms of shape and design, there’s still plenty of accessories and other options to keep...

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10 of the cutest pirate gifts for kids because, argggg it’s Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Avast, me hearties, it’s Talk Like a Pirate Day. And since this esteemed annual holiday falls on a Saturday this year, our kids can plunder the living room and giggle about the “poop deck” all day long without getting in trouble in the classroom. To get you and your little buccaneers in the mood, we’ve rounded up ten great pirate gifts for kids that we love.   Flatout Frankie’s Stack Up Pirates come together to make a fun plaything or bit of room decor for your pirate lover. Made of 100% recyclable cardboard, these two pirates are also a bit of a...

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Handmade baby gifts with an Australian accent. (But no, they don’t talk.)

It’s not often I discover a new Etsy shop and automatically think okay, every single thing in there is adorable. But that’s the case with Babee and Me, which I can forgive for being based in Byron Bay, Australia, considering what beautiful work is coming out of the shop. From soft handmade baby toys, to funky teething rattles (oh, those cameras!), and tons of gorgeous personalized wooden blocks in all kinds of styles, everything just has a wonderful sensibility about it with terrific typography, and modern color combination. I like that the selection also includes lots of black and white gifts,...

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The Swurfer: Not your grandma’s backyard swing

When I first saw a picture of The Swurfer in my local toy store’s summer catalog, I thought that it looked like a nice wide swing for those of us who can’t quite, ahem, cram ourselves into our kids’ smaller swings. And while it can definitely be used like a traditional swing, it wasn’t until I a YouTube video of the Swurfer in action that I realized that this swing really, really rocks. As the name implies, The Swurfer combines the motion of swinging with surfing so adventurous kids, teens, and even adults can surf through the air. My kids saw...

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Handbags to drool over. Literally.

When you’re going through the pain of cutting teeth and the indignity of drool everywhere, you deserve a little reward, don’t you think? Of course, there’s no more appropriate gift for your teething six-month-old than a designer handbag. As long as it’s this Chanel handbag wooden baby teether spotted at Fig & Fawn, made by NYC-based LexyPexy. From designer bags to the perfect French croissant, there isn’t a LexyPexy wooden teether that doesn’t make me smile. They are all so fun and clever; they’ve moved straight to the top of my list for go-to baby shower gifts this summer. And maybe they will keep your baby from chewing...

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Little Bellwoods toys: The smaller the creatures, the bigger the awww…

My kids have a penchant for falling in love with tiny things. I can’t blame them; I’m the very same way. The smaller and cuter a toy happens to be, the more we all adore it. So how could we resist the heart-meltingly adorable creations over at the Little Bellwoods Etsy shop? Short answer: We can’t. Every little stuffed animal is cuter than the next. Skunks, foxes, and, well, the cutest toy birds I have ever seen in my entire life. And every little one is made by hand –and obviously with love, too– by a Canadian mom. (Toronto, represent!) I’ll...

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A colorful toy mail bag for kids that’s ready to deliver fun

Since most of the mail I get in my own mailbox is junk or bills, I’d love to see my kids playing mail carrier and delivering me something really special using Miss Pretty Pretty’s colorful felt mail bag. Perhaps delivered to this cute printable mailbox we shared a while back? Coming from Julie the same Etsy artist that has given us the most creative and well-made handmade playhouses we may have seen, ever, Miss Pretty Pretty’s child-sized mail bag is ready to go to work. Or play. Through rain, sleet, snow, or just across a messy playroom. She can even customize it in whatever color combination your...

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19 very (very) special non-candy Easter basket gifts kids will love.

Between school parties and Easter baskets from their grandparents, my kids will be coming home with chocolate bunnies and cream-filled eggs to last us till the Fourth of July. So I’ve been looking for some extra special Easter basket gifts for kids that go beyond what you might find on your drugstore shelves. They’re perfect for those of you who want to ease up on the sugar; or for kids like ours, who are already going to have more than their fill from other sources. Mix them in with some traditional Easter fare (it is hard to resist jellybeans after all), or limit...

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The hipster ABC matching tile game, for parents who value reading proficiency and irony.

Most preschoolers can tell you that M is for Monkey and N is for Nut, but a hip preschooler may know that those letters also stand for Moustache and Narwhal. Since I’m pretty sure my three year old doesn’t, I’ve got my eye on this Hipster ABC matching tile set that should increase his cool cred faster than he can say, “The glasses-wearing narwhal played ping pong in a log cabin.” Mostly because he’ll first want to know what the heck a narwhal is. Related: A cool counting book for your hipster-in-training. I love children’s toys that speak to my own design sensibilities and I get a a...

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A rainbow of handmade sorting games bringing beautiful, old-school play to kids

Ever in search for more colorful playthings to brighten up the dreary northeast weather, I am so happy to discover Laughing Crickets, an Etsy shop creating the most beautiful, bright, happy-making handmade toys for kids, with a focus on handmade sorting games. The shop overs brightly beautiful natural  sorting games featuring the likes of giraffes, hearts, birds, lady bugs, and rainbow clad peg dolls in their own little wooden beds. Plus, Easter eggs which should be a big hit in the coming weeks.I love that they’re painted with non-toxic paints and finished with natural beeswax and olive oil, by makers who clearly...

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Wood you be mine?

As I’m looking around the web for ideas for a little token Valentine’s Gift for my kids, I came across this adorable wooden stacking heart blocks toy from Natural Family Shop on Amazon and yes, I heart it. It comes with 8 natural, beautifully handmade and non-toxic wooden heart blocks for stacking and sorting, or it just looks pretty displayed up on a child’s bookshelf. Good news, Amazon Prime members–you can still get one in time for Valentine’s Day, too if you’re quick.   I see them available shades of pink too, and in rainbow sold by Magic Cabin; though you’ll have to wait a bit for delivery...

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Custom dolls from your kids’ drawings. Now that’s a keepsake.

My three-year-old son brings artwork home from nursery school by the armful — if you consider a couple of paint drops on construction paper to be art, that is. Every so often, however, he creates something that actually resembles a person, place, or thing, and I want to save it forever. The coolest way I’ve discovered to immortalize a child’s doodle is to turn it into a custom doll. We’ve covered quite a few impressive artists who make custom dolls from drawings that kids make and now there’s one more. Enter Yaela, a designer and mother of two. She runs an online studio called Dolls ‘n’ All...

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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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Gorgeous wooden toy cars that run on imagination

Some of the best toys don’t need a lot of bells and whistles, or even horns, to make them a plaything that kids will love for years. Our newest find is Candylab’s stunning, yet durable, wooden toy cars. After Candylab wooden toy cars received some acceleration from a super-successful Kickstarter campaign, six styles are ready to roll up to your house in time for the holidays for any vehicle-loving child and their mid-century-modern-loving parents. Designed in Brooklyn, made of solid beech wood, colored in water-based paints, and rolling on food-grade rubber tires, Candylab’s entire garage of toy cars are the kinds...

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8 fun Hanukkah gift ideas for kids, one for every night. Shopping done!

Compared to last year (holy Thanksgivukkah!), it may seem like we have tons of time to prep for Hanukkah, but I have a feeling that the time will fly. Quickly. Before we know it, we’ll be on the hook for eight crazy nights of festivities and, probably Hanukkah gifts for your kids, too. Of course, all of the toys and gifts in this year’s Cool Mom Picks gift guide make great options, especially our ideas for Baby’s First Hanukkah if you have a new baby or toddler. But for older kids, I’ve tracked down these great Hanukkah gifts for kids...

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