Tag: handmade toys

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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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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