Tag: handmade toys

Turning any table into the best playhouse ever

Its been a while since we first discovered Imaginative PlayToys, and the gorgeous handmade felt table covers she makes to turn your card table into oh…say, a pirate ship. Checking back again after awhile I discovered a new shop name and a ton of inspired new designs. In fact, while writing this post my kids saw the photo below and started shrieking WE WANT THAT! WE WANT THAT! CAN WE GET THAT? like nothing I’ve ever seen. Can you blame them? Red Double Delight Playhouse (at top) Under the Ocean Playhouse Paper Doll Boutique Playhouse   Outer space playhouse Animal sanctuary...

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Read your veggies.

It seems a lot of baby toys are awfully loud these days. They light up, crinkle, beep and blast music, so sometimes its nice to just have some low-key playthings to appease our easily overstimulated little ones. These quiet handmade soft books from Cutiful Baby and artist Vanessa Giguere are a perfect example of what I am talking about. Vanessa, a fashion industry gal, started making fabric toys for her daughter while on maternity leave and soon found herself taking orders from friends and family, and we can see why. For a household dabbling in vegetarian living, I especially adore these handmade fruit and...

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Tree swings like they used to make them

One of my children’s very favorite thing about Grandma’s house is the the swing in the backyard. We are city-dwellers after all, and swings are generally something you have to wait in line for. This one started as a little baby swing hanging from a sturdy tree branch, evolved to a tire swing, and who knows what it will become after that. Maybe even this beautiful, totally handmade swing. The handmade tree swing from Philly woodworkers Margaux and Walter Kent is totally made of reclaimed wood and each one is made to order. The one in the photo is...

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It’s a lovey. Or a rug. Or a stuffed animal. Or wait…

Confession: I’ve never totally understood the stuffed-animals-that-turn-into-blankets thing. Pulling a blankie out of a stuffed animal’s middle always seemed kind of… weird.  Of course, it’s not up to me–kids seem to love them. And luckier still, I just found a handmade version that’s way cuter (and more sense-making… to me, at least) than some of those seen-on-TV versions. Kenzie of Bewhiskered makes adorable stuffed animals that she calls Ruggles because they–you guessed it–also convert to teensy little rugs. Teensy little man-cave style tiger skin rugs. Of course there are plenty of other choices, from cute lambs to fuzzy unicorns,...

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Earth Day Pick – Eco friendly wooden toys

On Earth Day or any day, I love the feeling a wooden toy creates; fresh, clean and perfect for a creative little mind. It’s no secret we are fans of Little Sapling’s all-natural wood toys. Now the husband and wife team, Nick and Kimber, have done it again with this charming little piece just added to their collection. The wooden toy camera makes it pretty obvious why the Christensens have the top selling toy shop on Etsy. (Not that we don’t have other favorites, of course.) It’s an excellent, original gift idea for the kid who has everything or for your...

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Little Red Riding Hoodie

I am an absolute sucker for handmade dolls and dress up clothes. It really makes dramatic play a personal and organic experience for kids. So I tend to shy away from synthetic fibers and licensed characters when I can, in favor of something made with a little more love. So no surprise, I am in love with this handmade Red Riding Hood costume from Savage Seeds, a super cool Etsy store. You pick a hoodie color (classic red being one of the choices), choose a size from 12m-5T, and a handmade animal to go along with the fun. I’m...

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Wooden toys they way they used to make them. And still do!

Just before Christmas, I was at a craft show and bought the sweetest set of wooden play money (yes, wooden bills!) for my kids. Then, I promptly lost the business card for the creators. As luck would have it, last week a Facebook friend of mine posted a link to their Etsy shop and I have been lost in a sea of beautiful wooden items ever since. The people at The Woodlot really do work magic with their designs. I am smitten with their gorgeous wooden jewelry, their adorable wooden toys, and their lovely wooden alphabet sets. Seriously, this shop...

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Gift for nine-month-old boy who has everything? Reader Q&A

Any fab gift ideas for 9 month old boy who has everything? – Alysia, via Twitter If you’re about to visit a little one who has “everything” (a slightly daunting proposition when he’s not even a year old!) I like giving toys that can be both a plaything and something lovely to display on a dresser, bookshelf or chair. Especially ones that are handmade. This way, it’s got a more keepsake feel to it, and it’s not just another plastic thing to toss into the toy bin (or step on at night). –Christina Unless his name is Mahershalalhashbaz”, the...

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Easter gifts for kids cuter than headless chocolate bunnies

Our inbox is jammed lately with parents asking for non-caloric Easter gift ideas. As luck would have it, we have quite a few. The latest being the adorable, affordable handmade creations from Etsy’s Bossy’s Feltworks–and just in time for the first day of spring!< The three felted baby birds in a nest are melting my heart–I’d imagine my kids would be giving them wacky names in no time and putting on weird plays with them. You can also find more traditionally Easter gifts like this Easter chick in an egg in several different colors, or a cute felted bunny....

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A handmade soft book for your baby that will make you happy

Have you ever given an infant or toddler a paper book only to have returned to you in one mushy mess? Thanks to Wee Gallery’s organic soft book, we found a beautiful solution last year. And now there are 3 modern, colorful new soft book styles they just released. Each book is completely handmade (down to the hand-loomed cotton fabric), GOTS certified, and comes in a simple, yet striking 2 color combination with either garden, jungle or black and white animals inside.                                                                     How adorable is the Garden Soft Book?                ...

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A drumstick fit for a baby. (Hear that, theme park fans?)

When Liz got back from her Disney World trip, she laughed about the ubiquitous turkey leg that seemed to be everywhere. Which is probably why I can’t get over the sheer awesomeness of this handmade rattle. Yes, it’s a rattle in the shape of a turkey leg. The handmade plush drumstick rattle not only looks like the real thing — it’s wrapped to look like you just picked it up at the local butcher. Bring this gift to your next baby shower and you will be singly responsible for the funniest baby pictures ever. -Eva Drumstick Rattle is available at...

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Five adorable Easter basket ideas for last-minute ordering

I am a terrible procrastinator when it comes to Easter basket ideas, always shopping for my kids’ gifts a few days before the holiday and wishing I had planned ahead for once. But, this year, I’ve found a few special picks that you’ll need to buy now if you want to have them in those baskets by Easter morning. Related: 19 truly special Easter basket ideas that don’t include candy To start, you’ll want to make sure you have a basket, and I love Good Wishes Quilts natural cotton baskets that are just the right size for a few small...

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Pop culture junkies, your finger puppets await

So I’m a sucker for everything handmade with a nerd-chic pop culture reference built in. It’s like three of my favorite things all in one glorious, slightly weird package. And the handmade finger puppets from Abbey Christine fit the bill perfectly.  I mean, where else can an NPR fan find an Ira Glass finger puppet? Or most of Wes Anderson’s characters from Max Fischer to Steve Zissou? They’re all free hand cut from recycled felt, giving them that perfectly imperfect handmade look. Keep them in mind as a great inexpensive little gift for your coolest indie friend. I was...

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This sheep rocks!

My kids inherited a rocking horse that’s all bells and whistles–it whinnies, neighs, clip-clops, and plays some sort of country song. I’m pretty sure it says “yeehaw,” too, which doesn’t really make sense. It’s too much, even for them. Who wants to rock on something that shrieks and beeps the whole time? If you ask me, this Rocking Sheep by Bright Spark Design is the ideal rocker. Inspired by a Danish design, it’s handmade with Baltic birch plywood, reclaimed scrap wood, and real sheepskin. Plus, every one is test-ridden by the designer’s own 18-month-old daughter before it’s deemed acceptable. Beautiful, classic–and...

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A super girl doll for your super girl (or boy!)

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...

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Owl love you forever

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...

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Old-fashioned modern dolls

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...

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Cool Mom Picks in Martha Stewart Living!

Well of course you all know we already love Martha Stewart Living, but we now have an extra- special thing for the February issue, since you’ll find Cool Mom Picks in it. What a huge, huge thrill for us! Check page 30 for our tips from us on putting together a theater in the box to keep the kids entertained on foul weather weekends. We’ve included a lot of Etsy favorites, plus some who might be new to you and they’ve photographed it and art directed it all so beautifully. Of course.     It’s a fabulous issue, so we’d...

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Editors Best of 2011: The coolest toys for our kids

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...

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Little Choux – Toys like the elves would make

If Santa’s elves make everything, why do the boxes say “made in China?” my little sister asked me several decades ago. Her prescient question rings more true now than ever, where it seems unlikely that the handiwork of elves had much to do with the toys I see on store shelves. If you’d like some of the gifts under the tree to look a little more like toys that might have been created in Santa’s workshop, check out this neat little store with gifts and stocking stuffers for all the young kids in your life. {hurry! free shipping offer...

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