Tag: handmade toys

8 extremely cool sets of modern alphabet blocks

I don’t know if there’s a more perfect gift for a baby than a great set of modern alphabet blocks. (Besides maybe a great alphabet poster.) They start as decor in the nursery, become a great toddler toy, and eventually you get to watch as your kid turns them into towers, cities, fortresses of all kinds. My grade-schoolers still play with a set they got as babies — I’d call that a great shower gift. Here, I’ve put together some of the coolest modern alphabet blocks. I especially love how each one is perfectly gender neutral. Modern indeed.  ...

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Happy National Puzzle Day! 8 irresistible puzzles for toddlers that make fabulous little gifts

Just in case you didn’t know, it’s National Puzzle Day. And we like puzzles! So I’ve put together 8 of the most creative jigsaws, blocks, stackers, wooden, handmade, felt and letter puzzles for toddlers that are perfect for kids just starting to get that pattern recognition and small motor skill thing down. And they all have the added benefit of looking great on a shelf. Just don’t lose those pieces!     This sweet and chunky 9-block animal puzzle encourages kids to build 6 different animals — and maybe create a few hybrids of their own. (Hape, $14.99)   Is this...

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Elephants on Parade

We know personalized baby gifts are supposed to show you gave it more than two seconds’ thought choosing a special keepsake. These cozy pachyderms, an exclusive offering from Baby Gardner, do just that. This little baby elephant parade wall hanging is a a great find for anyone looking for a sweet, unique baby gift. The vintage vibe of these hand-stitched friends make them a darling accessory to any nursery. There is a tenderness to these softies with the interlocking of the trunks and tails of the family, very comforting indeed. We also couldn’t love more how these don’t scream safari theme —...

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12 awesome toys you can actually make from cardboard boxes. (Because we all know the best part of the gift is often what it comes in.)

With all the empty cardboard boxes that may still be around your house post-holiday, don’t throw them out! Take a lesson from my kids, who have never seen an empty box they didn’t turn into a playhouse, a race car, or a doll cradle. Since we all know the boxes are often more fun for kids than the stuff inside, here are a whole bunch of toys you can make from cardboard boxes — and I promise, they’re actually doable, unlike some of the ridiculous things I’ve seen on Pinterest. (No offense crafters, but I don’t have six days...

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Woodland critters invade your child’s bedroom. No exterminator needed.

Whether you need a snuggly pal for that first camping trip or the perfect prop for colorful fall family photos, we just can’t leaf this Etsy shop alone.   We seriously want to snuggle all the critters in the Savage Seeds shop on Etsy, also home of this adorable handmade kids’ hoodie we covered a while back. Everything at the shop designed, cut, sewn, and packaged by hand in the USA, with most products handmade of wool felt, eco-felt, and bamboo Nature-Fil fiber. Plus there are no buttons or tiny parts, so your own little savages should be safe.  ...

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Natural handmade wooden block sets for kids, ready to become the city of their dreams

We’re always on the lookout for wonderful wooden, eco-friendly kids’ toys as an alternative to the plastic stuff that seems to be eating up the toy store aisles more and more each year. Etsy is always a great place to turn, and this wonderful new shop is doing some nifty things that aren’t your average wooden building toy.    Cubiciti makes some super funky modular block sets in both natural unpolished maple, and gorgeous painted wood–all non-toxic, water-based paints, of course. The blocks have pegs that fit into on a small plastic base, allowing your kids to configure the cars...

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Kickstart some cool play with mighty awesome Olliblock block sets

If you love the idea of toys that represent kids of all sorts, we think you’ll dig the way one of our favorite indie companies is Kickstarting some even more fun mix-and-match block sets. And the higher-level rewards might just blow you away. Our pals at Olliblocks/Mixmates have a Kickstarter going through August 3  that takes the next step in evolution: instead of just buying a PDF and making the blocks yourself, you can grab some extra special, artisan-made sets of beautiful blocks. (Edited to add: Olliblocks are now available for sale at the Caravan Shoppe Site) We loved these blocks...

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13 of the most outrageous playhouses: Don’t show your kids!

Every so often, it’s fun to see how the rich and famous live, especially those with kids. Should you have a spare 10, 20, or 50k lying around, check out these unbelievable kids playhouses. Or hey, if you buy one yourself? Invite us over! Related: 7 cool playroom ideas for kids that let you reclaim your living room Attention Tolkien fans: this Hobbit playhouse (above) is mindblowing, and built right into the landscape. Just get your kids some big feet. (Wildflower Turf) A Mondrian playhouse is awesome for fans of mid-century modern. Like me. (Barnes Vanzes Architects) Little astronauts would love...

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Taste the rainbow of adorable felt play food. But don’t really taste it.

If you love showering your children with all-natural goodness in a rainbow of colors, you’ll love this veritable smorgasbord of vibrant veggies, scrumptuous sushi, and fruit fit for a king. Just don’t let them eat it. Because it’s all handmade felt food. And felt on your tongue feels pretty gnarly. We’re salivating over the colorful array of beautiful felt play food from Creation by M on Etsy… which is kind of weird, because we do know it’s not real. Each piece of play food is lovingly hand-stitched of eco-felt, which is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. And many...

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When you chomp upon a star: unique handmade teething toys

Move over, Sophie the Giraffe. There’s a bright star of a new chew toy in town, and it’s handmade, eco-chic, and…deliciously pointy.  These luscious fabric balls from Timo Handmade in Israel are a sparkly new addition to the galaxy of chewy-but-pretty baby toys. Each star-shaped toy is around six inches across, handmade in Tel Aviv of new and vintage natural fabrics. They’re safe to chew, baby-sized, and oh-so-pretty, sure to get quite a few oohs and ahs at a baby shower. In addition to nifty, nubby stars, Timo also makes some pretty funky rabbit, bird, and mouse dolls (like that...

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