Tag: kids’ toys

The Plasma Car: You need one now. I mean, your kids need one.

Recently I was introduced to the Plasma Car at a friend’s house. I had to beg my four year-old to get off…and give me a try. And once I did, she had to beg me to get off. I’m not the only one. At the ABC Kids show in Las Vegas a few months ago, CMP VIP Julie loved it so much, she bought it right there and then, excess airline baggage check fees be damned. If you have never hopped on one of these ride-on toys, you don’t know the fun you’re missing. But I’ll tell you: Basically...

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Bowling night

Ever since we got a Nintendo Wii, my kids have been hooked on bowling. Okay, try completely obsessed. But I figured instead of having them beg to play the virtual version every day, they could do the real thing right at home with the retro pin bowling set from Little Sapling Toys. Forget those plastic bowling toys that get beaten up after a few swift tosses – this set of ten pins and two balls is hand carved from maple and finished with local beeswax and jojoba oil, ensuring that splinters cannot be used as an excuse for gutter balls. We...

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Presenting the world’s smallest baby sling

When I had my second baby, one thing that helped my daughter (then just barely two) was to be able to mimic the things I was doing so she could feel like she was “helping.” I still have awesome pictures of her little dolls in diapers that came up over their heads. They looked like Pampers with limbs. If I had seen these adorable doll slings from our Canadian friends at Natural Pod, I would have been all over them. They’re natural, they’re cotton, they fit the 12″ handmade dolls at the shop or really, any dolls around that...

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These limited edition vehicles really will go fast

To say my son was obsessed with toy cars, trucks, trains and planes when he was younger would be a major understatement, and I have six overstuffed bins to prove it. However, there are a few toy vehicles he’s collected over the years that are so special that they are set out for display (and play) and I wouldn’t be surprised if some ended up perched on his desk in his college dorm. The Playforever toy vehicle collection is that kind of special. When Julian Meagher, an award winning industrial designer, moved to the UK and turned his attention...

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Jade’s ToyBox delivers boxes of pure happiness

Jade’s Toy Box no longer exists I’m starting to think that group gifts are the way to go. Chip in with a bunch of other folks, and get someone one seriously awesome something-or-other that they’ll really appreciate. And I think that’s what Jade’s ToyBox was thinking too, when they created some of the most phenomenal gift boxes for kids that I’ve ever seen. You can browse by age (baby, toddler or preschooler) and then pick from among clever themes like The Moodie Foodie which is all about kitchen play and Are We There Yet which is packed with items...

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The Mini Mini Cooper

If I had a million dollars, as that song goes, I think I would add this Mini Cooper ride-on toy to my kids’ holiday gift list. While I haven’t tried it out personally, my kids would zip around the living room in that hot little car in a minute. Come to think of it, do you think a kids’ ride-on car can support a hundred and [mumblemumble] pounds? Probably not considering it’s recommended for ages two to five. Too bad, because I’m digging the 6V electronic motor, electronic brake and accelerator with stop-gap safety features, a rechargable battery, and...

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Cool felt play food – CMP does etsy

When I was young, I loved playing house. Tea parties and market shopping were two of my favorite things. I had no idea I was practicing chores I would have to do the rest of my life. Aaaaanyway, felt food is always such a fantastic children’s toy, and the handmade play food sets we’ve featured here are just adorable. So realistic and beautifully made. The pancakes (above) made by BugNikDesigns look good enough to eat. She makes versions with strawberries or blueberries or two sunny side up eggs you can plop right on top. I love this felt play...

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LEGO moderne

I always thought that LEGOs were cute for making walls and towers, maybe the occasional weird angular horses or something. I honestly had no idea that now you could make, oh, say…the Guggenheim Museum. Right in time for the NY landmark’s 50th anniversary. The reviews on the LEGO site are really funny – “flet3her” complains of the Seattle Space Needle LEGO set that “the banquet hall at the bottom is barely represented” but for those of you not looking for a perfect replica, but just a cool gift for an older kid, or some seriously great design-geek objects for...

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Blabla launches baby dolls, and there’s nothing bla about them

While most toy companies start basic and work outward from there, I think it’s really interesting that CMP fave (and pretty much every kids boutique’s fave), Blabla Kids, has evolved from their quirky and sometimes irreverent line of fair trade hand-knit dolls to classic baby dolls. These dolls still retain Blabla dolls’ distinctive signature traits like super soft bodies, yarn hair, and sweet stitched on smiles. And I especially love the diversity of dolls including a couple of boy dolls and two dolls with brown skin. But what’s really fun is that the company is now making 100% cotton...

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It’s hip to be rectangular

With all the building toys in my three-kid household, I find it amusing that their new favorite is a box of same-sized, non-painted, rectangular pieces of wood from CitiBlocs. You can almost hear all the other blocks protesting, “But I’m colorful!”, “I snap together!”, “I come in 65 different shapes!”. No matter. CitiBlocs wooden block sets may be plain and simple, but to paraphrase Dr. Seuss, oh the things they can do. CitiBlocs are made from New Zealand’s renewable and affordable Radiata Pine and we have turned our pile of blocks into a truck, a train and my interpretation...

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Swapping it forward with Swap Mamas

I used to do the consignment thing with my kids’ outgrown clothes, but I’ve just not found a store in our new locale that has enough stuff I want to buy to make it worth my while to sell there. And I admit that dropping bags anonymously at Goodwill can be hard when they contain something my kids really loved. Swap Mamas is the social media answer to a consignment shop – a way to send your gently used items to a new home, and find the items you need yourself all while connecting with like-minded parents. It’s like...

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Love me tender

After inheriting yet another useless stuffed animal courtesy of my in-laws, I have officially put the kibosh on any and all such toys. With one exception, of course. The King. If you’re an Elvis lover, his spirit and likeness can now live on in your own home with the hilarious Elvis Beastly doll from UK’s The Grateful Thread who we already love for their guitar softies and recycled record clocks. Made from soft polar fleece, this handsome devil will put all those other poor, neglected plush dolls to shame with his deep voice and swoon-worthy dance moves – none...

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String dolls give you magical powers! Like the power not to buy a new backpack for school this year.

These days, not everyone wants (or needs) to spend money on a brand new backpack or lunchbox for the kids each school year. So I like the idea of finding those fun little doodads that help liven up backpacks and make them feel new again. If you’re looking for a personalized touch, you absolutely have to check out the keychain-style, handmade String Doll Gang which are great for grade-schoolers who won’t try and eat the wires and googly-eyes. I am just bonkers over the hilarious characters, each of whom have their own “special power.” There’s a princess and an...

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Toy and product recalls – Yep, they’re still out there.

While 2009 hasn’t quite turned out to be the Year of the Recall the same way it was in 2007, we still like the the idea of an easy way to check for safety recalls of children’s toys and other products.  In fact, the Babysitter Balance from Baby Bjorn (shown), a bouncy seat we fell in love wtih late last year, has just today issued a voluntary safety recall because some small metal pieces have been found in some padding and could potentially cause scratches. There have been no injuries reported  but as a testament to the company’s commitment...

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Rock(ing) Lobster

There are few things that scream New England more than the ubiquitous lobster, but since I’m afraid a lobster may actually scream, I have never brought one home to cook for dinner. If you’re like me, go a different route and bring home this adorable Wooden Lobster Pull Toy which promises to delight your kids or weekend hosts. I love the smile-inducing clickity-clack the kid-friendly claws make as the toy is pulled across the floor. Handmade by the family team of East Laurel Woodcrafts in land-locked Kentucky, even this born and raised Massachusetts mama will assert it is one...

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The leg room’s not bad but they don’t serve lunch

When I saw the Cardboard Designs airplane at Arte Bebe, I immediately sent it to my husband the pilot, who immediately sent it to all his pilot friends because it might just be the coolest plane toy we’ve ever seen. We’re already fans of recyclable cardboard toys for kids, and this airplane is no exception. Construction involves nothing but a few tucks and folds if that, and then your kiddo can design his leg powered fighter jet, bi-plane, or Boeing 757 with crayons, markers, paints, and his own imagination. Or hers. Because around this place, girls love planes just...

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Cool Beans

Magic Beans may sound like something a frat guy tried to slip me back in college, but it’s actually the name of a super stocked Boston area baby gear and toy store. The mom/pop team of Eli & Sheri Gurock have done a great job streamlining  the site with the modern brands we love, over a dozen gift guides and “shop by age” quick links. Of particular note is their WOW! Baby Basket Builder which is such a huge time saver, it’s brilliant; just tell them a little about the recipient, pick a spending level as low as $40,...

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It’s a pull toy! It’s a bookmobile!

When my son was younger, he’d shuffle around the house balancing a stack of his favorite books in his overloaded arms. I was thrilled to have raised a mini bibliophile, but after seeing countless board books tumbling onto his little toes, we both could have used P’Kolino’s cool looking Book Buggee. The Book Buggee is unlike any pull toy you’ve ever seen. As a mom, I love how easily and neatly a toddler can slide a few books into the finger-like spokes along with a favorite animal or sippy cup up front. Plus I appreciate that the light-colored wheels...

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The plastic pail that’s all pail, no plastic

When I find myself packing our bags for a beach side vacation, I always look for ways to cut back on the number of space-hogging things we’re taking. With the SandSac they can bring their sand pail and shovel without taking up too much precious luggage space. No kidding. This collapsible square cotton canvas beach pail can squish down to fit into our bags, then open up for collecting sea shells, rocks and even the occasional sea creature–temporarily of course. Or fill it with sand using the renewable bamboo shovel and flip it over to make sandcastles. And, since...

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Acorn Toy Shop: First Brooklyn, now the world

Well it’s about time my favorite local Brooklyn toy store, Acorn toys, went digital. Not that I was complaining before, mind you, but now everyone I know can check out the gorgeous selection of handmade toys and other special gifts for kids. And maybe get some for us? Look around and you’ll see great children’s room decor, wonderful stuffed animals, wooden toys for pretend play, multicultural Waldorf dolls, and even accessories like the fantastic (if pricey) silver boots from Chickpea Kid that I fell in love with two years ago and can never seem to find. I’m also totally...

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