There’s something special about getting a doll that looks “just like you.” It’s one of the many reasons Cool Mom Picks loves companies like Corolle who make baby dolls of color as well as boy dolls for our sons to love. Of course it’s partly why American Girl Dolls became so beloved. And it’s the reason I was stoked to stumble upon Naturally Perfect Dolls at this year’s Toy Fair this week. The idea for the Naturally Perfect Dolls line, created by parents Angelica and Jason Sweeting, was inspired by their young African-American daughter asking for yellow hair and white skin — for herself — so she...Read More
Tag: kids’ toys
Since Cool Mom Picks started a decade ago, we’ve made it our mission to find small, independent stores that sell unique, eco-friendly, hard-to-find toys for your kids so that all you have to do is scroll and shop. My newest favorite, Oh! Toys, goes to great lengths (or maybe I should say great distances) to find beautifully made toys that encourage open-ended play. Just think of the airfare they’ve saved you! Here are just a few of the really special, creative gifts there that you simply aren’t going to find at your local mall or big toy store chain. Related: The ultimate birthday fift guide: Coolest gifts for...Read More
If you’re the type willing to seek out creative, responsibly made, well-designed gifts for your kids — or for one of the endless stream of birthday parties they get invited to — then you have to check out Treehouse Kid & Craft. We just discovered this little gem of an online shop which features tons of the kinds of cool toys for kids of all ages that we’ve always loved supporting. And the prices are surprisingly decent, too. What I’m drawn to most is their drool-worthy DIY section of toys and gifts which are inspired by the hands-on workshops for kids they host at their brick-and-mortar stores in Georgia. If you’re lucky...Read More
Web coolness: Cross-stitch tattoos, a LEGO minifig that’s overdue, and talking to your kids about kindness during a bitter election cycle.
Here are some links we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you like them too. First, here’s how to follow us on Facebook. It’s been feisty over there lately! Cross-stitch tattoos from an amazing tattoo artist, @evakrbdk Whoa. Wonderful, important essay on talking to your kids about kindness and decency during an ugly election cycle. What to tell your kids instead of “nice try.” Getting more protein into your kids, especially if they’re not big meat-eaters. 10 books that encourage kids to stand up and speak out. Nice seeing some of our own faves on the list, like...Read More
Well, after oh, only sixty years or so of women complaining about Barbie’s unrealistic figure, Mattel has decided to get with the 21st century zeitgeist and the changing look of the world, today releasing Barbies with three brand new body shapes — curvy, tall and petite. And you know, looking at them? They actually are curvy, tall and petite. Yes! Interestingly, they’re called the Barbie Fashionista line, which I suppose is a smart marketing move as opposed to calling them something like Barbie Body Shape. Or Bootylicious Barbie which I imagine was off the table immediately. Of course we had to have...Read More
Web Coolness: Star Wars in schools, smart ways to be more playful, and the most amazing new car seat.
Here are the links we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you like them too. Love these sweet Star Wars’ illustrations by James Hance in the style of classic children’s book illustrations. (via Bored Panda) How teachers can bring Star Wars into the classroom with these great lesson plan ideas that cover everything from Shakespeare to economics. We had our own theory on the Spawned Podcast last week about “Where is Rey?” Sadly, our theory was confirmed nearly verbatim by a toy manufacturer who confessed as to why there are so few Rey toys on shelves. Just wow. A great resolution: 52 ways...Read More
You always need a few toys to keep kids entertained in the bath, of course. Cups and boats have always always been a hit with mine, but I just had to share the adorable new Marco light-up bath toy from Boon from Boon for something a little more special or even a fun shower gift add-on for a bath set, or a charming little birthday for a young child not yet asking for XBox games. This little battery-powered aquanaut lights up when the sensors on his feet hit the water, and he changes color every time you dip him in and out. Plus, he floats with his...Read More
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...Read More
19 cool Rey Star Wars toys and gifts: She might not be in Monopoly, but she sure is here. | Spawned episode 28
We’ve been super frustrated with the lack of Star Wars toys for kids featuring Rey. Not just because she’s a woman, and all of our kids — male and female — love her, but uh…she’s the hero. How the heck do you make a Star Wars Monopoly set or a Star Wars 6-piece Action Figure set “with all your favorite characters” but not the main character of the entire movie? above LEGO Force Awakens Rey and BB-8 art photograph | Holtzman Customs Even JJ Abrams doesn’t get it. We discussed the issue on this week’s Spawned Show: Where is Rey? — especially Mike...Read More
When you think back to the best toys of the year (and other playful gifts for kids) you probably think about tech, tablets, and things that require cords and batteries. And yet there’s so much more, from wonderful board games, to handmade dolls, to decidedly unplugged toy that inspire tons of creative play and imagination. While we’ve got all the cool tech toys covered for you over at Cool Mom Tech, here are 22 of our favorite new toys of 2015 that captured our — and our children’s — attention. Most are from small brands that really value all the attention they get, but...Read More
The Ultimate Star Wars Guide: Dozens of geeky gifts, party ideas, DIY projects, recipes, and random Force-inspired insanity.
Okay, so the world is obsessed with Star Wars right now in light of the premier of The Force Awakens. And hey, we count ourselves among you all. Now we can’t exactly say we’ve covered Star Wars “since before it was cool” because 1.) no such thing and 2.) we were not blogging in 1978. But we have put together an awesome Star Wars guide, filled with so many fun finds from over the years — gifts, guides, party ideas, recipes (Chewbacca donuts!) and just random awesome stuff. It’s so fun seeing them all here in one place. Or, you can always...Read More
I made a quick stop at my local toy shop the other week to grab holiday gifts for Liz’s kids, and the second I saw the squishable food stuffed animals I was pretty sure I had found winners. Well, after listening to the shrieks and squeals when they pulled them out of the bag, I went back to grab some for my kids too. So, it’s not just that these squishable food stuffed animals are ridiculously adorable. They’re super soft and squishy (yes, they live up to their name), and as someone who is generally a little loathe to stuffed animals...Read More
Hi Cool Mom Picks! Can you put together some unique holiday gift ideas for creative kids that go beyond the same craft kits I see everywhere? Thanks so much! Ooh, I love this question. We know that all kids have creativity in them, so Cool Mom Picks is always filled with the kinds of toys and gifts that really help kids harness that innate creativity and imagination. While there’s no shortage of gifts out there for kids who love crafts, art, making stuff, or good old-fashioned imaginary play, I’ve combed our recent holiday gift guides, toy guide series, birthday...Read More
This year, we notice just how much we’ve been writing up cool gift ideas and toys for kids and mentioning, but we’d like one too. It’s like the fantastic innovations in toys plus our need as adults not to feel quite so adult is colliding, and we’re all for it! That’s why we’re so happy to welcome back one of our very favorite longtime sponsors, Micro Kickboard. Not only do they make the scooters our kids all own and adore, but you may not realize they make a bunch of fantastic scooter options just for adults. Stay off my...Read More
Paper jewelry kits are a pretty awesome gift, giving your crafty kids something wonderful they can make and wear — even when you’re sure you want one more little bead, button, or plastic charm strewn about your house. I adore paper jewelry kits as much as my kids because they are fun and can turn out some pretty cool-looking pieces. Plus, they can go right in the recycling bin once my kids have moved on to something else, unlike the cheap jewelry that they covet by the counters of clothing stores. So for a great jewelry-making gift that uses paper as its medium of choice, I’ve got four fun...Read More
We love finding new ways to teach our kids about the big, diverse world that extends far beyond the boundaries of their neighborhood and town. And while nothing can replace actually going to the countries themselves, playsets like this one from Whole Wide World Toys may help even our littlest jet setter hopefuls learn all about different countries in a way that is fun and educational. And their first stop? The huge country of China. What makes Whole Wide World Toys’ World Village China Playset so neat is how it incorporates a ton of age-appropriate information along with the toys themselves. Each playset comes with...Read More
Web coolness: Action figures for girls, a must-hear rap for kids, and a most interesting nail trend.
Here are some of the things we’re liking around the web this week. Hope you like them too. One of our favorite small toy brands, I Am Elemental, is now out with a complete set of their action figures for girls that champion powers like honesty, bravery and courage. Super cool. Love the beautifully curated Mommas Gone City online pop-up shop with gift boxes created by our friend Jessica Shyba. Tutorial: 7 ways to wrap a bottle of wine. We need this! And have you checked out the Cool Mom Eats holiday gift guide? Amazing stuff. Yum. 14 cool custom photo gifts, the...Read More
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...Read More
If there is one gift we always hope our kids get unwrap this holiday, it’s an art toy or craft kit, or something that encourages and help develops their artistic sides. For us, toys that build on children’s natural creativity are as important to feeding their brains as educational toys that teach proficiency in reading, math and science. If you’re looking for a terrific selection of art toys for kids, one of the first places we always look online is Fat Brain Toys, our amazing sponsor for this third and final post in our Holiday Toy Gift Guide series. Fat Brain Toys has so more than...Read More
Some of our very favorite gifts for our active kids are the cool outdoor toys that get them up and moving all year round. And, wow, we have found a bunch of great outdoor toys for kids of every age at Fat Brain Toys, our fantastic sponsor for this second post in our mini holiday toy gift guide series. From bikes to scooters to toys and games that get you off the couch, we love that Fat Brains Toys is a one-stop shop for a ton of the best outdoor toys from so many of the brands we love and trust — as...Read More